Can you cook ground beef in the microwave?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “can you cook ground beef in a microwave” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can cook ground beef in the microwave. Moreover, we are going to highlight the measures one should take into consideration while using this method.

Can you cook ground beef in the microwave?

Yes, you can have ground beef in the microwave. If you do not have a stove or you want to avoid the mess made while preparing ground beef on the stove, you may cook the ground beef in a microwave.

How to cook ground beef in the microwave?

  1. Take the ground beef and crumble it into small pieces evenly in a microwave-safe dish.
  1. Cover the patties with a layer of wax and place the dish into the microwave.
  1. Turn on the microwave and heat the ground beef in increments of about 30 sec to 1 min. After each minute break up the meat into smaller particles using a fork and continue the cooking cycle till the color of ground beef changes from pink to brown.
  1. Now, use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meat that should be at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature is not enough, cook the ground beef for another 30 seconds.
  1. Take out the dish from the microwave, add seasonings or flavorings and enjoy.

How does microwave heat food?

The microwave warms the food by using radiation. The radiation increases the kinetic energy of the food molecules and as a result of the movement of these molecules, the food warms.

Now when the energy level of the water molecules present in the food increases, they turn into steam. This condensed steam can resultantly make the food chewy or dry.

Measures to be considered


Food items contain different microorganisms naturally that can cause diseases in humans when ingested. The best way to get rid of these small entities is to heat the food to a temperature that can kill the microorganisms and reduce their levels in food.

The internal temperature considered safe for ground meats is 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, one should be careful in treating the beef patties with heat and ensure that the internal temperature should reach a safe level.

Cold spots:

Due to the uneven distribution of heat within the microwave ovens, some parts of the food material placed inside, such as ground beef, may not be able to get heated at an internal temperature that is considered safe and forms cold spots.

These cold spots may contain microorganisms due to insufficient heat for killing them as well as may impart spoiled flavor to the overall product. The only solution is to cover the food placed in the microwave with a microwave-safe lid so that heat may remain intact in the container for some time and cook all the parts of the food and stir or flip your food at regular time intervals for even heat distribution throughout the food.

Harmful radiations:

Some people might also think that microwaves emit harmful radiation that may cause diseases. This is completely wrong. Microwave ovens produce electromagnetic radiation that is considered harmful but the internal manufactured structure of the microscope does not allow these rays to damage the food.

Furthermore, these rays also cannot come out of the oven due to the metal sheets and metal screens over the window.

It is worth mentioning that microwaved ground beef should not be consumed right after removing from the oven as radiation may take time to be reduced. Let it stand for about 2-3 minutes.

The nutritional content of microwaved foods:

Heating is involved in almost every cooking method that can affect the nutritional content of the food to different extents. Another factor contributing to this is the cooking time. In the case of microwave cooking, it cooks the food for only a short period of time.

Additionally, boiling is not involved in this method that may seep out the nutrients from the ground beef. Therefore, microwaves are thought to be effective in maintaining the nutritional value of ground beef.

Burning of ground beef:

The temperature should also be controlled in terms of excessive heat treatment as overheating can burn the food contents inside the microwaves. Moreover, the temperature in the microwave rises quickly as compared to that of the stove, so one should be cautious while cooking the ground beef in the microwave.

Cooking time variations with regard to power:

Microwave ovens may vary in terms of power and the food in the microwave with less power should be heated for a bit longer as compared to the food heated in the microwave with greater power. The only solution is to check the safe internal cooking temperature while cooking the ground beef in the microwave oven.

Reheating of ground beef:

Reheating multiple times in a microwave oven may affect the flavors and aromas of the ground beef. Therefore, one should avoid reheating as it may reduce the overall appeal and acceptability of the product.

You can read how to make Moroccan meatball soup here.


In this brief guide, we answered the question “can you cook ground beef in a microwave” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can cook ground beef in the microwave. Moreover, we highlighted the measures one should take into consideration while using this method.


Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.