FAQ: How to Make Microwave Cooking More Efficient

Did you know that under certain circumstances a microwave can use a lot less energy than a conventional oven? Most microwaves can also do a whole lot more than just quickly melting some butter or reheating a frozen meal in 3 minutes. Take the Breville Quick Touch™ that intuitively knows the right power level and time to suit the food that you're cooking. But apart from buying the best appliance upfront, here’s a few more handy tips to help you make the most of your microwave.

How to Avoid ‘Rubbery’ Food

The average Australian eats fast food nearly every week. Could that be because they are unsatisfied with their microwaves? Most food that is defrosted or cooked in a microwave typically gets a ‘rubbery’ consistency, especially when reheating entire meals that have been cooked on a cooktop before freezing.

With a little bit of easy programming, you can prevent your food from getting rubbery or burned on the outside while still being frozen in the centre.

Frozen Food

If you want to cook dishes like frozen lasagna or any other frozen food that is quite solid, you’ll want to make sure that you don’t overcook the outside and end up with a semi solid cold inside. To efficiently cook these types of frozen food, you can set your microwave to cook at different power levels for different minutes.

Most microwaves allow you to change the power setting (sometimes indicated in %, sometimes in watt) and the time you want the food to cook at each specific setting. This way, you’ll only have to start the microwave once and it’ll cook until the food is perfectly done.

Indicative Example for a store bough frozen lasagna:

  • 5 minutes on 50% power
  • 3 minutes on 80% power
  • 3 minutes on 100% power

Once the cooking is done, let it sit for a few moments before you transfer the food onto a plate to allow for any cheese to stop bubbling.

If you store your bread and bread rolls in the freezer, you can also defrost them without an oven. You’ll want to make sure that you don’t heat bread for too long or use too much heat and keep the moisture as in a microwave it can go as hard as a rock very quickly.

A common bread roll can be thawed and reheated at 50% power for 1 minute. This won’t cause your roll to go hard or rubbery and if you want a crispy outside, you can always put it in the oven for a few minutes afterwards.

Hints & Tips

Not all foods are made for being cooked in the microwave. Meat is one of those. It’s tempting to put that piece of frozen chicken in the microwave before preparing a meal with it but it’s usually very difficult to get the setting right. Most times, you’ll end up with a cooked outside and a still raw inside that sometimes is still frozen. Some microwave ovens have a meat setting, please refer to the instruction manual for what kinds of meat this should be used for to avoid disappointment.

Another good tip is for making fried onions. Onions can easily be either overdone or underdone if you put them straight in a frying pan. Heat them for 2 minutes at full power with a bit of water in a microwave before frying them, it makes them turn out perfectly and is overall much quicker than not using the microwave!

Microwave cooking efficient

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