Microwave ovens are one of the best tools to have in a kitchen. They save on cooking time, and make reheating meat dishes quick and easy. If you’ve prepared meals ahead of time, you can have a hot meal on the table in minutes!
Reheating plated meals in the microwave
- Best results are achieved if reheating individual portions of a cooked meat dish rather than the whole dish. It’s faster and gives a more even result.
- Position vegetables in the centre of the plate, with the meat around the outside. To prevent the meat from drying out, sprinkle it with a little water or stock.
- Cover with a microwave lid or microwave-safe plastic wrap (this traps steam, keeping the meal moist).
- Place the plate towards the outside of the microwave oven turntable.
- Reheat for 2 minutes (depending on the strength of your microwave) on a high setting, and then allow the meal to stand for 1 minute. Take care when removing the lid or plastic wrap as the steam released can burn.
- Feel the bottom of the plate, particularly the centre, to ensure food is thoroughly heated.
- To assist with even heating, it’s a good idea to turn the plate halfway through the cooking time.
Reheating casseroles in the microwave
- Place the casserole in a deep-sided dish, cover. Covering it ensures the dish will not dry out, and it speeds reheating time.
- As microwave energy is concentrated to the outer area of the oven, position the casserole dish to the outside of the turntable.
- Time will vary according to how much casserole mixture there is to reheat. Reheat on a high setting.
- Stir occasionally during reheating, until the contents have bubbled for at least 2 minutes. Stirring distributes the heat evenly.
- It is important that the liquid is very hot (bubbling) and the pieces of meat are fully heated.
Food safety when cooking
- Microwaves don’t always cook food evenly, and microorganisms in cold spots may survive the cooking process. To avoid cold spots:
- Carefully follow any instructions on cooking in the microwave that come with the product.
- Cover the food with a lid or microwave-safe plastic-wrap, to trap steam.
- Stir food and turn large items over during cooking. Rotate the dish once or twice – even if you have a rotating turntable.
- Cut food into similarly sized pieces or arrange thicker pieces on the outside of the dish.
- Food continues to cook when the microwave is turned off. Always wait 3-5 minutes, or for the recommended standing time, before testing that cooking is complete.