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How to Microwave a Bagel: A Quick Breakfast Hack

If you’re looking for a fast and easy breakfast that’s both satisfying and affordable, microwaving your bagel might just be the answer you’ve been searching for.

This kitchen hack is perfect for college students looking for quick dorm meals or anyone who’s short on time but still wants a delicious breakfast.

In this post, we’ll be discussing the benefits of microwaving bagels, the steps to take to do it correctly, precautions to keep in mind, factors that can affect your cooking time, expert tips for perfectly microwaving your bagel, advantages and disadvantages of using this method, frequently asked questions about microwaving bagels and more.

How to Microwave a Bagel

Why You Should Consider Microwaving Bagels

Microwaving your bagel instead of using a toaster oven or conventional oven has several benefits.

It’s Faster

Microwaving can save you time compared to other heating methods like baking or toasting. Since microwave ovens cook food through radiation, they heat up food instantly without requiring any preheating time.

More Convenient

Microwave ovens are easily accessible; most kitchens including offices have them installed. So if you’re in rush in the morning or running late for work/school, then making breakfast by using microwave is undoubtedly more convenient than other heating methods.

Saves Energy

Another benefit of microwaves is energy conservation; unlike ovens that need preheat times and consume tons of electricity while cooking slowly over hours before cooling down at room temperature. Microwaves consume less energy while making food hot quickly which helps save on electricity bills.

Step-by-Step Guide on How To Microwave Bagels

While there are many different “recipes” out there when it comes to nuking your bagel in the microwave (some involving wrapping it in moist paper towels), we’ve put together our preferred method that works well.

Step 1: Choose the Right Microwave-Safe Container

You want to choose a container that’s both microwave-safe and that fits your bagel.

A good example would be a shallow bowl or plate with edges that are high enough to prevent any spillage as the moisture from the bagel is released during cooking.

Porcelain, glass, and ceramic dishware work well in microwaves because they are more resistant to rapid changes in temperature than plastic!

Step 2: Slice Your Bagel in Half

Use a knife to slice your bagel along its middle so you have two halves that can(usually) be laid flat on your chosen dish.

Step 3: Place the Bagels on Your Plate and Cover them with a Damp Paper Towel

Place both halves of your sliced bagel onto your microwaveable plate or bowl, cut side up. Dampen one side of paper towel (not soaking wet), then lay it over your bagels so they are covered.

Step 4: Heat Up Your Bagels for about 20-30 seconds

Set microwave power to medium-high and heat up the plate containing the covered bagels for about 20-30 seconds or however long is needed until desired warmth is achieved. Be careful not too heat too long because microwaving for too long might result in overcook/ burnt appearance or taste.

Step5: Ready To Serve

After taking it out from Microwave, remove damp paper towel layer to avoid excess moistening content inside each slice either use butter cream cheese almond butter jam honey etc..whatever suits you!

Precautions for Microwaving Bagels

Some precautions should be taken when using a microwave oven:

  • Be cautious when handling hot dishes.
  • Wear oven mitts or use an insulated pad.
  • Avoid letting containers sit inside for extended periods. The constant heating can cause steam which could explode in the oven, damaging the appliance or causing injury.
  • Avoid using metal containers or utensils inside a microwave, because they will cause sparks.

Factors Affecting Cooking Time

The factors that can affect your cook time for microwaving a bagel include:

  • Bagel Size: Different sizes of bagels will take different amounts of time in the microwave.
  • Microwave Power: The higher power setting will cook food faster but may cause “hot spots”. Turntable microwaves are better at cooking evenly than non-turntable types which may lead to uneven heating. Bigger bags need more wattage of power to heat them up quickly and vice versa
  • Humidity: Humidity levels vary based on the size and weight of the bagel as well as how long it’s been sitting– this impacts Cookin speed since moisture conducts energy differently than air. Moisture is important when reheating food; food with little moisture can easily burn in microwaves.

Expert Tips for Perfectly Microwaving Bagels

Here are some expert tips to ensure your microwave-baked bagels come out perfectly every time:

Toast Your Bagel First

If you want your bagel to be crispy after microwaving, put it in your toaster oven/toaster first before putting in Microwave.

Use Higher Power Setting

Don’t be afraid to set your microwave’s power setting higher since it’ll cook faster with high watts output.

Check Bagels Frequently While Microwaving

Prevent overheating or burning by checking frequently while cooking; each microwave has unique features that vary from each other like temperature sensor etc. so check them often as frequent checking helps prevent overcooking, scorching or burns on outer crust of baked goods especially with small-sized items such as an individual slice of bread or just one half piece of any toasted bread like muffins, croissants etc.

Advantages Of Microwaving Bagels

Here are some advantages to microwaving your bagel:

  • More energy-efficient than using your oven.
  • Quick and easy way to prepare breakfast in a hurry.
  • Frozen bagels can be quickly thawed with the microwave.

Disadvantages Of Microwaving Bagels

Some of the disadvantages to microwaving your bagel are:

  • It doesn’t crisp up as well as it does in a toaster oven or conventional oven.
  • Sometimes leaves its outer crust soggy due to heating limitations of Microwave.

Frequently Asked Questions about Microwaving Bagels

Can I still use my plastic container for microwaving my bagel?

Yes! Just ensure that it is microwave-safe before using it.

Can I cook frozen bagels in the microwave too?

Absolutely. While there isn’t any specialized technique for cooking with frozen food, adding an additional 10 seconds(will take longer) into reheating is enough time for these foods since they are already precooked.

Does each Microwave behave differently?

Each appliance comes with unique features that vary from one another, so yes, microwaves’ output wattage and functionality will differ accordingly. But you may observe adjustments by changing temperate settings or cooking time etc., depending on your individual machine model!


Microwave-baked bags might not be the crispiest option out there, but they’re fast and convenient enough to justify their occasional use especially if you’re running late or have limited time available.

With this easy method at hand, college students can make dorm meals without much hassle while people who like savory morning bites could consider this shortcut when preparing a quick breakfast before work!

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Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.