10

When I put a burrito in the mirowave, (I put a paper towel around it), it comes out with the middle frozen. I need a way to prevent this.

So far, I have tried:

  • Heating them up longer, making them hotter.

This failed because the edges of the burrito exploded and got sauce all over my hands.

  • Using 2 layers of paper towel.

This made it worse.

Also, it doesn't matter how long it takes.

I am having beef burritos that came in a package.

  • How long do you have? – J. Musser Dec 22 '14 at 23:44
  • Is it a leftover or did it come in a package? – michaelpri Dec 22 '14 at 23:45
  • 1
    Use a real oven? – Kevin Dec 23 '14 at 0:21
  • Don't eat it the second it's finished cooking? In my experience, letting them rest for a minute or few evens out the temperature (so instead of lava/frozen, you get hot/hot). – TIO Begs Dec 23 '14 at 13:46
  • If its a leftover burrito, try heating it in an electric pan/skillet, medium temperature, flip it every 2 minutes. Thank me later. – Just Do It Nov 19 '15 at 16:17

10 Answers 10

17

Not sure if this is a life-hack answer but...

Just cook it at a lower power setting for a little longer. For instance rather than 3 minutes on high, try 4 minutes on medium.

Or you could consider thawing the burritos first:

The easiest way would be to store them in the refrigerator rather than the freezer if you expect to use the whole package within a few days.

Or you could try using the thaw setting on your microwave but it usually takes several minutes, then you can cook them on the high setting as usual.

  • you could also just poke some holes in the burrito with a knife or fork in some spots, which could help heat the middle – CRABOLO Dec 23 '14 at 3:00
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    This doesn't warrant a full answer in my opinion, but the traditional knowledge about microwaves heating from the inside out is and always was a marketing gag. Using radio waves to heat water (nearly all food contains water) necessarily causes the radio waves to be absorbed by the first water that they encounter. The "skin depth", as it's called, for 2.4GHz in water (yes, 2.4GHz, look at the sticker and compare to your WiFi router) is somewhere between 1/16 inch and 1/8 inch, depending on how much energy you think is still useful. Beyond that is purely conduction from shell to center. – AaronD Dec 23 '14 at 16:03
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    @AaronD If you could wrap that info with a proposed solution that would make an excellent addition to an answer. Perhaps cooking the burrito unwrapped and spread out (to give it more surface area) would fit the science as you explained it. – apaul Dec 23 '14 at 18:07
7

Comment converted to answer by request:

The traditional knowledge about microwaves heating from the inside out is and always was a marketing gag. Using radio waves to heat water (nearly all food contains water) necessarily causes the radio waves to be absorbed by the first water that they encounter. The "skin depth", as it's called, for 2.4GHz in water (yes, 2.4GHz, look at the sticker and compare to your WiFi router) is somewhere between 1/16 inch and 1/8 inch, depending on how much energy you think is still useful. Beyond that is purely conduction from shell to center.

How to deal with that, I'm not entirely sure because it's usually not that much of a problem for me. I tend to overnuke stuff in a still-sealed plastic bag to try and avoid the "moonrock" effect of evaporating the water away (doesn't always work), and then I forget about it while it sits in the microwave for a while. By the time I get around to checking it, it's either thawed naturally or evened out by conduction so that it's now edible.

apaul34208's suggestion to unroll it would probably work. Unless it's frozen. And you'd have to roll it back up again if you want to eat it that way, which is probably not going to have the same wrapping quality as it did originally. (I'll let you decide if that's good or bad.)

  • The "evened out by conduction" idea makes sense, I've seen microwave cooking directions on packaging that recommended heating and letting it stand or rest for a few minutes. – apaul Dec 23 '14 at 18:35
  • YES, this really bugs me, and I had to try and explain this to the commenters on my question without sounding like a mean smartass! – felixphew Dec 24 '14 at 8:06
5

Burritos are one of the foods that will always reheat better in an oven.

If you only have a microwave, pick up a microwave steamer, or rice cooker. The steam will do a much better job of delivering the heat into the food. This has the added benefit of not drying out the tortilla.

2

In the past I put burritos in water and heated them. Then I stirred them with a spoon making burrito soup. The stirring action evenly distributed the heat but burrito soup may or may not be to your liking.

  • 1
    Not sure why this was downvoted, this does sound like a lifehack, though as he says, Burrito Soup may not be to everyone's liking. – Johnny Dec 23 '14 at 23:12
2

Put a glass of water in the microwave with the burrito. The radiation of the microwave will be spread out more, and help prevent the insides of the burrito from turning into napalm from overheating.

You can also try heating it in stages. Start with the microwave on a real low power for a couple of minutes until the burrito has warmed up a little. Then cook it the rest of the way on high power.

1

I use defrost cycle first, then switch to 50% power then to 30% power. Timing depends on how many pieces you are doing at one time. It also helps tremendously to have an "Inverter Microwave" - with inverter technology the microwave can actually put continuous fractional power into the cooking chamber instead of turning the unit on full on then off.

0

Move burritos from freezer to refrigerator for a few hours or the day before microwaving. Cook high power 1 - 1.5 minutes. They are perfect

0

Cut the power in half. Cook twice as long. Works for me but I like the nail idea. It is a microwave burrito not a 5 star meal. You may want to get used to the fact that it's going to be trash either way. It's a microwave burrito for god's sake.

  • 1
    The accepted answer already says this. Although halving the power will not double the cooking time as absorbtion is not linear. – Chenmunka Jan 21 at 18:31
-1

Superior Microwave-Oven Burrito Shell Preparation

  • Rinse burrito under the tap (yup, get it wet)
  • Put it on a non-paper plate (best)
  • Microwave at 50% power for 2 min
  • Let rest 2 minutes
  • Full zap 30 sec
  • Wait 5 sec
  • Full zap 30 sec
-3

Hammer a large nail into the burrito before microwaving it. This will help conduct heat to the center of the burrito.

  • Metal in microwaves is generally not a good idea, especially two different metals (the steel nail + the aluminum foil that may be on the burrito). Look up "metal in microwave" on YouTube to see what I mean. – felixphew Dec 24 '14 at 8:05

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