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The microwave is usually frowned upon by ambitious chefs. It provides a convenient way to quickly heat ready made meals or the leftovers from the day before, but it is usually not regarded as a serious kitchen utensil (as is testified by one of the answers below).

However, it seems to me that the unique way in which a microwave delivers heat should open up possibilities for food preparation that simply did not exist before the introduction of this device.

Not being an experienced "microwave chef" myself (in fact I never had access to one until very recently) I ask myself:

Aren't there any crazy avantgardistic or molecular cuisine type ways of preparing food that exploit the specifics of a microwave oven in an unconventional way?

  • 1
    Google "modernist microwave cake"...it is a common technique. – moscafj Feb 16 '15 at 17:34
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No, a microwave is not a cooking tool. It destroys food. A microwave is a convenience when needing to warm something quickly, it doesn't heat uniformly, when food starts to dry out and burn it does it quickly while another part of the food is still icy cold.

Use the microwave for what it is good for, softening butter (3 times at 8-10 seconds a pop usually works well), TV dinners (which are still better if you take the time to bake them), or softening up some bread.

I use the microwave when I don't have time to cook properly or to warm something up conventionally. That's what it is good for. Warming and reheating leftovers faster than usual.

EDIT: I stand corrected. Apparently there may be something avante-guard about something cooked on the edges but still cold in the middle, but we aren't talking black and blue here.

  • Aside from being wrong, there are cookbooks full of things you can make in a microwave, you haven't addressed the question at all. Conceivably there could be some "crazy avantgardistic or molecular cuisine type" recipe that deliberately makes something cooked on the outside and icy in the middle, for example. – Ross Ridge Feb 17 '15 at 18:53
  • I'm sorry, but this is a little unnecessarily negative. As you say, there are things it's actually perfectly good for, and your list isn't complete. For things that can properly steam or boil, the heat evens itself out and they can't dry out. It's possible you're right that there's still nothing unique you can do (obviously you don't need a microwave to steam/boil) but you haven't really said that in a convincing way. – Cascabel Feb 17 '15 at 18:54
  • boiling in a microwave is dangerous. That fact has been documented over and over. Water can become superheated before it boils, which means it simply hasn't been given a vehicle to bubble off steam, such as the heated bottom of a pan or speck of dirt in the water. Without going through experimentation in the microwave, if you want to see superheated water, start up your fryer and spritz a little water in there from your wet finger tips. That popping is the water exploding popcorn like because it didn't boil off before it exceeding boiling temp. – Escoce Feb 17 '15 at 19:02
  • Boiling water is dangerous regardless of how you boil it... Any way try this; Pork belly, microwave on 10% power for 60 to 90 minutes until fat is rendering, then grill (broil) for 20 minutes at 200°C until skin is crisp and bubbly. Same result as in the oven for hours, and much less power used – TFD Feb 17 '15 at 20:29

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