Food Characteristics Cooking Techniques

Bone and Fat

Both bone and fat affect cooking. Bones may
cause irregular cooking. Meat next to the tips of
bones may overcook while meat positioned
under a large bone, such as a ham bone, may
be undercooked. Large amounts of fat absorb microwave ener-
gy and the meat next to these areas may overcook.


Porous, airy foods such as breads, cakes or
rolls take less time to cook than heavy, dense
foods such as potatoes and roasts. When
reheating donuts or other foods with different
centers be very careful. Certain foods have
centers made with sugar, water, or fat and
these centers attract microwaves (For example, jelly donuts).
When a jelly donut is heated, the jelly can become extremely
hot while the exterior remains warm to the touch. This could
result in a burn if the food is not allowed to cool properly in the


Two potatoes take longer to cook than one potato. As
the quantity of the food decreases so does the cook-
ing time. Overcooking will cause the moisture content
in the food to decrease and a fire could result. Never
leave microwave unattended while in use.


Uniform sizes heat more evenly. The thin
end of a drumstick will cook more quickly
than the meaty end. To compensate for
irregular shapes, place thin parts toward the
center of the dish and thick pieces toward
the edge.


Thin pieces cook more quickly than thick

Starting Temperature

Foods that are at room temperature take less time to
cook than if they are chilled, refrigerated, or frozen.


Foods with skins or membranes must be
pierced scored or have a strip of skin
peeled before cooking to allow steam to
escape. Pierce clams, oysters, chicken liv-
ers, whole potatoes and whole vegetables.
Whole apples or new potatoes should have
a 1-inch strip of skin peeled before cooking. Score sausages
and frankfurters. Do not Cook/Reheat whole eggs with or with-
out the shell. Steam build up in whole eggs may cause them to
explode, and possibly damage the oven or cause injury.
Reheating SLICED hard-boiled eggs and cooking SCRAM-
BLED eggs is safe.


Foods will not have the same brown appearance
as conventionally cooked foods or those foods
which are cooked utilizing a browning feature.
Meats and poultry may be coated with browning
sauce, Worcestershire sauce, barbecue sauce
or shake-on browning sauce. To use, combine
browning sauce with melted butter or margarine and brush on
before cooking.
For quick breads or muffins, brown sugar can be used in the
recipe in place of granulated sugar, or the surface can be
sprinkled with dark spices before baking.


Individual foods, such as baked potatoes, cup-
cakes and appetizers, will cook more evenly if
placed in the oven equal distances apart.
When possible, arrange foods in a circular pat-
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