If you are looking for a quick fix side dish or an addition to your main entree, try microwaving frozen carrots. No need to make meal prep chaotic, add frozen vegetable to your hearty recipes for a burst of flavor and extra nutritional value.
How do you microwave frozen carrots? Microwave frozen carrots by adding them to a microwave-safe plate and nuking on high for 2 to 3 minutes. If you add in a butter pat with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, the previously frozen carrots will taste delicious with minimal preparation.
Quite simply, microwaving retains the sweetness and freshness of the frozen carrots. After being microwaved, the carrots can be added to a soup, salad, dessert or any meal you have in mind; it is a quick way to get carrots done.
This article covers everything you need to know about microwaving frozen carrots. Covered below are helpful tips and microwaving hacks that will ensure your frozen carrots don’t turn into mush.
Do you have to cook frozen carrots?
Yes, frozen carrots have to be cooked. However, they have to be reheated to an internal temperature 165 degrees Fahrenheit to be considered safe to eat.
Since frozen carrots come in small sized pieces, they do not require vary much defrosting or need a lot of time cooking as well. Frozen carrots will defrost in about 15 minutes when left on the countertop at room temperature.
It is preferable to allow frozen to fully thaw before cooking. Slightly thawed carrots will retain the shape, taste and texture better than when completely frozen.
Are frozen carrots already cooked?
Frozen carrots are are blanched, or partially cooked. Blanching is a process of dipping the veggie in boiling water for a short time, then frozen for enzyme deactivation which impacts the texture and flavor.
Frozen carrots, and for that matter the majority of the frozen vegetables, are generally blanched. This is why they do not take as much time for cooking as fresh carrots.
When stored properly, frozen carrots sustain their quality to around 12 months within a freezer as the below zero temperatures stop the aging. Once removed for refrigeration and cooked, they should not be left out at room temperature for over 4 hours as food borne bacteria can develop quickly.
Frozen carrots grow bacteria from 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. This implies, they are a perishable food that needs minor reheating.
Is it OK to eat frozen carrots without cooking?
It is not recommended to eat frozen carrots without cooking. Even though frozen carrots are partially cooked, the USDA recommends that you heat frozen carrots to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit before eating.
Since carrots are blanched before freezing, they can be eaten after spending a little time defrosting outside of the freezer. They are considered a leftover food that has previously been cooked, therefore the USDA recommends that frozen carrot be reheated to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit beforehand.
To enjoy carrots in their crunchiness, thaw the frozen carrots before microwave. They cook faster compared to the raw carrots which are not cooked at all.
However, frozen carrots will not have the same texture as fresh ones irrespective of being blanched or not. The flash freezing expands water molecules which break cell walls inside the plant membrane.
Tips to cook frozen carrots in the microwave?
Frozen carrots can be thawed and cooked in a microwave. By following some handy tips, the cooking can be done effectively, easily, and quickly.
Tips to cook frozen carrots in the microwave are:
- Place the frozen carrots in a glass or ceramic casserole, or a microwave-safe dish covered with a lid.
- The container can be covered with microwave safe plastic wrap with a couple of piercings to let the steam out, however some people are hesitant about microwaving plastic in any form.
- A damp paper towel, upside down microwave safe plate or microwave cover will also work well over the top.
- Sprinkle a tablespoon or two of water on top of the carrots to make them soft while microwaving.
- Microwaving should be done on high power for around 2 to 3 minutes.
- If necessary, stir the carrots at the half way cook time and sprinkle another tablespoon of water to prevent the carrots from drying out.
- For added flavor, seasoning the top of the frozen carrots with a pat of butter, salt and pepper before nuking.
What is the best way to microwave frozen carrots?
The best way to microwave frozen carrots is to use a microwave-safe bowl with a lid over the top. Add the frozen carrots, a tablespoon of water and any seasoning your prefer. Nuke on high for 2 minutes, then stir the carrots and continue microwaving for 30 second intervals until cooked to your liking.
Follow these steps to microwave frozen carrots:
- Place the frozen carrots and add some water in a microwave-safe bowl.
- Cover this bowl with a microwave safe plate, microwave cover, a dap paper towel or use plastic wrap.
- Microwave for 2 minutes.
- Stir the carrots and nuke for another minute or until the carrots are fully reheated to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Carefully remove the lid from the dish, drain the water and serve.
Microwaving Frozen Carrots: Final Thoughts
Frozen carrots can be cooked in a microwave quickly and easily. Microwave frozen carrots by placing them in a microwave-safe bowl with a little water for around 2 to 3 minutes and they are ready to eat.
These tips include everything you need to gain the confidence to microwave frozen carrots.
Noteworthy to mention that frozen carrots are already cooked. They are blanched and flash frozen to maintain their bright color, taste and texture.
Frozen carrots are not a ready to eat food. Following proper reheating procedures before consuming helps reduce the risk caused by food borne bacteria.
When warming frozen carrots, it’s best to thaw them before microwaving. If the center of each piece is frozen, then the outside will overcook before the inside reaches the optimal internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Stick with using a microwave safe container, and keep the cooking time between 2-3 minutes. Time will vary based on the amount of carrots and microwave wattage.
There you have it! Use the information provided and microwaving tips to have a ready to eat side dish in just few minutes.