Are you tired of spending hours in the kitchen preparing and cooking meals? Have you ever considered using your microwave to cook meat?
Specifically, have you ever thought about cooking pork belly in the microwave? It may sound crazy, but it’s actually possible!
In this article, we’ll explore the idea of cooking pork belly in the microwave and share some tips and tricks to make it a success. Whether you’re short on time or just looking for a new way to cook pork belly, keep reading to find out more.
Can You Cook Pork Belly In The Microwave?
The answer is yes, you can cook pork belly in the microwave. While it may not be the most traditional method of cooking, it’s a quick and easy way to prepare this delicious cut of meat.
One method involves lightly scoring the skin and rubbing it with rock salt before placing it in the fridge for six hours. Then, preheat your microwave to 200°C using the convection setting. Place the pork belly on a wire rack and rest it on a metal tray. Pour boiling water directly over the pork belly and fill the tray with 2 inches of water. Place the metal tray carefully in the lower shelf position with the belly on the wire rack in the middle shelf position. Cook on the convection setting at 200°C for 20 minutes, then lower the temperature to 160°C and cook for another three hours. If at the end of cooking, the skin needs more crisping, cook on the grill setting for a further 5-10 minutes.
However, if you have a basic microwave without a shelf option or metal tray, you can still cook pork belly in the microwave. Simply place it on a raised microwavable dish, season with salt and pepper after scoring lightly to encourage the skin to crisp up nicely. Add some water to the tray underneath where your pork belly is resting. If you have a combination microwave, you can cook on convention settings for 20 minutes. If you have a standard microwave, cover your pork in wrap and cook on low power for a few minutes at a time, turning frequently to ensure even cooking.
The Benefits Of Cooking Pork Belly In The Microwave
Cooking pork belly in the microwave has several benefits. Firstly, it’s a quick and convenient method of cooking, taking only a fraction of the time it would take to cook in an oven or on a stovetop. This makes it ideal for those who are short on time but still want to enjoy a delicious meal.
Secondly, when cooked properly in the microwave, the pork belly will come out juicy and tender. Unlike other cooking methods that may dry out the meat, microwaving allows the pork belly to retain its moisture and flavor.
Thirdly, pork belly is a great source of nutrients, including B vitamins, vitamin E, zinc, iron, and copper. While it is high in calories and fat, it is also very low in sodium. By cooking pork belly in the microwave, you can retain these nutrients while also enjoying a delicious meal.
Finally, microwaving pork belly allows for versatility in flavoring. While the flavor of the meat may not be enhanced as it is with other cooking methods, pork has the ability to absorb flavors. This means you can experiment with different herbs, spices, and other flavorings to create a unique and delicious dish.
Choosing The Right Cut Of Pork Belly For Microwave Cooking
When selecting pork belly for microwave cooking, it’s important to choose a good cut that will cook evenly and produce tender and flavorful meat. Look for pork belly that is meaty but has an even marbling of fat. This will help the meat to cook evenly and avoid any tough or chewy texture. Additionally, it’s recommended to choose uncut rather than sliced meat if you plan to smoke or cure the pork belly at home to make your own bacon. Slices will cook all the way through in the microwave rather than become cured and flavored. However, if you plan to cook the meat without smoking it, choose sliced meat.
One great indicator of the quality and freshness of your pork belly is its color. A nice, white color for the fat of the pork belly is a good sign of freshness, while yellow or greying fat can mean a more worn and old meat cut. It is also ideal that you get even amounts of flesh and fat in your pork belly. If you can, try to look for one with equal parts of these two. Additionally, look at the width of layers of fat between the muscles. This should benefit you largely later on when you cook a good pork belly cut with a little bit of the tenderness of the fat, as well as the thick texture and flavor of the flesh part.
Preparing The Pork Belly For Microwave Cooking
Before cooking pork belly in the microwave, it’s important to prepare it properly. One method involves lightly scoring the skin with a sharp knife, making criss-cross inserts. Then, rub the pork belly with rock salt and place it on a tray before cling filming and placing it in the fridge for six hours. This helps to dry out the skin and make it crispy when cooked.
If you have a basic microwave without a shelf option or metal tray, you can still prepare the pork belly for cooking in the microwave. Simply place it on a raised microwavable dish and season with salt and pepper after scoring lightly to encourage the skin to crisp up nicely. It’s also recommended to add some water to the tray underneath where your pork belly is resting. This helps to keep the meat moist while it cooks.
When cooking pork belly in the microwave, it’s important to ensure that the meat is cooking evenly. If you have a combination microwave, you can cook on convention settings for 20 minutes. If you have a standard microwave, cover your pork in wrap and cook on low power for a few minutes at a time, turning frequently to ensure even cooking.
Cooking Pork Belly In The Microwave: Step-by-Step Guide
Cooking pork belly in the microwave may seem like an unconventional method, but it’s actually quite simple. Here’s a step-by-step guide to cooking pork belly in the microwave:
1. Score the skin of the pork belly lightly with a sharp knife, being careful not to cut into the meat.
2. Place the pork belly on a raised microwavable dish and season with salt and pepper.
3. Add some water to the tray underneath where your pork belly is resting.
4. If you have a combination microwave, you can cook on convention settings for 20 minutes. If you have a standard microwave, cover your pork in wrap and cook on low power for a few minutes at a time, turning frequently to ensure even cooking.
5. Check the microwave settings to make sure you’re cooking at the correct temperature and time.
6. If you want crispy skin, remove the pork belly from the microwave and flash fry it skin side down in a pan until crispy.
7. Let the pork belly rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving.
Cooking pork belly in the microwave is a quick and easy way to prepare this delicious cut of meat. Whether you have a combination or standard microwave, you can still achieve great results by following these simple steps.
Tips And Tricks For Perfectly Cooked Pork Belly In The Microwave
Cooking pork belly in the microwave can be a bit tricky, but with the right tips and tricks, you can achieve perfectly cooked pork belly that is juicy and tender. Here are some tips to help you get the best results:
1. Use a microwave-safe dish: It’s important to use a dish that is safe to use in the microwave. Avoid using metal dishes or dishes with metallic accents as they can cause sparks and damage your microwave.
2. Score the skin: Scoring the skin of the pork belly will help it crisp up nicely. Use a sharp knife to score the skin every 1/2-inch at a diagonal, cutting through the skin and into the fat, but not so deep that you hit meat. Repeat cutting in an opposite diagonal to create a diamond shape pattern.
3. Season well: Season your pork belly with salt and pepper or any other herbs and spices you prefer. You can also add some liquid, such as soy sauce or apple cider vinegar, to enhance the flavor of the meat.
4. Cook on low power: Pork should be microwaved at a medium to low setting, with larger cuts being cooked at a lower setting than smaller cuts to allow the heat to penetrate into the center of the cut without overcooking the outer layers. Avoid cooking on high settings as it can cause the meat to become tough.
5. Turn frequently: Turn your pork belly frequently during cooking to ensure even cooking. This will prevent any parts of the meat from becoming overcooked or undercooked.
6. Let it rest: After cooking, let your pork belly rest for a few minutes before slicing it. This will allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, making it juicier and more flavorful.
By following these tips and tricks, you can cook perfectly cooked pork belly in your microwave in no time!
Serving Suggestions And Recipe Ideas For Microwave-Cooked Pork Belly
Once you’ve mastered the art of cooking pork belly in the microwave, you may be wondering how to serve it. Here are some serving suggestions and recipe ideas to inspire you:
1. Pork Belly Bao Buns: Slice the cooked pork belly into thin strips and serve with steamed bao buns, pickled vegetables, and hoisin sauce for a delicious Asian-inspired meal.
2. Pork Belly Tacos: Shred the cooked pork belly and serve in warm tortillas with guacamole, salsa, and cilantro for a tasty and easy taco night.
3. Pork Belly Fried Rice: Chop the cooked pork belly into small pieces and add it to your favorite fried rice recipe for a flavorful twist on this classic dish.
4. Pork Belly Ramen: Slice the cooked pork belly into thin strips and add it to your favorite ramen recipe for a hearty and satisfying meal.
5. Pork Belly Salad: Serve sliced pork belly over a bed of mixed greens with sliced avocado, cherry tomatoes, and a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette for a fresh and healthy meal.
6. Pork Belly Sandwich: Layer sliced pork belly on your favorite bread with lettuce, tomato, and mayo for a delicious sandwich that’s perfect for lunch or dinner.
No matter how you choose to serve it, cooking pork belly in the microwave is a quick and easy way to prepare this flavorful cut of meat. So why not give it a try and see what delicious dishes you can create?