Mozzarella cheese is a popular cheese that is used in many different types of cuisine. It has a soft, stringy texture outside of its packaging and an even softer yet crunchy texture when heated. Although mozzarella cheese is not difficult to melt, it can become dry and rubbery if it is done improperly.
There are several methods to use to melt mozzarella cheese, and using a microwave is one of the most common methods people use.
But can you really melt mozzarella cheese in a microwave? If you can, how do you properly melt mozzarella cheese in a microwave?
Can You Melt Mozzarella Cheese in the Microwave?
You can melt mozzarella cheese using the microwave. Microwave provides a fast, easy and efficient way to melt mozzarella cheese. But don’t expect it to turn into a smooth, creamy sauce just like when you melt cheddar or Gouda.
Here’s the short guide on how to melt mozzarella cheese in the microwave:
If you want to melt mozzarella cheese in the microwave, first, you need to shred or slice it. Then put the mozzarella in a microwave-safe container. Heat on 50% power with a 30-second break in between each increment. Stir in between every heating session with a silicone spatula until the cheese is completely melted.
Another thing to keep in mind is that there are different kinds of mozzarella cheese, and each melts differently. Generally speaking, low-moisture mozzarella cheese does melt better than fresh mozzarella cheese, and so if you want to make a cheese sauce from mozzarella, the low moisture variety is definitely your best bet.
How To Melt Mozzarella Cheese in the Microwave
You may want to melt mozzarella cheese to add on top of nachos or to dip some crunchy breaded zucchini strips. Whatever the reason, you can melt mozzarella in the microwave with ease and much faster than doing it on the stovetop or in the oven.
Here are some simple steps you can follow to melt mozzarella cheese in your microwave:
- Take your grater or cheese shredder and shred the desired amount of mozzarella cheese.
- Pour the shredded cheese into a microwave-safe bowl.
- Add a splash of milk and 1/5 teaspoon of cornstarch to the bowl.
- Set the microwave to medium power and microwave the cheese for 30 seconds. Stop and gently stir the cheese.
- Repeat microwaving and stirring in 30-second increments until the cheese is melted and smooth.
1. Shred, Grate, or Slice the Mozzarella Cheese
The first thing you need to do is to shred, grate or slice the mozzarella cheese you want to melt. Smaller pieces will melt faster, so make sure you shred the cheese into small pieces. If you grate or slice the mozzarella cheese instead, make them as thin as possible to speed up melting time.
2. Put the Cheese Into a Microwave-Safe Bowl
Place the shredded or sliced mozzarella cheese in a microwave-safe bowl and cover it with a microwave-safe bowl or plate. Glass or ceramic bowls are your best friends here because they can withstand the high temperatures in the microwave.
3. Add Some Milk and Cornstarch
One risk of melting mozzarella cheese in the microwave is that it can separate. One way to solve this problem is by adding a splash of milk and 1/5 teaspoon of cornstarch. These are the secret ingredients that will keep your mozzarella cheese together.
Optionally, you may also want to add acidic ingredients like distilled white vinegar. This addition will keep the cheese smooth. However, don’t use acidic ingredients with strong flavors like beer or wine, as it may alter the flavor of the cheese.
4. Microwave in Short Increments
After you’ve done this, put the bowl with mozzarella into the microwave. Set your microwave to 50% power and let it run for 30 seconds. Don’t use full power because it can overcook your cheese and make it dry and rubbery.
5. Gently Stir After 30 Seconds
Check the progress after 30 seconds. Stir the mozzarella cheese and put it back into the microwave for another 30 seconds.
6. Repeat Until the Cheese Is Gooey and Smooth
Aside from using a microwave, you can also use a double boiler on the stovetop and an oven to melt mozzarella cheese.
Tip: don’t forget to wash the bowl as soon as you have taken out the finished cheese sauce to prevent the cheese from hardening in the bowl.
How To Melt Cheese on the Stove
To melt mozzarella cheese on the stove, you will need to use a double boiler. If you don’t have a double boiler, you can make your own by using a saucepan filled with water and a bowl that will fit snugly on top of the pan. Do note that because the double boiler doesn’t provide direct heat, it may take longer to melt your cheese.
Just follow these steps to melt mozzarella on the stove:
- Shred or grate the mozzarella and put it in the top pan of the double boiler.
- Set the heat to medium-low.
- Let the water come to a gentle boil.
- When the mozzarella starts to melt, constantly stir with a spatula.
- Clean the side of the pan frequently to prevent the mozzarella from sticking.
- Add milk and cornstarch or any other acidic ingredients to keep the cheese from getting separated.
- Continue string until it becomes soft and smooth.
How to Melt Mozarella Cheese in the Oven
The last method is to melt mozzarella cheese in the oven. This method works well if you want to melt mozzarella cheese on top of pizza.
Here are the steps to melt mozzarella cheese in your oven:
- Use the broiler setting on your oven and keep the heat low.
- Shred or slice the mozzarella and put it into an oven-safe pan.
- Drizzle a small amount of olive oil and sprinkle the mozzarella with parmesan as well as any other herbs or spices of your choice.
- Put the pan in the oven for 5 minutes.
- Take the pan out when the cheese is all melted.
- If you want to melt mozzarella cheese on top of a pizza, just put the pizza in the oven and cook for about 5 minutes.
Why Is My Mozzarella Cheese Not Melting?
If your mozzarella cheese is not melting, there are at least three main reasons why.
- Firstly, its moisture level. High-moisture mozzarella cheeses are more difficult to melt, while low-moisture varieties can be easily melted.
- Secondly, its fat content. Part-skim mozzarella has a higher fat content than whole milk, and therefore it’s harder to melt.
- Lastly, the age of the cheese. Fresh mozzarella is much harder to melt compared with aged or regular types (which also makes it stringier).
And so, the next time you go grocery shopping, make sure you buy the right type of mozzarella cheese for your recipe.
Best Type of Mozzarella for Melting
Here are some of the most popular types of mozzarella cheese. We’ll take a look at each of them and determine which mozzarella is the best for melting:
Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
Fresh mozzarella cheese contains very high moisture levels and therefore doesn’t melt well. If you put it on top of a pizza, it will make the pizza soggy, and soggy pizza is the last thing you want.
Processed Mozzarella Cheese
Processed mozzarella is the type of mozzarella you want to get if you’re looking for a perfect melted cheese. The main reason for this is because it contains a low moisture content. In addition, it’s firm and easy to shred or grate.
Mozzarella String Cheese
Although string cheese has low moisture, it’s hard to melt no matter whichever method you use to melt it. And so, it’s not the best choice for recipes that call for melted cheese.
However, this doesn’t mean you can’t use string cheese. A string cheese that has a mixture of cheddar and mozzarella can still be melted in the microwave. To melt string cheese, you need to heat it until it reaches at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
So can you melt mozzarella cheese in the microwave? Yes, you can. And it’s actually not that difficult if you know which type of mozzarella cheese to use and how to melt it properly.