How to Roast Meats in a Microwave: Tips and Tricks

Picture this: it’s a busy weeknight and you’re craving a juicy, tender piece of meat for dinner. But you don’t have hours to spend cooking in the oven. What do you do? Have you ever considered perfectly roasting meats in a microwave? Yes, you read that right! With the right techniques and tools, you can achieve mouthwatering results in a fraction of the time. In this article, we’ll guide you through the step-by-step process of roasting meats in a microwave, from choosing the right cut to troubleshooting common issues. Get ready to impress your taste buds and your dinner guests with these tips for perfectly roasted meats in a microwave.

Choosing the Right Cut of Meat

Choosing The Right Cut Of Meat
When it comes to perfectly roasting meats in a microwave, selecting the right cut of meat is crucial. The type of meat you choose will have a significant impact on the final result. While most meats can be roasted in a microwave, certain cuts of meat work better than others. For example, lean cuts such as chicken breasts and pork loin are ideal for microwave roasting since they don’t require a lot of cooking time. On the other hand, tougher cuts like beef brisket may not be the best choice for microwave roasting. In this section, we’ll explore the factors to consider when choosing the right cut of meat for your microwave roast, including selecting the ideal size and trimming the fat.

If you’re also interested in roasting veggies in a microwave, check out our guide to roasting vegetables in a microwave for more information on how to do it.

Selecting the Ideal Size

When selecting the ideal size of meat for roasting in a microwave, it’s important to consider the wattage of your particular microwave model. Most microwaves have a wattage between 600 to 1200 watts, with some microwaves reaching up to 1800 watts. As a general rule, the higher the wattage, the larger the cut of meat you can roast in your microwave.

It’s important to choose a cut of meat that will fit comfortably in your microwave. This means that you need to take both the size of your microwave and the size of the meat into consideration. As a general guideline, a microwave-safe dish that is 12 inches in diameter can accommodate a roast that is up to 4 pounds.


Microwave Wattage Ideal Meat Size
600-800 watts Roasts up to 2-3 pounds
900-1200 watts Roasts up to 4 pounds
1200-1800 watts Roasts up to 6 pounds

However, it’s important to keep in mind that the length of time it takes to roast the meat will be affected by the size and weight of the meat, as well as the wattage of the microwave. If you’re unsure about what size of meat to buy, it’s a good idea to consult your microwave’s owner manual or refer to online resources for guidance.

When choosing a cut of meat, it’s also important to consider the number of people you’re serving and how much meat each person will consume. For example, if you’re hosting a dinner party for six people and everyone will have a serving size of 6 ounces of meat, you’ll need a 3-pound roast to have enough meat for everyone.

By selecting the ideal size of meat for your microwave, you can ensure that your roast will cook evenly and thoroughly, producing delicious and succulent results. And, with the advantages of microwave roasting, like reduced cooking times and energy savings, it’s no wonder why more and more people are turning to this innovative cooking method. Check out our previous article on the advantages of microwave roasting to learn more about why this method is becoming so popular.

Trimming the Fat

When it comes to roasting meats in the microwave, trimming the fat is an important step that shouldn’t be overlooked. While fat can add flavor to the meat, it can also lead to an overpowering taste and an unhealthy excess of calories. A well-trimmed piece of meat will ensure a more balanced and tasty result.

Why Trim the Fat?

Trimming the fat from the meat is necessary for several reasons. First, it helps to prevent flare-ups, which can cause the meat to cook unevenly or even burn. Second, it helps to reduce the overall fat content of the meat, making it healthier to eat. Finally, trimming the fat can help to create a more appealing appearance and texture for the finished dish.

How to Trim the Fat

To trim the fat from your chosen cut of meat, you will need a sharp knife and a cutting board. Begin by identifying the areas where the fat is located. Common areas include along the edges and in between muscle fibers. Use the knife to carefully cut away any visible fat.

When trimming the fat, it’s important to be careful not to remove too much, as this can result in dry and tough meat. Aim to leave a thin layer of fat (no more than 1/4 inch) in order to preserve flavor and moisture.

What to Do with the Trimmings

Don’t throw away the trimmed fat! While you don’t want to eat it in large quantities, small amounts can be added to other dishes. For example, you can render the fat by cooking it slowly over low heat and then use it for sautéing or roasting vegetables. The fat can also be used to add flavor to soups, stews, and sauces.

Final Thoughts

Trimming the fat from your cut of meat is an important step in ensuring that your microwave roast comes out perfectly. This simple step can make a big difference in the overall taste and texture of your dish. For more tips on microwave roasting, check out our comparison of microwave and traditional roasting techniques, our guide to using microwave roasting bags, or our collection of creative microwave roasting recipes.


One of the most important steps in perfectly roasting meats in a microwave is seasoning. Making sure your meat is properly seasoned will enhance the flavor of your dish and leave your taste buds wanting more. But with numerous options for seasoning, it can be perplexing to choose the right one. In this section, we will explore the variations between marinades and rubs and provide tips for applying them to your meat. So, let’s dive in and see how to season meat like a pro!

Marinades vs. Rubs

Many home chefs wonder whether it’s better to use a marinade or a rub when cooking meat in the microwave. Both methods can add flavor and tenderness to the meat, but they work in different ways.

Marinades are a liquid mixture of ingredients like acid, oil, and herbs that are used to tenderize and flavor the meat. The acid, often from vinegar or citrus juice, breaks down the proteins in the meat and allows the flavors of the marinade to infuse into the meat. Marinades can take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours to work their magic.

Rubs, on the other hand, are a dry mixture of ingredients such as spices, herbs, and sugar that are applied directly to the surface of the meat. Rubs add flavor and texture to the meat and can help create a crust on the outside. Rubs are quicker to apply than marinades because they do not require any waiting time.

To decide which method to use, consider the time available and the desired outcome. Marinades require more planning and time, but they can add a depth of flavor to the meat that rubs may not achieve. Rubs are easier and quicker to use, but they may not penetrate the meat as deeply as a marinade.

Here’s a summary of the differences between marinades and rubs:

Marinades Rubs
Ingredients Liquid mixture of acid, oil, and herbs Dry mixture of spices, herbs, and sugar
Application Soak meat in marinade for 30 minutes to several hours Apply rub directly to meat’s surface
Flavor Infuses deep flavor into meat Adds flavor and texture to meat’s surface
Time Requires more planning and time Quick and easy to apply

Ultimately, the decision between a marinade or rub is up to personal preference. Try experimenting with both and see which one yields the best results for your taste.

Applying Seasonings

When it comes to applying seasonings to your meat, there are two main options: marinades and rubs. Both options offer different flavors and benefits, so it’s important to choose the right one for your cut of meat.

Marinades: Marinating your meat involves soaking it in a liquid mixture, typically consisting of oil, acid (like vinegar or citrus juice), and a variety of herbs and spices. Marinades work best for lean meats to add extra flavor and tenderness. To apply a marinade:

Step 1: Choose a container large enough to hold your meat and the marinade.
Step 2: Whisk together your marinade ingredients and pour them into the container.
Step 3: Add your meat to the container and make sure it is fully submerged in the marinade.
Step 4: Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to several hours, depending on the cut of meat.
Step 5: Remove the meat from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels before seasoning with salt and pepper or your rub mixture.

Rubs: Rubs are a dry mix of herbs and spices that are applied directly to the surface of the meat. They work best for fatty or tougher cuts of meat to add bold flavors and help create a flavorful crust. To apply a rub:

Step 1: Choose a bowl or plate large enough to hold your meat.
Step 2: Combine your rub ingredients in a small bowl or mortar and pestle.
Step 3: Pat your meat dry with paper towels and brush with oil or mustard.
Step 4: Apply your rub mixture to the meat, gently pressing it into the surface with your hands.
Step 5: Let the meat sit for at least 30 minutes before roasting in the microwave.

Remember to adjust the amount of seasoning depending on the size of your meat and personal taste preferences. With the right application of marinades or rubs, you’ll be well on your way to perfectly roasted meats in the microwave.

Preparing the Meat

Preparing The Meat
Now that you’ve chosen the perfect cut and seasoned it to perfection, it’s time to prepare the meat for roasting in the microwave. Don’t let the thought of cooking meat in the microwave leave you feeling doubtful. With the right techniques and attention to detail, you can achieve a perfectly roasted piece of meat right in your microwave. So, let’s dive into the preparation process and get your meat ready for the cooking process.

Piercing and Tucking

A crucial step in preparing meat for microwave roasting is piercing and tucking. Here’s what you need to know:

Piercing: Use a fork to pierce the meat several times to allow the flavors to penetrate. This also helps to ensure that the meat cooks evenly throughout. Be sure not to pierce too deeply, as this can cause the juices to escape and dry out the meat.
Tucking: Tucking is the process of tucking the edges of the meat under to create a uniform shape. This helps to ensure that all parts of the meat cook at the same rate. Tucking is especially important when roasting irregularly shaped meats, such as beef brisket. Using kitchen twine to tie the meat into a uniform shape can also be helpful in achieving an evenly roasted result.

Remember, taking the time to properly pierce and tuck your meat will result in a more flavorful and evenly cooked dish.

Covering the Meat

Before placing the meat into the microwave, it’s important to properly cover it. This helps to trap the moisture inside the microwave-safe container, creating a “steam” that helps to cook the meat evenly and keep it juicy. Here are some tips for covering your meat:

– Use microwave-safe coverings: Ensure that the covering you use is safe to use in the microwave. Avoid using aluminum or plastic wrap, as these can cause sparking and melting in the microwave. Instead, opt for a microwave-safe lid or cover that fits snugly over the container.

– Create a seal: Make sure that the covering is tightly sealed around the container. Leaving any gaps can cause the steam to escape, leading to uneven cooking and dryness.

– Use a little liquid: Adding a small amount of liquid to the container can also help to create steam and prevent the meat from drying out. Some good options include broth, wine, or even just a few tablespoons of water.

– Remove excess air: If you’re using a plastic wrap or a covering that is not airtight, press the wrap onto the surface of the meat to remove any excess air. This will create a better seal and help prevent drying out.

When the meat is properly covered, it’s ready to go in the microwave. Don’t forget to factor in the extra cooking time that covering the meat may add, as this can vary depending on the type and size of meat being cooked. By taking the time to cover the meat properly, you’ll be on your way to achieving perfectly roasted meats in the microwave.

Microwave Settings

Microwave Settings
As we dive into the heart of the meat-roasting process, it’s important to consider the crucial role that microwave settings play in achieving a perfect dish. With so many factors at play, from power levels to cooking times, it can be easy to feel unsure about where to even begin. But fear not! By following these straightforward tips and tricks, you’ll soon be wielding your microwave like a pro, churning out delicious, succulent roasts with ease. So let’s get started!

Power and Time Settings

One of the keys to perfectly roasting meats in a microwave is selecting the right power and time settings. It’s important to note that microwave wattage can vary, so these recommendations may need to be adjusted based on your microwave’s capabilities.

To help guide you in setting the appropriate power and time, we’ve put together the following table as a general guideline:

Meat Type Power Level Cooking Time (per pound)
Beef Roast 70-80% 8-12 minutes
Pork Roast 60-70% 10-15 minutes
Chicken 50-60% 12-18 minutes
Lamb Leg 70-80% 8-12 minutes
Turkey Breast 50-60% 10-15 minutes

Be sure to check the temperature of the meat with a food thermometer before serving to ensure it has reached the appropriate internal temperature. Generally, beef and lamb should be cooked to around 145 degrees Fahrenheit, pork to 160-170 degrees, and chicken and turkey to 165 degrees.

Remember, these power and time settings are just a guideline and may need to be adjusted based on your specific microwave and the size and cut of your meat. Use a food thermometer and your own judgment to determine when your meat is perfectly roasted to your liking.

When to Turn the Meat

As you’re using a microwave to roast your meat, it’s important to know when to turn it so it cooks evenly. Typically, it’s recommended to turn the meat every 2-3 minutes for even cooking. However, the specific timing will depend on the type and size of the meat you’re cooking.

Here are some guidelines for when to turn your meat:

  • If you’re cooking a thin cut of meat, such as a pork chop or chicken breast, turn it every 2 minutes.
  • For thicker cuts, such as a beef roast or a whole chicken, turn it every 3-4 minutes.
  • If you’re using a microwave with a rotating plate, you may not need to turn the meat at all. The rotating plate should ensure even cooking on all sides.

When you turn your meat, be sure to use tongs or a spatula so you don’t pierce the meat and let the juices escape. Additionally, if you’re using a marinade or sauce, be sure to baste the meat each time you turn it to ensure that it stays moist and flavorful.

Turning your meat regularly during the cooking process can be a bit of a hassle, but it’s essential for achieving a perfectly cooked piece of meat in the microwave. So don’t forget to set a timer and give your meat a turn at the appropriate intervals.

Letting the Meat Rest

Letting The Meat Rest
After perfectly roasting your meat in the microwave, it’s important to let it rest before you start carving it up and serving it. Letting the meat rest allows for the juices to redistribute, ensuring a moist and delicious piece of meat.

Resting Time
The amount of time you allow your meat to rest will depend on the size and type of meat you are roasting. As a general rule of thumb, it’s best to let your meat rest for about 10 minutes. However, larger cuts of meat, such as a turkey or roast beef, may require up to 20-30 minutes of resting time to ensure that they are juicy and tender.

Covering the Meat
While your meat is resting, cover it loosely with aluminum foil to keep it warm. This will also prevent any outside cool air from drying out the meat. Avoid wrapping the meat too tightly, as this can cause moisture to build up and make the meat soggy.

Carving the Meat
After your meat has had sufficient resting time, it’s time to carve it up and serve it. Use a sharp carving knife to cut against the grain of the meat, as this will result in tender and juicy slices.

If you have any leftover meat, allow it to cool down to room temperature before wrapping it tightly with plastic wrap or storing it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Leftover meat can be reheated in the microwave, but be sure to cover it loosely with a damp paper towel to prevent it from drying out.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Troubleshooting Common Issues
Cooking meat in a microwave can produce delicious and succulent meals, but sometimes things don’t go as planned. It can be frustrating to spend time preparing the meat, only to end up with something that’s too dry, undercooked, or overcooked. Fortunately, there are some common issues that can be easily fixed with a few simple steps. Let’s dive into some tips and tricks for troubleshooting these problems and salvaging your perfectly roasted meat.

Meat is Dry or Overcooked

It can be frustrating to put effort into roasting meat only to find that it comes out dry and overcooked. Fortunately, there are several solutions to this problem that can salvage the dish.

One of the main causes of overcooked or dry meat is leaving it in the microwave for too long. To prevent this issue, check the internal temperature using a meat thermometer. The ideal temperature for different types of meat varies, so make sure to look up the recommended temperature for your specific cut.

Another way to avoid dryness is to marinate the meat beforehand. Marinades help to lock in moisture and add flavor. Alternatively, if you prefer using rubs, try using a rub that contains ingredients such as olive oil or mustard that also help to keep moisture in.

If the meat has already been cooked and is dry, try reheating it with some additional liquid, such as a broth or sauce. This will help to rehydrate the meat and restore some of its juiciness.

Lastly, it’s important to make sure you’re slicing the meat correctly. If the slices are too thin, the meat can become even dryer. Instead, try cutting thicker slices and using a sharp knife to avoid shredding the meat.

By following these tips and tricks, you can rescue dry or overcooked meat and still enjoy a delicious and satisfying meal. Remember, a little bit of attention and patience can go a long way in perfecting your meat-roasting skills.

Meat is Undercooked

If you find that your meat is undercooked after following the recommended microwave settings and time, do not panic. Here are some tips to fix this issue:

  • Check the temperature: Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meat. For beef and lamb, the ideal temperature is 145°F (63°C) for medium-rare, 160°F (71°C) for medium, and 170°F (77°C) for well-done. For pork, the ideal temperature is 145°F (63°C) for medium and 160°F (71°C) for well-done. For poultry, the ideal temperature is 165°F (74°C).
  • Add more time: If the temperature is too low, continue microwaving the meat in short intervals until it reaches the ideal temperature.
  • Cut into smaller pieces: If the meat is too thick, it may not cook evenly in the microwave. Cut it into smaller pieces and microwave each piece separately.
  • Cover and microwave: If the meat has already started to brown on the outside, it is best to cover it with a microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap to help the heat penetrate the inside. Microwave it at medium power (50% to 70%) for a longer time until it reaches the ideal temperature.
  • Brown the meat: To make up for the lack of browning, you can use a kitchen torch or broil the meat in the oven for a few minutes to add color and flavor to the outside.

Keep in mind that meat can continue to cook even after it’s removed from the microwave, so it’s better to undercook it slightly and let it rest for a few minutes before checking its temperature again. By following these tips, you can ensure that your meat is perfectly cooked and ready to be enjoyed.

Serving and Enjoying

After all the hard work of perfecting the roast, it’s time to enjoy it. But before carving it up, you’ll want to ensure that the meat has had enough time to rest. This is crucial as it allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, making it tender and juicy.

To serve your perfectly roasted meat, begin by carving it up into slices of your desired thickness. Use a sharp carving knife for this, as it will make the process much easier and efficient. Remember to slice against the grain for optimal tenderness.

If you want an extra touch of flavor, you can drizzle some of the meat juices or a simple sauce over the slices. A few good options include a red wine reduction or a horseradish cream sauce.

When it comes to sides, roasted vegetables are always a great complementary dish. You can also consider serving it with roasted or mashed potatoes, as these pair well with the savory flavors of meat.

Of course, no meal is complete without a tasty beverage to wash it down. A full-bodied red wine is a classic choice to go with roasted meat. For non-alcoholic options, try serving iced tea or lemonade.

As you and your guests dig into the delicious meal, don’t forget to savor each bite and enjoy the hard-earned result of your efforts. With these tips and tricks, you can achieve perfectly roasted meat in the microwave with ease.


After following these tips for perfectly roasting meats in a microwave, you’ll be able to create delicious and succulent meats in no time. Remember to choose the right cut of meat, trimming any excess fat and seasoning it to your liking.

When preparing the meat, pierce it with a fork to allow for even cooking and tuck any thin sections so they don’t overcook. When it comes to microwave settings, adjust the power and time settings according to the size and cut of your meat.

But even if you follow all the tips and guidelines, it’s possible to run into some common issues like dry or overcooked meat or meat that’s undercooked. In these cases, don’t fret. There are easy solutions to each problem that will help you salvage your dish.

Once your meat is perfectly cooked, let it rest for a few minutes to allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat. This is an essential step that will give you the juiciest and most flavorful meat you’ve ever made.

Ultimately, perfecting microwave roasting takes practice and patience. But with the right tips and techniques, you’ll be able to impress your guests with your amazing culinary skills. So try out these tips and don’t be afraid to experiment with different seasonings and cuts of meat. Happy cooking!

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of meat can be roasted in a microwave?

Most types of meat can be roasted in a microwave, including beef, pork, poultry, and even some types of fish. However, it’s best to choose cuts that are relatively uniform in shape and size for even cooking.

Why is it important to trim the fat before roasting?

Trimming the fat from your meat before roasting helps to prevent flare-ups and keeps the meat from becoming too greasy. It can also help the seasoning penetrate the meat better for more flavorful results.

Should I use a marinade or a rub?

This is largely a matter of personal preference. A marinade can help to tenderize the meat and infuse it with flavor, while a rub adds a dry mix of seasonings to the surface for a crispy crust. Experiment to find what you like best.

Is it necessary to cover the meat while roasting?

Yes. Covering the meat with a microwave-safe lid or microwave-safe plastic wrap helps to trap in moisture and promote even cooking. Just be sure to leave a small vent for steam to escape.

What microwave settings should I use?

It’s best to start with a lower power setting and gradually increase as needed. A power setting of 50-70% is a good starting point. Cook the meat for 5-6 minutes per pound, and use a meat thermometer to ensure that it has reached a safe internal temperature.

When should I turn the meat while roasting?

Turn the meat halfway through the cooking time to ensure even cooking on all sides. If you’re using a microwave with a rotating turntable, this may not be necessary.

Why is it important to let the meat rest after cooking?

Letting the meat rest for 5-10 minutes after cooking allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a more tender and juicy final product. Cutting into the meat too soon can cause the juices to escape and leave you with a dry roast.

What should I do if the meat is overcooked or dry?

Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to salvage overcooked or dry meat. However, you can try to prevent this by using a lower power setting and monitoring the internal temperature with a meat thermometer. You may also want to consider using a marinade or brine to help retain moisture.

What should I do if the meat is undercooked?

If the meat is undercooked, simply return it to the microwave and cook it for an additional 1-2 minutes at a higher power setting. Check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer to ensure it has reached a safe temperature.

What are some tips for serving and enjoying my roasted meat?

Be sure to slice the meat against the grain to ensure tenderness. You can also drizzle with a sauce or gravy for added flavor. Pair with your favorite sides, such as roasted vegetables or a baked potato, for a complete meal.


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