Microwave Cooking – The Basics

Do you feel that you don’t have time to cook? Do you like using technology in cooking? Are you a health freak? If yes, this is what you are looking for. Microwave Cooking – The wonder of technology making life in the kitchen easy, healthy and beautiful! As everyone, even I love cooking with a microwave not only because it is easy, but because I have bought one recently. Not every one knows how to use a microwave. I have an aunt who got a microwave as a gift which she uses only to roast ‘Papads’. But it is not designed only for that. Microwave is a gift to cooking. Even I am not an expert when it comes to Microwave Cooking. After some researching, I came up with this mini guide which may come handy and will be useful.

Why use Microwave?

As you might be aware of Microwave cooking is

-Healthy, as the nutrients are preserved.
-Quick, hurray! we have more time.

Not all food can be prepared using Microwave. Only few Microwaves well i.e. cooks well. Using food that are not suited for microwaving can not only spoil the recipe, but also damage the microwave oven itself! It is a costly mistake.Take care!

Food that can be cooked in Microwave:

-Whole fruits and Vegetables
-All Poultry
-Sauces and custard

Food to avoid:

-Do not try to hard boil eggs. That is not going to happen with microwave oven.
-Batters and Pancakes
-Roasting large turkeys/Hams as it will get cooked unevenly
-Do not try to deep fry!


This is one of the most important and the most easiest work as far as this appliance is concerned. You can clean in minutes.

-Use Soft Sponges or cloth to clean
-Use dish washing liquid
-Deodorize by keeping the door open for some time and cleaning with baking soda dissolved in warm water.
-Another simple way to deodorize (Which I normally do) is by using the below recipe.

1 cup of water

2 slices of lemon OR few mixed spices (like cinnamon stick,bay leave etc)

Heat on high for 2 to 3 min or until the water is boiling. Now remove the water

and you are left with a fresh smelling new microwave.

Cooking Equipment:

Every time when I use a vessel in microwave oven, I get worried if I am using the right one as using the wrong dishes might spoil your oven. Here are a few you can use,

-oven proof glass bowls and dishes
-Plastic containers which are marked oven/dishwasher safe

Do not use:

-any metal container
-recycled paper
-Plastics that are not marked as oven safe.

Now a days we have even cake pans, loaf pans and baking molds suitable for microwaving.

Mostly round containers are preferred to rectangle or square shaped containers for microwave cooking. The corners get more microwave energy than the center so round is the best shape to cook evenly.

Test your container:

Are you still skeptical in using your container for microwaving? Then do the following test,

Fill the dish/vessel you want to test with cold water

Heat on high for 1 minute

Now check,

If the water is hot and the dish is cold – The dish is safe

If the Dish is hot and water is still cold – No way! Don’t use this vessel

General Microwave cooking – Tips and Techniques that can used to cook any food.

– Cover the food while cooking. It helps in cooking evenly and faster.
– Wrap bread with absorbing paper to avoid moisture on the top.
– Arrange the food so that the center has food that needs less heat to cook and the corners have parts that need more heat to cook.
– Pierce the food with toothpick so that it helps in cooking faster.
– Stir the food occasionally as directed in the recipe.
– Always under cook as food still gets cooked during the standing time.
– Always follow the recipe.

Few How to :

You might be wondering for what else we can use Microwave oven. Do not worry here comes my favorite part which makes our work easy,

How to Peel Tomato:

Pour 2 cups of boiling water in a microwave safe bowl. Add 2 tomatoes and heat on high for 45 – 60 sec till the skin splits. Cool them and peel the tomatoes with ease.

How to Garlic:

Place 2 -3 cloves on oven floor and heat on high for 15-30 sec. Remove and peel with ease.

How to cook beans:

Pre soak the beans as usual and cook them in a large container, giving space for them to expand.

How to Steam vegetables:

Place them in a bowl with little water, they get cooked with the help of the steam. If you use closed bowls, it gets cooked fast.

To Dos for cooking conventional recipe using Microwave:

We generally go with the same recipe for our favorite food and cooking with microwave needs some modification for the taste to come out right.

– Use less water than you will use generally. For example if your general recipe
needs 1 cup of water, for microwave cooking, use 1/2 to 3/4 cup of water.

– Add more spices

– Add salt after the food is cooked

– Reduce the cooking time by at least half.

This is just the basics. There are a lot more to learn for mastering the art of microwave cooking, which , I strongly feel, comes only with practice. So why wait? Buy a microwave oven, cook and enjoy!!!