Thawing food with a microwave is not acceptable. And yet, it’s still prevalent in many homes. Why? It’s easy and convenient, but there are much better ways to thaw your food that are both safer for you and the environment. Here are some methods to consider when planning your next meal
The refrigerator method is great because it takes care of the problem before you even start cooking. Simply put your meat or poultry on a tray in the fridge for 12 hours per pound. A cold water bath is another good option if you’re preparing something like breaded chicken or pork chops that need only be partially submerged in cool water to avoid over-thawing.
If you want to save time, an ice water bath is a good option. Place the food you want to thaw in a zip-top bag and submerge it in a bowl of ice water. Check on your meal regularly so that it doesn’t over-thaw. When you feel confident enough to tackle something a little more involved, try the cold-water method. Simply place the frozen food under running cold tap water until it is partially thawed, then pat dry with paper towels.
A hot-water bath works well for most meat, seafood, and poultry items. Fill a large bowl or pot with very hot tap water (about 120 degrees), submerge your product in it, and let it rest until partially thawed. Drain the water and pat dry before cooking or refrigerating.
The microwave is a great invention for all of us. It makes life so much easier, especially in the kitchen. But there are some things that you should not be microwaving or reheating with one. One of those things is food!
There are many reasons why this is bad for your health and food quality, but I will just name three here:
- First: if microwaves heat unevenly they can cause hot spots which can lead to bacterial growth where the food isn’t cooked properly;
- Second: when you cook something in a microwave it causes water molecules to break apart into their component atoms (H2O) which means that nutrients may get lost during cooking;
- Third: because of how quickly microwaves work on foods they tend to destroy more nutrients than regular cooking methods.
For example, you can take frozen or refrigerated vegetables and cook them in the microwave for 1 minute but it is much healthier to cook them on a stovetop for 5 minutes rather than 2 minutes because microwaves heat up food so quickly.
Reheating meals with a microwave is also not recommended because microwaves will change the chemicals in your food and damage it. The only time you should use the microwave is to thaw out meat, but if you can’t wait for it to thaw overnight in your refrigerator then you should use warm water rather than using a microwave.
The best way to reheat or warm up food is by using a stovetop or an oven. You should also never microwave milk, eggs, or cheese because microwaves will cause the fats in these items to separate which is bad for you.
Factors To Consider
Cooking food is a process of applying heat to it in order to change its chemical composition. This is done by either boiling, frying, baking, grilling, or roasting. The type of heat used will depend on the type of cooking involved. Microwaves are not typically used for cooking because microwaves cook food from the inside out and this can result in unevenly cooked or overcooked food.
Microwave ovens are commonly used for reheating previously cooked items such as pizza slices and hot dogs but they should never be used for thawing raw meat or poultry products, making popcorn, or anything else that requires direct contact with dry foods like rice cakes.
There are two main reasons why you should never use a microwave oven to thaw food.
- The first reason is health. Foods that are defrosted in a microwave often cook unevenly because microwaves heat liquids, which move fast enough to create hot spots—and thawing frozen meats presents significant challenges for even the most proficient of cooks.
- The second reason you should not use a microwave oven to thaw food is to preserve flavor. If you are working with a previous day’s leftovers or even trying to salvage prep work from the week, microwaves are an impractical choice for thawing out your ingredients.
It is important that you use recommended thawing methods and adhere to food safety guidelines in order to keep your family as safe and healthy as possible.
Galanz ExpressWave Sensor Microwave
- 1100W & 10 VARIABLE POWER LEVELSGalanz 1.6 Cu.Ft, 1100Watts microwave oven with its touch-sensitive control panel that has been designed to be easy to operate, intuitive, and ergonomic. 10 variable power levels allow you to adjust the cooking power from 10% to 100%.
- 6 SENSOR COOK PROGRAMS & 7 SENSOR REHEATING PROGRAMS ExpressWave makes it easy and fast to cook with its 6 sensor cook programs (Corn on the Cob, Fish, Fresh Vegetables, Ground Meat, Oatmeal, Rice) and its 7 sensor reheat programs(Chili, Frozen Entrée, Frozen Pizza, Mac and Cheese, Mashed Potatoes, Pasta, Rice).
- EXPRESS COOKING KNOB & STAINLESS STEEL DESIGNA unique Express Cooking Knob makes everything faster and easier to use. ExpressWave has a beautiful design with its Stainless Steel that will fit perfectly with any décor in your kitchen.
- SENSOR COOK & SENSOR REHEAT A built-in humidity sensor ensures that your food is never under- or overcooked. For precooked dishes, Sensor Reheat stops automatically when food is hot and ready to eat.
- PATENTED INVERTER TECHNOLOGYExpressWave with Inverter technology for faster cooking, reheating, and defrosting. Unlike traditional microwave heating systems that pulse on and off, the inverter creates continuous, constant, even heat to maintain exacting temperature during the cooking process.
Galanz, a Chinese enterprise, has been known to manufacture quality microwaves for years. Their newest model, the Galanz Express Wave Sensor Microwave, provides the user with excellent features that will come in handy for any household.
The Galanz Express Wave Sensor Microwave is an 1100 watt microwave oven with a 10 variable power level. This feature ensures accurate and even cooking and reheating. It also features 6 sensor cook programs and 7 sensor reheat programs so you can cook and reheat your food with just a touch of a button.
The stainless steel design is polished and elegant, allowing it to easily fit in any kitchen décor without making it look cluttered or disorganized. More importantly, this model includes patented inverter technology and a humidity sensor, making the Express Wave Sensor Microwave an absolute must for all households.
The Galanz ExpressWave Sensor Microwave is an excellent appliance that can boil water, reheat food, and cook various dishes. It has an intuitive control panel that is easy to use. The 6 sensor cooking programs make it easier for you to get daily dishes ready. If you need to reheat food, the sensor reheat will make it faster and easier to get hot food ready.
There are 10 variable power levels. This allows you to adjust the power level of the microwave-based on what you’re cooking. For example, if you’re cooking something like frozen pizza or mac and cheese, then it would be best if you set the power level at 50%.
If you need to defrost meat or vegetables, then 10% would be the best power level to use. The Galanz ExpressWave Sensor Microwave can fit perfectly in any kitchen and matches with most décor.
– Intuitive control panel for easy use
– Precise even cooking
– some people may not like the stainless steel design
Toshiba EM131A5C-BS Microwave
- Pre-programmed sensor menu for optimum heating of popular foods like pizza, potatoes, veggies and more; Rated Voltage: 120V - 60Hz
- Black Stainless Steel exterior, 20.5 x 17.1 x 12.8 inch (w x d x h), large 1.2 cubic feet capacity, cavity 13.07 x 15 x 9.5 inch (w x d x h), turn table 12.4 inch (diameter)
- 1100 watts with 10 power settings, clock, and kitchen timer
- Large digital display, easy-to-read control panel, glass turntable
- 1100 watts with 10 power settings, clock, and kitchen timer
A microwave that has a pre-programmed sensor menu for optimum heating of popular foods, such as pizza, potatoes, veggies, and more. You can also choose to use one of the many power settings. There are 10 power levels to choose from. Control it with minimal fuss by using its easy-to-read control panel.
Setting the power level is nothing but a few button presses away! You can also set the timer or even tell it to stop cooking after a certain amount of time…when your food is ready. The clock and kitchen timer allow you to use the microwave without any fuss at all!
A glass turntable with a diameter of 12.4 inches will have your dishes turning round in no time, while its large digital display will keep you in control of it all the time. Its 1100 watts power output ensures speedy cooking.
The Toshiba EM131A5C-BS Microwave is one of the latest microwaves. The features that these microwave offers are limitless, and the user will not be disappointed with having this appliance in their kitchen.
This microwave has multiple power settings that can be adjusted to an individual person’s needs, and there is a microphone that helps to maintain the clock and timer on the control panel. There are many different options for keeping food warm, such as defrosting frozen food with just one button push, popping popcorn with just one button or customizing it for how you like it, and so much more!
-Easy to read control panel which will make cooking an easy task
-No more fussing with time, just set it up on one of the 10 available power settings!
Toshiba EM131A5C-SS Microwave
- Stylish Stainless Steel (color of door frame is stainless steel, enclosure is black) with easy-to-clean interior, with external dimension(wdh): 20.51 x 17.14 x 12.83 inches, with internal dimension (wdh): 13.07 x 15 x 9.5 inches
- Pre-programmed sensor menu for optimum heating of popular foods like pizza, potato, vegetables and more
- One touch popcorn button and two defrost settings – custom defrost and 1 pounds auto defrost
- Equipped with power-saving eco mode, sound on/off option and child safety lock
- 1100 watts with 10 power settings, clock, and kitchen timer
The Toshiba EM131A5C-SS Microwave is a microwave oven that produces tasty and healthy meals in a quick time. It has a sensor menu that allows you to find the right temperature for your food with preprogrammed buttons.
It has a child lock system to keep your little ones out of trouble when using it on a kitchen timer or on a popcorn setting. The external dimension (with): 20.51 x 17.14 x 12.83 inches, with internal dimension (with): 13.07 x 15 x 9.5 inches, so it is compact enough to fit in tight spaces on your countertop.
This microwave is 1100 watts with 10 power settings, a clock, and a kitchen timer that will let you know the time left before your food is ready to eat.
Microwaves are a very popular appliance in the kitchen, not only because they can quickly heat up foods but also because of their many features which make it easier for us to cook our favorite meals. Most microwaves come with preset buttons that automatically find the proper temperature for cooking a wide array of dishes.
There are also microwaves that have special features such as sensors that will adjust to the food you’re heating, defrost options, and even options where you can add more time or power level should your meal need it. In this article, we’ll be looking at the Toshiba EM131A5C-SS Microwave Oven.
This is a 10 power level microwave oven with preprogrammed sensor menu for optimum heating of popular foods like pizza, potato, vegetables, and more. It also comes with a one-touch popcorn button and two defrost settings – custom defrost and 1 pound auto defrost which will allow you to defrost any foods, including frozen meats and vegetables.
-Inverter cooking with pre-set menus
-No electrical connection is needed
-Limited cooking capacity, only 10 power levels
Amazon Basics Microwave bundle
- This bundle contains the Amazon Basics Microwave and the Echo Dot (3rd Gen).
- Now it’s easier to defrost vegetables, make popcorn, cook potatoes, and reheat rice. Quick-cook voice presets and a simplified keypad let you just ask Alexa to start microwaving.
- Automatically reorder popcorn when you run low and save 10% on popcorn orders—enabled by Amazon Dash Replenishment technology.
- Compact size saves counter space, plus 10 power levels, a kitchen timer, a child lock, and a turntable.
- Alexa is always getting smarter and adding new presets.
The Amazon Basics Microwave is an affordable microwave that’s perfect for anybody who doesn’t want to waste time cooking. It has about ten power levels which really helps with food preparation.
The buttons are also easy to use and very accessible. The only downfall I’ve found is it’s pretty loud when operating (though most microwaves are) and it doesn’t always cook foods without unevenness, though that may just be my unit. Overall it’s a great product for the price and I would buy it again if mine broke or stopped working.
The Amazon Basics Microwave bundle has a lot of features that make it a great purchase. It is compact and saves counter space because of this, but it still offers 10 power levels, a kitchen timer, and a child lock.
There are also voice presets for quick-cooking as well as a simplified keypad which makes using this microwave no hassle at all. Alexa is used to watching over the microwave to cook meals is just another feature that can be used to have an easier day in the kitchen.
– Easy to use
– Compact size
– Good for people who don’t want a lot of hassle in the kitchen
Can I thaw frozen meat in a microwave?
No. Common home microwaves are not designed to cook food, and you will end up with uneven cooking; the outside of the meat would be overcooked by the time you finished thawing it.
If you do this anyway, your meat’s surface temperature will be higher than its interior, which will lead to two problems:
- if it is ground beef or a hamburger patty that has been frozen all the way through, then there will probably be a layer of ice at one side when you take off the wrapper from it – from liquid water to ice at higher temperatures there is a liquid-solid phase change which means that liquid water can turn into solid ice in just a few degrees difference in temperature so when frozen meat is microwaved, liquid water in the meat can turn into solid ice in a few seconds and then that will lower the internal temperature of the meat below a safe level for health,
- If you thaw frozen meat too rapidly it also leads to a loss of liquid from within the cells of the meat which is called purge – when this happens the cells collapse and the meat becomes dry as a result.
How long does it take to thaw food with a microwave?
Generally, it will take 5 to 7 minutes on high power, depending on how much food there is and the wattage of your microwave.
For example, it takes 4 minutes for a pint of ice cream to soften in a 1000-watt oven or 10 to 12 minutes in an 800-watt oven. Remember that microwaves are meant for re-heating or quick-cooking, not “slow baking.” For example, don’t try reheating meatloaf with a microwave! The juice will steam instead of simmer. Microwaves are also not very effective at defrosting frozen items more than ½ inch thick or weighing more than 2 pounds. This is because the food doesn’t come into contact with the penetrating waves generated by the oven.
Is it safe to cook frozen seafood in a microwave oven?
Cooking frozen seafood in a microwave oven will yield rubbery, dry, overcooked food. If you want to microwave seafood it’s best not to freeze it first.
Anyone who has ever tried microwaving their takeaway fish and chips knows – cooking frozen food in the microwave is an absolutely disastrous idea! The problem with microwaves is that they cook from the outside into the inside, which means that if your food isn’t completely thawed before you put it in then all of the heat will get crammed into one area of your meal, leaving an overcooked dry mass on one half and undercooked sauce on the other! Microwaving frozen shrimp will leave you gnawing away at rubber shrimp while someone else enjoys succulent crustaceans.
The biggest problem with microwaving frozen seafood like shrimp or scallops is that the heat will only cook through one side and leave the other half cold, so you’ll have to nuke it several times. If your microwave oven has a rotating plate in it, this is when you “spin” the plate so the food spins around and cooks more evenly.
Don’t microwave your seafood if you want to enjoy it! The safest and best way to thaw fish is in the refrigerator or under cold, running water. If you are cooking frozen seafood in a rice cooker or slow cooker be sure to add some extra time because these appliances don’t get as hot as microwaves and may not cook the food all of the ways through.
Do microwaves have the ability to reach high enough temperatures for cooking, but not high enough for thawing foods?
There are many basic cooking techniques for preparing food, although it’s hard to find one that doesn’t heat the ingredients. Microwaves are great at heating food quickly, but they can’t get hot enough on their own to cook raw meat without adding steam or another source of heat.
Most of your microwave use will involve thawing something you’ve already cooked. If you’re defrosting a dead animal of some kind, then microwaving is probably your best bet–you’ll want to set the oven rack in the middle of the range so that there’s still enough room for cold air on one side and hot air on the other side rather than cooking all around with microwaves alone. But if you have leftover chicken strip pizza from the night before, then microwaves are not your friend.
Why is using an oven preferable over using a microwave when reheating or warming up food in wintertime conditions?
Using an oven to reheat food is preferable because the dish will not only stay hot for a much longer period of time (depending on what you are heating up!), but it will also be in much better shape in the event that something spills or splatters during cooking.
Unlike microwaves, ovens can reach high enough temperatures to brown meats and crisp dishes. As a result, reheating foods with an oven also sometimes makes them better-tasting! And safety has been considered: In 1989, microwave ovens became standard kitchen appliances across the U.S. after their safety was approved by no fewer than 53 nonbiased international scientists from 12 countries who reviewed all known research related to how microwaves interact with foods.
The research and reports were published in peer-reviewed journals and in a 174-page report issued by the National Academy of Sciences.
If you want to microwave seafood it’s best not to freeze it first. The problem with microwaves is that they cook from the outside into the inside, which means that if your food isn’t completely thawed before you put it in then all of the heat will get crammed into one area of your meal, leaving an overcooked dry mass on one half and undercooked sauce on the other! Microwaving frozen shrimp will leave you gnawing away at rubber shrimp while someone else enjoys succulent crustaceans.