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How to Cook in a Microwave

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If you have been experimenting with various kitchen appliances, you may wonder how to cook in a microwave. The best microwaves all feature varied designs (like a waveguide cover) with different cooking processes, though they all include some similarities. Keep reading to learn about the various cooking methods available for microwave ovens.


  • Microwaves allow any cooking method you can think of to suit many different tastes, though the cooking time will vary.
  • Try using a microwave-safe dish or dedicated steamer accessory for steaming food or simply boil up some water for coffee or tea.
  • You can also purchase a combination microwave that adds different cooking methods, such as grilling and convection heating.

How to Cook Food in a Microwave

Microwaves can be used in a variety of ways for a wide range of cooking styles. Here are just a few ways to use your favorite kitchen appliance.

Insider Tip

Make sure any bowl or plate you place in a microwave can safely be used inside a microwave oven.

Traditional Microwaving

The most obvious use of a microwave is for traditional microwave cooking. Microwaves excel with heating up leftovers, cooking frozen meals, whipping up some popcorn, and heating up water for tea or instant coffee. When it comes to traditional microwave cooking, follow any instructions supplied on your food labels or simply start slow. For leftovers, cook for a minute on high power, test, and put it in for another minute or two if necessary. Be sure to cover it with a paper towel and season with salt after cooking with a pinch of salt and maybe a bit of olive oil to taste.

Defrosting and Steaming

You can use a microwave to defrost frozen proteins. Most ovens will include a dedicated defrosting button or setting. If your microwave lacks this setting, heat the frozen item at medium or low power for a few minutes, checking in on it every minute or so. Microwaves also make handy steamers. You can purchase a dedicated steaming accessory or simply make one yourself. Throw some water in a bowl and place a ventilated partition above it. On the partition, lay down your ingredients. The water will boil and steam the food, though the time to cook will vary depending on the amount of water you used and the ingredients themselves.

Boiling Water

Obviously, you can boil water in a microwave for use in making tea, coffee, or even stuff like pasta. Many people use a microwave to make perfect rice, for instance.

Convection Cooking, Grilling, and More

There are plenty of combination microwave ovens out there. If you are wondering what is a combination microwave, it is a unit that combines additional functionalities on top of traditional microwave cooking. There are many different types of combi microwaves, including models that feature convection heating fans, traditional grilling elements, and dedicated steaming compartments. Chances are, if you can dream it, you can find a combination microwave to accommodate it.


How to cook rice in a microwave?

You can cook fluffy rice in the microwave. Just add a cup of rice, white rice or grain rice are fine, and two cups of water to a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave uncovered for around 12 minutes on high, then allow the cup of rice to rest for ten minutes. Voila, fluffy rice.

Why you should be cooking potatoes in the microwave?

Potatoes are extremely easy to cook in the microwave and they come out great. Simply add a bit of lemon juice, some olive oil, or salt, and you’ll be eating well.

How do you cook thick bacon in the microwave?

Thick bacon will increase. the cooking time, but the method is rather simple. Remove the bacon from the plastic wrap and lay it on a plate over a paper towel. Microwave on high and check every minute for doneness.

STAT: In 1945, the heating effect of a high-power microwave beam was accidentally discovered by Percy Spencer, an American self-taught engineer from Howland, Maine. (source)

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