Since microwave ovens have become a food-heating alternative, it has become more popular to also cook food in plastic containers. There is a lot of talk about cooking with plastic in the microwave being unhealthy. It is safe to cook or reheat food in these containers if certain guidelines are followed. Everything you need on how to quickly heat up your meal in the microwave without endangering your health, is covered in the material below.
You will need:
- Food grade plastic containers
- Microwave-safe plastic wrap
- Plastic freezer bags
- Stock or broth (optional)
Step 1: Make sure all plastic containers used to store food are designated as food grade. These containers meet the chemical composition and melting point standards issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Step 2: Once a non-food item has been stored in a plastic container, the container should never be used for cooking or food storage.
Step 3: Food grade plastic containers used in the microwave should be intended for cooking and be microwave safe. When heat is applied to containers that are not microwave safe or food grade, chemicals are extracted from the plastic and these transfer to food. The melting point of microwave safe plastic containers is much higher than plastic containers of other types.
Step 4: Use caution when determining which food items to cook within plastic containers. The composition of food-grade plastic can be permanently altered by oil-based substances and fats. When plastics are exposed to heat, they take up fats. This makes the containers hard to clean.
Step 5: Midway through cooking, stir the food and then rotate the container 180 degrees if the microwave does not contain a spinning plate. Microwaves are known for not evenly heating food.
Step 6: For low-temperature cooking, use freezer bags. Add enough water to a pot to submerge the bag. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of cooking liquid like broth, stock, or water to the bag. Seal the bag containing the food and liquid, leaving ½ inch of the seal open. Leave the unsealed corner above the water but submerge the rest of the bag in the water. Remove as much air as possible from the bag, then fully seal the bag before beginning the cooking.
Step 7: Plastic wrap can also be used for low temperature cooking. Roll the food in the plastic wrap, covering it several times and keeping as much air out as possible. Tightly twist the ends of the wrap and tuck them under the food. Repeat this process three or four times. Place the wrapped food in a pot filled with water and begin cooking. Plastic wrap should never be exposed to temperatures over 212 degrees Fahrenheit.