89 votes
Accepted

Are there any dishes that can only be cooked with a microwave?

Yes! In 1969, the physicist Nicholas Kurti gave a talk in which he demonstrated a variant of Baked Alaska called "Frozen Florida": a shell of frozen meringue around a center of hot liquor. This was ...
Sneftel's user avatar
  • 29.2k
79 votes
Accepted

Why do my mini pizzas have microwave trays?

The piece of cardboard is a microwave browning element. Ordinarily, most of the heating energy in a microwave is absorbed by water in the food. The result is similar to steaming. The material on the ...
Sneftel's user avatar
  • 29.2k
72 votes
Accepted

Is my microwave damaged if I can smell the food inside it?

Microwave doors don't have an airtight seal; the window between the electronics and the cooking compartment is also not airtight, and the electronics are cooled by a fan. It would be surprising if ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 44.2k
45 votes
Accepted

Why do we need to reheat food?

The primary reason for reheating is just that warm food is more pleasant to eat. How warm, that is a personal preference - and stirring or heating longer can ensure more throughout heating. Reheating ...
jpa's user avatar
  • 566
41 votes
Accepted

Why didn't microwaving a stainless steel spoon set my kitchen on fire?

Metal has a lot of potential issues in the microwave (electric charge buildup + arcing, and microwave reflection). There are too many variables to make general statements like "such-and-such metal is ...
Jason C's user avatar
  • 2,186
36 votes
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Can you pop microwave popcorn on a stove?

After I found the pack of microwave popcorn again I decided to do a quick search on the English web. I found that the corn in the bag is just normal popcorn mixed with some fake butter and that there'...
Mikael Dúi Bolinder's user avatar
35 votes

Why use a kettle to heat water?

I think the primary considerations are convenience (how much effort is it to set up and use the system?) and time spent (how long does the system take to heat the water?). A standard electric stove ...
Daniel Griscom's user avatar
35 votes
Accepted

Why use a kettle to heat water?

Bear in mind that I'm using an electric kettle, rather than a stove-top one. First, the advantage of a kettle is that it is quite efficient, and turns itself off once the water is boiling. This as ...
Carmi's user avatar
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32 votes
Accepted

Why doesn't a microwave heat the air around food, in addition to the food itself?

With all electromagnetic radiation, including visible light and microwaves, absorption depends on the molecules doing the absorption. Air is mainly oxygen and nitrogen, and these don't absorb very ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 44.2k
31 votes

Why didn't microwaving a stainless steel spoon set my kitchen on fire?

Spoons (most metal, in fact) are generally not a huge problem in the microwave. My microwave has metal parts...many do. Forks are sometimes a problem due to a build up of charge between the tines, ...
moscafj's user avatar
  • 75k
31 votes

Exploding shelled egg in microwave

Oh lordy. You're lucky you didn't get hurt. Ann Reordan did a good video about these microwave egg hacks. The segment with her many experiments starts around 6:00. (other hacks/myths are at the ...
kitukwfyer's user avatar
  • 5,229
31 votes

Microwave sparks

The sparks you describe are inherent in the microwave technology. There isn't any microwave oven that can avoid the sparks. Worse, there is a risk that the microwave will fail in a way that's way more ...
rumtscho's user avatar
  • 139k
25 votes

general principles of piercing the protective cover of unfrozen microwave ready meals

I assume it is simply to allow some steam to escape during heating, so that you don't have a big mess to clean up when the "balloon" pops, or, as Chris H wisely points out below, a potential ...
moscafj's user avatar
  • 75k
22 votes
Accepted

Products that can be microwaved and "pop" just like popcorn

Popcorn should be considered one of "nature's little miracles" - & a way to make a huge profit out of air. Yes, you can pop other dried grains/seeds, but don't expect anything quite so ...
Tetsujin's user avatar
  • 29.7k
21 votes

Why didn't microwaving a stainless steel spoon set my kitchen on fire?

There are actually two things worth considering with metal in microwaves. The big danger is arcing and that happens with pointy things like forks and apparently grapes. It's also worth considering, ...
Journeyman Geek's user avatar
21 votes

Exploding shelled egg in microwave

In 2017 researchers from Charles M. Salter Associates in San Francisco looked into the exploding microwaved eggs. They'd been hired to offer testimony in litigation of a case where a consumer claimed ...
Showsni's user avatar
  • 311
19 votes

Are there any dishes that can only be cooked with a microwave?

The "instant" sponge cake, innovated at El Bulli, can only be made in a microwave. Here is an example. Basically, a batter is poured into a whipping siphon. It is charged. The aerated batter is ...
moscafj's user avatar
  • 75k
19 votes

Microwave sparks

Purchase a 120V 20A (or if in a different locale, 220-250V 10-15A) Key Switch (or Locking Switch) and install it (or have it installed) on the circuit for the microwave. Do not allow the children to ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 17.7k
18 votes

Why do we need to reheat food?

You don't. Reheating food does not improve food safety, it is purely a matter of taste. Even "piping hot" is not hot enough to kill off any pathogens. If it's safe to eat warm, it's safe to ...
user141592's user avatar
  • 10.6k
17 votes

Microwave sparks

No, there are no microwaves that can detect if a metallic container has been placed in it. (The sparks are caused due to the presence of metal cutlery or metal in a vessel). Please teach your kids to ...
sfxedit's user avatar
  • 335
16 votes
Accepted

What is the difference between Microwave, Microwave Oven, and Oven?

First off, the terminology issue. So, can someone please clear up this fog? What's the difference between Microwave and Oven and Microwave Oven? "Microwave" is just short for "microwave oven". ...
Cascabel's user avatar
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16 votes
Accepted

Can you finish a quality steak in the microwave

Microwaves don't cook as evenly as you might think. Even with a turntable, I would worry about hotspots and uneven cooking, particularly with thicker steaks. Also, they cook fast. Medium-rare versus ...
Sneftel's user avatar
  • 29.2k
15 votes
Accepted

Why does food cooked in the microwave heat inside-out?

Your microwave isn't exactly cooking your food from the inside out. Instead, what is happening is that some parts of your food that happen to be on the interior are being heated faster than those ...
user132278's user avatar
14 votes

general principles of piercing the protective cover of unfrozen microwave ready meals

2-in-1 Trick: Don't Pierce, Lift a Corner of the Cover. While piercing the cover to allow steam to escape is the recommended approach -- on the packaging -- it's not the best solution. The next step, ...
Matthieu M.'s user avatar
12 votes

Microwave oven first time use — "10 minutes with water"?

The directions are in fact asking you to place a bowl of water in the Microwave Oven and run it for 10mins. The reason is, it allows things to "break-in" and assures that you don't have any direct ...
Miroderchort's user avatar
12 votes

Are there any dishes that can only be cooked with a microwave?

At least for smallish and thin objects, microwaves heat foods “everywhere and throughout at the same time” (for lack of a better description). Exactly what isn’t desired for a steak, as discussed in ...
Stephie's user avatar
  • 59.6k
12 votes

Is my microwave damaged if I can smell the food inside it?

It's totally normal to smell the food in a microwave as they aren't meant to be sealed. Microwaves have fans to circulate the air and keep the electronics cool, so they will circulate aromas.
GdD's user avatar
  • 76.3k
11 votes
Accepted

Is it safer to wrap or cover your food when warming them in the microwave?

Many plastics used in the kitchen are unsuitable for use in contact with hot food, whether wrapping it or sagging onto it when used as a cover. Freezer bags are a relevant example. These may melt, or ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 44.2k
11 votes

Frying in a microwave?

While creative, this sounds like an especially poor idea, fraught with disaster. If the water turns into vapor at 100 C, it certainly would not transfer all that heat to the surrounding oil before ...
PoloHoleSet's user avatar
  • 3,634
11 votes
Accepted

How can I thicken/firm up this caramel?

The problem with quick caramel recipes is that they aren't reliable due to the variations of water content in the butter and brands of condensed milk. Butter can vary between 15-30% water, if your ...
GdD's user avatar
  • 76.3k

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