"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > Cooking Resources > Terms & Techniques
Click Here to Login
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-31-2007, 01:28 PM   #1
Master Chef
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Galena, IL
Posts: 7,970

I know this subject has come and gone, but someone here reminded me of it, and it is time to resurrect it.

We all know you can heat stuff in the microwave, and often it is the very best way to reheat thick soups and stews.

But what other ways do you use yours? Be honest, now. I know that a lot of chefs simply will not admit when the nukulator is the best way to do something. Get real, live in the world where us housewives live. A lot of pros I know simply do not put a meal on the table for a slew of kids or relatives (after all, they are at work) 7 days a week.

How do you use the machine? What good recipes do you have for it?


Claire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2007, 01:31 PM   #2
Master Chef
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Galena, IL
Posts: 7,970
I'll go first. My favorite way to use the microwave is to pre-cook foods I am going to grill, bake, broil or fry. I will pierce and "bake" potatoes and then finish them in the oven (nice, crispy, perfect baked potatoes) or fry them. Many thick vegetables I'm going to put over charcoal I at least bring up to temp in the microwave, then grill. My kitchen is not air-conditioned, and when I lived in the RV, the A/C unit could barely keep up. Nuking food to shorten the oven, frying pan, or charcoal time is a godsend.

Claire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2007, 01:50 PM   #3
Executive Chef
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 3,619
Oooooh Claire, I'm so glad you started this thread. My friend who is an excellent cook told me how to do corn on the cob in the microwave. You buy it still in the shucks and nuke them on full power for 4 minutes per ear no matter how many. Meaning if you put 4 in there at one time, nuke for 16 minutes. No soaking or anything else. When they are done, take them out using kitchen mitts on each hand (they're really hot) and pull the shucks down or off. The silks come off so easily, too. Then just season and butter and they're perfect. I told my mom, who now lives alone and doesn't cook alot because it seems like too much trouble for just one. She's thrilled because this is one of her childhood favorites and it is absolutely no mess. Previously, she'd only used her microwave for reheating things and sometimes defrosting. My friend also does artichokes and rosemary new potatoes in the microwave because she says they are as good or better than the traditional way. And she's definitely an old school food "snob" who enjoys spending hours preparing foods for her family and friends.
Fisher's Mom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2007, 01:59 PM   #4
Alix's Avatar
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Posts: 23,201
Hmmm. I think an easier question to answer would be what DON'T you use the microwave for. For me, the only thing I don't do in the microwave is pasta. UGH! When we were renoing the kitchen I tried that and holy cow was that a disgusting mess.

My personal favorite in the microwave is popcorn. I think it was GB who explained to me that you can do it with regular kernels and a paper bag. That was a few years ago now, but I still do that one.
You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it. Robin Williams
Alix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2007, 02:33 PM   #5
Head Chef
Caine's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 2,314
Send a message via MSN to Caine
My microwave is broken. I can't even make popcorn any more!

When I did have a working microwave, I'd usually just reheat things in it, but I have used it to finish off fried or barbequed chicken that didn't cook through. I never liked the way "baked" potatoes came out in a microwave. They were more like steamed potatoes.

Long ago, in galaxie far away, I had some cake pans I could use to bake cakes in the microwave. Microwaved cakes come out spongier than they do in the oven, and they don't get any type of crust on the outside, but the taste is acceptable.
Caine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2007, 02:40 PM   #6
Chef Extraordinaire
Katie H's Avatar
Site Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: I live in the Heartland of the United States - Western Kentucky
Posts: 15,592
I'm with Alix on this...except for the popcorn. For that, we use our Whirley-Popper.

One of the reasons I like microwaving is that I can make time- and labor-intensive dishes in a fraction of the time with far less to clean up. One of our family holiday favorite gelatin salads calls to melt pineapple juice and cream cheese in a double boiler, then stir in marshmallows. It's so much easier to put everything in a 2-quart glass bowl and nuke it all. This is just one example of the many shortcuts I've discovered with my microwave over the years.

Love our nuker.
"As a girl I had zero interest in the stove." - Julia Child
This is real inspiration. Look what Julia became!
Katie H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2007, 02:52 PM   #7
Chef Extraordinaire
GotGarlic's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southeastern Virginia
Posts: 20,414
I use it to cook rice all the time, and haven't burned it since I started doing rice this way. I use the same proportions of rice, broth, and seasonings that I would use on the stove.

I can't eat pork bacon right now (love it, miss it greatly), but I had a taste for BLTs last week, since our tomato plants are doing so well, so I tried turkey bacon, and since our kitchen is being renovated, I cooked them in the microwave. They came out nice and crispy and tasted great.

I also have used it to pre-cook potatoes and finish meats that weren't cooked enough on the grill. My MIL gave me a recipe for corn pudding cooked in the microwave - it's delicious. And I use it to heat up leftovers, except for crispy things like fried fish or French fries - those go in the toaster oven. And I often use it to defrost meats before cooking.

I do like baked potatoes in the microwave, and it's an easy way to prepare to make twice-baked potatoes. For the second baking time, I do use the toaster oven, or oven, depending on how many I'm cooking for.
The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later you're hungry again. ~ George Miller
GotGarlic is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2007, 02:54 PM   #8
Executive Chef
bethzaring's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Northern New Mexico
Posts: 4,900
I use my microwave several times a day. Mostly for reheating, but for other things too. The first thing in the morning is to find some leftover coffee, add some cream, nuke it, then I am good to go, until the fresh coffee gets going. I do not do pop corn, I use the air popper for that, but I have perfected pasta!!! I do pasta and pesto for a quick lunch. And just last night I cooked some chopped cabbage before I tossed it with a leftover pork chop and onion sauce.

I will try the fresh sweet corn idea, thanks.

My meal planning is based on the use of the microwave. Now for dinner tonight I will not use it, but I will make enough to be able to nuke it for tomorrows' supper.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead
bethzaring is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2007, 03:54 PM   #9
Certified Pretend Chef
Andy M.'s Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 43,446
I use it for defrosting some frozen bread items, cook hot dogs, start baked potatoes, steam vegetables, reheat leftovers. I don't defrost meats in the microwave.
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2007, 06:42 PM   #10
Master Chef
Constance's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Southern Illiniois
Posts: 8,175
I learned how to make the most use of my microwave when we were building the house and didn't have a stove for 6 months.
I use it for baking potatoes, which I use many ways besides the usual. I use them for fried potato wedges, potato salad, mashed potatoes, and twice-baked potatoes that I finish off in the oven.
I cook all kinds of vegetables in the nuke, both fresh and canned. I use it for browning ground meat, sweating onions and other chopped vegies, cooking bacon, making spaghetti sauce, cooking casseroles, making meat loaf and more.
I also use it for making boxed rice mixes, but I've never tried doing regular rice. I'd really like to have your directions for that, GotGarlic.

And Beth, I'd love to know how you cook your pasta in it. When I tried it, the pasta turned out awful.

We get by with a little help from our friends
Constance is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:52 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.