Do you like your toast crunchy? If so, then I have some bad news for you.
In fact, if we’re going to be completely honest (no judgment), microwaves actually can’t toast bread at all! At least, not by any simple means.
I was curious about the idea, and I’m sure someone out there knows how. So, that’s why I’ve set out to research and find a way to toast bread using a microwave.
This is what I discovered.
Can microwaves toast bread?
Yes. You can toast bread using a microwave, but only if you have the right tools. Microwaving your bread alone will simply cause it to become soggy, unevenly cooked, hardened, and chewy. You’ll need a crisper tray in order to create the crispy, browning effect that’s often seen with a regular toaster. A crisper plate converts the microwaves into heat and directs heat into the bread.
Let me explain further.
Microwaving bread with a crisper plate
You won’t have any problems at all when using a crisper tray. However, you have to make sure you preheat your crisper tray every time you use it.
When you use a crisper plate, the microwaves are converted into heat and conducted through the tray. Think of it as the tray holding onto the heat. When you place food on the tray, the heat will be distributed to the food and crisp it. It sort of works like convection where there’s an actual heat source and that heat is simply being transferred over to the bread in close proximity.
The browning of the bread is actually produced when the bread makes direct contact with the hot tray itself.
Microwaving bread without a crisper plate
I’m afraid you won’t get the crispy results of toasting bread as you would with a crisper or a toaster. Unfortunately, the microwaves produced by a microwave that go into the bread (instead of being converted into heat with the crisper tray) end up either causing the bread to be soggy or drying it out.
This is going to give your cooked bread either a soggy or dry and hardened texture depending on how long you cook it in the microwave for.
How to toast bread in a microwave
In order to do it right, you’re going to have to buy yourself a microwave crisper plate. This plate is built to manipulate the heat generated from the microwaves and turn them into a convection like source of heating.
Step 1: Get all your supplies
You obviously need your bread, a microwave, and a microwave crisping tray. You can buy this crisper tray online or anywhere at your local convenience store. Don’t worry; after you buy this crisper tray, you probably won’t put it down. It’s so useful for nearly everything involving your microwave. If you want anything to be crispier than usual, then you’ll want to use a crisper tray in your microwave.
Step 2: Preheat the crisper tray
Every crisper tray is different, but the majority of them will require you to preheat them before using them. This usually means that you’ll have to heat your crisper tray without food in it for around 1 to 3 minutes.
The idea here is that preheating your crisper tray will allow it to heat up. And this is how it works: by transferring the heat that it generates to the food that you were cooking.
Step 3: Place your bread on the crisper tray
Now you’re going to have to arrange however many slices of bread you want on top of the crisper tray. Make sure you keep them in a single layer (not letting them stack on top of each other). Make sure you give each slice of bread a little bit of space. Just enough so that the heat can be evenly distributed among all the corners of the slices.
Step 4: Cook for 30 seconds (flipping it over is optional)
You only need to microwave bread for 20 seconds on one side. Flip it over and microwave it once again on the other side for another 15 seconds if you want it crisp on both sides.
As you probably have figured out, the heat actually comes directly from making contact with the crisper plate. That means that the side that is facing down on the tray will be the one that turns brown.
Step 5: Check to see if it’s ready
At this point, you can check to see if the bread is done and is the browning color of your preference. If it’s not, you can try running through once again. However, just be extra careful since you risk over browning the bread if you’re not careful.
What does a microwave normally do to your bread?
When you microwave bread, the heat from the microwaves causes the water molecules in the bread to vibrate rapidly. This vibration creates friction and heat, which causes the bread to cook. However, since microwaves cause food to cook from the inside out, the outside of the bread often becomes rubbery or tough while the inside remains soft.
The microwaves heat up the water molecules in the bread, and these molecules start to move faster and hit other water molecules. This creates a chain reaction that makes the water hotter and turns the starch in the bread into gelatin. This process makes your bread soft and spongy, similar to how it would be if you left it out on the counter for a few hours.
The reason for this is that microwaves cook the bread unevenly, which leads to the center of the bread becoming rubbery and chewy. The crust can also become hard and brittle if it is overcooked.
What is the difference between bread toasted in a microwave vs. a toaster?
Microwaves use radiation to heat up the food, while toasters use metal coils that heat up and then brown the bread. This difference results in microwaved “toast” having a softer texture than crispy toasted toast.
When it comes to toasting your bread, texture is key. In general, microwaves produce a softer texture than toasters, which produce a more crusty texture.
On the other hand, microwaves also do not produce evenly cooked bread. In some cases, you may find that the center will be cooked while the crust and the rest of the bread remain cool. This is a dilemma called “hot spots” and “cold spots.” Hot spots are where the bread is hot, and cold spots are where the heat can’t reach. If you are looking for evenly cooked bread, then microwaves are not your best option. The solution here is a crisper tray.
In contrast, when bread is toasted in a toaster, the heat from the metal plates browns and crisps the surface of the bread. It’s as simple as that. Toasters are the staple appliance device for toasting bread.
Why is my microwaved bread soggy?
It all depends on how long you actually cook the bread in the microwave. That determines what the texture it’s coming out as. If you find your bread coming out soggy, it’s probably due to placing your bread in the microwave for a short period of time.
When you place bread in the microwave, you’re basically superheating the available moisture that is in the dough. This moisture basically steams the bread, and it ultimately comes out a bit soggy when you’re done.
Why is my microwaved bread chewy?
If you create soggy bread by only placing the bread in the microwave for a short time, if you put the bread to rest, it will likely transform into a chewy texture. After resting, the heated moisture in the bread will probably have had enough time to evaporate a portion of itself into the air. This will produce a texture between soggy and dry: in other words, chewy.
Why is my microwaved bread hard and stiff?
If you place your bread in the microwave and cook it for a long time, you might mistakenly be vaporizing all the moisture from the bread. Once all the water is gone, all that’s left is the solid, dry material that makes up bread. At the moment that you take it out of the microwave, it will probably be soggy. But it won’t take much time for all of that moisture to dissipate into the air, leaving you with a hard and stiff (and not to mention shriveled-up) slice of bread.
Is there a microwave that can toast bread?
There is one type of microwave that can produce toasted bread without the need for a crisper tray. These are categorized as “convection microwaves.” It’s a hybrid, or a combination of both a microwave and a traditional convection oven. That’s right, it has both the ability to produce radiation microwaves to cook your food and another setting that produces heat from the heating elements inside of it.
Unfortunately, both functionalities cannot work at the same time. However, you can switch settings for each and every meal.
If you want to make toasted bread, simply turn on the convection oven setting on your microwave and it will immediately produce heat from the heating element which will crisp and brown be outside of your bread.
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