How to Microwave Kippers

Written By Ross Young


Kippers are a popular breakfast option and are delicious served with freshly baked bread in the morning. People tend to poach kippers, but it’s not the easiest preparation method. That’s where the microwave comes in handy.

To microwave kippers, place them on a microwave-safe plate, cover and then microwave for 2 to 3 minutes. Expect your kitchen and microwave to stink of fish though!

How to Microwave Kippers

As most of us are tight on time in the morning, cooking your breakfast kippers in the microwave is a great option. To ensure your kippers taste just as they ought to, follow the steps below as you cook them in the microwave:

  1. Prepare Kippers
    Remove your kippers from the fridge and cut off the head and tail of those you plan to microwave. Then, gently peel away the backbone and set it to one side.
  2. Place Kippers on a Microwave-Safe Plate
    Once prepared, place your kippers on a microwave-safe plate, add a splash of water, and season with pepper.
  3. Cover
    Cover your kippers with a paper towel and place them inside the microwave.
  4. Heat
    Microwave the kippers on high for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Serve and Enjoy
    Serve your kippers on a freshly baked piece of bread, and enjoy!

How to Microwave Kippers Successfully

Microwaving kippers can go wrong. That’s why we’ve put together our 3 vital tips to follow when doing so. These should ensure you have complete success:

  • Drizzle with Lemon or Olive Oil – Instead of adding a splash of water to your kippers before microwaving them, you could opt for a drizzle of lemon juice or olive oil to enhance their flavour.
  • Cover with Cling Film to Control the Smell – If you don’t want your whole house to smell of kippers, you could cover them tightly with microwave-safe cling film instead of a paper towel. This will help to contain the smell of the kippers while cooking them and save your nostrils throughout the morning!
  • Don’t Add Salt – Kippers are naturally very salty, so you don’t need to add salt before or after cooking them. Seasoning kippers with pepper is more than sufficient, but you could always add other herbs or spices if you choose.

Why You Should Microwave Kippers

While poaching or ‘jugging’ tend to be the preferred methods of preparing kippers, microwaving these smoky fish is advantageous for the following reasons:

Incredibly Easy

Poaching or jugging kippers is a bit of a faff. Microwaving them, on the other hand, couldn’t be easier, which makes it an excellent option if you’re short of time (and patience).

Delicious Taste

You will find that your microwaved kippers will taste delicious. Although it’s a super simple way of cooking kippers, microwaving them ensures they will taste just as you had hoped.

Why You Shouldn’t Microwave Kippers

As with microwaving any type of fish, there are some potential drawbacks to microwaving kippers, including:

The Smell… It’s Quite Something!

Microwaving kippers can cause your whole house (or workplace) to smell. If you’re cooking your kippers in a communal place, cover them with cling film as this will help to control the smell.

After all, you don’t want to upset your co-workers with smelly kippers if they’re not keen on fish!


Some people think that microwaved kippers have an inferior texture to those that have been poached or grilled.

While this is largely down to personal preference, you can expect microwaved kippers to be quite soft, and they may even break up as you serve them.

Microwaving Kippers FAQs

If you have further questions about microwaving kippers then these FAQs might help you out:

How Do You Defrost Kippers in the Microwave?

Add them to a microwave-safe dish and set your microwave to its defrost setting. However, the best way to defrost kippers is to remove them from the freezer and let them thaw in the fridge overnight.

How Do You Microwave Kippers Without the Smell?

Unfortunately, when you put kippers in the microwave, they will smell no matter what. However, you can hide the smell afterwards by popping half a lemon in the microwave for a few seconds.

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