Covering is an important technique in microwave cooking. It is usually done to retain steam to tenderise food, to keep food moist, to shorten cooking time or to minimise splattering. All recipes give instructions on whether they should be covered. If your container does not have 1/2 lid, you can use microwave-safe plastic wrap or paper towel.
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Since the food on the outside receives more microwave energy than the food in the centre, foods that cannot be stirred during cooking will need to be rearranged. Centre pieces should be moved to the outside and outside pieces to the centre.
Foods are stirred to equalise food temperatures and shorten cooking time. Stirring should be done from the outside to the centre of the dish. Directions are given with each recipe.
To turn over is to reposition the food so that the upper and lower surfaces are reversed.
If foods cannot be stirred, rearranged or turned over during cooking, and your oven is not the carousel type, the dish may need to be rotated (1/2 half or quarter turn).
Foods with thick skins, such as potatoes, pumpkin or squash, will need to be pricked to allow the steam to escape and prevent bursting.
Shielding means to cover some parts of the food with foil to prevent overcooking. Use small amounts of foil to cover the areas of 1/2 dish or parts of food which cook too quickly.
Microwaving can really save time when defrosting frozen foods. It also prevents the growth of bacteri1/2 that may occur when defrosting at room temperature. Defrost on medium-low settings.
Microwave reheating is great for leftovers and allows you to prepare foods in ad1/2nce to be reheated at serving time. Cooked foods that need to be reheated are almost always heated on medium-high settings.
Microwaved foods continue to cook after they are removed from the oven. Some foods may be partially cooked after the required microwaving time and will complete cooking during the standing time. Most recipes indicate the time to stand after the food is removed from the oven.
The holding time is the amount of time that certain foods will retain their heat after cooking is completed. Wrapping large dense foods like potatoes in foil will increase the holding time. Covering dishes also helps to keep them hot.