Melted cheese makes everything so much better. But melting cheese smoothly for a sauce or a dip may be time-consuming if you do it on the stovetop. A quicker and easier way to melt cheese is by using the microwave.
How to melt cheese in the microwave? To melt cheese in the microwave choose a variety with good melting properties. Shred, grate, or cube the cheese before melting it. And for the best results, don’t over microwave the cheese.
This article is a comprehensive guide to melting cheese in the microwave. It includes everything from tips and tricks to step-by-step instructions for melting the most common types of cheese in the microwave.
Can You Melt Cheese In The Microwave?
One of the best ways to melt cheese is to do it on low heat using a double boiler. The slow melting process and steady temperature will melt the cheese evenly, resulting in a smooth consistency.
While this method for melting cheese works well, it does take a lot of time and attention.
Whenever you don’t have time to melt cheese using a double boiler, use the microwave to do it. Melting cheese in the microwave is a lot easier. Also, there is less cleaning to do when you are using only one bowl to melt the cheese in.
How To Melt Cheese In The Microwave? – Things You Should Know
Before you melt cheese in the microwave, here are a few important things to learn about.
Not All Cheeses Are Meant For Melting
When using the microwave to melt cheese, the most important thing you should know is that not every cheese melts well in the microwave.
Cheeses with low acidity and reduced moisture content melt best in the microwave. Aged and dry cheeses, on the other hand, don’t melt well.
Some of the best cheeses to melt in the microwave are cheddar, Velveeta, mozzarella, American cheese, and gruyere. Semi-soft cheeses like Havarti melt well in the microwave too.
Some cheeses don’t melt no matter how long you microwave them. They simply soften and become easier to use for sauces and dips. These include ricotta, feta, and cottage cheese.
Grated, Shredded, and Cubed Cheese Melts Better
To make the cheese melt more efficiently and quickly, always shred, grate, or cube it before melting.
Melting big pieces of cheese will require a lot of microwaving. By the time the big piece of cheese fully melts, the already melted parts may burn.
Pre-Shredded Cheese Doesn’t Melt Well
As we have just told you, shredded cheese melts a lot better than large pieces of cheese. However, this is not true for pre-shredded cheese.
Pre-shredded cheese that you get in stores is covered in various starches, as well as cellulose and natamycin.
These added ingredients prevent the cheese from melting smoothly. So, if you will be melting cheese, we highly recommend you shred your own cheese.
How Long To Melt Cheese In The Microwave
Generally speaking, melting cheese in the microwave takes about 2 minutes depending on the amount of cheese you are making and what cheese variety you are using.
Always microwave the cheese in short intervals to avoid burning it.
You can start by microwaving the cheese for 30 seconds. If you check the cheese and see that it needs more time in the microwave, nuke it for an additional 5-15 seconds and never longer.
Repeat as many times as needed until you achieve the perfect consistency.
What Is The Best Way To Melt Cheese In The Microwave?
As mentioned above, the smaller the cheese pieces the quicker they will melt, resulting in better texture and flavor.
For this reason, the best way to melt cheese in the microwave is by grating or shredding it first.
Here are detailed instructions for successfully melting cheese in the microwave:
- Choose a type of cheese that melts well.
- Grate or shred the cheese.
- Get a non-stick microwave-safe container and put the cheese into it. We recommend you use a ceramic bowl. You can spray the bowl with a non-stick spray before transferring the cheese into it. Doing this will prevent the cheese from sticking to the walls of the bowl.
- Add a small amount of cornstarch. Starch molecules added to the melting cheese absorb water and result in thicker melted cheese. At this point, you can also add a dash of evaporated milk to the cheese. Evaporated milk will prevent oil separation and will improve the consistency of the melted cheese sauce.
- Place the cheese in the microwave and melt it on high for 30 seconds.
- Remove the cheese from the microwave and give it a good stir. If there are still lumps in the cheese and it needs more melting, return it to the microwave for an additional 5-10 seconds or until the cheese is fully melted and smooth.
- Check the consistency of the cheese every 5 seconds to make sure you don’t overdo it.
How To Melt Cheddar Cheese In the Microwave
Cheddar is one of the best cheese varieties to melt. Here’s how to melt cheddar cheese in the microwave:
- Get mild or sharp cheddar cheese. Extra sharp and aged cheddars don’t melt well.
- Shred the cheese or cut it into small cubes.
- Put the cheese into a microwave-safe bowl.
- Microwave at reduced power for 15 seconds.
- Remove the cheese from the microwave, stir it, and put it back into the microwave for another 15 seconds.
- Repeat until the cheese reaches your desired consistency.
How To Melt American Cheese In The Microwave
American cheese is one of the fastest-melting cheese varieties. Here’s how to melt it in the microwave:
- Divide 3-4 slices of American cheese into quarters.
- Put the cheese into a microwave-safe bowl and add a splash of milk.
- Microwave on high for 30 seconds.
- Remove from the microwave, stir the cheese, and microwave for an additional 10 seconds if needed.
How To Melt Mozarella Cheese In The Microwave
When melting mozzarella cheese in the microwave, the most important thing is to choose the right mozzarella variety. Low-moisture mozzarella melts best.
To melt mozzarella cheese in the microwave, do the following:
- Shred the mozzarella cheese or cut it into small cubes.
- Put the cheese into a microwave-safe bowl.
- Add a tablespoon of milk and a small amount of starch to the cheese.
- Reduce the microwave power to 50% and microwave the mozzarella cheese for 30 seconds.
- After 30 seconds, take out the cheese and stir. If the cheese needs more melting, microwave for another 15 seconds or until the cheese is fully melted and smooth.
Can You Melt Cheese For Nachos In The Microwave?
You can make a delicious and rich cheese dip for nachos using the microwave.
Another thing you can do is to arrange the tortilla chips on a microwave-safe plate and top them with shredded cheese.
Microwave on high power for 1 minute. Then add the rest of your favorite nacho toppings and enjoy.
Can You Melt Parmesan Cheese In The Microwave?
Parmesan cheese doesn’t have high moisture and fat content which is why it won’t melt in the microwave in a creamy and smooth way.
The best way to melt parmesan cheese is to add it grated into hot sauces and liquids and stir.
But you can melt parmesan cheese in the microwave. People make edible cheese bowls and crisps by melting parmesan cheese in the microwave. Here’s how:
- Grate some parmesan cheese.
- Put parchment paper on a microwave-safe plate.
- Put the grated cheese on the plate. Flatten it and shape it into a circle.
- Microwave in 15-second intervals until the cheese is melted and slightly golden.
- Remove from the microwave and immediately transfer the parmesan sheet with the parchment paper onto an inverted bowl with the cheese side down.
- Place another bowl over the parchment paper and press to form the cheese into a bowl shape. Remove the bowls and the parchment paper when the cheese cools. And here you have an edible parmesan bowl made in the microwave.
Tips For Melting Cheese
Melting cheese in the microwave is easy and quick. But you may still come across some minor problems.
Here are three more tips you should know if you are going to use your microwave to melt the cheese.
Freeze The Cheese To Grate It Easily
Some cheese varieties may be difficult to grate. In such cases, wrap the cheese in food wrap and put it in the freezer for around 20 minutes.
It will harden and make grating the cheese easy. Once grated, allow the cheese to come to room temperature before you put it in the microwave.
Use An Acidic Ingredient
Adding an acidic ingredient to the shredded or grated cheese is another trick for achieving a smooth consistency. You can use a small amount of white wine, white vinegar, or lemon.
Wash The Bowl As Soon As Possible
Once you have transferred the melted cheese into a sauce cup or added it to the dish, take a minute to quickly wash the bowl you have melted the cheese in.
As the bowl cools and the cheese hardens, it may take you a lot of time and effort to wash the cheese off the bowl.
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