How to Microwave Salmon

Written By Ross Young


Salmon is a delicious type of fish that is high in essential fats and high in omega 3. Not only is it good for you, but it tastes great too, and you can cook it in various ways. Fried, poached or baked, the choice is yours, but how about microwaving it?

To microwave salmon, season it, wrap it in microwave-safe cling film and then microwave for 3 to 4 minutes. It may need a little longer if the piece of salmon is thick.

How to Microwave Salmon

When you cook salmon in a microwave, you are using a poaching method. This results in moist and flakey salmon that is perfect for eating.

  1. Rinse and Dry
    Before you start, rinse your salmon gently under the cold tap. Pat dry with a paper towel and pop it into a microwavable dish. The best type of bowl would be one with a lip but one that also has a flat bottom in order to lay the salmon on.
  2. Season
    Season to your preference. You should use just a pinch of salt and pepper or get a little more adventurous and try some other flavours.
  3. Cover
    Cover the dish with some cling film. Make sure it is suitable for the microwave and won’t melt! You should also make sure the cling film isn’t touching the fish itself. This is why we recommend using a bowl rather than a plate.
  4. Microwave
    Pop this into the microwave and microwave for between three and four minutes.
  5. Check for Doneness
    Take the salmon out of the microwave and test to see if it is cooked. You can test using a fork to see whether or not it is hot and cooked all the way through.
  6. Microwave Further (If Required)
    If not then pop it back into the microwave for thirty seconds and test again. Keep repeating this step until the fish is cooked to your liking.

How to Microwave Salmon Successfully

When microwaving salmon, we’ve got a few tips we’d recommend sticking to:

  • Check It Flakes – When microwaving salmon, it is important to be sure that it is cooked through. You would usually test with a fork to see if the salmon flakes away easily, and it is also worth checking to see if it is hot in the middle too.
  • Use Suitable Bowl – The bowl you use for microwaving salmon is essential. You need a bowl that either has a lid or a big enough lip at the sides so that you can wrap it in cling film without any of the wrap touching the fish. The bowl should also have a flat bottom to ensure you can lay the fish out properly to help it cook evenly.
  • Tweak It – You don’t have to use any oils or sauces if you prefer to save your calories but if you want some added flavour you could add a knob of butter or even a coating of mayonnaise and herbs over the fish before you cook it. The choice is yours when it comes to the flavour of your fish.
Marinated Salmon

Why You Should Microwave Salmon

As you can appreciate, there are a few benefits to using a microwave to cook salmon:


The biggest advantage of microwaved salmon is how quickly you can cook it. Poached in the microwave and you can have your meal within five minutes!

Microwaving is much quicker than baking or frying your salmon and perfect if you need a quick, healthy and tasty meal.


Another surprising advantage of cooking your salmon in the microwave is that it could be more nutritious for you.

Cooking food slowly allows the nutrients to leach out of the food. Microwaving cooks the salmon quickly so this is less likely to happen.

Why You Shouldn’t Microwave Salmon

Unfortunately, it’s not all positives and there are some negatives you should consider first:

Easy to Overcook

Microwaving salmon can result in delicious fish that is perfectly cooked – moist and flakey.

However, if you cook it for even a few seconds too long it can turn into a rubbery, inedible piece of fish! You can avoid this by checking it regularly, especially towards the end of the cooking process.


One of the biggest problems with cooking salmon is the smell.

Microwaving the fish breaks down the fats in the salmon fast and this is what causes that fishy smell that people dislike. Not only is this a problem in itself but the smell can linger in your microwave for a long time afterwards.

Microwaving Salmon FAQs

Got more questions about cooking salmon in the microwave? Then check these out:

Can You Defrost Salmon in the Microwave?

We would avoid defrosting salmon using the microwave. If you do want to thaw out the salmon then you can pop it onto a plate or into a dish and put it in the fridge to defrost slowly overnight. This is the safest method because the fish shouldn’t reach a high enough temperature that would allow bacteria to grow.

Is Microwave Salmon Healthy?

Microwave salmon is very healthy as yo rarely add much fat in the way of oil or butter when cooking it in the microwave and salmon is a healthy food to be eating in general.

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