4

Amy's Burrito Battle: Oven vs. Microwave Preparation

I have a very serious, very real love affair with Amy's Kitchen-brand frozen meals. Granted, my foray into the Light & Lean line -- via the Spinach Lasagna -- was unsuccessful, but on the whole I find the offerings in the Amy's line of frozen foods to be among the best in the freezer case.

Apart from the high quality, what I like best about Amy's is the wide variety -- there is always something to hit the spot for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Whether you need a little snack, a slice of pizza, a comforting entrée, or a meal to suit a special dietary restriction (low-sodium, gluten-free, low-calorie, dairy-free), Amy's usually has something on the shelf that fits the bill.

The one thing I always have on hand in my freezer is a selection of Amy's burritos. At about 300 calories each they are perfectly portioned for any meal. If I eat them at breakfast I add an egg; for lunch or dinner, I throw in a salad. Last week, just as I was about to pop the paper-towel wrapped burrito into the microwave, I noticed the conventional oven directions and wondered -- would a 55-minute cook time improve (if slow down) my Fast Times experience?

The short answer is "no." I was very surprised to find that the oven method didn't noticeably improve the quality of the burrito -- in fact, the oven warming method resulted in a lukewarm burrito with a somewhat dry outer wrap.

The microwave vs. oven instructions breakdown as follows: When cooking in the microwave, wrap the burrito in a paper towel and nuke for 2.5-3 minutes; when cooking in the oven, wrap in aluminum foil and bake at 350 °F for 50-55 minutes. I baked mine for 52 minutes, but the burrito was just barely warmed through; no cold spots, but certainly not satisfyingly hot.

Another issue I found was the texture of the wrap. When microwave cooking, the steam softens the wheat wrap to a pliable texture, but oven baking left the wrap dry. Not fatally dry, but I did find that when slicing the burrito in half the dry layers were easily unraveled. The verdict: When it comes to Amy's burritos, microwaving results in a superior product -- Fast Times, for the win.

But as far as flavors go, Amy's burritos are top-notch. The beans and cheese are soft and creamy, and oh-so-satisfying. I do like to add a bit of salsa or a dash of hot sauce for some acidity to cut through the rich bean-and-cheese filling, along with whatever other toppings I toss on (fried egg, avocado/guacamole, sour cream).

As far as I'm concerned, Amy's burritos are a freezer staple -- like ice cubes, only delicious. Stock up!

Nutritional Info: 310 calories, 9 g fat, 580 mg sodium, 46 g carbs, 7 g dietary fiber, 1 g sugar, 11 g protein


Follow Eating Our Words on Facebook and on Twitter @EatingOurWords

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send: