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GENERAL GUIDE LINES
Since microwave cooking to some extent is different from
traditional cooking, the following general guidelines should be
considered whenever you use your microwave oven
If the food is undercooked
• You have selected the correct power level.
• The selected time is sufficient-the times given in the recipes
are approximate. They depend on initial temperature,
weight and density of the food etc.
• The container is appropriate.
If the food is overcooked,i.e. dried out or burnt
Before you cook again, consider whether:
• The power level was too high.
• The set time was too long-the times in the recipes are
approximate. They depend on initial temperature, weight
and density of the food etc.
Points to remember when defrosting
• The shape of the package alters the defrosting time.
Shallow rectangular packets defrost more quickly than a
deep block. Separate pieces as they begin to defrost; free
how slices defrost more easily.
• Shield areas of food with small pieces of foil if they start to
• When defrosting, it is better to under thaw the food slightly
and allow the process to finish during the standing time.
The amount of food
The more food you want to prepare the longer it takes. A rule
of thumb is that double amount of food requires almost
double the time. If one potato takes four minutes to cook,
approximately seven minutes are required to cook two
Starting temperature of food
The lower the temperature of the food which is being put into
the microwave oven, the longer time it takes. Food at room
temperature will be reheated more quickly than food at
Composition of the 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 time to reheat than lighter,
more porous food like sponge cakes.
Size and shape
Smaller pieces of food will cook more quickly than larger
pieces and uniform pieces of food cook more evenly than
irregularly shaped foods.
With unevenly shaped food, the thinner parts will cook faster
than the thicker areas. Place the thinner chicken wings and
legs to the centre of the dish.
Stirring, turning of foods
Stirring and turning of foods are techniques used in
conventional and well as in microwave cooking to distribute
the heat quickly to the centre of the dish and avoid over-
cooking at the outer edges of the food.
Covering food helps:
• To reduce spattering
• To shorten cooking times
• To retain food moisture
All covering, which will allow microwaves to pass through are
Which utensils can be used in the oven?
Releasing pressure in foods
Several foods are tightly covered by a skin or membrane.
These foods should be pricked with a fork or cocktail stick to
release the pressure and to prevent bursting, as steam builds
up within them during cooking. This applies to potatoes,
chicken livers, sausages, egg yolks and some fruits.
Always allow the food to stand for some time after using the
oven. standing time after defrosting, cooking/reheating
always improves the result since the temperature will then be
evenly distributed through out the food.
In a microwave oven foods continue to cook even when the
microwave energy is turned off. They are no longer cooking
by microwaves, but they are still being cooked by the
conduction of the high residual heat to the centre of the food.
The length of standing time depends on the volume and
density of the food. 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 foods, the
standiing time may be as long as 10 minutes. During
‘standing’, the internal temperature of the food will rise by as
much as 8˚C and the food will finish cooking in this time.
This is done in several ways in microwave cooking to give
more even cooking results.
If you are cooking several items of the same
food such as jacket potatoes, place them in
a ring pattern for uniform cooking. When
cooking foods of uneven shapes or
thickness, place the smaller or thinner area of
the food towards the centre of the dish where it will be heated
Uneven foods such as fish should be arranged
in the oven with the tails to the centre.
If you are saving a meal in the refrigerator
or ‘plating’ a meal for reheating, arrange the
thicker, denser foods to the outside of the
plate and the thinner or less dense foods
in the middle.
Place thin slices of meat on top of each
other or interlace them. Thicker slices such
as meat loaf and sausages have to be placed
close to each other. Gravy or sauce should be
reheated in a separate container.
Choose a tall, narrow container rather than a
low and wide container. When reheating
gravy, sauce or soup, do not fill the container
more than 2/3.
When you cook or reheat whole fish, score
the skin this prevents cracking.
Shield the tail and head with small pieces
of foil to prevent over-cooking but ensure
the foil does not touch the sides of the oven.
KOC-621Q0S(¿ )-Desuk˙ 01.11.24 11:58 AM ˘ `14