From grilled cheese sandwich, popovers to soup, cheddar cheese makes just abut everything taste better. Whether you are simply making a dip for chips or add a sauce to a dinner recipe, here is the ultimate guide to melt cheese in the microwave to reach creamy, stringy, and mouth-watering results.
Cheddar cheese is one fo the most popular type of cheese made from cow’s milk. It is a hard and natural cheese that has a slightly crumbly texture if properly cured and smooth texture when not fully aged.
Other than queso or sandwich, melting cheddar cheese in the microwave provide enhancements to your recipe ideas. Appetizers and entrees can benefit from a dose of liquid cheese, so how do you melt cheddar cheese in the microwave?
Shred cheddar cheese while it is cold, and then bring it to room temperature for about 20 minutes. Place it in a microwave-safe bowl, set the microwave on medium heat and nuke for 15 seconds. Stir the cheese and if needed add an extra 15 seconds to reach the desired melted consistency.
If a cheese grater is not handy, then you may also cut the cheese into cubes before melting it. However, try to cut the cubes as small as possible so it’ll melt more easily.
Is it safe to microwave cheddar cheese?
Microwaving cheddar cheese is actually the safe and easy ways to melt for sauce or cooking. It maintains the low heat for less than minute without going over the melting point compared to stove top method.
Use microwave-safe bowl and cover the dish with a vented lid to help speed the melting process. In addition, the lid helps retain moisture levels and prevents the cheddar cheese from drying out too quickly.
At what temperature does cheddar cheese melt?
The cheddar cheese is a low-moisture cheese that melts around 150 degrees Fahrenheit or 66 degrees Celsius. However, you will start seeing the solid cheese begin to soften at about 90 degrees Fahrenheit or 32 degrees Celsius.
The exact moisture content determines what temperature the cheese needs to melt. Cheese with high-moisture such as cream cheese or mozzarella liquify faster than hard cheeses.
The proteins are loosely packed with lots of water molecules inside the high-moisture cheeses. However, hard cheeses contain little water so they don’t completely become liquid when melted.
How do you melt block cheddar cheese?
If you do not own a grater, you will need to dice or cube the block of cheddar cheese in order to completely melt it. Break it down into small pieces before attempting to melt it in the microwave.
Irregular pieces will melt at different rates. It’s best to have uniform consistency so that the outside doesn’t melt first and then overcook, which will result in a lumpy or oily mess before the inside of the large pieces begins to melt.
The best method to melt block cheddar cheese is by cutting ½” or 1” cubes while the cheese is cold. Then, bring the pieces to room temperature before melting in the microwave.
Bringing the cheese to room temperature helps to reduce the disparity between refrigerator and melting point. In addition, you can avoid uneven melting inside and outside of the cheddar cheese block.
Sometimes, even with these method, the cheese won’t melt. Why is this happening?
Why is my cheddar cheese not melting?
Depend on the current temperature of the cheese and the method you choose, there are many variables that you need to address while melting cheddar cheese in the microwave.
Prepackaged shredded cheddar cheese is often coated with a powder like cornstarch or cellulose. The agents are added to prevent the grated cheddar cheese from clumping up, however they do not cooperate very well when melting in the microwave.
In addition, the cheddar cheese won’t melt in the microwave if the power power level and wattage are too low, especially if the temperature does not exceed the melting point.
Temperature plays big role when it comes to melting cheese, however, there is another factor you need to consider for cheddar cheese. Cheddar cheese have three different types of indication: mild, sharp, or extra sharp.
The amount of aging determines the level of sharpness, which also changes the moisture content and texture of the cheese. Mild and sharp cheddar cheese have much smoother and creamier texture than extra cheddar, which makes it easier to melt.
Things to know before melting cheddar cheese in the microwave
Melting cheddar cheese add a creamy delicious flavor to recipe ideas, but it’s not easy to keep the liquid consistency without separation or burning.
Here are additional resources and tips you need to know before melting cheddar cheese in the microwave:
- Know which type of cheddar cheese you are working with, generally labeled as mild, sharp, or extra sharp. The level of sharpness indicates how long the cheese has been aged. More heat is required to melt extra sharp cheddar versus cheese with less age like mild or sharp cheddar.
- Shred, dice or slice cheddar cheese while it is still cold. If you try shredding cheese when it is room temperature, you will end up with mush.
- If you have difficulty shredding the cheddar cheese, simply freeze the block for 10-30 minutes to harden the outside. The frozen outside of the cheese block will make it much easier to use the box grater.
- Avoid over exposure to heat. Overcooked cheddar cheese becomes greasy and rubbery.
- Use microwave-safe bowl instead of a plate. Once the cheddar starts to melt, it will run off the plate and make a leaky mess inside your microwave.
Using microwave to melt cheddar cheese is easy to do. Understand the difference between mild, sharp, and extra sharp cheddar cheese so that you can prevent clumps, lumps or burning.
Shred the cheddar while the cheese block is still cold, then allow the grated cheese to come to room temperature before microwaving. Use a microwave safe bowl, cover with a lid, nuke for 15 second increments and stir after each time period.
By following this microwave technique, you can successfully melt cheddar cheese in no time at all!