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I've made it on the stove top: sugar, corn syrup ect..but wanted to try it in the microwave - any tips on cooking times, techniques?

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3 Answers 3

Microwave candy recipes are very fast and easy. They tend to be only a little different in flavor than the stove top versions in my experience. There seems to be a little less depth of flavor.

The recipes usually call for short periods of microwaving and frequent stirring. As far as the cooking times- I have to follow the recipe as I have no way of measuring the temperature in the microwave.

I personally have had great success with peanut brittle recipes (which get hotter than caramel):

http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/microwave-peanut-brittle-2/Detail.aspx

A cursory google search found several recipes for caramel but I have not tried them personally.

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Not all that surprisingly, if you read the reviews you'll see that a few people ended up with burnt sugar. I guess if you're really careful and stir very frequently and are mindful of the power of your microwave, it could work... –  Aaronut Aug 27 '10 at 22:29
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@Aaronut - The example is not hypothetical. I have made that particular recipe several times and it has always turned out well. The vast majority of reviewers of that recipe have had no problems. I agree with you that burning is definitely something to be careful of- just like when you make it on the stovetop. –  Sobachatina Aug 27 '10 at 22:40
    
Note that I did say "a few", not "everyone" or even "most." I maintain that it's way safer to do this on the stovetop, but I guess you've proven that the microwave is an option. –  Aaronut Aug 27 '10 at 22:46
    
Sorry if I seemed argumentative. My goal was merely to show it was an option. I agree with you that it is safer on the stovetop. I have done it in the microwave only because it was faster. –  Sobachatina Aug 27 '10 at 22:49
    
The consensus seems to be short time amounts and frequent stirring: Thank You!! –  AttilaNYC Aug 28 '10 at 1:11

I personally wouldn't try it. Caramelizing is a delicate process and it is very easy to burn the sugar. It also gets up to a very high temperature (typical table sugar is 160° C / 320° F) and several dishes that might be labeled "microwave-safe" will not withstand that temperature. You would actually need an oven-safe vessel for this process.

Last but not least, it will harden almost instantly as soon as you remove it from the microwave because there's no continuous heat source. By the time you get your oven mitts off, it'll be too late to do anything useful with it.

Stick to the stove top.

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you cannot control the temperature in microwave. use stove top.

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The quality of this answer would be enhanced, and perhaps you would receive less down votes, if you explained in more detail why you cannot control the temperature in the microwave, and how that effects the caramalization process. –  SAJ14SAJ Apr 13 '13 at 11:21
    
This is why, as Sobachatina mentioned, recipes for this have you frequently stop to stir - the amount of heating between stirs helps you control the temperature. –  Jefromi Apr 13 '13 at 14:56

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