The Safe Thaw-Part Three:Microwave Thawing

Microwave Thawing


Raise your hand if you can’t live without your microwave? My hand is raised, high I might add. I use it daily as essential kitchen equipment for freezer cooking.

We’re continuing our big thaw series with an additional way to thaw freezer foods. I use my microwave for frozen foods, such as rice, bread, beans and pasta.

I’m not fond of thawing meats in the microwave if I’ve got an extra hour or two before dinner. I always use the cold water method for meats if I have time. If I don’t, I will resort to microwave thawing.

You must plan to cook your meat immediately if it’s thawed in the microwave. You’ve probably noticed you have cold and hot spots when using the microwave and that’s why it’s a danger zone for meats. It’s best to follow the manufacturer’s directions for thawing meats on your personal microwave because brands are different.

In regards to carbohydrates, such as rice, beans and pasta. I always begin with 50 percent power and microwave the amount it would take to normally reheat. For example, cold pinto beans would take approximately five minutes to reheat. Since it’s frozen, begin by microwaving at 50 percent power for five minutes. This will kick start the thawing process. Then proceed to normally heat for five minutes at full power. Pasta and rice follow that general rule also.

The reheat process for bread is the same. If it’s a muffin, you would normally heat for about twenty seconds. Microwave a frozen muffin at fifty percent power for forty seconds. Heat on normal power for a few additional seconds if neccessary. Reheating one muffin at a time is beneficial for small families or individual servings. It keeps the entire bag from going stale, plus it will taste fresh almost from the oven if you don’t overheat. Overheating causes food to taste rubbery and tough.

Basically, you want to use less power when thawing or reheating from a frozen state. Never use full power until the product is thawed. I prefer reheating using 50% to 70% power to prevent hot and cold spots in the interior. A lower heating level allows the food to reheat slower thus having fewer cold spots.

Do you have additional questions or comments regarding this thawing method. Check out the refrigerator thawing and cold water thawing methods from this series.

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