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Friday, May 8, 2009

Factors affecting Microwave Cooking

Microwave cooking isn't really so different from traditional cooking and the common factors that affect the cooking time for conventional methods of cooking also apply in the microwave method of cooking.
Some handy tips to ensure optimum usage of your microwave oven...
Quantity of Food:
  • Smaller quantities of food take lesser time to cook..e.g. If the quantity is halved, cooking time will get reduced by 1/3rd of the specified time.
  • Cooking time also increases if any ingredient is added to the recipe

Types of Food:

  • Light, porous food like cakes & breads cook more quickly than heavy foods like meats & vegetables.
  • While cooking porous foods, ensure that the outer layers of foods do not become dry / brittle due to over heating.

Moisture / Water content in Food:

  • Dry foods like meat & vegetables should be sprinkled with water and covered before cooking to retain moisture content.

Bone, Fat & Sugar content:

  • As bones conduct heat, pieces of meat & chicken with bone cook much faster than the boneless meat.
  • Also food with high fat & sugar content cook faster than other foods.

Starting / Initial Temparature:

  • Food at room tempaature cook faster than frozen food (this may vary as per season & altitudes)

Size & Shape of Food:

  • Small food pieces / cubes cook more quickly and evenly than large ones.
  • Round / ring shaped food cooks more evenly than other foods.

Arrangement of Food:

  • Appropriate arrangement food microwave can help the food cook better. The food in the centre is generally the last to cook.
  • Place the thin slices of food at the centre and thicker pieces towards the edge.

Selecting proper Cookware:

  • Food tends to cook more evenly in round dishes than others.
  • Food spread out in a shallow dish will cook faster than the same food placed in a narrow deep dish.
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