Amount of food
• If you increase or decrease the amount
of food you prepare, the time it takes to
cook that food will also change. For
example, if you double a recipe, add a
little more than half the original cooking
time. Check for doneness and, if neces-
sary, add more time in small increments.
Starting temperature of food
• The lower the temperature of the food
being put into the microwave oven, the
longer it takes to cook. Food at room
temperature will be reheated more quickly
than food at refrigerated temperature.
Composition of food
• Food with a lot of fat and sugar will be
heated faster than food containing a lot
of water. Fat and sugar will also reach a
higher temperature than water in the
• The more dense the food, the longer it
takes to heat. "Very dense" food like meat
takes longer to reheat than lighter, more
porous food like sponge cakes.
Size and shape
• Smaller pieces of food will cook faster
than larger pieces and same-shaped
pieces of food cook more evenly than
irregularly shaped foods.
• With unevenly shaped foods, the thinner
parts will cook faster than the thicker
areas. Place the thinner parts of chicken
wings and legs in the center of the dish.
Stirring, turning foods
• Stirring and turning foods distributes
heat quickly to the center of the dish and
avoids overcooking at the outer edges of
Cover food to:
• Reduce splattering
• Shorten cooking times
• Retain food moisture
All coverings that allow microwaves to
pass through are suitable.
Releasing pressure in foods
• Several foods (for example: baked
potatoes, sausages, egg yolks, and some
fruits) are tightly covered by a skin or
membrane. This can cause the food to
burst from steam building up in them
during cooking. To relieve the pressure and
to prevent bursting, pierce these foods
before cooking with a fork, cocktail pick, or
Using standing time
• Always allow food to stand for a while
after cooking. Standing time after
defrosting, cooking, or reheating always
improves the results since the temperature
will then be evenly distributed throughout
• The length of the standing time depends
on the volume and density of the food.
Sometimes it can be as short as the time
it takes you to remove the food from the
oven and take it to the serving table.
However, with larger, denser food, the
standing time may be as long as 10