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Old 04-22-2019, 03:43 PM   #1
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Possibly a stupid Microwave question

The question is:
If something is cooked in a microwave for , lets say 10 minutes straight, will it cook the same way as if you cook it for the same 10 minutes, but stop it a few times, during that 10 minute time, to check if it is done ? Does it lose something by starting and stopping.

The cooking time overall is the same.
The microwave has a rotating platform , so not necessary to rotate.

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Old 04-22-2019, 04:08 PM   #2
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Hmmmm.

If it's a "solid" object that you're not going to stir periodically, I don't think there will be much of a difference. Microwaves cook from the outside and the heat travels inwards by conduction. If you stop it periodically, I don't think you'd lose much.

If it's an item that can be stirred, it will heat through faster if it's stirred periodically.
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Old 04-22-2019, 05:28 PM   #3
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I agree with Andy. In addition to cooking faster, stirring helps the food cook more evenly. I make regular rice in the microwave and stop to stir after 7 minutes (overall cooking time is 15 minutes). I've tried not stopping to stir there are always a few crunchy grains.
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Old 04-22-2019, 07:29 PM   #4
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Makes sense, Thanks
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Old 04-22-2019, 09:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larry_stewart View Post
The question is:
If something is cooked in a microwave for , lets say 10 minutes straight, will it cook the same way as if you cook it for the same 10 minutes, but stop it a few times, during that 10 minute time, to check if it is done ? Does it lose something by starting and stopping.

The cooking time overall is the same.
The microwave has a rotating platform , so not necessary to rotate.
This is actually a pretty standard technique when cooking with a microwave (as opposed to heating or defrosting). Stopping to stir or to check for doneness are standard. Same process for melting chocolate and butter for a ganache.
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Old 04-22-2019, 09:52 PM   #6
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What a stupid microwave question.

Okay, seriously, microwave ovens cook very unevenly. Stirring and resting are a good thing. From my experience, if you cook something for ten minutes straight, there is a good chance that some of it will be burn-your-mouth hot, and other parts may barely be warm. Actually, ten minutes in a microwave could leave you with something seriously overcooked. Ten minutes is a long time in a microwave oven.

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Old 04-22-2019, 10:37 PM   #7
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The only things I have ever cooked for 10 min on high in the MW are things I'm drying out, like EP. However, I often reheat things at longer periods of time (than the 1 1/2-2 min., that would heat them on high) on 30, 20, or 10% power, as this helps them heat more evenly, with less chance for hot spots. I also thaw things on 10% for longer - less chance for hot, cooked areas. I just put them in, and walk away and do something else - it doesn't matter to me that it takes that much longer, as it's still a short time, and easier than other methods.
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Old 04-22-2019, 10:44 PM   #8
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Couple of things about microwaves....
1. The microwave primarily cooks by by “exciting” the atoms in the food with radio waves (originally called radar ovens). Depending on how dense the food is plays a big part on cooking time.
2. Heating is really uneven which is why most microwaves have turntables.
3. Once done, it is important to let food rest as some may be lava.

It’s ok to check and stir. In fact it’s preferred. Just heat something with a gravy in a microwave without stirring. Center will be cooler and outside edge will be cooked to the side of the container.
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Old 04-22-2019, 11:05 PM   #9
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I don't recall anything I've ever really 'cooked' in the microwave. (Although I did try the microwaved poached egg in a cup thing, and it blew up and made a mess. )

For reheating, I always use the 'start and pause' method, keeping in mind that microwaved food will continue to heat/cook.
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Old 04-22-2019, 11:22 PM   #10
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I have a Dacor convection microwave. I believe it’s made by sharp. But one feature I use often in mixed mode... 10% or 30% microwave power plus convection temperature cooking. Works quite well.... cooks chicken in a lot less time.
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