How To Safely Defrost Food In Microwave?

How to Defrost Food in Microwave

Defrosting frozen food seems quite frustrating at times, and it feels like forever to defrost it thoroughly. You might also have encountered a situation where some guests are coming over, and even though you have frozen meat stored at home, you need to defrost it fast.

In that situation, when you are running low on time, you might glance at the microwave sitting on top of your kitchen shelf and wonder, how to defrost food in a microwave?

Thawing your favorite meal in a microwave is a safe and quick alternative if you plan to cook it immediately. You can use the defrost button on your microwave and adjust it according to the type of food you want to defrost. To ensure safe defrosting, always place it in a microwave-safe dish.

Defrosting by microwave is the most effortless and efficient way if you need to thaw the food urgently. However, to ensure secure refreezing, you need to be mindful of the time, weight, etc. Check out this article to learn more about these intricate details.

Is it Safe to Defrost Food in a Microwave?

Microwave is a super handy appliance that has made thawing and reheating foods much more effortless. But, when it comes to defrosting food in a microwave, people have mixed opinions.

So, if you are a very busy person and can’t afford to spend too much time heating/defrosting, you’ll be happy to learn that it is safe to refreeze meals in a microwave. But only if you are sure you’ll be cooking all of it right away.

Defrosting by microwave is a preferred way of defrosting when you need to thaw your meal as soon as possible. When you place it in a microwave, it’ll hardly take 8-10 minutes to soften up completely.

However, before you go and defrost everything in a microwave, it’s vital to know that once you thaw the food inside it, you will not be able to refreeze it. According to USDA, refreezing food thawed in a microwave is strictly advised against.

It is also better to know that you cannot defrost all types of edibles with the help of a microwave and expect them to retain their texture. You should avoid putting soft foods in a microwave oven, as the heat will significantly reduce the quality.

How to Defrost Food in a Microwave?

Defrosting your delicious platter in a microwave is an easy way to get instant results. However, you need to be mindful of a few settings and tips to ensure safe thawing.

To learn more about secure defrosting using a microwave, you can follow these step-by-step instructions.

  1. Start by removing the food from its original packaging and placing it inside a microwavable dish. It is essential to do so because the frozen edibles are usually kept in plastic bags/tubs. And, plastic is not microwave-friendly, as it can make the heated food unsafe for consumption.
  2. Once you place your meal in a microwave-safe container, look for the defrost button ad start adjusting the settings according to its type and weight.
  3. Next, instead of defrosting all the bulk at once, do it in intervals. During each interval, keep turning the food over and breaking it apart to ensure it gets proper exposure to heat. This step is needed only if your microwave doesn’t have a built-in auto-rotate feature.
  4. Once the food has been defrosted completely, cook it immediately.

How Long It Takes to Defrost Food in a Microwave?

How long it takes for food to defrost depends on what type of product you want to defrost and how much it weighs. You’ll notice that vegetables defrost relatively faster than meat, chicken, fish, etc.

Most types of meat generally take 7-10 minutes/pound to thaw completely. On the other hand, defrosting vegetables takes only 2-3 minutes.

However, the time needed to thaw completely may change because of less or more quantity. If the vegetable/meat is plenty, it will take more time to defrost thoroughly. On the contrary, if the amount is less, the time taken to thaw will also be lower.

How to Defrost Chicken in a Microwave?

How to Defrost Chicken in a Microwave

Chicken that has not been appropriately defrosted won’t cook well and contain harmful bacteria that can make you sick. If you are curious about defrosting chicken, you can follow the method given below to ensure safe defrosting. Chicken is going to take about 8 minutes/pound to defrost thoroughly.

How to Defrost Turkey in a Microwave?

How to Defrost Turkey in a Microwave

Defrosting turkey might seem like a hectic job, but thanks to the microwave. If you are looking for how to defrost the turkey, you’ll be glad to know that the defrosting process is pretty much the same as chicken.

Find out the weight of the turkey and set up the defrost settings accordingly. Remember that it’ll take 6 minutes for 1 pound of turkey to fully thaw.

Another thing you can do while defrosting is to keep pausing to check if all the turkey meat is getting thawed well or not. You should try to do this, especially if your microwave has no auto-rotate feature.

How to Defrost Sausages in a Microwave?

How to Defrost Sausages in a Microwave

Sausages are supposed to be quick to prepare food. And you’ll be delighted to know that it is entirely safe to defrost sausages in a microwave. The defrosting method is the same as we mentioned above. 3-4 minutes is the maximum time range required to thaw the sausages well.

How to Defrost Meat in a Microwave?

How to Defrost Meat in a Microwave

Remove the original packaging, put it in a microwave-safe container, and defrost according to the weight. Defrosting meat is nothing different than defrosting chicken. However, keep flipping it over and breaking it apart to ensure it is thawed to the core. Or else, it won’t be able to cook properly.

A pound of meat will take about 8-10 minutes to thaw.

How to Defrost Fish in a Microwave?

How to Defrost Fish in a Microwave

To safely defrost fish in a microwave, take out the frozen fish and place it on a microwave-safe dish. Next, change the microwave settings to defrost and turn it on for 1 minute. After that, take it out of the microwave, turn it over, and pop it back in. Continue turning the fish over after 1 minute until you think the fish has thawed completely.

How to Defrost Ground Beef in a Microwave?

How to Defrost Ground Beef in a Microwave

Ground beef will take 2-3 minutes to defrost entirely. Remove the packaging and pop it into the microwave in a microwavable dish. Keep turning it over every 45 seconds until the ground beef is defrosted completely.

Make sure the power is medium/medium-low throughout the defrosting process.

How to Defrost Bacon in a Microwave?

How to Defrost Bacon in a Microwave

Defrosting bacon is pretty much the same as defrosting meat. Follow the exact instructions as you would for the latter and keep checking and flipping after 1-minute intervals to ensure it has adequately thawed. Bacon might take a bit longer to defrost entirely because of the high-fat content. So, avoid being impatient and give it the proper time to thaw.

How to Defrost Bread in a Microwave?

How to Defrost Bread in a Microwave

You should avoid thawing/defrosting the bread in a microwave due to food safety concerns. Once thawed in a microwave, you won’t be able to refreeze it again. However, if you must, you can take out the needed slices only and thaw them on full power for 15-25 seconds.
The bread slices might not be safe for consumption, but they will remain safe for eating within 2 hours.


Defrosting by microwave is allowed when you decide to cook the thawed food instantly. Refreezing the meal after defrosting it in a microwave is strictly not advised. You can safely defrost fruits and vegetables in a microwave within 2-3 minutes.

You can also defrost beef, chicken, fish, sausages, turkey, and other types of meat quickly in a microwave oven. Thawing different types of meat will take anywhere between 5-10 minutes. Sometimes the defrosting process can take even longer if you thaw a large quantity.

If you want to defrost food in a microwave, it’s best to use a heat-resistant dish and adjust the power accordingly.


Tauseeq is the principal creator of He loves cooking and wants to help others overcome kitchen challenges through practical advice and solutions.

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