Can You Put Two Items in Microwave Together? (Read This First)

In modern times, a microwave has become an integral part of every household. Owning this appliance can be very convenient as it makes food accessible to us much faster.

For larger households, cooking two items at a time can be very tempting, so it isn’t out of place to ask if you can put two items in a microwave.

While this appliance cooks one item conveniently, here is what you should know about cooking two items.

Yes, you can put two items in a microwave. But it would increase the cooking time, especially if you’re cooking different items. In addition, using quick-absorbing bowls or plates would ensure the food items cook evenly faster. Additionally, you’d have to place the items so they’d rotate without touching the oven’s walls.

In this article, I’d explain cooking two items in a microwave and why it takes longer. Ultimately, you’d know if you could microwave two easy Macs simultaneously.

Can You Place Two Items in a Microwave?

Can You Put Two Items in Microwave

Yes, you can place two items in a microwave. But first, a microwave conveniently cooks one food item at a time.

This appliance creates electromagnetic radiation that penetrates the food, which creates heat energy that cooks the food.

Nevertheless, you can cook two food items simultaneously if you place them well in the oven.

However, this will depend on the oven and container size. For example, a big-sized microwave would accommodate two small-sized bowls adequately.

If you own a smaller oven, you can always improvise. 

Here is how to microwave two things in an oven that won’t fit two bowls:

  • First, place your food items in smaller bowls of good absorbing properties.
  • Place one container on the microwave and place a cup beside the container.
  • Use a mug cup that’s sturdy enough and wide to fit the bowl properly.
  • Also, use a tall mug. Then place the other bowl on the cup.
  • This way, both containers would fit in properly and rotate without touching the oven’s walls or knocking each other off.
  • You could adjust your settings to a stable one to ensure the turntable doesn’t rotate.

Below is a table showing the guidelines to follow if you want to microwave two items simultaneously:

Size of the ovenA larger oven would conveniently hold two items.
Size of the containersEven with the oven size, two huge containers won’t work inside the oven.
AbsorbencyDifferent materials absorb microwave heat at different rates. 
Cooking timeYou’d have to increase the cooking time for two items.

Do You Need to Double Microwave Time for Two Items?

You don’t have to double the cooking time for two items. But you’d have to increase it by a certain percentage, depending on the type of food.

For instance, cooking a pie will take 6 minutes, but doubling it takes about 9 minutes to cook instead of 12 minutes.

Of course, the nature of the foods would influence the time setting you’ll use.

There are specific time settings for each food. Different foods absorb microwaves at different rates. So, the cooking time will also differ for different food items. 

I’ve earlier established that a microwave produces electromagnetic radiation, which the food absorbs to create heat energy.

The radiation shakes up the water molecules in the food to create heat energy to cook the food. 

Resultantly, the composition of the food influences the rate at which it absorbs the radiation.

For example, food with a higher water composition will cook faster than food with less water because it’ll absorb the microwave faster.

Therefore, the microwave oven’s operation depends on the food composition rather than the weight. However, it doesn’t end here.

The amount of food also influences the cooking time. So when you put two food items in a microwave, you’ll increase the mass of the food, which would influence the cooking time.

You’d have to perform a trial and error method to know the exact percent by which you’d increase your time settings.

However, two similar items may heat up at the same time. So, closely watching your food is essential. 

Why Does it Take Longer to Microwave Two Things?

It takes longer to microwave two things because each food absorbs the same radiation the microwave produces.

Therefore, it reduces the radiation getting into each food, thereby increasing the cooking time.

Generally, the heating power of microwaves is constant. Therefore, they produce the same amount of photons regardless of the amount of food in them.

So when you cook two items in a microwave, they’ll share the radiation the appliance produces, reducing the amount getting into each food.

Therefore, you’d have to increase the cooking time so each food would cook evenly.

Below are the factors that affect the cooking time of two items in a microwave:

Food Type

The nature of the food you place in the microwave majorly affects the cooking time.

For example, boiling two cups of water or coffee will take less time than cooking a pie or heating frozen food.

Also, cooking two different items simultaneously, especially foods with a vast difference in water composition, will affect the timing.

One would heat up faster than the other. So you’d have to stay around to stir and remove the food that cooks first to prevent overcooking. 

Putting off the microwave and stirring large quantities of food will help it cook evenly.

Container’s Material

Using a container with a low energy absorption rate would reduce the amount of radiation penetrating the food per minute. 

This reduction would increase the time to cook each food. So, you should use materials with a higher energy absorption rate. Glass is a good example.

Food Quantity

The quantity of food you put in the containers would also affect the cooking time. The higher the amount of food, the more heat is needed to cook the food.

So, with two bowls, you can cook small amounts at a time or be ready to stir and wait for them to cook properly.

Heat Setting

When you have more food to cook, you should adjust the heat setting to cook the food faster.

Microwave Efficiency

There are different models of microwaves with different wattages. The higher the microwave wattage, the lesser time it takes to cook the food.

So, if you’re using a microwave with less wattage, it’ll be less efficient. Generally, microwave watts vary from 600-1100 watts, and 800 watts is the most common.

So, using 1000 watts to reheat a meal will take half the amount of time when using 800 watts.

In addition, the older your microwave gets, the weaker it becomes. Consequently, the energy level it produces will reduce, which means more cooking time.

Can You Microwave Two Easy Macs at Once?

Yes, you can microwave two easy Macs at the same time. This Kraft Easy Macaroni is easy to prepare in a few minutes.

You only have to increase the cooking time to prepare two packets of easy Macs at once.

Below is a step to prepare two packets of easy Macs:

  • Pour two packets into a microwavable container.
  • Pour enough water to cover the surface of the macaroni.
  • Set the time to 4½ -5 minutes and cook until tender.


Can You Microwave Frozen Vegetables in a Bag?

Microwaving frozen vegetables in a bag would depend on the instructions on the bag. Some frozen vegetable bags aren’t for the microwave. 

Why Do Some Things Take Longer to Microwave?

The food composition,  amount, and starting temperature will affect the cooking time. For example, food higher in water and fat and smaller in size will cook faster.

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