Burnt ramen noodles: how to avoid them in the microwave and how to clean out the smell

                by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  September 4, 2021

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Ramen noodles are an inexpensive, (relatively) easy-to-make, delicious meal. However, if you are not paying attention or did not follow the instructions, it could result in burnt noodles or even a small fire.

Burning ramen noodles is a little embarrassing since children as young as eight years old can make it. If you are looking to prevent ramen from burning, you are in the right place.

This article discusses burnt ramen noodles, how to avoid burning your ramen, and how to clean the burnt smell out of your microwave.

Burnt ramen noodles- how to avoid them in the microwave and how to clean out the smell

What causes ramen to burn in the microwave?

Cooking instant ramen noodles in the microwave is done in just a couple of steps.

Forgetting to add water to ramen noodles in the microwave is the main reason ramen burns. However, noodles can burn even if the noodles are wet.

Uncooked noodles catch fire in the microwave because the microwave beams hit the noodles at full force and dry them out. Too much heat without any water causes the noodles to catch fire.

That’s why it’s essential to add the right amount of water to your noodles and keep an eye on it while it is cooking.

What if I burned ramen in the microwave?

You must be careful when you are cooking anything, even if it is just instant noodles.

Burnt noodles in the microwave can cause a small fire. Fires start out small, but they can cause a lot of damage if they are left to get bigger.

If your burned ramen caused a small fire, clean out the microwave and surrounding area as best you can. Throw the noodles away and remember to be more careful next time.

How can I remove the burnt ramen noodle smell?

If you have burned noodles in the microwave, you know that the smell is hard to get rid of.

If you have removed the noodles and wiped down the microwave but still smell burnt noodles, here’s how you can get rid of the smell:

If you do not have vinegar or lemon juice, you can also use a grease-removing cleaning solution.

If the above steps did not work to get rid of the burnt smell, you can add some vanilla extract to two cups of water and heat on high for a couple of minutes.

Let the mixture stay in the microwave for at least ten minutes before removing the mixture.

What is the best way to cook ramen to avoid burning?

The best way to avoid burning your ramen is to follow the directions and keep an eye on it. Don’t let your noodles cook in the microwave unattended.

If you are cooking ramen on the stove, it is even more crucial to keep an eye on it.

Cook instant ramen in the microwave

To cook ramen in the microwave, proceed as follows:

  1. Put the dried noodles in a microwave-safe bowl. You can break up the noodles if you want.
  2. Cover the noodles with water. Depending on the size of your bowl, you should add one to two cups of water.
  3. Cover your bowl with a lid or paper towel and place it in the microwave. Microwave the ramen for at least two and a half minutes, no more than five minutes.
  4. Microwave times can vary, so stop the microwave halfway through to check if the noodles are done.
  5. Let the noodles sit in the microwave after the microwave stops. Letting the noodles sit allows them to cool so you don’t burn yourself.
  6. While the noodles are hot, add the seasoning packet and mix it in. You can also add the seasoning packet before you put your noodles in the microwave.

Cook instant ramen on the stove

To cook ramen on the stove, these are the steps:

Careful with cup ramen

To make cup ramen, never microwave cup ramen or cup noodles. The cups they come in are not microwave-safe.

Instead, boil water in a separate bowl or saucepan and add the boiling water to the cup up to the fill line. Cover the noodles and allow them to sit for at least three minutes.

Here’s How to Make Instant Ramen Without The Packet

Is my ramen burnt or overcooked?

Burnt noodles turn black because they got dried out. This happens more frequently when ramen is cooked in the microwave.

Overcooked ramen will be mushy. Overcooking ramen affects not just the texture of the noodles, but also the flavor.

Ramen noodles can be dangerous if you don’t cook them right.

To be safe, always follow the directions, pay attention (remember to add water!), and don’t leave noodles to cook unattended.

Also read: Can you reheat ramen noodles? Yes! Just keep this in mind

Ever had trouble finding Japanese recipes that were easy to make?

We now have "cooking Japanese with ease", our full recipe book and video course with step-by-step tutorials on your favorite recipes.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.