How to Bake Chicken in a Microwave Oven [2024]

Looking for a quick and easy way to cook chicken in the microwave? You’re in the right place! Cooking chicken in the microwave can be a real time-saver, especially when you crave something simple yet delicious. Whether you’re working with a chicken breast or aiming to prepare a whole bird, the microwave can be your go-to method for juicy, tender results.

How to Bake Chicken in a Microwave Oven? To bake chicken in a microwave oven, place seasoned chicken pieces in a microwave-safe dish, cover with a lid or microwave-safe plastic wrap, and cook on high for 4-5 minutes per side. Check for an internal temperature of 165°F to ensure it’s fully cooked.

The key is knowing the right techniques to ensure your chicken doesn’t dry out. By using a microwave-safe dish and covering your chicken with a bit of broth or juice, you can help maintain its moisture. Pay special attention to the thickest parts of the chicken breast to make sure it cooks evenly throughout. With these tips, you’ll find that using the microwave is a straightforward and effective way to cook chicken. Let’s dive into how you can master the art of cooking chicken in the microwave!

Quick Guide to Poaching a Whole Chicken in the Microwave

Quick Guide to Poaching a Whole Chicken in the Microwave

Poaching a whole chicken in the microwave is an easy and quick method to get a tender, juicy meal without firing up your stove or oven. Here’s how to do it right:

Preparing Your Chicken

Start by prepping your chicken. Make sure it’s fully thawed and cleaned. Season it generously inside and out with salt, pepper, and any other seasoning you prefer. This is crucial as it’s the primary layer of flavor for your chicken.

Setting Up Your Microwave

Place your whole chicken in a microwave-safe casserole dish or a deep dish that can handle the microwave oven’s power. If you have a lid for your dish, use it; otherwise, cover the dish tightly with microwave-safe plastic wrap to trap the steam. This setup helps in cooking the chicken evenly and maintaining its moisture.

Cooking Phases

First Phase: Start by microwaving on high for about 10 minutes. This initial high heat helps to bring the chicken up to a temperature that’s conducive for cooking thoroughly.

Second Phase: After the first burst, reduce the power to medium and continue to cook. The general rule of thumb for cooking time in the microwave is about 6-7 minutes per pound. So, adjust your cooking time based on the weight of the chicken.

Checking the Temperature

Halfway through the cooking process, carefully remove the cover (watch out for hot steam) and turn the chicken over to ensure even cooking. This is also a great time to check the temperature of the chicken. Using a food thermometer, check the thickest part of the chicken. The safe internal temperature for cooked chicken is 165°F (75°C).

Finishing Up

Once your chicken reaches the right temperature, let it rest for a few minutes inside the microwave before taking it out. This resting period allows the juices to redistribute throughout the chicken, making it even more tender.

Additional Tips

  • Microwave settings vary: Since microwave ovens can vary in power, adjust the cooking time accordingly. If your microwave does not cook evenly, rotate the piece of chicken a couple of times during cooking.
  • Add flavors: Feel free to add broth, lemon slices, herbs, or spices into the casserole to enhance the flavor.
  • Safety first: Always use microwave-safe utensils and handle hot dishes with care.

What’s the Best Way to Shred Chicken Breast Cooked in the Microwave?

What's the Best Way to Shred Chicken Breast Cooked in the Microwave?

When it comes to shredding chicken breast cooked in the microwave, the key is to start with the right cooking method that keeps the meat tender and easy to shred. Here’s how you can achieve that perfect shred-ready chicken using your microwave.

First, arrange the chicken breasts in a microwave-safe dish. You’ll want to arrange them in a single layer to help them cook more evenly. To create a steam bath, which helps in keeping the chicken moist, add a bit of water to the dish and then cover it with wax paper or microwave-safe plastic wrap. Make sure to remove as much air as possible before sealing the dish; this helps in steaming the chicken properly.

Set your microwave on a medium power level; this is important because high wattage can cause the chicken to cook too fast on the outside while staying raw inside. Start with cooking the chicken for about 4 minutes. After 4 minutes, check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer. The safe internal temperature for chicken is 165 degrees Fahrenheit. If it’s not fully cooked, continue microwaving in increments of 2 minutes, checking the temperature each time. Remember to flip the chicken breasts halfway through cooking to ensure even cooking.

Once your chicken is fully cooked, let it rest for about 3-4 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute, making the chicken even more tender and easier to shred or dice. When it’s time to shred, the chicken should be tender enough to pull apart easily with forks or your fingers.

Always keep in mind the wattage of your microwave as it can greatly affect how quickly the chicken cooks. Adjust cooking times based on your specific microwave to avoid overcooking or undercooking.

This method of poaching chicken in the microwave is efficient and helps you get tender chicken ready for shredding, perfect for adding to salads, sandwiches, or any dish where you need cooked, shredded chicken. With these steps, you’ll find that cooking and shredding chicken in the microwave is a breeze!


As you explore the capabilities of your microwave, you’ll discover it’s more than just a tool for reheating or making quick snacks. It’s a versatile appliance capable of cooking full meals efficiently. When cooking poultry like chicken breasts, for instance, place them in a glass pie plate with their thicker parts toward the outside to ensure even cooking. Cover the dish with waxed paper or parchment and add just enough water to create a steamy environment, cooking the chicken on high for 2 minutes and then letting it stand for 5 minutes to finish cooking in its own heat.

Enhance your microwave meals by incorporating flavorful ingredients like mushroom soup or sour cream, which meld perfectly in the moist heat of the microwave, transforming simple poultry into a succulent dish. This method not only maintains the tenderness and juiciness of the chicken but also infuses rich flavors, making every meal a delight.

These microwave techniques showcase how you can use this appliance to simplify cooking without sacrificing quality. From quick dinners to delicious pot pies, the microwave can do much more than you might expect. Embrace these tips, and you’ll find that your microwave is an indispensable part of your kitchen, enabling you to whip up tasty, satisfying meals with minimal fuss.

Frequently Asked Questions (How to Bake Chicken in a Microwave Oven)

Can you cook chicken in a microwave oven?

Yes, you can cook chicken in a microwave oven. Ensure the chicken is evenly placed in a microwave-safe dish, covered, and cooked on high power, checking for an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to ensure it’s fully cooked and safe to eat.

Which mode is best for chicken in microwave?

The best mode for cooking chicken in a microwave is using the convection or grill setting, if available, as these options can more evenly cook and brown the chicken, enhancing its flavor and texture, compared to standard microwave heating.

How long to microwave fully cooked chicken?

To reheat fully cooked chicken in the microwave, place it on a microwave-safe plate, cover it with a damp paper towel, and heat for 1 to 2 minutes on high, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). Check at 30-second intervals to avoid overcooking.

How do you microwave chicken so it’s not dry?

To microwave chicken without drying it out, place it in a microwave-safe dish, cover with a damp paper towel or microwave-safe lid to trap steam, and cook on medium power in short intervals, checking for doneness periodically to avoid overcooking.

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