Kitchen Myths

Facts and fiction about food and cooking, by Peter Aitken

You cannot do serious cooking in a microwave

This is one of the very silliest myths but it refuses to die out. There are a lot of people who use their microwave for nothing but boiling water and reheating leftovers and they are really missing out on a lot. I suspect that this myth got its start when microwaves were a new tool and a lot of awful microwave recipe books were published. Some people tried to use their microwave as a general purpose stove and oven replacement rather than as a more specialized tool that is well suited for some jobs but not at all useful for others. For example, you would not want to use a microwave for a roast beef, fried potatoes, or baking bread, but it works just great for things like rice, poached fish, and steamed veggies. I find it particularly handy for making polenta and risotto, with results that are every bit as good as the stovetop with much less work and worry. If you want to expand your microwave repertoire I highly recommend The Microwave Gourmet by Barbara Kafka. Another excellent book is The Moghul Microwave by Julie Sahni (Indian dishes).

2 responses to “You cannot do serious cooking in a microwave

  1. Nan @ Manual Pasta Machine August 21, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    I am sorry, I don’t like to use my microwave for anything other than reheating leftovers. I personally don’t like the taste and texture of food actually cooked in the microwave. My boyfriend and I argue over this all the time. He would cook everything in it if he could. The scrambled eggs he cooked this morning in the microwave were just disgusting.

    Nan from
    Manual Pasta Machine

    • Regina Coyle August 29, 2012 at 5:32 pm

      Get over it! A microwave is a great tool and many things can be cooked in it. If you add mushrooms or onions or a meat to your scrambled eggs or anything you like… they are great!! Give it a chance!

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