Using a microwave can help you quickly and easily heat up your food. However, the method for reheating meat and meat dishes in a microwave does vary depending on the meat – reheating chicken in a microwave can differ from reheating a steak or meatloaf.
Food Safety When Microwaving Meat
Reheating meat in a microwave is fairly simple. All you need to do is place your meat on a microwave-safe plate, add a small amount of water or other liquid, and cover the dish with plastic wrap. You may need to rotate or stir your food halfway through the heating process in order to evenly heat up the meat.
The meat you're reheating has already been cooked, so you don't need to worry too much about foodborne bacteria such as salmonella. Most of these bacteria should have been eliminated in the original cooking process, as long as the meat was thoroughly cooked first time.
The USDA says that beef, pork, lamb and veal should have been cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit, while ground meat needs to be cooked to 160 degrees F. Poultry, including ground poultry, ought to be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 F.
However, regardless of whether you're reheating chicken or steak in the microwave, leftovers should be heated to an internal temperature of 165 F. Ready-to-eat foods such as hot dogs and ham should be cooked until they begin steaming. The USDA recommends using the lower heat settings on your microwave for a longer time in order to prevent your meat from becoming tough or rubbery,
Reheating Steak in the Microwave
Reheating steak in the microwave can be a bit more complicated than reheating other meats. This is because whole steaks are fairly large pieces of meat. It can be challenging to evenly heat large pieces of meat in the microwave.
If you want to reheat steak in the microwave, you have two options. The easiest and best way is to reheat sliced steak. Slicing your steak (and consequently reheating smaller pieces) makes it easier to reheat evenly. This, in turn, means that your meat will be safe to eat.
If you prefer to reheat steak in the microwave without slicing it, make sure that you use a medium heat for a longer period of time in order to achieve the appropriate internal temperature. If you use a high heat, it's likely to heat the outside of your steak but not the inside. This will result in the outer edges of your steak being overcooked.
Make sure you let the steak rest once you've finished heating it in the microwave. You should only check the internal temperature of your steak after this period. The USDA says that the internal temperature of meat can still increase throughout the resting time, which means that this period plays an important role in food safety.
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