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How to Microwave Garlic: A Kitchen Hack for Flavor Enhancement

Garlic is a versatile ingredient that can elevate any dish.

It is an essential ingredient in many cuisines and recipes including pasta dishes, soups, marinades, and dressings.

The traditional cooking methods include stove-top sautéing, oven roasting, or grilling.

However, have you ever considered microwaving garlic?

In this post, we will share the benefits of using the microwave to cook garlic and provide tips on how to do it perfectly.

How to Microwave Garlic

Why You Should Consider Microwaving Garlic

Microwave cooking has become popular for its convenience and speed in reheating food or cooking meals quickly. Here are some benefits of using this method specifically for garlic:

Retains Nutrients

Unlike traditional cooking methods that may cause nutrient loss due to high heat exposure, microwaving can help retain nutrients such as antioxidants in garlic.


Microwave cooking is a quick method when compared with stove-top sautéing or oven roasting techniques.

Easy Cooking Option

Microwaving is an easy way to cook small amounts of garlic cloves or prepare a simple dish like garlic butter or even toasted garlic bread.

Step-by-Step Guide on How To Microwave Garlic

Whether you’re looking to cook minced, sliced or whole garlic cloves, microwaving them is straightforward if you follow these easy steps:

Step 1: Prepare the Garlic Cloves

Peel off the outer layer of the cloves after washing them under cold water. Either slice them thinly into pieces or mince finely depending on your preference.

Step 2: Place Them Into A Microwave Safe Bowl

Place prepared cloves into a microwave-safe bowl with a lid. Make sure there’s enough room for expansion without overflowing at higher power settings.

Step 3: Sprinkle with Water

Add one tablespoon of water over every five cloves to give moisture to the garlic during the cooking process.

Step 4: Put The Lid On And Microwave

Place the lid on top of the bowl and set your microwave to high power setting. Cook for 30 seconds and then check if they are cooked through, adjust a few seconds or minutes more depending on whether they need to be softer or not.

Step 5: Remove The Garlic From Microwave

Take out the bowl from the microwave using oven gloves, let it sit for a minute or two before removing its lid because steam can hurt you. Use as directed in your recipe, keep leftovers covered in an airtight container in your fridge.

Precautions for Microwaving Garlic

Though microwaving garlic cloves is relatively safe and easy, here are some precautions that need attention:

  • Use a microwave-safe container with a well-fitting lid.
  • Don’t overcook the garlic as it won’t be soft and may result in an unpleasant taste.
  • Add water only as directed; adding too much can make them mushy instead of crispier.

Factors Affecting Cooking Time

The cooking time depends on several factors that could impact how well-cooked or underdone microwave garlic ends up. Some of these factors are:

  • Power setting of your microwave
  • The amount of garlic
  • The size of cloves
  • The moisture level (dryness) of garlic

One way to manage these factors is to experiment with low wattage levels at first until you learn how many seconds or minutes work best with your specific microwave appliance.

Expert Tips for Perfectly Microwaving Garlic

Here are some expert tips that could help you achieve perfectly cooked microwaved garlic every time:

Lid Use

Don’t forget to cover the bowl when microwaving; this helps trap moisture inside which will prevent over-drying, thus limiting any deterrence from already potent flavor notes in raw garlic.

Chopped or Whole Cloves

Chopped and sliced pieces will cook faster than whole cloves, so adjust cooking time accordingly.

Room Temperature

Bring garlic cloves to room temperature before microwaving to ensure even cooking throughout.

Advantages of Microwaving Garlic

Using the microwave for cooking garlic has a variety of advantages:

  • It’s quick and easy, taking just a few minutes.
  • It retains nutrients as mentioned before in the post.
  • You can cook with minimal oil which makes it healthier than other traditional methods.
  • The garlic retains more of its natural flavor using this method compared to stove-top sautéing or oven roasting techniques.

Disadvantages of Microwaving Garlic

Like all cooking methods, using microwave heating also comes with some disadvantages. Here are a few potential drawbacks:

  • Cooking tends to become uneven if the microwave is not clean enough because dirt can interfere in some way with cooking times or power settings on your machine.
  • Garlic may lose some texture and crispness due to inherent hot spots in microwaves.
  • Overcooking risks garlic becoming bitter, softened too much, and tasting unpleasant.

Frequently Asked Questions about Microwaving Garlic

Can I reheat my leftover microwaved garlic?

Yes! Instead of throwing it away, you could reuse it up after allowing it to cool on a plate covered over with plastic wrap. Afterward placing any uneaten portions stored in an airtight container at your desired fridge temperature until needed again.

How does microwaving affect the flavor profile of garlic?

Not all widely loved dishes have rich flavors that make them popular—maybe browning onions would be one example where no one wants anything raw here while making that classic French sauce for steak diane; at times garlic needs cooked but shyly underneath as there’s often no real nutritious gain from burning both ingredients together.

How Can I Use Microwave Garlic in Everyday Cooking?

You can mix it into garlic butter, use it to flavor marinades and dressings, add it to roasted vegetables or soups for an extra boost in flavor. Also, you can make flavorful crostini by spreading the microwaved garlic on top of toasted baguettes.


Microwaving garlic cloves is a simple and convenient way to save time while retaining its nutritional benefits and its natural taste profile. It offers versatile cooking options for lovers of the flavorsome ingredient.

Remember when preparing your microwave’s power setting or use any other expert tips that we have mentioned here, so you get your desired texture and flavour intensity each time! Try out some new dishes with microwave garlic soon!

jenny happy muncher
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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.