Microwave cooking tips
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 necessary, 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 refrigerator 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 cooking process.
The more dense the food, the longer it takes to
heat. "Very dense" food like meat takes longer to re-
heat than lighter, more porous food like sponge
Size and shape
Smaller pieces of food will cook faster than larger
pieces. Also, same-shaped pieces cook more
evenly than different-shaped pieces.
With foods that have different thicknesses, the
thinner parts will cook faster than the thicker parts.
Place the thinner parts of chicken wings and legs
in the center of the dish.
Stirring, turning foods
Stirring and turning foods spreads heat quickly to
the center of the dish and avoids overcooking at
the outer edges of the food.
Cover food to:
Shorten cooking times
Keep food moist
You can use any covering that lets microwaves pass
through. See "Getting to Know Your Microwave
Oven" for materials that microwaves will pass
through. If you are using the Auto Sensor function, be
sure to vent.
Releasing pressure in foods
Several foods (for example: baked potatoes,
sausages, egg yolks, and some fruits) are tightly
covered by a skin or membrane. Steam can build
up under the membrane during cooking, causing
the food to burst. To relieve the pressure and to
prevent bursting, pierce these foods before
cooking with a fork, cocktail pick, or toothpick.
Using standing time
Always allow food to stand after cooking. Stand-
ing time after defrosting and cooking allows the
temperature to evenly spread throughout the food,
improving the cooking results.
The length of the standing time depends on how
much food you are cooking and how dense it is.
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 min-
For best results, place food evenly on the plate. You
can do this in several ways:
If you are cooking several items of the same
food, such as baked potatoes, place them in a
ring pattern for uniform cooking.
When cooking foods of uneven shapes or thick-
ness, such as chicken breasts, place the smaller
or thinner area of the food towards the center of
the dish where it will be heated last.
Layer thin slices of meat on top of each other.
When you cook or reheat whole fish, score the
skin – this prevents cracking.
Do not let food or a container touch the top or
sides of the oven. This will prevent possible arcing.