Thursday, January 25, 2007

Perfect Kraft Dinner

Kraft Foods Inc.Image via WikipediaFirst of all, I have to say that I'm a little pissed at Kraft. They used to have the microwave cooking instructions printed on the box, but now they tell you to visit kraftdinner.com to get them. Yeh, it's not rocket science, but if you don't make it often enough and forget, you have to waste your time going there to get them. I suspect that it's a ploy to get you to their web site. What a pain in the ass.

One of the biggest problems with making KD is trying to avoid gritty lumps of cheese powder in your KD. The other problem is soupy KD. Making it in the microwave solves the soupy problem because you don't need to drain the cooked macaroni. But the powdery chunk dilemma may still haunt you.

A couple of years ago, I figured out how to make perfect KD 99.9% of the time. The key is to get the butter (or margarine) melted in with the milk, and pre-mix the cheese powder before pouring it into the bowl of macaroni.

While I was making KD for my kids this evening, I decided I'd write it up and post it here on my blog. (Ok, I'm bored...)

I'm sure you could easily come up with different ways to accomplish the same thing, but here's how I do it, and it doesn't take any more time than not pre-mixing the cheese powder. This is basically a slightly modified method of how Kraft tells you to do it:
  1. Boil around 3 cups of water in a kettle.
  2. Pour the dry macaroni from the box into a microwave-safe bowl.
  3. Using a glass measuring cup, measure and pour 1 & 3/4 cups of boiled water into the bowl over the macaroni.
  4. Using a large spoon, stir the macaroni around so it's not all stuck together, place the bowl in the microwave and turn it on high for 9 minutes (time may vary depending on your microwave)
  5. Get a bowl that you're going to eat from and sit the glass measuring cup in the bowl.
  6. Pour boiled water into the bowl around the measuring cup so the measuring cup is sitting in the hot water. (the reason I use the same bowl that I'll be eating from is to save having to clean another dish) :)
  7. Pour 1/4 cup of milk into the measuring cup.
  8. Put 3 tbl spoons of butter or margarine into the measuring cup. At this point, the milk will start to get warm, along with the butter, and begin to melt.
  9. Check the microwave to see how much time is left. If it's 6 minutes, stop it, stir the macaroni around to make sure it's not stuck together, and turn it back on.
  10. Using a fork, begin stirring the butter & milk mix in the measuring cup. It should be getting fairly soupy by now. You don't want any chunks of butter or margarine.
  11. Keep stirring the butter mix until there's 3 minutes left on the microwave. At the 3 minute mark, stop it again, stir the macaroni, and turn it back on.
  12. The butter and milk should be all creamy by now. Pour the KD cheese mix into the measuring cup and stir it up, making sure to break up any powdery chunks. If you're done before the microwave is finished, take the measuring cup out of the bowl and pour the water out of the bowl into the sink.
  13. Now that the macaroni is done, take the bowl out and stir the macaroni around to break it up. It's probably like one solid mass right now. Once the mass is broken up, pour the pre-mixed cheese mix into the bowl and stir until all the macaroni noodles are covered in the cheese mix.
There you go! Perfect KD. No powdery cheese mix chunks, and no KD soup!

Note to visitors: This page seems to be the main source of traffic for my blog. Please leave a comment telling me why you came here and how you found it. Did you search for the microwave instructions because you couldn't find it on Kraft's web site? Did you get here from another web page? Let me know! :)

3 comments:

  1. THANK YOU!!! U are absolutely right! the See kraftdinner.com for microwave prep was the most ANNOYING thing i've read, on top of that the website was ridiculous since my internet connection was too slow for their website so i couldnt even begin to look for directions, so i gave up and googled it and lo and behold ur recipe came up (A GIFT FROM HEAVEN!!) i was starving after work so thanks for saving me tons of time!!!!! THANK U THANK U!!

    Peace

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  2. Brilliant Paterson! I must give this a try -- my son LOVES the KD. Might be a bit of work to get used to all the details, but I am sure after the first time, it will be a breeze.

    Microwaves are so convenient but a LOT of food can be ruined if you don't know how to do it perfectly. Like scrambled eggs, hot dogs, potatoes... Although, I am unsure about all of these (they elude me and I don't want to waste food figuring it out!) but we have found a perfect-every-time rice recipe if you want it. Perhaps others can post on how to make that perfect baked potato or scrambled egg goodness. :)

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  3. Tried it, great idea! 2nd time I tried it with a egg, worked out even better!

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