Discover the secret to perfectly cooked meals in the microwave: covering your food.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: covering your food in the microwave helps to retain moisture, prevent splatters, and promote even cooking.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the reasons why covering your food in the microwave is essential for delicious and hassle-free cooking. From the benefits to the best practices, we’ve got you covered!

Benefits of Covering Food in the Microwave

When it comes to cooking food in the microwave, covering it can have several benefits. Not only does it help retain moisture, but it also prevents splatters and promotes even cooking. Let’s delve into each of these advantages in detail.

Retaining Moisture

Covering food in the microwave helps to trap the steam generated during the cooking process. This steam then circulates around the food, keeping it moist and preventing it from drying out. Whether you’re reheating leftovers or cooking a fresh meal, using a microwave-safe cover can make a significant difference in the texture and taste of your food. So, don’t forget to cover those delicious leftovers to ensure they come out moist and flavorful!

Preventing Splatters

We’ve all experienced the frustration of cleaning up splatters inside the microwave after heating food. By covering your food, you can effectively prevent these messy splatters from occurring. The cover acts as a barrier, preventing any hot liquids or sauces from splashing around and leaving a mess. This not only saves you time and effort in cleaning up, but it also keeps your microwave cleaner and more hygienic. Say goodbye to those stubborn stains!

Promoting Even Cooking

Covering your food in the microwave helps to distribute the heat evenly, ensuring that your meal is cooked thoroughly. Without a cover, certain parts of the food may get heated more quickly than others, resulting in uneven cooking. By using a cover, you create a more controlled cooking environment, allowing the heat to distribute evenly and ensuring that your food is cooked to perfection. So, whether you’re heating up a plate of leftovers or defrosting some frozen vegetables, covering them will help you achieve consistent and delicious results.

Types of Covers to Use

Microwave-Safe Lids

Using microwave-safe lids is a convenient and safe way to cover your food while microwaving. These lids are specially designed to withstand the heat and steam generated during the cooking process. They come in various sizes and shapes to fit different types of containers. The advantage of using microwave-safe lids is that they prevent splatters and help retain moisture, ensuring that your food stays deliciously moist. Some popular brands that offer microwave-safe lids include Tupperware, Pyrex, and Anchor Hocking.

Microwave-Safe Plastic Wrap

Microwave-safe plastic wrap is another excellent option for covering food in the microwave. It is essential to choose plastic wrap that is explicitly labeled as microwave-safe to avoid any potential health risks. Microwave-safe plastic wrap is designed to stretch and cling tightly to the container, creating an airtight seal. This helps trap the steam and heat, speeding up the cooking process and preventing moisture loss. Just make sure to leave a small vent or hole for steam to escape, preventing any buildup of pressure. Saran Wrap and Glad Cling Wrap are popular brands that offer microwave-safe options.

Microwave-Safe Paper Towels

When it comes to reheating or covering food that tends to release excess moisture, microwave-safe paper towels are a great choice. These paper towels are specially made to withstand the heat of the microwave and prevent any transfer of harmful chemicals. To use a microwave-safe paper towel as a cover, simply place it over the dish, covering the food partially or completely. The paper towel will absorb excess moisture while allowing steam to escape, preventing any splatters. It is an effective way to keep your microwave clean and your food properly heated. Brands like Bounty and Viva offer microwave-safe paper towels that are widely available.

It is important to note that when using any type of cover in the microwave, you should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations. Additionally, never use covers that are not labeled as microwave-safe, as they can release harmful chemicals or melt under high temperatures. Always prioritize your safety and the well-being of your food.

Best Practices for Covering Food in the Microwave

Choosing the Right Cover

When it comes to covering food in the microwave, choosing the right cover is crucial. The cover you select should be microwave-safe and able to withstand high temperatures. Look for covers made of materials such as glass, ceramic, or microwave-safe plastic. Avoid using covers made of metals or materials that may melt or release harmful chemicals when exposed to heat. If you’re unsure about the safety of a particular cover, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and choose a different option.

Allowing for Ventilation

While covering food in the microwave helps to retain moisture and heat, it’s important to allow for proper ventilation. Steam can build up inside the covered container, leading to potential hazards. To prevent this, leave a small opening or use a cover that has built-in steam vents. This will allow steam to escape while still keeping your food moist and preventing splatters. Remember to always use oven mitts or a towel to remove the cover, as steam can cause burns.

Avoiding Non-Microwave Safe Materials

One of the most important factors to consider when covering food in the microwave is the safety of the materials used. Some materials, such as certain plastics or metals, can release harmful chemicals when heated. This can contaminate your food and pose health risks. Always check the packaging or label to ensure that the cover you are using is microwave-safe. If the cover is not explicitly labeled as microwave-safe, it’s best to find an alternative. Remember, safety should always be a priority when it comes to food preparation.

For more information on microwave safety and best practices, you can visit the FDA’s website. They provide comprehensive guidelines on using microwave ovens safely and offer valuable tips for covering food in the microwave.

Foods That Should Always be Covered

When it comes to microwaving food, covering your dish can make a big difference. Not only does it help to prevent splatters and messes, but it also helps to evenly distribute heat and preserve moisture. Here are some types of foods that should always be covered when microwaving:

Soups and Sauces

When heating up soups and sauces in the microwave, covering them is essential. This is because soups and sauces can easily bubble and splatter, creating a mess in your microwave. By covering them, you can avoid these messy mishaps and ensure that your soup or sauce heats up evenly. A microwave-safe lid or a microwave-safe plate can be used to cover these types of dishes.


Leftovers are a common microwave meal, but they can dry out if not covered properly. By covering your leftovers, you can help retain moisture and prevent them from becoming dry and unappetizing. A microwave-safe cover or a microwave-safe plate can be used to cover your leftovers, allowing them to heat up evenly and stay moist. It’s important to note that covering your leftovers also helps to prevent the spread of bacteria and keeps your microwave clean.

Steamed Vegetables

Steamed vegetables are a healthy and convenient option, but they can lose their vibrant color and become overcooked if not covered while microwaving. By covering your steamed vegetables, you can trap the steam, which helps to cook them evenly and retain their nutrients. A microwave-safe lid or a microwave-safe plate can be used to cover your steamed vegetables, ensuring that they come out tender and delicious.

Remember, covering your food in the microwave is not only about preventing messes, but it also helps to improve the overall cooking process. By following these guidelines and covering your soups and sauces, leftovers, and steamed vegetables, you can enjoy perfectly cooked meals every time.

Foods That Should Not be Covered

Crispy Foods

When it comes to reheating crispy foods in the microwave, it is generally recommended to avoid covering them. This includes foods like french fries, potato chips, and fried chicken. The main reason for this is that covering these foods can trap moisture, causing them to become soggy instead of maintaining their desired crispiness. So, if you want to enjoy that satisfying crunch, it’s best to leave crispy foods uncovered when microwaving them.

Fried Foods

Fried foods, such as tempura or mozzarella sticks, are another category of foods that should not be covered in the microwave. Similar to crispy foods, covering fried foods can result in a loss of their desired texture. The steam that gets trapped under the cover can make the breading or batter soggy, taking away the crispy exterior that makes these foods so enjoyable. For the best results, it’s recommended to reheat fried foods uncovered in the microwave.

Baked Goods

While it may be tempting to cover baked goods like muffins or pastries when reheating them, it’s generally not recommended. Covering these items can create a moist environment, which can cause them to become overly soft or even mushy. To preserve the texture and flavor of your baked goods, it’s best to reheat them uncovered in the microwave. If you’re concerned about them drying out, you can place a damp paper towel nearby to help retain some moisture without affecting their texture.

It’s important to note that these recommendations may vary depending on the specific food item and personal preference. Experimentation may be necessary to find the best method for reheating your favorite crispy, fried, or baked foods in the microwave.


Covering your food in the microwave is a game-changer when it comes to cooking convenience and quality.

By retaining moisture, preventing splatters, and promoting even cooking, covering your food ensures that every meal is cooked to perfection.

Remember to choose the right cover, allow for ventilation, and avoid non-microwave safe materials for the best results.

So the next time you reach for the microwave, don’t forget to cover your food and enjoy a hassle-free cooking experience!

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