How to Brown Food in a Microwave Oven

The microwave is an easy, quick, convenient way to cook. Browning adds a little extra flavor and crispiness to some foods, especially meats, and can be done right in your own microwave. With the right knowledge and tools, you can quickly and perfectly brown foods you may not otherwise have taken the time to brown in the frying pan.


Coat the cooking surface with butter, margarine or non-stick cooking spray. This will prevent the food item from sticking to the surface. Sticking can interfere with the even browning of the food as well as ruin the integrity of the item by tearing it apart when you try and remove it from the cooking surface. Coating the cooking surface can also improve the quality of browning.

Prepare the food item. If you are cooking meat, apply a sauce, marinade or cooking spices, or if you are browning items such as pizza or sandwiches, applying a small amount of butter or margarine to the outside will help prevent bread items from drying out too quickly during the browning process.

Set the microwave on the highest power. Browning is a quick cooking method that is done at high temperatures for minimal time.

Set the microwave timer for a small increment of time. Depending on the type and amount of food you are browning and whether or not it has been previously cooked, the small amount of time may vary from as little as one minute up to two or three minutes. Using butter to brown vermicelli, a small-grain pasta, for example, takes about one minute. In addition, depending on how brown you would like your food, the cooking time may also vary.

Carefully watch your food while browning it in the microwave. There is a thin line between browning and burning and you have to be very vigilant in order to not cross that threshold. Although it is not optimal to stop and start the browning process, it is better to cook the food in small increments at a time to ensure the appropriate level of browned food.