Home tip: my love of the microwave

My name is Jamie, not Betty Crocker. I may have brown hair but I’m no Rachel Ray. In other words, I’m not a great cook. Sure, I can find my way around the kitchen and follow basic recipes. I can even experiment and come up with a few happy accidents.

Because of time constraints and physical constraints caused by a disability, I’ve usually used the microwave to cook. It’s just easier and safer for me than trying to use the oven or stove top. So, whenever possible, I’ve used the nuker!

In that time, I’ve learned a few things that some may not know. Some of it was even taught to me by my husband of all people!

Here’s a few thoughts and ideas, listed by bullets to make them easier to read:

  • Yes, you really can make pasta in the microwave. I admit, it doesn’t come out quite as well as it does on the stove, but to me the difference is pretty negligible. In a pinch it’s quicker and for people like me, it’s safer. Just use less water and cook it for about 10 minutes. If you’re doing long pasta like spaghetti, I would suggest stirring it with a pasta utensil or even just a fork halfway through to help the noodles not stick and get chewy.
  • When you’re heating up leftovers, especially meat, I suggest using the timed defrost setting instead of high. It takes a little longer, but defrost is designed to cook from the inside out so your meat doesn’t get cooked longer (therefore overcooked) and your meal overall is heated all the way through instead of incredibly hot on the outside and not so much on the inside. This is also a good way to melt cheese on a deli sandwich so that it’s warm and softer instead of hot and gooey. Experiment with the times until you find the right time amount for each type of food.
  • When making a sandwich in which you would like the meat and cheese slightly heated, don’t make the sandwich then nuke it. Slightly heat the cheese on top of the meat (use a plate, please). Then when that’s done, build the rest of your sandwich. If you put the entire sandwich in the microwave together, it will make the bread either soggy or kinda chewy and it could mess up some of your condiments (especially the mayonnaise-gross).
  • You know those plastic plate covers that are supposed to protect your microwave from food splash? They have another function. I consider them to be good steamers. They help keep your food from drying out too much and I think they add extra cooking value when you’re making veggies in the microwave.

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