6 microwave tips to prevent food from drying out when reheated – CNET

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Heating or cooking food in the microwave doesn’t have to mean that meals at home are dry and boring.

Chris Monroe / CNET

I went through a kitchen renovation last summer, which meant my husband and I could only cook with a microwave. Now in the middle of Corona virus In the event of a pandemic, some of us turn to these trusted counters on the counter (or overhead) for a quick lunch during the working day and late night snacks.

Do not get me wrong. Microwaves are great. They are quick and space saving and there are many healthy food options that a microwave can handle. Still, they’re not perfect. Warming up leftovers or preparing dishes in the microwave can lead to dry, gummy or tasteless foods. Here are some ways to avoid microwave breakdowns and keep your food fresh.

Store your leftovers well

Pasta salad

You should regularly throw away leftovers. Not only to keep your fridge tidy, but also to prevent illness. The USDA recommends throwing away cooked leftovers after four days.

Alina Bradford / CNET

If you are concerned about how well the remnants will warm up again, you should keep them well. Pack or contain food that you store in the refrigerator tightly so that moisture is trapped as much as possible. (This is how you can help Keep food fresh in your fridge even before you cook them.)

Choose the right container

Every time you use a microwave, it is important to use microwaveable containers. Most paper, glass, and ceramic containers can be safely used in microwave ovens because the actual microwaves pass through them. Some plastic containers are microwave safe, but many melt and should not be used.

Metal pans should not be used in the microwave. The microwaves that pass through the safe containers are reflected by these materials. This can damage your microwave and ruin your food. Check the bottom of the container and your microwave’s instructions to decide which items are safe for your model.

Aluminum foil is another no-no. The thin sheets can quickly overheat and even ignite.

Choose the right reheating method

If you’re working with a food that needs to be crispy (think of french fries, egg rolls, or fried foods), skip the microwave and use a toaster or the broiler function of your large oven. There is really no good way to reheat crispy food in the microwave. You will get a wet mess every time.

For less intense reheating of your microwave, try lowering your microwave power settings. Many microwaves have power levels between 1 and 10 or between 10% and 100%. Around 60% is a good starting point for a gentler approach.

Arrange the food evenly

When cooking or heating food in the microwave, make sure that it is heated evenly. A large mound of mac and cheese or mashed potatoes probably has a cool center. By arranging the food in a single layer, the heat is distributed more evenly.

When you reheat different types of food, you heat them according to their specific needs. A piece of bread like a bun or bun doesn’t take as much time as something thicker like meat or a thick piece of side dish. However, you can cut this bun in half if you want it to heat evenly.

how to steam food in the microwave

You don’t need a steamer. You can steam vegetables and other foods in the microwave. Simply cut them to a thickness of less than an inch, put them in a ceramic bowl, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water and place a ceramic plate like a lid over the bowl. Microwave high for 3 to 4 minutes.

Alina Bradford

Add moisture

If what you’re doing is traditionally boiled or steamed in water, such as pasta, rice, or vegetables, adding extra moisture can make the dish taste fresh. Cover the bowl (or wrap the food like the bun) with a damp paper towel or towel.

You can also add a few tablespoons of water to the bowl and cover it with a microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap, or place a second bowl on top. The extra water that is included creates steam in the microwave and quickly renews your dish.

Pay attention

Thawing, reheating and even the popcorn button are helpful microwave functions that can ruin food quickly if not monitored. When using one of these special functions, it is important to have an eye and an ear for your food.

Watch out for excessive steam when cooking and watch out for too much crackling. If you pan in the microwave for several minutes, stop in the middle and stir things up. This helps the food to warm up evenly.

Next time you’re ready to microwave this meat-and-three-plate, take a little more time to try these tips. You will be surprised at the difference it can make. You can find more ingenious cooking tricks in these five tips for better grilling, the best way to cook instant pot rice and how to start cooking healthy meals at home.


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