Can You Microwave Chicken
What to know

Can You Microwave Chicken?

Chicken is delicious. You can deep fry it, bake it, boil it, roast it, steam it, grill it, stew it, and so forth. It’s a white meat dish you can serve six ways till Sunday. Even when frying it, there are various recipes available that you can use in order to make one type of fried chicken taste different from another type.

It’s indeed a super-versatile kind of food that can be served with gravy or barbecue sauce. With that said, can you microwave chicken? Should you microwave chicken? Keep on reading to find out.

Can You Microwave Chicken?

Most people microwave chicken to defrost it. Even then, they avoid defrosting by microwave in light of salmonella or bacterial growth risk. It’s much safer to defrost chicken using the cooler of your refrigerator or putting the frozen bird in a bowl of water.

However, defrosting is different from cooking altogether. If you want to cook raw chicken in your microwave, make sure you have the convection or grill microwave type instead of a simple mini microwave that’s only capable of simple cooking, reheating, and defrosting.

Cooking Chicken with a Microwave

Yes, you can microwave your chicken for cooking purposes if you have the right type of microwave on hand. An underpowered microwave used for heating water or making instant noodles won’t cut it. The right microwave has extra settings on it to help cook the chicken.

It takes advantage of the nature of microwave radiation (which excites water molecules to the point of heating up the food from the inside) and pairs it up with a grill attachment and the like to cook the food in other ways.

Cooking Chicken with a Microwave
Cooking Chicken with a Microwave

Why You Can Cook Chicken in Your Microwave

Regarding how you can cook chicken with the microwave, it mostly depends on the recipe. There are sites out there that even offer you a foolproof method in order to cook chicken by microwaving it.  It’s all about speed and timing.

If you need shredded, tender-juicy chicken while in a hurry then microwaving chicken is your best bet. Cooking chicken in the microwave might not give you the same results as stovetop cooking or baking in your oven, but you’d be surprised at what the microwave can offer in terms of cooked chicken.

Microwave Cooking vs. Other Cooking Types

Usually, an instant pot or crock pot is enough to cook a lot of nicely shredded chicken meat. However, you can use the settings on a sufficiently advanced microwave in order to easily cook the chicken meat. Don’t shred the chicken from the start though.

Take note that there are microwaves out there with a chicken setting you can simply use at the push of the button to cook whole chicken though. However, we’ll also cover how to cook chicken without a chicken setting.

How to Cook Chicken in the Microwave

The simplest way to cook chicken is to prep it with garnishes, spices, and basting material then popping it inside the microwave using the chicken setting. The more advanced microwaves actually feature a button labeled chicken setting or it has an icon of a roasted chicken on there.

Prepping the Chicken for Microwaving

With this setting, you can make nice, juicy chicken breasts every time. Or you can cook shredded chicken meat strips instead. Cutting up the chicken makes it easier for your microwave to evenly cook the chicken instead of cooking only part of it while the rest remains raw.

Place the chicken breasts or shredded chicken on a hard surface like a cutting board then cover with wax paper. Make the chicken more even inside by pounding them with a meat tenderizer.

Can You Microwave Chicken

Use the Right Dish

Get a dish that fits the chicken you’re cooking, whether it’s a whole bird or parts of the breasts or legs. If you’re microwaving two chicken parts, usually a microwave-safe pan measuring 9 inches by 9 inches is enough to fit the average microwave interior.

Put salt and pepper on the breasts then add water on it until it reaches a third the way up the chicken parts. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and wax paper. This will give your chicken a steam bath. Microwave it about 4-5 minutes per chicken part dependent on chicken thickness.

Checking the Temperature of the Chicken

Check the chicken’s temperature using a device like the Thermoworks Thermapen. The ideal temperature is 165°F. Pull out the chicken about 5°F before 165°F (so at 160°F) before. This is because the chicken will continue to cook after it’s taken out of the oven.

Don’t cut the chicken to check how cooked its meat is. This releases the hot juices from the breast, which will then dry it out.

Shredded Chicken Cooking

After removing the chicken from the microwave, let it simmer in its own hot juices for a few more minutes. It’s still cooking. Be careful when removing plastic wrap from the chicken breasts. Some hot steam will escape, which can scald you.

Now you can remove the chicken from the bowl or dish then place on a cutting board. Shred the chicken meat after the breasts have cooled down. You can also shred the meat with a fork. This will get you perfectly juicy shredded chicken when push comes to shove.

More about the Chicken Roast Setting Easy

The auto chicken setting typically lasts about 14 minutes (with 1 minute rest time) and has the power setting at the right level for consistently even chicken cooking. All-in-all, you might end up cooking the bird 3 times or about 45 minutes. It’s supposed to be gradual.

This is the best for breasts and drumstick cooking but it can also work when roasting the whole bird. After the initial cooking, once you’ve basted the bird with a spicy mix, cook the chicken twice using the same chicken setting.


The Bottom Line

To recap, to make shredded microwave chicken, pound breasts between two sheets of wax paper. This is to make their shape thinner and more even. Place the bird on a dish, fill it with water for about one-third the way, and cover with plastic wrap or wax paper.

Heat the chicken for 4-5 minutes per breast. Use a thermometer to check the chicken’s temperature. It should be around 165°F. Afterwards, remove from the microwave, allow to cool, then shred the chicken meat with a cutting board.


Leigh Anne Wilkes, “How to Cook Chicken in the Microwave“,, May 27, 2019

Through the years, the microwave oven has become a standard appliance for all homes. It is safe to say that there is no home without a microwave oven. If you are looking for a microwave oven that best fits your needs, You find the right website.

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