When you're in a hurry, you may not have time to cook your hamburger patties on the grill or in a skillet and might wonder if you can microwave your patties. Go right ahead: With a few simple tricks, you can microwave those burgers -- and even make them taste good.
Thaw the Patties
Microwave hamburger patties in a single layer on a defrost setting before you attempt to cook them. This will ensure that they are a uniform temperature. If you try cooking frozen patties on a regular temperature without thawing them first, the outsides will brown before the inside thaws. Aside from being unappetizing, failing to cook the hamburger all the way through can leave your family vulnerable to E-coli and other harmful bacteria. As long as you cook the patties to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit, they are safe to eat.
Remove Excess Mositure
Hamburger patties can fall apart as they cook in the microwave unless you take steps to prevent this. Take the patties off the plate you used to thaw them and place them on a new plate to prevent them from stewing in the pool of moisture left on the thawing plate. Gently pat the patties dry with a clean towel or dry paper towel.
Season the Patties
The appearance of food is just as important as its flavor, especially if you're serving the hamburgers to children. Seasoning the burgers with a dash of low-sodium soy sauce can darken them a little as well as add flavor. You can also add a little mild steak seasoning to give the burgers a more complex flavor. Make use of the interesting flavor combinations in dry salad dressing and seasoning mixes by sprinkling the dry powder onto the hamburger patties as you would use salt or pepper.
Use a Browning Plate
A browning plate is a lifesaver if you often cook meat in the microwave. This special plate heats up to sear meat in the microwave, much like a skillet. Read the instructions carefully before you use the plate to learn its correct use; some plates need to be preheated in the microwave for a minute or two. Use the browning plate for the actual cooking cycle after you defrost the patties .
Natalie Smith is a technical writing professor specializing in medical writing localization and food writing. Her work has been published in technical journals, on several prominent cooking and nutrition websites, as well as books and conference proceedings. Smith has won two international research awards for her scholarship in intercultural medical writing, and holds a PhD in technical communication and rhetoric.
Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images