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Cheap heats: microwave cooking tips to save you time and money – The Guardian

Microwaves have long been associated with drab 1980s cooking, unsightly additions to home kitchens and unhealthy ready meals. But with energy costs soaring, they are sparking increasing interest for their ability …….

Microwaves have long been associated with drab 1980s cooking, unsightly additions to home kitchens and unhealthy ready meals. But with energy costs soaring, they are sparking increasing interest for their ability to cook food efficiently – and cheaply.

Recent research by the energy company Utilita suggests that microwaves are the cheapest way to cook, costing only 8p a day to use, or £30 annually, compared with 33p a day to run a gas cooker, adding up to £120 over 12 months, based on an estimated daily use of 43 minutes.

So what are the best dishes to make in a microwave?

Vegetables

Vacuum-sealed vegetables can be cooked in the bag using a microwave. Photograph: Reinis Bigacs/Alamy

Microwaving vegetables in a vacuum pack is one of the healthiest ways to eat them as well as the best way to ensure they cook evenly, according to the chef Jonny Marsh (@chef_jonnymarsh), who has worked with Panasonic as well as being a personal chef to Premier League footballers.

To prepare meals, he recommends purchasing a roll of vacuum packs (available on Amazon) and setting all your raw vegetables – for instance sliced carrots, broccoli or green beans – out for the week.

If you remove all the air the prepared vegetables will keep in the fridge for a week, and you can pull a pack out every time you have a meal. Put the un-pierced bag into the microwave, and one minute 30 seconds later your meal is done.

“I’m pretty lazy, I’ve done this for years,” he says, adding that pre-packed veg is especially welcome after a long shift.

If you cannot get a hold of vacuum packs, you can also microwave vegetables in a bowl with a little water.

Jacket potatoes, one of the most popular microwave meals, take just 10 minutes to cook in a microwave compared with 90 minutes in an oven. Just pierce them with a fork first and add toppings afterwards.

Meat, fish and eggs

Fish cooks “extremely well” in a microwave, according to the author of Microwave Mug Meals, Theo Michaels (@theocooks). If you cover it with clingfilm or a plate, fish will steam itself, emerging “soft, succulent and cooked in literally a couple of minutes”, he says.

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Source: https://www.theguardian.com/food/2022/aug/30/cheap-heats-microwave-cooking-tips-to-save-you-time-and-money

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