How to Microwave Tuna

Tuna is one of those versatile types of fish that even those who dislike most types of fish can manage. Tinned tuna is perfect for a quick sandwich filling, to pop onto a salad or even to stir into your pasta. You can also fry up a delicious tuna steak to serve with veggies for a tasty main meal.

Most of us know you have to be careful when cooking fish and seafood to ensure you don’t make yourself sick but what about tuna? Can you microwave tuna?

To microwave tuna, you should first ensure you are only reheating the tuna. You cannot cook raw tuna in the microwave. Pop cooked tuna into a microwave-safe dish and microwave for around

How to Microwave Tuna

Microwaving tuna isn’t without its problems.

To start with you do have to be very careful with how and what types of tuna you do heat up this way.

You should only heat leftovers or cooked tuna, such as tuna that comes in tins. It would be too easy for raw tuna to become unsafe due to uneven cooking if you tried to microwave a raw steak.

However, you can heat leftover tuna but consider whether you want to because it can leave a lasting fishy smell in your microwave.

How to Microwave Tinned Tuna

If you’ve decided you want to warm up tinned tuna, then you can do this in the microwave:

  1. Remove from the Tin
    Take your tuna out of the tin. Never try and microwave it in a metal container, this can do some serious damage to your microwave, and it might even cause it to catch on fire.
  2. Add to a Bowl
    Pop the tuna into a microwave-safe bowl and cover.
  3. Microwave
    Put the bowl of tuna into the microwave and heat for thirty seconds.
  4. Stir
    Take it back out, give it a quick stir and check the temperature. If it needs to be heated a little more then you can put it back into the microwave for another thirty seconds.
  5. Repeat
    Keep repeating step four until your tuna is hot throughout.
Tinned Tuna

How to Microwave Tuna Successfully

If microwaving cooked tuna is something you’ve decided you want to do then here are three top tips we’d stick to:

  • Keep It Covered – When reheating tuna, you should also do so in a microwave-safe bowl with a lid. If not, then you need to cover using a different method. This helps avoid the lingering fishy smell you get when cooking fish in a microwave.
  • Add Flavour – If you want a little extra flavour added to your tinned tuna, you can add it as it heats. Sprinkle some of your favourite spices or herbs in, and this will help to bring out the flavour. Try a little chilli for a spicy kick.
  • Use Small Burts – When you are heating tuna in the microwave, you need only to do it in small bursts of time. Any more than thirty seconds or so and you are in danger of overcooking the tuna and making it inedible.

Why You Should Microwave Tuna

There are a couple of benefits to using the microwave to reheat tuna:


The main advantage of microwaving your tinned or leftover tuna is the speed. If you are in a rush, this is the perfect way to get your tuna perfectly warmed through quickly.

No Oil

Another great advantage of choosing to microwave your tinned tuna is the flavour. Heating it allows you to bring out the flavour without the danger of overcooking it by frying.

An added bonus is that you don’t need to use any oil so you are saving yourself a few calories too.

Why You Shouldn’t Microwave Tuna

Unfortunately, the disadvantages are pretty extensive and substantial, which is why you may want to reconsider whether microwaving is the right approach to take:

Dries Out

It is very easy to overcook your tuna in the microwave, especially as you should only be microwaving tuna that has already been cooked once.

It only takes a few seconds for your tuna to go from cool to burning hot and overcooked.

Very Smell

The most significant disadvantage of choosing to microwave your tuna is the smell. Cooking tuna this way breaks down the fats in the fish and causes the fishy smell that people hate. This will linger in your microwave for a long time.

Microwaving Tuna FAQs

Do you have more questions about microwave tuna? Then check these FAQs out:

Can You Cook Fresh Tuna in the Microwave?

This is not something that’s advised. You risk overcooking parts of the tuna and undercooking other parts. You will not get an even cook so would be better cooking it under the grill or in a pan.

Can You Heat Up Canned Tuna?

Yes, canned tuna can be heated up in the microwave. The same can be said for most canned fish such as mackerel and salmon.

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