A woman place a white bowl filled with meat into a microwave.

You already use a microwave to warm up a cup of coffee or zap a pizza slice for a quick snack. It's just as easy to cook a meal or defrost foods! To keep it simple and risk free, remember that microwaves are DIFFERENT from stoves or ovens. Read on to make sure you have the facts to make microwave cooking safe, fast, and easy.

Cooking and defrosting

  • CUT foods into equal sized pieces.
  • ROTATE foods to make sure they reach a safe temperature throughout.
  • COVER foods to hold in moisture.
  • STIR foods to move warmed foods to a cooler area in the center.
  • Let food REST 1-3 minutes after cooking. This 'standing' time allows food to finish cooking without overcooking the outer areas and allows food to cool.
  • When DEFROSTING foods, choose the lowest heat setting possible. Always cook food immediately after defrosting.

Cooking vegetables

  • To steam vegetables in the microwave, place washed and chopped vegetables in a microwave safe bowl or casserole with a little water.
  • Cover the bowl with microwave-safe plastic wrap, leaving one corner open to vent or cover with a not-too-tight lid. Microwave the vegetables on high.
  • The timing will depend on the vegetable:
    • Carrots: 4-6 minutes
    • Broccoli: 6-8 minutes
    • Green Beans: 3-5 minutes
    • Corn on the Cob: 6-7 minutes


Don't use anything plastic in the microwave unless it states it is safe for microwave use.

Metal and even some foods can cause sparking during cooking. Unplug the microwave immediately if this occurs and remove whatever caused the sparks!

Foods, liquids, and containers get HOT in a microwave - always use pot holders!

Microwaves can heat foods and liquids fast. Be careful not to overheat, otherwise erupting.

Featured Recipes

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