How to Microwave Cod Fillets

Written By Ross Young


Cod is one of the most popular white fish on the market. People tend to prepare cod differently in the oven, grill, or stovetop. But can you microwave cod fillets successfully or should it be avoided?

To microwave cod, place seasoned cod fillets onto a microwave-safe dish, cover and microwave for around 3 minutes until the fish is completely cooked.

How to Microwave Cod Fillets

Microwaving cod fillets is a nice and simple way to prepare your fish. It saves time for one thing, and your fish will be ready in a relatively short space of time.

Here’s how to microwave cod fillets safely: 

  1. Prepare Cod Fillets
    Rinse your fish in cold water and dry it with a paper towel. Then, season it with salt and pepper and lay it on a microwave-safe dish. 
  2. Cover
    Wrap the dish in a microwave-safe wrap and ensure it isn’t touching your cod fillets. If you don’t have any wrap, opt for a paper towel. 
  3. Heat
    Place your cod fillets in the microwave and cook on high heat for three or four minutes. 
  4. Check the Temperature
    Using a thermometer, pierce the centre of your cod fillet and check that it’s at least 75C or 165F before serving. If it’s not quite ready, return it to the microwave and heat it in thirty-second bursts. 
  5. Serve and Enjoy
    Once up to temperature, your cod fillets are ready to serve alongside your chosen accompaniments.

How to Microwave Cod Successfully

Below are our 3 vital tips for microwaving cod fillets. If you want to have complete success when microwaving cod, give these a quick read-over:

  • Get Creative with Seasoning – Plain cod fillets can sometimes be a little bland, so feel free to get creative when putting together your seasoning. Spices like paprika and chilli will give your fillets an extra kick and can be added simultaneously as salt and pepper. 
Spice Mixes
  • Buy Pre-Prepared Fillets – Having to skin and de-bone a cod is not the most pleasant experience, and it also takes a while. Save yourself the hassle by picking up some pre-prepared fillets from the fresh fish or frozen sections of your supermarket. 
  • Freeze Cod Fillets – You can freeze your cod fillets before or after you have cooked them. Providing they’re nice and fresh when you buy them, frozen fish fillets will be good for several months. 

Why You Should Microwave Cod

Microwaving cod is a great option for the following reasons: 

Very Little Prep Required

If you buy pre-filleted cod, you must rinse and season it before placing it in the microwave… But that’s it! There’s no complicated prep involved.

Super Quick

Your fish will be up to temperature in less than five minutes if you heat it in the microwave, which is considerably quicker than cooking it in the oven.

If you’re pushed for time then there really isn’t a quicker or easier way to cook a cod fillet than in the microwave.

Why You Shouldn’t Microwave Cod

However, there are a couple of drawbacks to microwaving cod, including: 


For some reason, heating cod fillets in the microwave causes the smell to be much stronger!

This isn’t ideal if you’re heating cod fillets at work, as your co-workers will be less than impressed by the lingering smell for the rest of the day. Even at home, the smell can be incredibly pungent.

How Do You Microwave Fish Without the Smell?

Unfortunately, when you microwave fish, you will get the smell. There’s no way to combat this. However, you can remove the smell of fish after cooking it: equal quantities of water and vinegar, pop it into a bowl and then microwave for 10 minutes.

It Can Dry Out

It’s easy to dry a cod fillet out by heating it in the microwave, particularly if you leave it in for too long. However, you can combat this by adding a little bit of butter to the top of the fish before microwaving it. 

The butter will melt as the cod cooks and will, essentially, baste the fish in fat. Fat will always help fish to main some level of moisture.

Microwaving Cod Fillets FAQs

Still got questions? Then here are a few FAQs that might help you out:

Can You Microwave Cod in Butter Sauce?

You may find that the butter sauce warms up quicker in the microwave than the fish. You should cook cod on its own and warm the butter sauce before pouring it over the cooked cod fillet. Cod in Butter Sauce

How Do You Steam Cod in the Microwave?

You can steam cod in the microwave by placing it into a bowl with a few spoonfuls of water. Cover and then microwave for 4 to 5 minutes until the fish is cooked.

Leave a Comment