Microwave Cooking - Thoughts/Comments

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GotGarlic

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They paved paradise, put up a parking lot. ;)

I don't normally cook anything except corn on the cob in the microwave, but once I was in a hurry and put a sweet potato in the microwave and set the timer for 10 minutes. About 6 minutes in, the sweet potato burst into flame. [emoji317]

It took weeks to get the stink out of the microwave.

Now I just use it for defrosting and re-heating leftovers.
There are so many great uses for the microwave, it's a shame to let one bad experience restrict you so much. Learn how to use it properly and it's a great tool.
 

Termy

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Of course you can reheat, but it is also good for veggies. I have done potatoes, broc, cauliflower, spinach, carrots and a few other things and was impressed with the flavor - I used no water. There is nowhere for the flavor to go.

I have melted quite a bit of cheese.

I do not even attempt anyting on meat, even to defrost.

So far, so good.

T
 

Sir_Loin_of_Beef

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Just like potato sticks cooked in the oven are NOT French fries, a whole potato cooked in a microwave is not baked, it is steamed. Microwaves accelerate the molecules in the potato, causing the water in the potato to steam it. Very tasty, I agree, but not as tasty as a potato baked @ 400F in a real oven for about an hour.
 
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taxlady

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Just like potato sticks cooked in the oven are NOT French fries, a whole potato cooked in a microwave is not baked, it is steamed. Microwaves accelerate the molecules in the potato, causing the water in the potato to steam it. Very tasty, I agree, but not as tasty as a potato cooked in a real oven 400F for about an hour.

Try microwaving that potato until partially done and finish it in the oven. Saves time, but still tastes baked.
 

Termy

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"Microwaves accelerate the molecules in the potato, causing the water in the potato to steam it"

I agree, it is not the same. In fact at some cookouts we nuked the spuds some and then threw them on the grill to get the flavor.

T
 

Chief Longwind Of The North

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Best smashed spuds ever - Nuke potatoes until trader. They don't absorb water from boiling water. Cut in half and scoop potato meat into a bowl. Add 1 1/2 tbs butter for each cup of potato meat, with a touch of S&P. Mas until smooth, or run through potato ricer. Add a bit of cream, or sour cream and fold in. Serve in skins with gravy, or sauce, and chives. You can also mash in roosted garlic for additional flavor if desired.

The roasted potatoes at the cafeteria where I worked, were as stated, actually steamed in foil. I'd remove the foil, and cut the spud in half, sideways to the length. I'd the use my fork to work butter into the potato until smooth, right in he skin. A bit of milk worked in, and salt, maybe cream cheese, or sour cream, and I had premium mashed potatoes at my plate, while everyone else had plain steamed spuds. I win.;)

Seeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
 

taxlady

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Best smashed spuds ever - Nuke potatoes until trader. They don't absorb water from boiling water. Cut in half and scoop potato meat into a bowl. Add 1 1/2 tbs butter for each cup of potato meat, with a touch of S&P. Mas until smooth, or run through potato ricer. Add a bit of cream, or sour cream and fold in. Serve in skins with gravy, or sauce, and chives. You can also mash in roosted garlic for additional flavor if desired.

The roasted potatoes at the cafeteria where I worked, were as stated, actually steamed in foil. I'd remove the foil, and cut the spud in half, sideways to the length. I'd the use my fork to work butter into the potato until smooth, right in he skin. A bit of milk worked in, and salt, maybe cream cheese, or sour cream, and I had premium mashed potatoes at my plate, while everyone else had plain steamed spuds. I win.;)

Seeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
Those aren't smashed spuds. I would call that stuffed potato skins. They are a bit like twice baked potatoes, where you bake the potato and then scoop out the insides and mix stuff into the potato flesh and then bake them some more.

Smashed potatoes are when you take already cooked potatoes and smash them with a fork or potato masher. Then you drizzle with melted butter and maybe some seasoning and EVOO. Then you bake them until they start to brown.
 

Chief Longwind Of The North

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Those aren't smashed spuds. I would call that stuffed potato skins. They are a bit like twice baked potatoes, where you bake the potato and then scoop out the insides and mix stuff into the potato flesh and then bake them some more.

Smashed potatoes are when you take already cooked potatoes and smash them with a fork or potato masher. Then you drizzle with melted butter and maybe some seasoning and EVOO. Then you bake them until they start to brown.

To me, twice baked potatoes are similar. The baked potato, with crispy skin is cut in half, lengthwise, and the potato meat scooped out. That is then mashed with butter, and milk, with salt Y pepper to taste. This is then put back into the skins, and usually toped with crispy fried chicken skin crumles, bacon bits, sour cream,or shredded cheese, and chives. They are then placed back into the oven, and lightly browned on top.

Mine aren't twice baked, with all the toppings, simply mashed with lots of butter, and a little milk, right in the skin, ad eaten immediately. So to me, there is a difference.
But you can call them what you like They really taste great.

Seeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
 

skilletlicker

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I would say smashed spuds must be should be are better shallow fried than baked after smashing.

For some reason I can't quite put my finger on, I've also been thinking about the differences between semantics and pedantics.

For example, although the sentence above would probably be more grammatically proper if written as "semantics and pedantry," would that have changed my meaning or the reader's understanding of my meaning?
 
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dragnlaw

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I would say smashed spuds must be should be are better shallow fried than baked after smashing.

For some reason I can't quite put my finger on, I've also been thinking about the differences between semantics and pedantics.

For example, although the sentence above would probably be more grammatically proper if written as "semantics and pedantry," would that have changed my meaning or the reader's understanding of my meaning?

LOL exactly! Hit that nail right on the head! Knock that baby outta the ball park!.

and to quote myself on another thread (I think) French Toast is not made in a toaster but we still call it French Toast!
 

GotGarlic

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LOL exactly! Hit that nail right on the head! Knock that baby outta the ball park!.

and to quote myself on another thread (I think) French Toast is not made in a toaster but we still call it French Toast!
That's because it was invented long before toasters existed. There's even a recipe for it in a cookbook by the ancient Roman chef Apicius.
 

GotGarlic

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Wow! I did not know that. Thank you.
If you're interested, Feast of Sorrow by Crystal King is a wonderful novel about Apicius and his slave chef. It's written by a historian of Italian history and food and is filled with fascinating information about life at the turn of the first millennium.
 

GinnyPNW

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Best smashed spuds ever - Nuke potatoes until trader. They don't absorb water from boiling water. Cut in half and scoop potato meat into a bowl. Add 1 1/2 tbs butter for each cup of potato meat, with a touch of S&P. Mas until smooth, or run through potato ricer. Add a bit of cream, or sour cream and fold in. Serve in skins with gravy, or sauce, and chives. You can also mash in roosted garlic for additional flavor if desired.

The roasted potatoes at the cafeteria where I worked, were as stated, actually steamed in foil. I'd remove the foil, and cut the spud in half, sideways to the length. I'd the use my fork to work butter into the potato until smooth, right in he skin. A bit of milk worked in, and salt, maybe cream cheese, or sour cream, and I had premium mashed potatoes at my plate, while everyone else had plain steamed spuds. I win.;)

Seeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North

When I'm in a hurry, my go to mashed potatoes are much like you state. One exception is after zapping, I cut the potato in half (the short way), then place the cut side down in the potato ricer and press. This "mashes" the potato and leaves the peel in the ricer. Then I proceed with butter (or broth), cream, salt, pepper, etc. Quick(er) mashed potatoes!

NEW QUESTION: You've not addressed "regular" microwave vs. those with an Inverter?

Asking because my old microwave recently died -- :mad: -- and I decided to upgrade to one with an inverter. It also has the Convection, Broil anf Air Fryer functions. I did "baked" potatoes in it last night...yum! I used a "combo" setting for baking/nuking. It took 25 minutes and they were great. I'm ready to start trying other things in it too.

Sadly, the new unit is a tad too big for the cabinet space where the old one lived. So, I've moved the bread machine to that spot and the new microwave is on the counter. Oh, well.
 

taxlady

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I think smashed potatoes have to have lumps. That's why they aren't called mashed potatoes, which are supposed to be smooth.
 

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