Food Preparation Coverings Use in Microwave

The following is a list of products that can be used to cover foods for microwave cooking:

  • Paper towels allow steam to escape while they promote even heating and prevent spatters. Use paper towels to cover foods like bacon and sandwiches. Check the paper towel label or the manufacturer's information regarding use in the microwave. Some paper towels made with recycled paper contain particles of metal, which may cause arcing or ignite. Paper products containing nylon or nylon filaments should also be avoided as they may ignite.
  • Waxed paper holds in heat for faster cooking without steaming the food. It is used to cover some fruits and meats, such as chicken, hamburgers or roasts. These foods typically do not need steam for tenderizing. The convection fan in over-the-range convection microwaves can blow the wax paper off of the food. Cut the wax paper large enough to tuck under the dish or use plastic wrap in these models.
  • Plastic wrap holds in steam and heat. Turning back one edge to act as a vent allows excess steam to escape. Use plastic wrap to cover vegetables and fish. Use caution when removing the plastic wrap to avoid burns from the steam.
  • Glass covers can be used instead of plastic when microwaving vegetables, casseroles and meats that require moisture and steam to tenderize them. Use caution when removing the glass covers to avoid burns from the steam.
  • Microwave cooking bags or boil-in-bags hold in maximum moisture, prevent spattering, provide even heat distribution, and help retain juices in the food. Use caution when opening the bags to avoid burns from the steam.
  • Storage bags should be used for re-heating or minimal cooking. They will retain moisture and prevent drying. These types of bags can melt at a high temperatures.
  • Foil is used only to shield areas of meat that are sufficiently cooked. Use foil sparingly, covering only the small areas that have cooked before the larger areas, for example, the legs of a chicken or turkey