Hot chocolate pro: milk microwaving

Susan Fernandez January 01 2022

Microwaves are everywhere in today's world. Most homes own one, and they can be found in nearly every high school science classroom across the nation. Their applications range from cooking food to radio communications with submarines far below the surface of the Earth.

Hot chocolate tips

Cooking hot chocolate in a microwave might not be one of the first things that pop into your mind when you think of these metal boxes. However, there's nothing hard about it at all, and it tastes even better than regular hot chocolate made on the stovetop.

Preparing this treat is simple. All you need to do is heat up some milk in a mug for approximately 2 minutes, add chocolate syrup to taste, serve with marshmallows if desired, and enjoy.

Every minute counts when you've got homework or studying to get done. Microwaves are quick-cooking appliances-two minutes is easily enough time to make yourself hot cocoa without taking up too much time from your study session.

And since microwaved hot chocolate doesn't require any preparation past the initial heating of the milk, you don't have to waste time chopping up chocolate or measuring out the syrup.

Microwaves are also a great way of making hot beverages if you're sharing them with others. If cooking on the stovetop is a little too labor-intensive for your taste, then feel free to use a microwave instead. Just make sure that everyone has their own mug before you start microwaving away!

There's something special about slurping down a warm cup of hot chocolate during the winter season. And since it's impossible to enjoy this treat when it's 100 degrees outside, why not save yourself some time by microwaving your next cup?

Microwaves aren't just convenient; they're easy to use as well.

How long should you microwave milk?

When microwaving milk, there is a very short window of time where it's optimal for drinking. The best temperature to drink your milk is something called the 'Goldilocks zone. This is around 149 degrees Fahrenheit, and 2 minutes seems to be the perfect time for this specific temperature.

How long to microwave milk depends on what temperature you like your milk at! If you want hot chocolate with milk that's just barely warmer than room temperature, then two minutes should be plenty of time. Drinking warm milk is soothing and cozy-it'll put you in the holiday spirit before you even know it.

If you're looking for hot chocolate with milk that's close to body temperature (98.6 degrees), then 4 minutes will do the trick. This is the temperature that's closest to a baby's bathwater, making it perfect for infants and toddlers alike.

Is it better to microwave milk or heat it on fire?

Which is better for heating milk: a microwave or a stovetop? The answer is a bit subjective. It depends on what you're going for and your personal preferences as well.

There are benefits to each way of cooking depending on what temperature the milk needs to be at. To get hot chocolate with very warm milk, using a microwave is fast and easy. If it's too hot, just let it sit for a few moments so that it cools down some more before drinking.

However, if you're looking for piping hot chocolate with scorching-hot milk, then putting the sealed container over an open flame will do the job best. Most microwaves don't heat up liquids past around 210 degrees Fahrenheit (which isn't nearly hot enough for this kind of drink).

The choice is yours when it comes to how hot you want your milk! Just remember to let it cool down a little bit before drinking in order to avoid burning the roof of your mouth in the process.

Don't burn yourself with microwaved hot chocolate-let it cool down first!

Are there any risks?

Microwave radiation can also affect milk in certain ways that may cause problems when heating milk in a microwave oven.   Some of these effects include scorching (which leaves brown marks on the inside walls of the microwave), overheating (which produces scalding hot milk), and uneven heating (causing some areas to reach very hot temperatures while others areas remain cool).

Fortunately, there are ways to avoid these problems before even turning on the microwave! Preheating the container is an easy way to minimize the potential for scorching. To do this, just pour some hot water into it and let it stand for a few minutes before placing the milk inside.

Another tip is to remove certain parts of the container that might cause uneven heating or scalding, such as a plastic wrap or aluminum foil (which blocks microwaves).

When you're all set to go, be sure to leave plenty of time for heating. Microwave ovens operate by using high-frequency radio waves called photons. These particles are able to travel great distances while retaining their original energy levels (unlike non-microwave sources like infrared rays, which gradually lose their intensity throughout distance).

Not only has microwaving milk been shown to lead to the best results in terms of flavor, texture, and overall enjoyment, but it also allows you to get your hot chocolate fix in a fraction of the time that it takes to prepare it on the stovetop.

What are some pros and cons of using a microwave?  

Pros: quick, easy, convenient, fast, less clean up than stovetop.

Cons: can cause scorching if heated too long or at too high of a temperature (do not drink immediately after removing from microwave as it will scald you), metal edges can cause burns if dispensing hot liquids by hand without proper mitts.

Top-5 recipes of hot chocolate

Traditional hot chocolate

You will need 1 cup whole milk, 2 Tbsp. finely chopped dark chocolate, 1 tsp. sugar, a pinch of salt, marshmallows to taste (optional).

Procedure: In a small saucepan set over medium heat, combine the milk and chocolate pieces. Stir until melted and smooth. Remove from the stovetop and add the sugar and salt. When ready to serve, top with mini marshmallows if desired.

Mexican hot chocolate

You will need 1 1/4 cups water or low-fat milk, 3 ounces semisweet chocolate chips or 3 squares semisweet baking chocolate, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, dash cayenne pepper (optional), sweetened whipped cream for topping (optional).

Procedure: In a small saucepan set over low heat, combine the water (or milk), chocolate chips, and cayenne (if using). Whisk until melted and smooth. Remove from the stovetop and add the cinnamon. Stir well to combine. Pour into mugs and top with whipped cream, if desired.

Orange hot chocolate

You will need: 1 cup milk or milk alternative such as almond milk, 2 Tbsp orange juice concentrate thawed, 1 tsp sugar, pinch salt, marshmallows to taste (optional).

Procedure: Combine all ingredients in a microwave-safe mug except for marshmallows. Microwave for 45 seconds on high power or until chocolate is fully melted. Stir well. Top with mini-marshmallows if desired.

Mint hot chocolate

You will need: 1 cup milk or milk alternative, 2 Tbsp white sugar, pinch salt, 3 drops mint extract, 6 peppermint candies (optional).

Procedure: Combine the first three ingredients in a microwave-safe mug and heat in the microwave for 45 seconds on high power until fully melted. Add in the peppermint extract and stir to combine. Fill with extra marshmallows if desired then serve immediately.

Peppermint hot chocolate

You will need 1 cup water, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate chopped (or 2 oz. baking chocolate), 2 cups milk or milk alternative such as almond milk, 1 Tbsp peppermint extract.

Procedure: Combine the water, sugar, and salt in a saucepan set over low heat. Stir till the latter two ingredients are dissolved. Add in the chocolate pieces and stir until melted and smooth. Remove from stovetop and add the peppermint extract then pour into mugs and top with whipped cream if desired

Other tips on how to make a perfect hot chocolate:

  • to make a creamier hot chocolate, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of heavy cream to the top of your cup before adding marshmallows
  • you can also add a pinch of cinnamon for added flavor and presentation.
  • always use the microwave-safe mug to avoid potential damage from heating in a flimsy one.
  • if you're feeling extra festive, top with mini marshmallows and peppermint sticks.
  • If you don't have any drinking chocolate on hand, you can substitute with 4 teaspoons of chocolate syrup mixed with 1 cup hot water or milk alternative such as almond milk.

And there you have it: five different recipes for delicious homemade hot chocolate that will leave your family and friends hooked!

It's so quick and easy to use the microwave to heat up milk instead of wasting time heating it on the stovetop - which can take about five minutes. And if you want to save even more time, you could just go ahead and use hot water from the tap.

If you're worried that microwaved milk will taste "funny" because we're not accustomed to drinking liquids heated in this way, put your fears to rest. The taste is perfectly fine.

In fact, hot chocolate made from microwaved milk tastes just as good as the alternative - and you'll have a chance to save yourself a few minutes of prep time in the bargain! If you're going to be making it frequently, consider investing in a slow cooker that's specifically designed for heating up liquids or a small countertop appliance that does this job for you.

Bottom line

Hot chocolate made from microwaved milk is just as good as the alternative and may take less time to prepare. The taste of this type of hot chocolate is perfectly fine. If you're going to make it frequently, consider investing in a countertop appliance for heating up liquids or a small slow cooker specifically designed for this purpose.