I cook my steaks with the microwave

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by i <3 vodka, Jun 22, 2008.

  1. i <3 vodka

    i <3 vodka

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    Apparently microwaves have a stigma attached to it in fine cooking and some even see using it for cooking steaks is a sin.

    Conventional cooking heats by conduction and the outside will always cook more than inside, but microwave energy can provide heating beneath the surface.

    Although some say microwaves cook from "inside out", this isn't quite correct. The penetration depth is something around 1.7cm (for residential 2.45GHz model, about 2-3 times deeper for 0.92 GHz industrial microwaves) and the microwave energy is reduced as you increase in depth. Shallower depth heats up more,however microwave heating below the surface as well.

    The idea is that microwave can cook the meat with lesser variation in doneness through the full depth. You can further reduce the temperature gradient by cooking at reduced duty cycle (the power setting does not actually reduce the power, but changes the amount of pause in between heating)

    I'll either pre-heat the meat in the microwave then finish on the Geroge Foreman grill, or I'll sear both sides on the GF grill first to seal the meat, then finish cooking the meat to desired doneness in the microwave. The surface finish is important in making the meat presentable, so microwave alone won't do it, however used in conjunction with G.F. grill, the outcome is completely fine for me. While microwaving I put the meat on the plate, then put the plate on an inverted bowl, so that microwave energy can access the bottom as well.

    What I get is meat that is adequately cooked in the center yet tender all the way to the surface.

    Using similar thickness and weight cuts, you can get the cooking time to exact science and get a very consistent result every time.

    Any other advocates for microwave assisted steak cooking?
     
  2. oregonyeti

    oregonyeti

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    For me, it would only be for reheating, but there's rarely any leftover steak here:D
     
  3. food-macro

    food-macro

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    Thats different iv herd of people who cook there meats with the microwave its alot easier thats for sure. i find that the microwave drys out food more times then not but meh "to each his own".
     
  4. siduri

    siduri

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    I think we have a difference in taste in general. I don't LIKE my meat to be cooked evenly all the way through. What i like in a steak is that the outside is seared (not for appearance but for taste) and a little crusty, and the inside is red and juicy.
     
  5. rpmcmurphy

    rpmcmurphy

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    time.

    most people use microwaves because of time.

    it doesn't take long to cook a steak in a pan and finish in the oven.

    it DOES take long to bake potatoes......so I usually throw them in the microwave first to start the process.

    Not sure what is gained from cooking a steak in the microwave....unless you don't have a stove/oven.
     
  6. teamfat

    teamfat

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    Microwave steaks? Can you get a decent Maillard reaction that way?

    mjb.
     
  7. maryb

    maryb

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    Microwave meat yuck!
     
  8. dc sunshine

    dc sunshine

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    My Brother-in-Law cooked a beef roast in a microwave - once- not a good result. Waste of a good joint.

    I do like microwaves for vegetables & defrosting. Don't think I'd cook a steak in there. Like Siduri, I love it crispy on the outside and still moo-ing on the inside :) Chicken can work well, steamed fish too, but it does take some getting used to. Great for warming up bread rolls. And mug of water for coffee in the morning when kettle takes waaaay too long. Also good for ready meals from a can when you got no time at all to cook. Gotta remember to cover the bowl tho - otherwise you'll be half an hour cleaning up the spatter and not have saved any time.

    And definitely not sauces, even the instant just add water and stir every 30 seconds ones - by the time you put it in, program it, take it out, stir sauce, reprogram it, put in back in and do this the recommended number of times - you could have done it in half the time on the stove top.

    Save your steak for the pan/grill.

    DC
     
  9. oregonyeti

    oregonyeti

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    I sometimes microwave fish--it comes out really good if you do it right. It's kind of like poached fish. Beef, no.
     
  10. siduri

    siduri

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    I think everything tastes poached or steamed in the microwave (though if yuo have one with a strong grill incorporated, i've been able to get relatively crusty chicken pieces and potatoes - when i'm in a real hurry. But i hate poached or steamed meat or fish, or am indifferent to it. I like the bit of charred flesh taste that enhances it. I once finished an undercooked chicken in the microwave, because it was late and thought, well, it';s crusty now, it will just cook inside. But it came out dry.
     
  11. rpmcmurphy

    rpmcmurphy

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    i melt chocolate pretty quick in the 'wave too..
     
  12. key

    key

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    I used to travel 30 miles for a cast iron fried steak.... Very different, but very good.
     
  13. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    In the culinary world an evenly cooked steak is not desirable. A proper steak is seared on the outside and tender on the inside. But to each his own. If some people get a kick out of boiling a steak in the microwave then heck do it! But stay away from my ribeye!

    I use the microwave only for reheating leftovers and boiling potatoes. They come out pretty well when I put them in a shallow bowl with a cup of water, pierce them with a knife, and microwave till done. They steam in the water.
     
  14. i <3 vodka

    i <3 vodka

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    I do sear it on the surface with the George Foreman grill. As far as the temperature gradient from inside to outside.

    If microwaves offered both the ability to change the actual power output, as well as the duty cycle(only latter is used on most microwaves) and you have much more control over temperature gradient form inside to out even though the cook time for desired result will take longer.

    When you reduce the power to 50% you're not changing the power, but pausing 50% of the time not to reduce the amount of heating, but to allow the heat to penetrate.

    With a good hardware and well programmed firmware you can have pretty good automated cooking programs.
     
  15. rpmcmurphy

    rpmcmurphy

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    George Foreman grill, to microwave....I'm just not sure where I see this as being easer and we ALL know it CERTAINLY won't taste better than a pan and an oven.....and you have even more to clean afterwards. I'm still trying to see the benefits of it, not that I'm doubting the possibility of it, but the benefits of it. I'd imagine it would even take longer in the 'wave.
     
  16. renhoek

    renhoek

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    If I were stranded on a desert island with a piece of ribeye and a microwave, I think I'd just eat the steak raw ;)
     
  17. maryb

    maryb

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    Raw is fine, toss me some salt, pepper, and garlic :lips:
     
  18. yorvo

    yorvo

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    A George Foreman grill and a microwave? Sounds like working hard to get out of work.
     
  19. i <3 vodka

    i <3 vodka

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    I don't have a grill and don't have a place for it :(
    Pan frying splatters oil and oven is slow..

    I can get it done less than 10 minutes
     
  20. oldschool1982

    oldschool1982

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    It's hard to reply to this without a certain amount of sarcasm. The first thing that comes to mind is WHY??????? 10 minutes to cook a steak is an average time and can be done on the stove top in a pan with little to no splatter if you; a) don't use a ton of butter/oil, b) trim the steak to an acceptable amount of excess fat and c) have a clue.

    In defense of a microwave (can't believe I'm about to do that.....) we actually own an Advantium. Added it to the kitchen because of counter space and not wanting to take up any. I also wanted a second oven so it made sense. Why not get a combination and just install it in place of a built in Microwave.

    The Microwave feature is used only for popcorn, reheating anything but meats, heating the occasional soup when you don't want to clean a pan and heating the DD's can of Chef Boy-ar-dee.

    The speed cook feature (microwave and UV light) has been used for biscuits, French fries and baked potatoes for dinner or potato salad. It does a decent job on all. Biscuits come out light, fluffy and browned, potatoes have a nice, crisp skin and fries are almost as good as being deep fried and all with out the extra energy costs and kitchen heat of using the oven.

    Yet the main uses of the Advantium are the convection cook and the hold features. We use it as out primary oven because of it's quick preheat time and as already mentioned because it doesn't use as much energy or throw a great deal of heat in the kitchen. The hold feature uses oven heat, no microwaves, to hold the food in 3 different temp ranges and in a crisp or moist setting . Works great when the dinner has to be held because we're running late.

    I hate to say it but any person that has respect for the food they cook, serve and eat, whether they be a Professional or home Cook, wouldn't use let alone publicly proclaim they cook their steaks and enjoy them from a microwave. But to each their own.

    Just goes to show what certain "mentalities" in our culture have created .

    IMHPO just boil the dang thing is salt water and call it done. It can be ready in 5 minutes and then there's no mess but from the water and pot it was boiled in. :confused: