Lose your microwave phobia: part 2

Posted on: 01/02/2011

We had all the no-nos last time.  So now let’s move on to what microwaves are really good at: –

Microwave heaven – things to try out

Reheating leftovers.

You probably already do this, but here’s a recap just in case.

Firstly you need all your leftovers to get over 70° C for at least two minutes, so you really have to nuke it.

Put your leftovers on full power for 2 minutes (more if it’s a large quantity) to get the food up to temperature, and then half power or defrost for a further two minutes.   And then stir well.

NB This tip is for refrigerated leftovers.  With frozen leftovers I would double the time, and when stirring check that it’s all piping hot.  If not, give it a couple more minutes on full.

Frozen vegetables.

Seriously, any kind of frozen veg.  I’ve cooked peppers, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, sweetcorn and probably a bunch of other veg with no problems.

If it’s a small vegetable, like peas or sweetcorn, you only need 2-3 minutes on full power.  If it’s larger, you’ll want to put it on for longer.  Usually 5 minutes is just about right.   You may need to trial and error till you get the veg perfect for your taste.

Frozen veg needs no water adding, by the way; the ice crystals seem to do the job just fine.

Fresh vegetables.

If you can boil it, you can microwave it.  Potatoes, carrots, broccoli, courgettes and cauliflower are just a handful of my favourites.

Stick them in your non-metal dish, add a splash of water from the kitchen tap – maybe 60ml/2 fl oz, cover and cook.  Depending on the size and quantity you’ll be wanting to cook on full power for between 5 and 10 minutes.

Don’t forget to drain off the extra water.


The microwave is my saviour when it comes to rice.

Needless to say, you don’t want to be getting the boil-in-the-bag variety.

Put 2 cups of water for every cup of rice into your pot, give it a swish, stick the lid on, and put it in for 12 minutes on full power for most varieties.  When it pings, check to see if it is cooked, and add a couple more minutes if your rice hasn’t absorbed all the water.

Perfect rice every time.


This is particularly handy if you hate washing up burnt porridge from the bottom of the pan.  It’s almost impossible to  burn porridge in the microwave.

2 cupfuls of milk for every cup of oats, add sugar and spices if desired (cinnamon is always nice), and cook – with lid on as usual – on full power for 5 minutes.

If you are keen on extra creamy porridge you can then cook it on defrost for a further 15-20 minutes.  Delicious, and well worth the wait.

Try this poll and see how other readers feel about microwaving.

I won’t blether on any more – but do try these tips out and see if you’re not converted.

Happy microwaving!


5 Responses to "Lose your microwave phobia: part 2"

Mushrooms are the other thing microwaves are great for. You don’t need any water and they cook really quickly. Particularly good if you’re making soups and stews since you also end up with a kind of mushroom stock given off by the cooking process.

Yum! I’ll remember that, thanks.

I’ll see your microwave porridge, and raise you a 10 minute chocolate pudding!
Mix together 100g/4 oz. each of sugar, butter/marg, and self-raising flour plus 25g of cocoa powder, and two large eggs (also chocolate chips or chunks if you’ve got ‘em). Put into a microwavable container and nuke on HIGH for 3 minutes (or around that – until risen anyway!). Leave to stand for 1 minute. Serve with cream or ice-cream. Five minutes to prepare, 4 1/2 to cook.

Yay! That sounds amazing and so quick. Thanks!

Hmm. Thought I’d set this to publish after the first post. Sorry about that. I’ll look into it, but you should see part one in the next 24 hours.

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