Microwave Cooking: Arrange food items evenly in a covered dish and add some liquid if needed. Cover the dish with a lid or plastic wrap; loosen or vent the lid or wrap to let steam escape. The moist heat that is created will help destroy harmful bacteria and ensure uniform cooking. Cooking bags also provide safe, even cooking. Do not cook large cuts of meat on high power (100%). Large cuts of meat should be cooked on medium power (50%) for longer periods. This allows heat to reach the center without overcooking outer areas. Stir or rotate food midway through the microwaving time to eliminate cold spots where harmful bacteria can survive, and for more even cooking. When partially cooking food in the microwave to finish cooking on the grill or in a conventional oven, it is important to transfer the microwaved food to the other heat source immediately. Never partially cook food and store it for later use. Use a food thermometer or the oven's temperature probe to verify the food has reached a safe temperature. Place the thermometer in the thickest area of the meat or poultry - not near fat or bone - and in the thigh of whole poultry. Cooking times may vary because ovens vary in power and efficiency. Check in several places to be sure red meat is 160°F, whole poultry is 165°F. Fish should flake with a fork. Always allow standing time, which completes the cooking, before checking the internal temperature with a food thermometer. Cooking whole, stuffed poultry in a microwave is not recommended. The stuffing might not reach the temperature needed to destroy harmful bacteria.
Microwave Reheating: Cover foods with a lid or a microwave-safe plastic wrap to hold in moisture and provide safe, even heating.
Heat ready-to-eat foods such as hot dogs, luncheon meats, fully cooked ham, and leftovers until steaming hot.
After reheating foods in the microwave oven, allow standing time. Use a clean food thermometer to check that food has reached 165°F.