easy cooking: meals from the microwave
How This Microwavable Bacon Tray Can Help You Out
There are a few reasons why cooking on the stovetop might not work out. Maybe you’re short on time, or all of your burners are already occupied, or you only have access to a kitchenette with minimal appliances. Microwave cooking is a great alternative and a quick and simple solution for any meal, especially when you have the Zakwave microwavable bacon tray to help you out.
Stovetop bacon isn’t very complicated, but it can get messy when hot grease splatters out of the pan. The microwave alternative is just as straightforward, with just three steps (these microwave bacon tray instructions are based on a 1,000 watt microwave, and may need to be adjusted for different wattages):
- Lay out the bacon and cover it with a paper towel
- Microwave on high, 1 minute per strip of bacon
- If it’s not fully cooked, continue microwaving in 30-second increments
The paper towel catches splatters, so this method is ideal for beginner chefs who might be wary about a popping pan, and the raised ribs on the bacon tray allow grease to drain away from the food. It even has a wide rim that’s easy to grip, and a pour spout for the drippings—if you like to save your flavorful bacon fat to use in other dishes, there’s less worry over spilling it as you transfer it into your container. Designed with everyone’s favorite pork product in mind, this microwave bacon tray does its job well.
But this microwave tray is more than just a bacon cooker—it also works as a microwave steamer for vegetables and other foods. It’s faster than using a stovetop steamer and doesn’t require you to dig out an extra pot, which is handy when you’re only cooking for yourself. And despite the popular belief that microwaving food removes all nutritional value, this type of cooking has a shorter heat time and uses less water, which, according to this Harvard Health article, actually preserves nutrients best.
To use the tray for steaming, pour some water into the bottom—as long as you don’t submerge the elevated grill, it will keep your food from getting waterlogged and allow steam to circulate evenly. Then, lay out your food on top: a single layer works best, and all vegetable pieces should be chopped to about the same size. Since the tray doesn’t have a center handle like other steamers, you also have the space to cook larger items like fish fillets. Then, cover the tray (a domed lid is ideal for this, since plastic wrap marked microwave safe doesn’t account for the hot spots that form where it touches food), allow a small opening to vent, and microwave away. When it comes out, be careful as you open the cover, and direct the hot steam away from you to avoid burns. Once again, cook times will need some experimentation depending on the microwave and how small you cut each piece, but to get you started:
- It’s easy to tell when fish is done—start with 3 minutes for a thinner fillet and 5 minutes for a thicker one; check on it and add time in 20-second increments until the fillet is completely opaque. Leave the cover on for another minute or two, both to let it cool and for it to finish cooking under gentler heat.
- Try 5 minutes for sliced carrots; 4 minutes for asparagus; 3 minutes for broccoli, cauliflower, and green beans; continue microwaving in 30-second increments until done. Check tenderness with a fork to see if it slides in easily, and make sure to test pieces in different parts of the tray.
Aside from its use in cooking, this multipurpose tray can also contribute when it comes to kitchen prep. It’s oven safe up to 350 degrees, so set the oven to 200 degrees and use it to keep cooked food warm. Or, use it to catch drips as a meat defroster tray, either in the microwave or overnight in the refrigerator. Lightweight and brightly colored, it’s a cheerful addition to any kitchen, dorm room, or RV, and a wonderful way to make meals easier.
Love this bacon tray? Check out other colorful Zakwave dinnerware below!