From grilled cheese to chicken cheesesteaks, melted American cheese adds a mild creamy and salty flavor that is finger-licking goodness. Nuke your favorite kinds by following this ultimate guide to melt cheese in the microwave.
However, American cheese is slightly different than other types of cheese because it is actually a processed cheese that is made with cheddar, colby and similar cheeses. The cheese consistency is medium-firm with a low melting point.
Whether the American cheese is sliced, diced or grated, it will melt super easy in the microwave due to the low melting point.
The best way to melt American cheese in the microwave is to chop up 3 to 4 slices. Place the pieces in a microwave-safe bowl and add 1 tablespoon of milk. Microwave on high for 30 seconds and increase with 10 second increments until melted.
It’s also best to let the chopped cheese come to room temperature before heating. If you melt cold cheese in the microwave, it may melt slowly or unevenly.
What do you do if American cheese gets lumpy?
If American cheese gets lumpy while heating in the microwave, a small amount of acidic liquid like vinegar or lemon juice can help resolve the situation. In addition, wine or beer works great because it also adds a rich flavor that pairs well with cheese.
Looks like there are ways to solve the lumpy issue while melting American cheese. But, is microwaving American cheese safe to do?
Is it safe to put American cheese in the microwave?
Whether you melt American cheese for fries or mac and cheese, the microwave is a safe and easy method to make a gooey cheesy dip, sauce or spread.
It’s recommended to use a microwave-safe bowl with a closed lid. A microwave cover will help to trap in heat to melt cheese evenly and avoid any splattering that occurs from irregular heating.
Another way to safely melt cheese in the microwave is by constantly stirring. Heat in short 10 second increments, stir after each duration to keep the texture smooth and consistent.
Why American cheese melts well in the microwave?
American cheese is a process food that contains at least 51% natural aged cheese by weight. Processed cheese melts well because of the added acid and phosphates that bond to the calcium in the cheese mixture, which keep the milk proteins separate and help to avoid clumping. Furthermore, the chemicals bond water and casein proteins to make a smooth and molten liquid when above the melting point.
It’s exciting to work with liquified cheese that melts well in the microwave. Nuking in the microwave really shortens the cooking time and reduces the inevitable kitchen mess.
How long does it take for American cheese to melt in the microwave?
There is short window between melting and burning when microwaving cheese. Power level and cook time are the factors tat ultimately determine how long it takes to melt American cheese in the microwave.
American cheese starts to melt at 150 degrees Fahrenheit (66 degrees Celsius), which takes about 15 seconds to completely melt in a microwave.
Give or take depending on the temperature of the cheese before entering the microwave and microwave wattage, it may require a few extra seconds to fully liquify. So, increase with 10 second increments until fully melted.
Thing to know before melting American cheese in the microwave
Whether you have a slice or block of American cheese left in the fridge, it is great side kick to add on top of fries or tortilla chips to make a quick snack.
Easily liquify cheese spread and avoid unpleasant clumps in cheese dip with these essential tips to know before melting American cheese in the microwave:
- Dice, grate or slice your cheese prior to microwaving it. America cheese will melt quicker if its in small pieces.
- Let the cheese come to room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes before you melt in microwave.
- Use non-stick container that is microwave safe. Ceramic or glass bowls work as well, I recommend to spray the inside of the bowl with a non-stick spray before adding the cheese.
- Add a spoonful of cornstarch or evaporated milk to keep the cheese from separating too quickly.
- If the melted cheese is still lumpy, give a stir and return it to the microwave for additional 5 to 10 seconds.
American cheese can burn, dehydrate or separate, so use caution, stir often and do not overcook. Nuke for 15 second increments and stir after each interval for a molten hot melted cheese.
From summer BBQ side dish to lazy day cheesy dipping sauce, melted American cheese is a flavorful and mouth-watering addition many hot foods. Cut into little pieces and melt American cheese in the microwave with a touch of acidic liquid or milk to keep it lump-free.