From macaroni noodles to crunchy tortilla chips, silky smooth and creamy melted cheese is a flavorful addition that makes dreamy meals come to life. Whether you are preparing easy snack ideas or quick dinner plan, what is the best way to melt cheese in the microwave?
Based on age, moisture and acidity level, each kind of cheese has a different melting point to change from solid to liquid. Consider the difference between cheddar cheese, feta cheese and fresh mozzarella, every cheese reacts differently to heat and some cheeses need more attention than others.
When melting cheese in the microwave, it’s generally best to grate, shred, cube or slice to expose more surface area and reduce the amount of cook time so that the cheese melts quickly without burning. Transfer into a microwave-safe bowl or container and nuke for 15 second intervals on medium power level.
Grating, shredding, slicing and dicing cheese is not very easy when the curds have already come to room temperature. Simply place in the freezer for 20 minutes and use the grater box to ease the process without having clumps and chunks.
Having already prepared small pieces cheese, can you microwave cheese safely?
Is it safe to melt cheese in the microwave?
Heating cheese in the microwave is actually the safest and easiest method to melt cheesy toppings, spreads or dipping sauces.
Cheese often comes in one-time use disposable plastic containers. They are good for packaging and preserving long lasting shelf life, but the throwaway receptacle cannot withstand high heat.
To safely melt the cheese in the microwave, transfer the cheese to a microwave-safe container and remove any original packaging.
Can you microwave cheese?
To melt the cheese in the microwave, you have to acknowledge the difference between each cheese based on size, shape, amount, age, melting point, and moisture level. As you can see, not all cheese will melt the same exact way.
Here is the ultimate guide for cheese melting in the microwave. The instruction are include how to melt cheese in the microwave so that you can use it in your favorite recipes:
- Shredded Cheese: Avoid extreme heat when melting shredded cheese in the microwave, otherwise it will become rubbery or greasy. At 90 degree Fahrenheit, the shredded cheese will begin to soften and the proteins breakdown to become a thick liquid. About 15 seconds with medium heat should be enough to melt grated cheese.
- Velveeta Cheese: Looking for the best cheese to melt very quickly in the microwave without much of help? Then melted Velveeta cheese is your answer! For best results, make sure to cut the block into small pieces that are less than 1” cubes. Place in a bowl that is microwave-safe and nuke for 15 seconds intervals to completely melt.
- American Cheese: For best results, melt American cheese in the microwave by reaching 150 degree Fahrenheit in about 15 seconds. If the cheese gets lumpy, add a small amount of an acidic ingredients such as vinegar or lemon juice to avoid the clumps.
- Cream Cheese: In order to melt cream cheese for your recipe, use microwave-safe bowl and set on high power for 15 seconds. The cheese will start melting at 90 degrees and completely melt at 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Instead of spoon, use a whisk to stir so that you avoid lumps.
- Cheddar Cheese: Freeze the cheddar block for about 20 minutes to easily grate or shred the cheese. Then bring it to room temperature before melting cheddar cheese in the microwave. Heat to 150 degrees Fahrenheit and the cheese will completely melt.
- Mozzarella Cheese: Always go with shredded mozzarella cheese to melt in the microwave efficiently. Set a medium heat setting about 50% and microwave for one minute at a time. The mozzarella will reach the melting point at 130 degrees Fahrenheit, so make sure to stir well to achieve an even temperature throughout the dish.
- Feta Cheese: Even though feta cheese is not ideal to melt, use a microwave-safe container and add a little cornstarch and evaporated milk for a lump-free result. Melt on medium power for 15 seconds to get a smooth texture that holds its shape.
- Gouda Cheese: Remove the wax coating before melting gouda cheese in the microwave. For consistent flavor, set the power level to medium and nuke for 15 seconds at a time until you see the cheese start melting. Fresh gouda cheese melts better, in contrast aged cheese have less moisture and won’t melt as well.
- Cottage Cheese: To melt cottage cheese in the microwave, you’ll need a pat of butter or spoonful of oil to make a saucy and thick liquid. Low fat cottage cheese may not melt very well and will require frequent mashing to remove the lumps while microwaving.
- String Cheese: Always pull the cheese sticks into thin strips in order to successfully melt string cheese in the microwave. It tastes best when consumed as to-go snack. But if you are planning to melt string cheese on top of chips or make mozzarella sticks, go ahead and microwave on high for 15 second intervals and flip each time until the cheese becomes soft.
Cheeses do not all come with one melting instructions that fits all. You may use this general guide to melt cheese in the microwave, however you may need to adjust on the fly to avoid dealing with lumpy, separated, stringy or overcooked cheese.
How long do you need melt cheese in the microwave?
Be cautious when melting cheese in the microwave. Microwaves heat up quickly, produce uneven heat spots and overcook food in the blink of an eye.
For best results, start on medium power level, nuke for 15 seconds increments and stir to evaluate the perfect melting point. Depending on factors like amount, shape, size and type of cheese, you may need more or less time.
Stir well, but do not over mix to make the desired consistency. Furthermore, the temperature of cheese before placing in the microwave plays a role in the length of heating time.
- Change the microwave power setting to medium heat level, about 50% for all cheese.
- If the melted cheese still has clumps, give a quick stir and add 5 to 10 seconds of additional cook time.
- Avoid over exposure to heat. This may result in a rubbery and greasy cheese melt.
- Don’t serve cool melted cheese. Once the cheese cools down, the cheese start firm up and change texture.
- Avoid using reduced fat cheese or vegan cheese, they do not melt as well as full fat cheese in the microwave.
Make sure to use a microwave safe bowl, adjust the power setting and add the correct amount of time to melt the cheese in the microwave. The size, shape and amount of cheese you are melting can change the amount of cook time, but start with medium heat and short time intervals to succeed.
Things to know before melting cheese in the microwave
Whether you have multi-featured or rotating plate microwave, sometimes not all cheese can be melted same way and comes out all cheesy sauce.
For more additional information, here are things you need to know before start microwaving cheese to melt for your meal:
- Use microwave-safe bowl instead of plate. It will keep the goopy liquid in place and make it easier to manage the mess when melted.
- Do not over-mix. Stirring too much can actually make the proteins clump together and become stringy.
- Blend the cheese with a spoonful of milk or cream to speed up the melting process.
- For every 8 ounces of cheese, increase the total microwave time 10 seconds longer.
- Aged cheese does not melt well. Avoid using aged cheese in melting recipes.
Drizzling melted cheese over the top of nachos or steamed vegetables make it taste so much more delicious. Make sure to adjust the power setting and select the right cheese to melt with.
Adjust the microwave power level to medium heat, use a microwave safe bowl, nuke for 15 second increments and stir gently after each duration. Repeat the process until you reach the liquified consistency that you desire.
The time it takes to melt cheese in the microwave can be affected by factors like amount, type and shape. Bring the cheese to room temperature before nuking to reduce the wide range between the fridge and the melting point.