Is It Possible To Cook Raw Chicken In A Microwave?

There's no denying that microwaves are handy β€” from making popcorn to reheating leftovers, our kitchens wouldn't be the same without them. But have you ever wondered if it's possible to use your microwave to cook main proteins, like chicken? While it is technically doable, and even advised in certain cases, cooking chicken in a microwave poses a few distinct challenges that are important to consider before attempting.

When dealing with raw poultry, it's always important to consider food safety. According to the USDA, it is safe to cook chicken in the microwave. However, because of the nature of microwave cooking, doing so can result in uneven cooking and cold spots. Bacteria can thrive in these cold spots, so it's essential to make sure all parts of the dish have reached a safe internal temperature before consuming it.

Medical News Today reiterates that point, emphasizing that actually cooking something in a microwave is very different than simply reheating it β€” which is why testing the internal temperature in multiple spots using a food thermometer is key.

How to cook chicken in the microwave

If you are set on making chicken in your microwave, there are a few things you can do to ensure a yummy final dish. According to Epicurious, you shouldn't attempt to cook a whole chicken in the microwave β€” you may get an overcooked exterior while the interior remains practically raw. Moreover, it's impossible to get the crispy, golden skin associated with roast chicken in a microwave: instead, you'll get something pale and rubbery in texture.

Rather than try to replicate the results of a seared, braised, or roast chicken, you should embrace the microwave's limitations. Per Epicurious, chicken breast that's been pounded super thin, somewhere around ΒΌ inch, is ideal for microwaving. This, along with resting and rotating the cutlets between microwave segments, will ensure even and complete cooking.

The English Kitchen, meanwhile, recommends making shredded chicken in the microwave by first poaching chicken breasts in a shallow container of liquid. When covered and microwaved, the enclosed environment essentially steams the chicken, keeping it moist. Once you're finished with the recipe, the chicken can be shredded or cubed for use in other dishes.