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How to Microwave Carrots

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Do you know how to microwave carrots that taste so good? Raw carrots are easily microwaved without taking much time for a tender taste that retains the essential nutrients. 

Quickly microwave carrots for a healthy addition or side dish to any meal. They are sweet, savory and the perfect quick fix for any time of day.

How do you microwave carrots? To microwave carrots, wash and cut the carrots into a bite size. Add prepared carrots with a tablespoon of water inside a microwave-safe dish, cover the dish with lid and set the microwave on high for 3 minutes. 

Stir the carrots at the halfway point and continue nuking until the are completely tender.

Carrots are wholesome nutritious ingredients that are generally boiled, roasted, or steamed. 

This article explores why the carrots catch on fire in the microwave and also the best ways to microwave types of carrots from baby carrots to whole carrots to add to your diet. Covered below are the answers to frequently asked questions about the process or microwaving carrots the right way.

Is it safe to Microwave Carrots?

Microwaving carrots is safe when they’ve got adequate moisture. Thus, make sure to wash or add a tablespoon of water to the dish before microwaving. 

However, it must be noted that it is difficult to properly cook vegetables to an even and specific doneness level in the microwave, especially when compared to a steamer basket or roasting pan. 

Most people set the microwave timer and walk away. For best results, it is recommended to stop and stir the carrots ever 30 to 60 seconds to achieve even cooking throughout.

Microwaving is still the most commonly used technique, but strong argument is that simply steaming the carrots in a pan with water requires minimal clean-up afterward without the need for any special equipment. 

Regardless, whether you microwave carrots or use any other methods, all result in deliciously cooked carrots. Therefore, you will have to select the method you prefer.

Why do my carrots catch on fire in the microwave?

There have been incidents of carrots specifically catching fire while microwaving. The fire is caused due to the phenomenon known as “arcing.” 

Green beans, bell peppers, and kale are also prone to similar circumstances. Mineral and nutrient-rich foods, when cut up in little pieces, consumes varied amounts of electricity in the microwave that sometimes causes sparks.

High mineral volumes in vegetables is a major contributor to the sparks generated inside the appliance that cause fire. While all vegetables collect minerals from soil, root vegetables like carrots contain considerably more. 

With more minerals, there is a high chance of electrical charge in the environment. Carrots are an effective electricity conductors that acts like minuscule lightning rods under certain conditions while microwaving.

The solution to avoid microwave carrots fire is to top the carrot with a little moisture before microwaving as it is an extra dry environment that results in a high risk of fire. 

However, sparked carrots from a microwave are actually safe to eat. The flickered effect is caused by the minerals acting like small pieces of metal that bounce microwaves causing a flare up. 

After your carrots have been sparked or caught on fire, it is still edible but it won’t taste as good because they are not properly cooked. In addition, they may have a slightly burnt taste.

How do you soften raw carrots in the microwave?

The quickest and simplest way to soften raw carrots is by microwaving them. Prepare the carrots by rinsing, peeling, chopping them into bite-sized pieces. 

After prepping, transfer the raw carrots to a microwave-safe bowl or dish, add a tablespoon of water, cover the dish with a microwavable lid and nuke for 5 minutes until soft and tender.

Depending on the thickness of the carrots and the wattage of the microwave, you may need to adjust the cooking time. Thin sliced or small cubed carrots take about 3 minutes and thick strips of carrots may take 5 minutes in total for a 1000-watt microwave. 

In addition, pre-washed and bagged baby carrots are also simple to prepare and they are fiber rich and nutrient-dense. However, do not use the original plastic bag to cook in the microwave.

Softened carrots can be seasoned with a pat of butter, fresh herbs, pepper, and salt. They can also be mixed with marinade, dressing or with a favorite sauce.

Microwave whole carrots

Raw whole carrots take about 8 to 10 minutes to cook in the microwave while preserving flavor, color and soft texture. Microwaved carrots can be used like you would boiled carrots in your preferred recipe.

Scrub the whole carrots with a vegetable brush, and peel if desired. All you require is just a few tablespoons of water in the bottom of the dish, about half-inch depth in total. 

Place a loose cover of the top of the dish, and nuke for 2 minute increments until cooked to the desired doneness. This is a super easy recipe for any time when you’re looking to have an easy and quick side dish!

How to microwave baby carrots?

Microwaving baby carrots is simple and doesn’t take long compared to whole regular sized carrots. Though they are generally boiled, popping baby carrots inside microwave is also great when you need a quick side dish and healthy snack. 

To microwave baby carrots, place 2 cups of baby carrots, 4 tablespoons water and ¼ teaspoons of pepper and salt in a microwaveable container. Optionally you can use butter spray as well to enhance the taste.

  • Place the baby carrots inside a microwave-safe container with lid. Don not seal the lid unless it has venting holes that automatically release the steam. 
  • Add up to 4 tablespoons water and then loosely cover. 
  • Microwave for 5 minutes on a high power setting. 
  • Carefully lift the lid with an oven mitt facing away to let the steam out without burning your face. 
  • Test the tenderness by using a fork or paring knife for piecing carrots to check when the root vegetable is soft like desired. 
  • If needed, strain water, add butter spray and season with salt and pepper for tasting.

How long do you microwave carrots?

Microwaving carrots is mostly recommended when you’re short of time. It only takes 10 minutes or less to microwave carrots depending on the amount and the power of microwave. 

To reduce the cooking time, steam cook the carrots inside the microwave with a tablespoon or two of water for a coo time of 5 minutes. Also consider using 1 minute increments and taking 30-second breaks in between to gently cook the carrots with less power consumption. 

In the case of microwaving frozen carrots, you want to reheat the carrots for about 3 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 74°C or 165°F. This ensures that the perishable food is safe to eat according the the food safety guidelines established by the USDA.

The time might vary depending on the power consumption by your microwave.

  • For 400W to 500W, the microwave cook time is 5 minutes.
  • For 600W to 700W, the microwave cook time is 4 minutes.
  • For 800W to 900W, the microwave cook time is 3 minutes.

Tips to microwave carrots

Microwaving carrots is a quite simple task when done in the right way and not messing up. It isn’t necessary to boil or chop carrots beforehand as you can microwave whole carrots. 

Microwaved carrots turn really soft and they can be easily sliced through. Some essential tips are to use whole carrots, wash carrots, peel the carrots with vegetable peeler if desired and adding moisture to the microwaveable container before nuking.

Here are some more microwave tips to keep in mind while cooking carrots:

  • When cover with a loose lid to minimize steam escaping during cooking. The lid should not be locked in or airtight as steam could build up and cause the container to explode.
  • Glass and ceramic dishes are recommended for microwave cooking. 
  • Ziploc bags, Ziploc containers and Tupperware are not recommended for cooking at high heat as the plastic may warp or melt causing harmful chemicals to leach into the food.
  • If using microwave safe plastic wrap, make a small vent in the corner for steam to release so it won’t stay trapped in the container. 
  • A damp paper towel can also serve as a loose lid over the container.
  • Add small amount of water, around a half inch of depth, instead to boil the carrots so they cook extra quickly.
  • Use a microwave steamer to raise the carrots up out of water to solve any overcooked taste or texture issues.
  • If you are adding butter to taste, stop half way through cooking time to stir melted butter to coat the carrots all around. 
  • Do not rush to open the lid, let the carrots sit for 1-2 minutes to get additional cook time with the remaining heat and steam inside of the microwave safe container.

All the aforementioned tips are vital as they result in delicious tasting carrots made in a safe and less time-consuming manner. Although the prep part might get time-consuming, the effort starts to fade away when the carrots enter the microwave.

Best way to microwave carrots

Put pre-washed and trimmed carrots in a microwave safe container with a loose fitting lid over the top. Microwave for 3 minutes on high setting or until the carrots are soften enough to be able to poke through with a fork or toothpick.

  • Rinse raw carrots in cool water and lightly scrub them with vegetable brush. 
  • Peel carrots, if desired, and leave them whole, slice them ¼ inch wide pieces, dice, cut into thick sticks or whatever shape you are looking for.
  • Place the prepared carrots inside a microwave safe bowl.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of water for every cup of prepared carrots into the bowl.
  • Cover loosely with microwave-safe lid, paper towel or plastic wrap. If using plastic wrap, make sure it doesn’t touch the carrot to avoid melting onto the food.
  • Heat carrots with high power in microwave for 3 to 5 minutes, while stirring halfway through the cooking time.
  • Carefully remove the cover post-cooking, and stir the carrots once more to evenly distribute the heat.

Even if the carrots become overcooked after you microwave carrots, they’ll still taste delicious. For the recipe, you can use cut carrots, whole carrots or even baby carrots as they hardly require any prep time.

Microwaving Carrots: Conclusion

Anyone who loves eating cooked carrots but isn’t willing to cook them on stovetop can microwave them instead. Microwaving retains its sweetness and freshness, and it is a fast, simple and safe method of cooking. 

Always use a microwave safe bowl when cooking in the microwave oven. Glass and ceramic are generally safer than using plastic containers.

Microwaving carrots does require dampening with water to prevent the carrots from sparking and catch fire. Therefore, it is recommended to add couple of tablespoons of water and stir occasionally to avoid overcooked carrots from the heated water.

Carrots are root vegetables with plenty of nutrients, and based on the size and type the cooking time may vary. Overall, microwave cooking saves time and helps to avoid tons of tedious dishwashing.

Simply, trim and cut the carrots into desired size and set the microwave to start with 3 minutes and check to see if they are ready. If not, continue nuking for 30 second increments to find the perfect doneness for the planned recipe. 

Whether you want the carrots sprinkled with brown sugar, steamed, spicy, or sweet, microwaving carrots is the fastest and easiest cooking method! Follow the microwave tips shared above for the best results.