Is it advisable to keep the lid on or off the food container while microwaving?

March 12, 2024 | 05:09 pm PT
My family practices removing the lid from the food container before microwaving it. Is this the correct approach? (Lien, 35, Hanoi)


The primary purpose of a microwave is to warm up food. Certain meals require no stove preparation and can be heated directly in the microwave, ready for consumption. Microwaves are valuable for their ability to conserve both time and energy in the kitchen.

A microwave in a kitchen. Illustration photo by Unsplash

A microwave in a kitchen. Illustration photo by Unsplash

It's common for many households to microwave food uncovered. However, it's actually more beneficial to cover food while microwaving, as it significantly impacts the food's quality. Uncovered food in the microwave might suffer changes in density, texture, moisture content, and how heat is distributed. Exposing food without a cover can lead to moisture loss, resulting in drier food. A cover or wrap over the food container, even a light one, aids in uniform heating and enhances flavor.

Moreover, covering food addresses cleanliness and health safety by keeping the microwave's interior clean and shielding the food from potential bacteria within the microwave. It also minimizes the hazard of food splattering or exploding in the microwave, which poses a safety risk.

Dr. Nguyen Duy Thinh

Former member at the Institute of Food Technology and Biotechnology, Hanoi University of Science and Technology

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