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).

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

  1. Purplepenquin June 12, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    When I was a young lad the house our family was living in had a broken oven. The stove top worked ok, but any “baking” was done with either a crockpot or a microwave. (We joked around and said that it was either fast or slow, but not regular!) I know for at least one thanksgiving the turkey was cooked in the microwave, and it turned out just as well as any other bird that was cooked in the oven.

  2. Ginger Vitus October 22, 2011 at 7:03 am

    Disagree totally, and a lot of these points you make are very ignorant. Microwaves cook at such high temperatures the totally destroy nutrients in vegetables. Also, eating fruit with other foods such as protean or carbs can cause serious digestive problems in some people. Do your research before you make such sweeping statements.

    • kitchenmyths October 22, 2011 at 12:35 pm

      My statements are, in fact, true and backed up by tons of evidence (I have done my research). The things you claim are the ravings of fruitcakes and fanatics and are backed by absolutely no legitimate evidence. I am rather astounded that people actually believe the things you say. Just for example:

      1) Microwaves do not cook at particularly high temperature, in fact it is physically impossible for them to cook higher than the temp of boiling water or steam.

      2) All fruit contains good amounts of carbs, so you cannot help but eat fruit with carbs.

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