Q. Can you microwave shawarma without covering it?
A. This is a matter of “can” versus “should.” While you certainly can microwave our shawarma without placing a lid on it, there are two problems with this approach.
- You will need to microwave it for a longer period of time because the heat can freely escape.
- Just like with any other dish, microwaving something without a lid is a great way to dirty your microwave. While you might not care about this if you are in a hotel or in some other public space, microwaving without a lid is a great way to get any sort of sauces or juices to spurt and spatter against the interior walls of the machine.
If you want to reheat some shawarma but do not have any sort of lid for whatever you are reheating it in, just pull a length of plastic clingwrap and use that to keep any explosions or messes contained.
Q. Can you microwave shawarma while keeping it inside of a to-go box from a restaurant?
A. The answer of whether you can or cannot microwave your shawarma in such a container depends on what the nature of the box’s construction.
- If the box has any metal components, like the handle on Chinese takeout, then you should definitely not-metal will just lead to all sorts of negative interactions with the microwave.
- If the box is made of Styrofoam, do not proceed with microwaving the shawarma. Styrofoam releases some nasty chemicals as it melts when exposed to something like a microwave and those chemicals wind up getting into your food in the process.
- If the box is cardboard, you are probably going to be safe.
- If the box resembles Tupperware and you have no plans to keep it after reheating your food, then go ahead. Plastic containers are more concerned with protecting food from the cold conditions of a refrigerator than the high heat involved in a microwave. Some of these containers release an array of nasty chemicals as the heat causes them to break down or even melt.
Q. I know that an oven or even a stovetop is a better way to reheat my shawarma, but I just moved house and currently lack access to either device. Since I have a microwave, are there any preliminary actions I should take before nuking my shawarma?
A. The only piece of advice we can recommend when looking to reheat shawarma in the microwave is that you should place a tea towel, paper towel or even just some coffee filters over the food. This will help better trap the ambient heat and save a bit more of the quality of you lettuce and tomatoes.
Q. Is it safe to reheat chicken shawarma wraps?
A. Just like with any other meat in the microwave, you should only reheat your chicken shawarma if you are confident that your device can fully cook through the meat and leave it nice and steaming hot when the timer finishes. If you cannot guarantee a complete cook, it may be best to use an oven or stove.
Q. I love my shawarma to be spicy so I add red peppers to it. Is it safe to microwave my shawarma?
A. It is fine as long as you do not mind the peppers releasing their spicy capsaicin into the confined space of your microwave as they heat up. While you may be able to mitigate this issue if your shawarma is wrapped up nice and tight, be mindful that peppers release a little burst of tear-inducing pepper spray when they become heated. This is another reason why it is recommended that you reheat shawarma with something covering it, though following that piece of advice means that you are simply confining any released capsaicin fumes into a smaller area.
Q. What is the best way to microwave shawarma?
A. The best way to go about microwaving a single shawarma wrap is to put it on a microwavable plate and then over it with any of the various paper goods mentioned earlier in this guide. Once your shawarma is plated and covered, simply slip it into the microwave and run at full power for 33 seconds. After that point, remove the paper good and check along the length of the shawarma; you want to feel around for any cold spots. If you happen to encounter none, then discard the paper good and dig in; if you do notice a cold spot, put the shawarma back into the microwave for 15 seconds and repeat the checking process. Chances are good that if a single reheating did not fully cook the shawarma through, then a second trip into the microwave should finish the job.
Q. Can I microwave multiple shawarma wraps at the same time?
A. Yes, you can microwave multiple wraps in one go. However, doing an all-in-one approach runs the risk of unevenly reheating your wraps; either the ones at the edge of the plate will probably be tough and overcooked by the time the ones at the center will be properly finished or the center wraps will be undercooked but the edge pieces will be perfectly fine.
It is a simple law of microwave physics that food takes longer to properly cook as you add more food, either by volume or number, to be cooked. Our best piece of advice if you have a large plate of cold shawarma is to either grab a baking tray and use your oven, or tackle each wrap by itself and follow the advice given in the last question. If you are only feeding yourself and admit to having issues with portion control, the one-at-a-time approach might be even better for you in the long run.