Can You Microwave Turkey?

Q: When your oven breaks but you need to (or simply want to) prepare a turkey for lunch, a microwave is a good solution. You can cook a whole turkey or in pieces. Here, you are going to see what is the proper way of doing it.

How to Cook a Whole Turkey in a Microwave?

If possible, it is always better to cook your turkey in parts, i.e in slices than a whole, but if you want to cook it as a whole it is also possible as long as your turkey is not too big. Additionally, we have to warn you not to cook a stuffed turkey since that won’t be a successful procedure. Also, make sure that your turkey is not frozen but thawed.

The size of a turkey to be cooked in a microwave should be about 10-14 pounds, depending on the size of your microwave. You can cook it bare but if you want to be sure that the heat is evenly spread and that the turkey is evenly cooked, it is better to place it in a plastic bag for microwave cooking. Don’t forget to leave a room for the steam to come out of the bag.

The time required for your turkey to be properly cooked is about 2 hours, or to be more precise about 10 minutes per pound at the middle microwave heating power. Don’t forget to rotate your turkey/bowl every 15 minutes.

How to Prepare Sliced Turkey in a Microwave?

You should start by thawing your turkey (breast) and slicing it. Then you should carefully remove the skin from the pieces and sprinkle them on both sides with salt and pepper. Let it sit a bit in the fridge – from one to 12 hours – and then you can cook it.

It is advisable to cook each piece separately, but still, this mostly depends on the size of the pieces. If the pieces of your turkey are small, you can cook a few of them at the same time. Your common sense will guide you on this matter.

Be that as it may, your turkey slices/pieces should be cooked this way:

  • Take a microwave-safe bowl, place the turkey in it and pour a cup of water over it.
  • Cover the meat with a plastic wrap and cook it in a microwave for about five minutes on high power.
  • Then, for another five minutes, cook it on middle power.
  • Then take the bowl out and flip the meat so that the other side can be cooked the same way. Cover the meat again with a plastic wrap and cook it for another 10 minutes on the middle power.
  • The meat is ready to be served now and while you are waiting it to cool, you can microwave the skin you removed from it. (This is if you want to eat that skin, but most people decide to simply throw it away to reduce the fat intake. Still, the skin is delicious.)
  • The skin should be sparkled with salt and microwaved for about five minutes.

Why Is It More Difficult to Microwave Turkey Than Chicken?

The reason is simple – because turkey is bigger and tougher than chicken. Here are the main differences in microwaving these two types of poultry:

  • You can microwave your chicken uncovered, while turkey has to be covered with plastic wrap, or in a plastic bag (vented). This is because it is hard for the heat to reach all the parts of the turkey evenly, especially the turkey’s center, even when the temperature is at the highest
  • When microwaving a whole turkey, the microwave’s power should not be high, but mostly middle, unlike with a chicken which you can fully cook at the highest temperature
  • It is easier to cook your turkey in slices/pieces and your chicken as a whole

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