Cooking Meat In The Microwave During Those Hot Summer Months
By Donna Rivera-Loudon
Summer is here and if you are anything like me, you don't want to turn on your oven or stove unless absolutely necessary. I do most of my cooking in the microwave during the summer months. It helps keep my home cooler and cuts down on my cooling bill.
I have found that many people don't like to cook meat in the microwave. I was once one of those people. Chicken would come out like rubber and I always worried that ground beef didn't cook thoroughly. I have since found that the trick is to use the right cooking utensils.
There has also been some hype about how its not safe to use plastic to cook meat or anything else in the microwave. This is only half true. Certain types of plastic have chemicals that are activated with the extreme heat of the microwave and these chemicals can get into your food. Hence, the key to cooking in your microwave is, once again, to use the correct cooking utensils. Basically, use containers that are specifically designed for cooking in the microwave.
My preference in microwave cooking is Tupperware. Their cookware is specifically designed for the microwave so you don't have to worry about the chemicals. Their Oval Cooker is designed to retain the moisture of your meat so that your meat does't come out dry and rubbery. It also has a colander so you can brown your meat and let the grease drip to the bottom. That makes it easy to dispose of the grease drippings or use them for gravy. Tupperware also backs it cooker with a lifetime warranty so if it breaks I can just replace it with a new one, which seems like a good investment to me.
So the instructions I am providing below apply to the Tupperware Oval Cooker. If you feel confident using a different type of microwave cooker, of course, try that, but please make sure you follow the guidelines I stated above.
Cooking Ground Beef
Place the ground beef with your favorite seasoning in the colander of the cooker. Cover and cook for 6 minutes per pound. Let sit a few minutes then remove from the microwave. By using the colander all the grease will drain to the bottom of the cooker.
Cooking a Whole Chicken
If using the Oval Cooker you will need to use the extender piece for your average size chicken. Then place the chicken in the cooker. Pour about half a cup of water on the bottom of the cooker. Sprinkle your chicken with your favorites seasonings. Place the cover on the cooker and cook for 6 minutes per pound. I think you will be surprised at how moist your chicken comes out.
Cooking Cut Up Chicken
After cutting up your chicken use the same instructions for cooking a whole chicken. Determine by how high the chicken stacks if you will need to use the extender or not.
Cooking Chicken Pieces
You can use the colander to cook chicken pieces. Cut the chicken into bit size pieces. I usually use chicken breast cutlets for this. Place the cutup chicken pieces in the colander. Season with your favorite seasonings. Place the cover on the cooker and microwave for 6 minutes per pound.
I have not yet tried cooking pork in the microwave. Pork is tricky and my family doesn't eat pork so that is one reason I have never tried cooking it in the microwave. However, there are plenty of beef and chicken recipes out there, so I hope the above suggestions will help you keep your kitchen cooler during the hot summer months.
Donna has an MBA in information technology and is currently a Tupperware Director and CEO of her own company. Donna designed A Website for the Modern Woman, which contains more tips for cooking in the microwave.