There’s nothing better than a bacon butty on sliced white bread for breakfast – but we all know it isn’t the healthiest start to the day.
Bacon has been linked to a higher risk of cancer – and the way you cook the bacon could be partly to blame. Richard Hoffman, a registered nutritionist and lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire, writes in The Conversation that people could lower the health risks by microwaving bacon rather than frying it.
Frying bacon generates carcinogens due to the rapid increase in heat, but microwaving it prompts lower levels of these carcinogens, suggests Hoffman.
You might think it sounds pretty gross, but if you’re the kind of person who lathers on the tommy K when making a breakfast sandwich, you probably won’t be able to tell the difference.
Here’s how to cook bacon – plus four other breakfast items – in the microwave for a swift and easy breakfast.
So, how do you cook bacon in the microwave (or mee-cro-wav-ey, as Nigella brilliantly calls it)? Firstly, you need a microwave-safe plate lined with kitchen towel to soak up the grease. Lay out the bacon rashers so they aren’t touching or overlapping each other. Then pop another sheet of kitchen towel on the top to stop spatters.
Simon Howie, aka the Scottish Butcher, recommends cooking the rashers on full power for two minutes – or roughly 30 seconds per rasher. “This will cook the bacon through but leave pale and not yet crispy,” he writes on his website. If you want to crisp up the edges, microwave the rashers for an extra 30-40 seconds.
Who would’ve thought you can poach an actual egg in the microwave?! Save The Student recommends filling a mug halfway with cold water and adding a splash of vinegar before carefully cracking an egg into the mug, ensuring you don’t break the yolk.
“Once the egg is in the water, use a sharp knife to pierce a small hole in the yolk,” says writer Bronni Hughes. “This should stop your egg from exploding, but you can also cover your mug with cling film just in case.”
Zap the egg in the microwave for 60 seconds and then check on the egg to make sure the white bit looks cooked – if it doesn’t, microwave in 10 second increments until it’s cooked as you want it.
You might be used to cooking beans on the hob, but you can microwave them pretty quickly, too. Empty half a tin of beans into a microwave-friendly container (a Pyrex jug would work well) and pop them in on full power for one minute, suggests the Food Cheats website. Then stir the beans, microwave for a further 30 seconds and stir again.
After two minutes, your beans should be steaming hot. If you’re cooking more than half of a tin of beans, you’ll need to cook them for a further minute or so, remembering to stir often.
If you’re after a quick and easy breakfast fix, porridge can be rustled up quickly in the microwave with very little fuss. BBC Good Food recommends sticking 50g of porridge oats in a microwave-safe bowl with 350ml milk or water and a pinch of salt. Microwave on a high setting for five minutes, stirring halfway through. Leave to stand for a couple of minutes before eating so you don’t take the roof of your mouth off.
For two servings of fluffy scrambled eggs, pop four eggs, 1/4 cup of milk and a pinch of salt in a microwave-safe bowl, mixing it all together. All Recipes recommends microwaving the eggs for 30 seconds, mixing them (including scraping from the side of the bowl) and microwaving for a further 30 seconds. Repeat this for up to two-and-a-half minutes.