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Microwave Cooking Tips

This is a fast, easy cooking method that requires no added fat. You do not have to add fat to keep the food from sticking to the pan because foods do not tend to stick in the moist heat of microwave. In fact, you can drain food of fat as it cooks by placing it in the microwave between two paper towels.

If you want to adapt a recipe for micro-waving, try cutting the cooking time to one fourth to one third of the conventional time. If the food needs more cooking, increase it a little at a time. You might also look for a microwave recipe similar to the one you are trying to adapt. Keep the following hints in mind when using the microwave for cooking:

  • Choose foods that cook well in moist heat: chicken, fish, ground meat, vegetables, sauces and soups.
  • Pieces that are about equal in size and shape will cook more uniformly.
  • You can reduce the liquid used in cooking beverages, soups, vegetables, fruits, and main dishes by about one third because less evaporates in microwave cooking.
  • Choose a microwave-safe container slightly larger than the dish required for cooking the recipe in a conventional oven.
  • Use a high setting -100 percent power for soups, beverages, fruits, vegetables, fish, ground meat and poultry.
    Use a medium-high setting -70 percent power for simmering stews.
    Use a medium setting - 50 percent power for baking breads, cakes and muffins, and cooking less tender cuts of meats.
  • To create a crusty look on baked items, grease pans with an acceptable vegetable oil and add ground nuts or crumbs.
  • Add lowfat cheese and other toppings near the end of cooking to keep the top from becoming tough or soggy.
  • Stay away from coating meat with flour if you will be adding liquid for cooking. The coatings become soggy.
  • Use quick-cooking instead of long-grain rice.


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