Can you microwave nacho cheese? YES you can! But be careful. Cheese is full of fat, which is why it’s so delicious, but that also means it can get really hot really fast. Also, because of the way microwave ovens work, the cheese might get hot in the middle but still be cool on the outside, which means you might cook it longer than it needs.
How to microwave nacho cheese:
1. Cook in 30-second intervals
2. Stir often
3. Heat the cheese by itself, not on top of nachos – they’ll just go soft.
Many recipes recommend heating cheese in a pan on the stove. This is because a gradual heat helps the cheese keep its consistency. Microwave ovens are powerful, and their waves don’t always distribute evenly through the food. That creates hotspots that can burn the cheese, or worse, your mouth or fingers!
So, put the cheese in a microwave-safe bowl, and cook on medium power for just 30 seconds. Then take it out and stir it thoroughly. This will redistribute the cheese and will help avoid burning. Be sure to stir the outside edges into the center. Cook for another 30 seconds, and repeat the process until the cheese is as hot as you want it to be.
Many commercial brands of nacho cheese come in a very soft form, which is great and convenient for quick melting and preparation. But you can also melt a variety of cheeses, like Monterey Jack, cheddar, or even the pre-grated packages that are used for pizza. Some people blend in a little flour for thickness, and peppers or spicy sauce for a little kick.
Regardless, they all melt basically the same way, and because of their high-fat content, their melting point is pretty low, at 130-140 F. After you have melted it, the cheese will slowly revert to room temperature, and harden up again, so this leads to one more important rule:
Do it last! Prepare the cheese in the microwave oven after everything else is ready. That way it will be as hot as you want it and also, the flavors of the cheese will be at their best.
Finally, if there is any cheese left over at the end of the nacho-fest (this is a rare occurrence in most nacho-loving households), you can store it in an airtight container in the fridge. Yes, this will mean melting it again in the microwave, but it will retain its great flavor and texture for the next event. Enjoy!