Does Microwave Kill Bacteria in Chicken? The Surprising Answer

Microwave ovens are not only good at heating food but also killing bacteria in it.

Microwave ovens use high-frequency radio waves to penetrate the frozen food and cause water molecules inside it to vibrate. This vibration produces heat which cooks the food faster than conventional ovens.

Microwave radiation can penetrate liquid or frozen food to cook its inside, but it is mostly used for defrosting. It can also be used for disinfection purposes when it is applied to the contaminated food’s surface using a special container.

Does Microwave Kill Bacteria in Chicken

Does Microwave Kill Bacteria in Chicken?

Actually, most of the microwave oven’s functions are based on increasing the internal energy of water molecules in food. Bacteria are mostly composed of water, but the structure is different from that in vegetables and meat. Due to this reason, bacteria can hardly be affected by microwaves.

Microwave ovens not only heat food but also kill bacteria in it by using high-frequency radio waves to penetrate the frozen food and cause water molecules inside it to vibrate. This vibration produces heat which cooks the food faster than conventional ovens.

Research shows that microwaves can effectively kill infectious agents such as salmonella or E Coli. However, there is no need to worry about being exposed to microwave radiation when using a microwave oven to heat food.

Microwave radiation can penetrate liquid or frozen food to cook its inside, but it is mostly used for defrosting. It can also be used for disinfection purposes when it is applied to the contaminated food’s surface using a special container.

Microwaves at this power level will only increase the internal temperature of food by 1°C-2°C. Microwave ovens use a very low power level and only work with non-metallic containers.

How to Kill Bacteria in Chicken using a Microwave?

Cut the chicken into small pieces and use a microwavable container. Add some water to it and place the chicken inside for about 2 minutes. Make sure that you stir it once in between the heating process.

Chicken can be reheated safely by using a microwave oven, but few precautions must be taken while doing so. Using a knife or fork before cooking is also useful because it will not affect the metal detector of the oven, which may cause sparks if touched during operation.

Pros and cons of Microwaving Chicken:


  • No need for a stove or gas.
  • Very safe to use.
  • Easy cleaning process due to nonstick coating inside the oven.
  • The outside of the food does not get very hot hence it’s safer for younger children who may touch it accidentally.
  • Saves electricity as no external heat is generated so the air-conditioner can be used all day long.
  • It has a great energy saving mode that turns off automatically after being idle for 30 minutes so you do not have to worry about it getting wasted by overheating.
  • Best cooking results, especially when meat is concerned as meat penetrates evenly and maintains its juices.
  • Prevents humidity from building up inside a closed kitchen due to cooking, thus decreasing the risk of contracting mold-related diseases.
  • It is multi-functional as it can be used for baking & reheating.
  • It can be used to dry fruit.


  • It takes a long time to cook food, especially when heating empty containers
  • Food can get charred if it is not monitored properly so you have to watch over the process closely while cooking or frying using this oven
  • It’s not suitable for those who like crispy food as it tends to make the surface soggy
  • You cannot use metal utensils with this oven as it may cause sparks and damage the oven permanently
  • It works on a very high frequency, which means that microwaves might leak into your home if it’s damaged or leaking
  • The cost of a microwave oven is high and buying one also means investing in your health as the food inside it will not be heated evenly if it has cracks
  • It does not give crispy results so making crunchy snacks is very difficult
  • It cannot brown the surface of the food as ordinary ovens can
  • Food will not get browned if it is cooked in a microwave oven
  • It has only one temperature and cannot be adjusted according to your preference so you have to monitor it for the entire cooking process

Does Microwave kill Salmonella in Chicken?

Yes, it does.

Salmonella is a type of bacteria that is commonly found in chicken and can cause food poisoning if it’s consumed raw or undercooked. It can remain alive even after being cooked as it can survive at high temperatures.

According to research, microwaves kill 99 percent of Salmonella bacteria in 10 minutes when used on full power (500-700W) as compared to boiling water where 100 percent kills only takes about six minutes.

But if the microwave uses lower power levels like 200-300W, you will need almost 20 minutes for killing this bacteria completely which clearly shows microwaving is not enough unless it uses high heat levels so this method should be followed by cooking your meat until its internal temperature reaches 165-degrees Fahrenheit.


Is it Safe to Microwave Chicken?

Yes, it is. Microwaves are not only really efficient when it comes to disinfecting/killing bacteria in food but they are also safe if they or the food inside them are not damaged or leaking.

The low power levels ensure that the microwaves do not escape from these ovens so you can use them safely without any health risks.

Most modern microwaves are equipped with automatic shut-off features so you can leave them on for as long as you wish without worrying about burning anything down.

They are, however, not advisable to be used near any inflammable or magnetic items as they may cause sparks if they come in contact with each other. Some microwaves also work on a turntable and some don’t so you have to read the manual before buying one.

It is advisable to use microwave-safe utensils instead of metallic ones as they can cause damage to your appliances if they are not BPA-Free.

Is it bad to Microwave raw Chicken?

No, no evidence microwaving raw meat can cause any health problems so you can be at ease while cooking your chicken in this oven.

If it comes into contact with an empty plate or anything metallic then the microwaves may escape and cause damage to surrounding appliances like fridge magnets etc. which can increase your chances of getting cancer.

It is recommended to cook your meat in a microwavable plastic bag or wrap it with wax paper before putting it into the oven as this method gives crispy results and prevents skin from sticking to the plate.

Even if you are using a container made of metal, make sure to cover it tightly with some aluminum paper because microwaves can easily leak through thin gaps and cause damage.

You should also avoid using the oven if the door or any part of it is damaged as microwaves can escape which can be harmful to you and those around you.

Will Microwave kill Bacteria in Meat?

Yes, it does. According to a study published in Food Science and Technology, microwaves are really effective when used for disinfecting food as they kill up to 99% of bacteria with the help of water molecules which build steam inside your oven.

You can also use this method for killing bacteria from raw meat but you have to follow the instructions correctly and understand the limitations of this oven to avoid any problems.

The process is quite simple: you put your meat in a microwave-safe container and add water and cover it closely, then cook on high (full power) for 10 minutes.

This will make sure all the bacteria present in your chicken is killed and your family can enjoy it safely.

Can Microwave kill E coli?


Yes, it does kill E Coli. This dangerous bacteria is common in undercooked meat and causes severe food poisoning if not killed before consumption.

According to a study published in Food Science and Technology Letters in 2013, the research shows that microwaving kills up to 99.9% of these nasty bacteria with only 10 minutes of exposure time which makes it an effective method when compared to other cooking methods.

The reason behind killing the bacteria is that microwaves penetrate deep into meat and water (which contains E Coli) and produce high pressure and heat which cause the cell walls of these microorganisms to break down quickly leading to their death.

There are two things you should keep in mind while trying this method: first, make sure to cook your meat properly (meat should not be pink at all), and second; it is advisable to put some vinegar into the water before cooking.

This will help reduce any unpleasant smell that may come from your chicken after microwaving because vinegar acts as a natural disinfectant.


Microwave ovens are good for killing bacteria in food when they are being used to cook them from the outside. Microwaves are the best choice for disinfecting chicken as it has no external heat so they can be used safely without scorching skin or surrounding objects.

Although it cannot give you crispy food results yet it does give good cooking results especially when meat is concerned. But there is no guarantee that they will kill all of them by heating food from the inside since most microwaves use low power levels only.