I've been making freezer burritos and eating them for lunches this week. The first batch I made microwave beautifully: just 45 seconds and they're hot all the way through. They were layered with rice, beans, and corn, nothing else (I don't eat cheese and I wanted them to be non-spicy so I can eat them when I'm feeling unwell).

The second batch replace the corn with ground beef, cooked and seasoned. The exact same beans, the same rice made the same way. They're smaller, due to using a different package of tortillas; after almost 2 minutes of heating in the same microwave, the meat burrito I had brought still had cold spots in the middle.

What causes this? Can I avoid it somehow? Should I mix the ingredients instead of layering?

  • 2
    The ground beef is more dense than the corn and is taking longer to heat up to the temp you want. I would suggest stopping the cooking half way through and flipping the burrito over and then cooking for the final minute or longer. Mixing may help some but probably not an appreciable difference.
    – Brendan
    Jan 16, 2013 at 18:12
  • @Brendan That sounds like a good answer for me Jan 16, 2013 at 18:15

1 Answer 1


I agree with Brendan's answer above. Having also made freezer burritos ahead of time, I find that it helps if I put some source of re-heatable 'liquid' in the wrap while preparing them (e.g. salsa, not sour cream, for example). It might have something to do with steaming the food instead of directly heating it, maybe? Let me know if that helps.

  • 3
    Microwaves heat water more efficiently than other materials, though you could also be right about water and steam helping transfer heat inside the burrito.
    – Cascabel
    Jan 22, 2013 at 3:11
  • Does corn have more water content than beef? It might be that the corn heats more efficiently... Jan 22, 2013 at 12:09
  • 1
    @Yamikuronue most crispy vegetables have a very high water content (over 90% is usual). Meat starts out with less and loses part of it during cooking. But you also mention rice, which should have less water than meat, even after cooking.
    – rumtscho
    Jan 22, 2013 at 18:17
  • 1
    @Yamikuronue This may be too much, but here is a water content diagram based on ambient temperature and humidity: omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/pub811/1harvesting.htm#moisture
    – younjin
    Jan 22, 2013 at 18:38
  • 1
    Accepting this answer based on the comments. It probably is just corn's higher moisture content, meaning if I add corn to my next batch of beef burritos, it'll probably heat well. Thanks everyone for the group effort! Jan 22, 2013 at 19:24

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