For folks who don't have a stove or don't want to bother with all the extra mess caused by using one. Also for folks who want to get away from those TV dinner diets. I remember my dietary habits from when I was in my 20's, 30's, and even my 40's. I guess one could say this page is for everyone, not just for students, singles, divorced, etc.
Yes, you really can microwave raw hamburger, uncooked rice, and raw eggs. Not only are they all absolutely delicious; microwaving makes a lot less mess than doing it the usual stove way.
List and Table of Contents
- How to Microwave Raw Hamburger (and turn it into chili if so desired)
- How to Microwave Uncooked Rice
- How to Microwave Raw Eggs into Scrambled Eggs and Omelets
- Making Macaroni and Cheese TV Dinners Much Better
- Special Section for Beginner Cooks and a Whole Bunch of Awesome Meals
- How to Microwave Potatoes Without Exploding (separate page/tab)
How to Cook in Microwave Raw Hamburger – Beef or BisonAlternate title: Can You Cook Raw Hamburger in the Microwave? Yes, You Can.
Alternate title: How to Safely Cook Raw Hamburger in the Microwave
Yes, it can be done. Whether it be beef or bison, here is how to microwave raw hamburger so it is safe, delicious, and even looks good.
Basically, you "boil" the hamburger in Lipton or store brand onion soup. Actually, the water isn't even brought to boiling, but it's plenty hot enough to do a thorough job; not to mention the fact the hamburger itself is being directly microwaved along with the soup.
You will need...
- 1 packet of Lipton Onion soup mix. Store brand is also fine.
- 3/4 to 1 pound of beef or bison hamburger, 80% lean seems to be best.
- A microwavable bowl that can handle the equivalent of 4 cups of water.
- Gloves, rags, or whatever to remove the hot bowl from the microwave oven.
- Knife, fork, table spoon. A spatula is optional, but is a nice extra.
- Paper plates are also optional, but they make things a lot more convenient and make for a lot less clean up afterwards.
- What, if anything, you intend to add to the hamburger after cooking.
Let us begin...
- Empty one packet of onion soup mix into a large bowl or casserole dish.
- Add 2 cups water. That's right, 2 cups; not the four cups the packet says. You are not going to be drinking the soup.
- Stir it and microwave for 5 to 6 minutes.
- While the soup is microwaving... Flatten out the hamburger on a paper plate (or whatever) so that you have one large, somewhat thin super patty. Slice up the hamburger patty into approximately 1-inch squares or other bite-sized pieces if you are going to eat the hamburger straight or put into a couple sandwiches; if you are going to mix the cooked hamburger with a 15-oz can of blackeyed peas, pinto beans, or whatever; then slice and dice the patty into much smaller pieces.
- The soup should be done by now. Remove the hot soup bowl from the microwave. Stir it until soup is thoroughly mixed. Carefully empty the hamburger pieces from the plate into the soup bowl. Stir it up so the hamburger pieces are not sticking together. Back into the microwave.
- Microwave 5 minutes.
- Stir it so the meat is again separated and moved around. You don't have to remove the bowl or casserole dish from the microwave to do this.
- Microwave another 3 minutes.
- Your masterpiece is done. Carefully remove from microwave.
- If you did the large pieces, cut one in half. If you see raw pink, then back into the microwave it goes, etc. Otherwise...
Options for retrieving the meat...* See cautionary note at end about the drained soup. *
- A spatula is great for scooping out all the meat onto a plate, or into a larger bowl/pot for adding in the beans or whatever. For the large pieces this is the best method. Can also be done using a fork and spoon, just takes longer. For the large pieces, enjoy your meal.
- The other option is to drain the soup from the meat. This is usually the best option when dealing with a bowl full of small meat pieces. If the bowl is conveniently shaped, drain it from the bowl. If the bowl is inconveniently shaped, transfer the entire contents into a much larger, more convenient pot or bowl (where you will put in the other food after draining anyway) and then drain it. Do read the cautionary note before draining.
- If so desired; mix in your other foods, e.g., pinto or kidney beans, Beefaroni or other precooked macaroni, favorite vegetable, etc. Maybe some tomato sauce, garlic salt, half a spice packet.
- Thoroughly stir and mix.
- Spoon out a meal's worth.
- Reheat, enjoy.
- Freeze or refrigerate the rest.
- Pour it into a throwaway jar with a cap.
- Gradually poor it into a full bag of trash that happens to have all sorts of paper products to soak it up. Can be risky, could end up with a real mess if not careful.
Beef or Bison Hamburger patties...Yep, the above method works equally well for hamburger patties. Just rotate the meat a quarter turn at least once during the microwaving and remember to do the cut-in-half test afterwards to be sure the meat is thoroughly cooked.
This convenient microwave recipe has served me well for years. And it certainly makes a lot less mess than the usual stove top method. May all your hamburger adventures be good ones.
How to Cook in Microwave Uncooked Rice – And What Causes and How to Prevent Crunchy Rice
Interesting how there are no microwaving instructions on rice packages. This is probably because microwave ovens are indeed not all the same. As such I must advise that the following instructions worked perfectly for me (900 watt microwave), but your results may vary. The following recipe is for two servings or one large serving, depending on who you ask.
How to Microwave Uncooked Rice
- 1/2 cup rice
- 1 pat of butter
- 1-and-3/8's cups of water
- Optionally sprinkle some salt in it
- Microwave for 10 minutes.
- Let the microwave rest for a minute.
- Then use the defrost mode for 7 minutes. The intermittency of the defrost mode is one of the things that prevents the rice from becoming crunchy.
- Move some rice aside to see if there is still any water at the bottom of the bowl. If just a little, stir the rice for a minute to absorb it. If a lot, stir it all up and do another 1 or 2 minutes defrost mode.
- When finished, optionally add 2 or 3 pats butter and stir until nicely melted and mixed.
What Causes and How to Prevent Crunchy RiceThere are three things that can cause crunchy rice. It can be caused by both overcooking and under cooking. And it can be caused by too little water.
When I began my quest to create the perfect recipe for microwaving rice, I began with the usual 2:1 water to rice ratio. In this case, one cup water and a half-cup rice. As for the cooking; I did 10 minutes at full power, a minute's rest, and then followed by 10 minutes defrost mode. This first attempt ended up with some of the rice being crunchy.
So for my succeeding attempts, I gradually increased the water and varied the cooking methodology and times. I eventually ended up with the recipe stated above. It was delicious and crunch free.
If this recipe doesn't work perfectly with your microwave, it should hopefully get you close enough so you will know what to adjust for next time.
Food to Add to RiceAs for things to add to the rice after the rice has been cooked, they are just like what you would add to beans. In other words, almost anything you like:
- Pretty much any meat
- Pretty much any vegetable
- Sliced olives
- Sliced mushrooms
- Garlic salt or whatever spice packet
- And pretty much any beans as a matter of fact
If you want to keep it quick and simple, butter and a couple of already microwaved, sliced-up hot dogs mixed in isn't bad at all. May all your rice recipes be awesome!
How to Cook in Microwave Raw Eggs – Zero Mess Scrambled Eggs
This method does indeed make scrambled eggs so much easier...
Alternate title: How to Make and Cook Real Scrambled Eggs and Omelets in Microwave Without the Mess – Yes, a microwave is used, but that's just the start.
|This is a nice, pretty, USDA stock photo. You can do that. Or you can |
throw in cheese, precooked meat, and whatever else you think you might like.
Needless to say, the serving portion will be considerably larger.
Let's face it. When it comes to cooking and eating scrambled eggs and omelets, it creates a royal mess to clean up afterwards. But omelets and even just plain scrambled eggs are so delicious... This recipe completely gets rid of the mess problem. Perfect for singles, college students in dorms, etc.
1. Paper PlatesPlace a paper plate face-up on top of a microwavable bowl. Push the paper plate into the bowl so that it conforms to the shape of the bowl. When doing so you will notice the paper plate forms vertical crimps along the edges of the plate. This is a good thing. Go ahead and pinch and push those crimps flat against the side of the bowl and pushing the plate into the bowl until you have a nice, proper, stable fit. If plate isn't perfectly flat against the bowl, that's OK. The weight of the eggs will finish the job.
2. Butter and EggsPlace a small pat of butter on the paper plate. Microwave for 20-30 seconds. Smear the butter all around. This will keep the scrambled eggs from sticking to the paper plate. Crack open two or three eggs against the side of the sink and empty the contents into the paper plate which is in the bowl.
3. Scramble ItMash and stir the eggs with a fork until it is a a nice, mostly even mixture. Do slowly so as to avoid spilling and splattering. Takes less than a minute.
4. Add Other IngredientsHere's the optional fun part. This is where you add and mix in your other favorite foods to it. The primary favorite is bits and pieces of as much cheese as you want; stir it all together. The second usual favorite is meat that has already been cooked; bits and pieces lunch meat, a cut-up hot dog, etc. Other things you can add to scrambled eggs include:
- Pieces of cooked ham
- Cut-up cooked sausage
- Crumbled up bacon or bacon bits.
- Crumbled up cooked hamburger
- Bits and pieces of cooked chicken
- Most varieties of cheese
- Onion and green onion bits
- Salt or garlic salt
- Sliced olives
- Green peppers
- Pieces of Tomato
- Various diced vegetables are not unheard of
- Pretty much any other food you think you would like
5. Microwave ItMicrowave for 2 minutes. The perimeter will be cooked, the center will still be liquid. Take it out and stir it up. Rotate a quarter turn. Depending on how many eggs you used, microwave an additional 1 to 2 minutes. If you like the way it looks, you're done. If there is still too much liquid to your liking, stir it up again and microwave a little more.
* Enjoy Your MealLeave the paper plate in the bowl and enjoy your meal.
* 30-Second CleanupRemove and throw out the paper plate. There will be some moisture in the bottom of the bowl. Wipe dry with paper towel or Kleenex. Return bowl to it's for-scrambled-eggs-only spot in the cupboard. No pots, pans, skillets, bowls, or dishes to clean up.
How to Make Microwave Macaroni and Cheese TV Dinners Taste Better
Basically, add a whole bunch more real cheese and other stuff.
|Microwave Macaroni and Cheese Recipe – Making It Better|
It is easy to do. Here's how to do it so you don't burn it. And incidentally, by adding real cheese one actually gives the meal some nutritional value.
The Better Microwave Macaroni and Cheese MealMacaroni-and-cheese TV dinners and similar ilk are one of the better frozen food concoctions the frozen food industry has come up with. However, it is still the usual, bland TV dinner. But it makes an excellent starting point for creating your own macaroni and cheese masterpiece. No boiling the macaroni and trying to get it just right. No dealing with the other ingredients. Instead, you use the basic frozen TV dinner as the starting point, and then you make it better.
Microwave Macaroni and Cheese RecipeMicrowave the Stouffer's TV dinner for two minutes less than what the box instructions say. After microwaving, remove the plastic film.
Now here is the how to make microwave macaroni and cheese better part... When you bought the macaroni and cheese TV dinner, you also went to the store's deli section and got yourself a one pound block of mild or medium cheddar cheese. Cut off however many pieces you want and put them on top of the TV dinner, the smaller the pieces the better and by all means add lots of them.
It is not necessary to replace the plastic film back on top of the TV dinner. Microwave it for the additional two minutes. Cheese should be completely melted. Stir it all together. If the cheddar cheese still isn't thoroughly melted and mixed, maybe give it another 40 seconds in the microwave; stir some more as needed. You now have a much better macaroni and cheese dinner that will taste as good as any made from scratch.
A side note: As to the remaining three-quarters of cheddar cheese you didn't use, re-wrap in original wrapper and then thoroughly wrap and fold in one of the store's plastic bags. The cheese will stay fresh in the refrigerator for quite some time. Good for lots more meals.
And as to the meal you just made... If you added enough cheese to it, you probably changed it into two meals. Totally fine; empty into a plate if need be.. When done eating, return the remainder to the tray and put back into the box, wrap and fold with another store plastic bag. Should be good in the refrigerator for three days or so.
Regarding the Microwave Macaroni and Cheese Cup Meals...Simply prepare as one usually does. Then gradually add and stir in as many small chunks of cheddar cheese as desired. It will all mix and blend in quite nicely. Maybe a 30-second additional microwaving may be required. Maybe not.
And that's all there is to it. May all your macaroni and cheese masterpieces be awesome and nutritious.
But wait! There's more!
|Adding cooked, sliced-up hot dogs to your macaroni and cheese meal.|
Did Someone Say Hot Dogs...?Put two wieners on a paper towel placed over a paper plate; fold paper towel over top of wieners to reduce greasy film from covering the interior of the microwave oven.
Place, flattened out, one of the store plastic bags on the counter.
Put the paper towel covered hot dogs in the microwave oven. If you like them mutated (many folks, including me, do), microwave them for 2 minutes and 20 seconds. If you are a non-mutated person, then probably an even 2 minutes is best. Times vary, depending on the microwave oven. But these times are probably a good starting point.
When removing from microwave oven, place the plate on top of the grocery store plastic bag that you had laid flat on the counter.
Let them cool for a minute. Then cut each one lengthwise. Then, holding all 4 lengths together, side-by-side, cut them up into pieces.
For greater efficiency, cook the hot dogs first. Then you can be doing the slicing and dicing while the TV dinner is cooking.
Once the TV dinner is cooked and the extra cheese is all melted and mixed, add the sliced up hot dogs and stir it all together. You definitely now have the two full meals. Not only that, it no longer fits in the TV tray. So, somewhere during all this, you've transferred the whole thing to a separate plate. If you are a true single, it is now sitting on a 3-thick paper plate on top of a regular plate.
Throw out the hot dog paper plate and the plastic bag that you had put them on. Because of the plastic bag, the counter won't have to be cleaned.
At this point, you may want to microwave it another minute, with or without the regular plate underneath the paper plates, depending on its microwaveability.
When done eating what you want, put a fourth paper plate upside-down on top, and then do the plastic bag wrap and refrigerator thing. When you get around to that second meal, it will taste as good as the first.
About Buying Hot DogsGet the ones that say "no by-products" on the label and are not mechanically separated. Yes, they are more expensive; but it is still the wise thing to do.
About Other, Quick, Easy, and Much More Healthy Meals...
Skip the TV dinner section. Instead go to the beans, vegetables, and international foods section; the international foods section usually has all the precooked, canned meats.
Then simply mix:
- One can of favorite, sliced/diced vegetables,
- One can of favorite, sliced/diced meat,
- One can of favorite beans,
- Thoroughly stir.
Important Side Notes
- Drain, refill can with water, and drain a second time all canned, precooked fish before using. Not necessary to drain other items more than once. Drain the ham. Don't drain canned beef, chicken, stews; that's gravy.
- Drain lima beans always. Partially drain pinto and some other beans when the top third of the can is nothing but water.
- Drain peas, string beans, and corn, possibly some other vegetables; not spinach.
- Drain canned mushrooms and olives.
- Do not drain canned potatoes, liquid needed for the microwaving. Drain afterwards, before adding pats of butter and/or sour cream.
All of the above canned goods are already precooked. Don't forget the caveat of using a microwaveable bowl or casserole dish. Cover, otherwise the microwave will probably become a mess.
Cook in microwave for around four to five minutes, depending on amount of food and microwave oven wattage. Maybe add garlic salt (just a little), and any other spices you might like (a similarly small amount). Again thoroughly stir.
You now have two, three, or even four perfectly healthy and delicious meals. Unused, covered portion will last just fine for three or four days in the refrigerator. If you happen to have gone overboard on the amount of ingredients, the freezer will save the day.
The whole process is incredibly quick and easy. And so much more healthy. And there is very large variety: a dozen different beans to try; a dozen different vegetables to try; a dozen different meats to try. That calculates out to over 1000 different combinations, some being much better than others. And do explore other parts of the store, you really do want to get away from those exclusively TV dinner diets.
About the only thing this page has missed are dairy, grains, and fruits. Shouldn't be a problem, even my dog knows where the cereal, dairy, carbs, and fruit juice sections are. The premade deli food section is also worth a visit, though can be expensive; speaking of saving money on food, these money saving tips are also worthwhile.
Just for the heck of it, I thought I'd toss in this federal link about microwave ovens. Turns out the information contained therein is not entirely useless. For that matter, the FDA site in general has proven useful to me in the past.