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Old 05-03-2009, 01:29 PM   #1
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Can you cook steak in a microwave/convection oven?

My friend Dav wants to know if he can cook a steak in his microwave/convention oven. Despite the efforts of friends to convince him otherwise he wants to try this. Here is the gist of his question and he can join in later if he joins our site:

"It's a microwave/convection oven, and it came with inserts for browning, grilling, steaming, and (probably) bum fondling. I want to try using it to grill steak. So far, I haven't found any good directions for doing this with a convection oven. While I accept that this may be evidence that it's a bad idea, I intend to persevere with the experiment. Does anyone know of a good web site for posting cooking questions? And does anyone have a suggestion for a good cut of steak to try? I'm thinking in terms of a ribeye, since I've had good luck with those in the past, but I'd like something leaner. I'd also like something that isn't too expensive, in case this turns into a disaster."

Please help Dav. or try to talk him out of this madness.

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Old 05-03-2009, 01:40 PM   #2
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I think the only thing that can be done here is to let him try it. I also think he needs to use a ribeye since he knows what this is supposed to taste like when grilled or pan-fried. This way he knows first-hand. Who knows...it may be satisfactory for him.
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Old 05-03-2009, 01:49 PM   #3
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Can it be done? Yes. Will it be an enjoyable steak to eat? No.

If I am not mistaken, microwaves cook from the inside out so unless he wants his steaks well done it will not work well. Also, browning is not a feature microwaves are known for. It can be done, but not well. Steaks benefit from browning so the two really do not go hand in hand.
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Old 05-03-2009, 02:13 PM   #4
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Well, it is a microwave/convection oven so the results will be better than a simple microwave. I agree with kitchenelf, cook the steak you are familiar with so you can compare results.
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Old 05-03-2009, 02:28 PM   #5
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It can be done, of course, but it will be sort of like boiled beef, not a grilled steak. That's because of the way a microwave works -- it essentially turns the water content of the food into steam, which heats the solid part of the food. There's no hot surface to sear the meat in a microwave.

There are some gadgets sold that supposedly will grill a steak in the microwave -- they get really hot, like a fry pan. However, the reviews on QVC indicate that they don't work very well -- the meat still tastes steamed.
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Old 05-03-2009, 05:08 PM   #6
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Sounds like he intends to use convection, not microwave, so it should work fine. Trick will be getting enough heat to nicely brown the outside before it's too done on the inside. I would make sure there is good airflow all around the steak so the convection can do its thing most efficiently. But as the others have said, microwaving wouldn't give very good results.
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Old 05-03-2009, 05:30 PM   #7
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I've never "cooked" anything in a microwave before. I just use mine to defrost and reheat things for the most part. But what the heck, I've always enjoyed a good science project! If it were me, I don't think that I would use a good steak like a ribeye to experiment with though. Maybe something less expensive like a chuck steak, just to see how the product turns out. If he can make that work, he can then work up to ribeye. I've never used or even seen a micro/convection oven before. Does it have a heating element in it for convection mode?
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Old 05-03-2009, 05:30 PM   #8
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he is just ruining a potentially yummy steak, in my opinion.
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Old 05-03-2009, 06:00 PM   #9
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Sounds like he intends to use convection, not microwave, so it should work fine. Trick will be getting enough heat to nicely brown the outside before it's too done on the inside. I would make sure there is good airflow all around the steak so the convection can do its thing most efficiently. But as the others have said, microwaving wouldn't give very good results.
Can you do convection without microwave? Anyway, wouldn't it be more baked than grilled? Not ideal either way, IMHO.
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Old 05-03-2009, 07:25 PM   #10
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I've never "cooked" anything in a microwave before. I just use mine to defrost and reheat things for the most part. But what the heck, I've always enjoyed a good science project! If it were me, I don't think that I would use a good steak like a ribeye to experiment with though. Maybe something less expensive like a chuck steak, just to see how the product turns out. If he can make that work, he can then work up to ribeye. I've never used or even seen a micro/convection oven before. Does it have a heating element in it for convection mode?
Well, mine has a big steel rack you put inside for convection mode, so I assume there are no microwaves involved. You preheat it in convection mode and it blows hot air and seems to work just like the ones I remember from my restaurant days. It definitely will be roasting, not broiling, since there is no direct radiant heat.

Dang it, I think he's got me hooked now. I might just need to go to the store and buy a steak to give it a try!
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Old 01-27-2017, 09:49 PM   #11
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Years ago there was a chef called just Donavan. He had a cooking show that made everything in the microwave. I do not ever recall him doing a steak. If fact he kind of ran out of dishes that could be made in his wonder machine. His show didn't last a full season.
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Old 01-27-2017, 11:21 PM   #12
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That would be because the majority of us like the flavor of seared steak! Ever heard of reverse sear? Especially on the grill. Microwaves are great for reheating or steaming, not ruining great cuts of meat.
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Old 01-28-2017, 12:01 AM   #13
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That would be because the majority of us like the flavor of seared steak! Ever heard of reverse sear? Especially on the grill. Microwaves are great for reheating or steaming, not ruining great cuts of meat.

Indeed. I can't imagine a microwaved steak. Mine must have a good sear, a bit of a crust.

Microwaves are good for lots of things, but cooking a steak is not one of them.
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Old 01-28-2017, 12:57 PM   #14
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I used to work with a guy who would microwave either 2 burgers or a small steak every day for lunch. EVERY day, week in and week out.

Besides being really boring, the meat looked gross. It just turned sort of a grey color, all the way through.

I used to have a microwave "searing" plate, which was this thick plastic plate with an odd metal disc on top. It was supposed to heat up enough to sear what was put on it. I think I tried it once or twice with bad results. Overcooked, dry, tough meat with grey edges.

I think it eventually became a frisbee for a while.
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Old 01-28-2017, 07:24 PM   #15
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I'm all in favor of a reverse sear on a grill. DS's birthday was celebrated last week-end with 2 - 2lb steaks (third one is in the freezer until tomorrow). First grilled, the interior was red/pink, and bloody and delicious. We ate the leftovers for days by cutting it in bite sized pieces and microwaving for one and one half minutes, JUST enough time to get it hot and still pink. That is about the only time I'd put a steak in the microwave. The convection may work, I haven't tried it.
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Old 01-28-2017, 07:32 PM   #16
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I'm getting into the Wayback machine for this. I had a friend who had the first consumer version of a Litton microwave (in 1971). That thing was like magic to us back then. We would stock his freezer with cheap hamburgers (a fast food joint called Sandy's had 10 cent hamburgers one day a week).

The burgers were slightly larger than a White Castle, and came with ketchup, mustard and chopped onion, same as a McDonald's hamburger of the era, although at that time, Great Falls Montana didn't have a Micky D's.

After Kenny bought that new gadget, we would by $5 worth of 10 cent burgers (that's 50 sammys) and everyone gathered at Kenny's 2 or 3 times a week for microwaved hamburgers. When the stock ran low, someone would be tasked with replenishing the freezer.

We also cooked some small antelope steaks in it and they were actually not that bad. The pork roast that he tried was less than impressive.
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Old 01-28-2017, 08:37 PM   #17
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While I'm usually skeptical about these things, from what I understand a convection microwave can do a passable job of cooking a steak.

This Aussie guy seems pretty convinced, too.
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Old 01-29-2017, 11:54 AM   #18
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I used to work with a guy who would microwave either 2 burgers or a small steak every day for lunch. EVERY day, week in and week out.

Besides being really boring, the meat looked gross. It just turned sort of a grey color, all the way through.

I used to have a microwave "searing" plate, which was this thick plastic plate with an odd metal disc on top. It was supposed to heat up enough to sear what was put on it. I think I tried it once or twice with bad results. Overcooked, dry, tough meat with grey edges.

I think it eventually became a frisbee for a while.
Ick, gross. At work we keep a propane grille inside the tool shed in the back of the facility. Sometimes when the weather is good on Fridays, we'll pull it out and throw some dogs, hamburgers, and chicken on it. Boss pays for it and sends his secretary out to fetch the fixings.

She gets buns, meat, a container of tater salad, macaroni salad, etc.. She even gets a pack of veggie burgers for the 4 people we have who are vegetarian. And Paul (parts manager) does the grilling. He's the grille master. We have a nice picnic table so we can eat outside if we want. On a nice little patch of grass.
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Old 01-29-2017, 06:26 PM   #19
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LOL at the 'searing plate frisbee', Bucky.

jd, your post made me smile - that's such a nice thing for your boss to do. It helps employee morale and gives everyone a chance to interact over something not necessarily work related. Food works wonders!

Back to the microwaving steaks - I would never do that, I'm sure I would ruin a perfectly good (and expensive) cut of meat. Once in a while I'll barely warm a cold leftover steak in the microwave just to take the chill off, but usually I just let it set out for a bit and come to room temp.
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Old 01-30-2017, 09:58 AM   #20
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I don't understand why you would want to!
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