Conversion for microwave recipes to conventional oven

Updated February 21, 2017

When converting a microwave recipe for use in a conventional oven, there are several things to take into consideration. Cooking items in a conventional oven takes longer, and requires more cooking liquid and seasoning. Additionally, the food may dry out or burn more easily. Adjusting these aspects of the recipe can make converting it from a microwave to a conventional oven more likely to succeed.

Cooking time

Cooking time is a major consideration when converting a microwave recipe for the conventional oven. Generally speaking, it takes four times as long to cook a dish in a conventional oven as it does in a microwave. For example, if a microwave recipe calls for 15 minutes of cooking time, the dish will likely take about an hour in the oven. Steaming, poaching and stewing items may take less time in the oven, so keep an eye on those dishes. They may require only two to three times the amount of cooking time.

Cooking liquid

Cooking liquid evaporates much more slowly in a microwave than it does in a conventional oven. Because of this, microwave recipes usually call for about 75 per cent of the liquid that a conventional oven recipe would require. If a microwave recipe requires 240 ml (1 cup) of liquid, increase that cooking liquid to 320 ml (1 and 1/3 cups). Add more liquid to the dish as it cooks (about 60 ml or 1/4 cup at a time) if it appears dry.

Covering the dish

Items prepared in the conventional oven are more prone to drying out than those cooked in the microwave. It's best to cover dishes with an oven-safe lid or aluminium foil to lock in some steam and keep the top from burning before the rest is cooked.

Seasoning the recipe

Recipes tailored for the microwave tend to call for fewer seasonings than a conventional oven recipe because microwaving tends to increase the potency of salt and other seasonings. You may want to add a pinch of extra salt, pepper and other herbs and spices in the conventional oven recipe. Remember not to go overboard; you can always add more in the end, if necessary.

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