Defrosting Bagel in Microwave

Defrosting bagels in the microwave is a quick way to enjoy these delicious treats without sacrificing their flavor.

If you forgot to take your bagel out of the freezer ahead of time, the microwave can come to your rescue.

In this guide, we’ll explore the best practices for defrosting bagels in the microwave, ensuring you get a perfect result every time.

How to defrost bagels in the microwave (step-by-step)

Gather your supplies

Before you start, gather your supplies. You’ll need a frozen bagel, a microwave-safe plate, a paper towel, and a microwave oven.

Prepping the bagel

  • Take the frozen bagel out of its packaging.
  • Place it on a microwave-safe plate.
  • Gently pat the bagel with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture. This step is crucial to prevent sogginess.

Microwave defrosting

  • Set your microwave to the defrost setting or use 50% power.
  • Place the bagel on the microwave-safe plate in the center of the turntable.
  • Microwave the bagel for 15-20 seconds at a time, turning it after each interval.
  • Continue microwaving and turning until the bagel is no longer frozen in the center. This process usually takes 1-2 minutes, but times may vary based on your microwave’s wattage.

Checking for doneness

  • Gently press the center of the bagel with your fingertip. It should feel soft, indicating it’s thawed.
  • If there are still frozen areas, continue microwaving in short intervals until the entire bagel is soft to the touch.

Tips for the perfectly defrosted bagel

  • Avoid using the microwave’s high power setting, as it can quickly overheat the bagel.
  • If your bagel has toppings like cream cheese or butter, remove them before microwaving and add them later.
  • Check the bagel frequently to prevent overcooking.
  • If you’re unsure about your microwave’s power, start with shorter intervals and gradually increase them as needed.

Microwave vs. other defrosting methods (Alternatives to microwaving bagels)

While microwaving is an effective method for defrosting bagels, you may wonder how it compares to other techniques. Here’s a brief comparison:

  • Microwave vs. room temperature: Microwaving is much faster than thawing at room temperature, which can take hours.
  • Microwave vs. toaster: Microwaving preserves the bagel’s moisture better than toasting, which can make it dry.
  • Microwave vs. oven: While the oven can provide even heating, it’s time-consuming compared to the microwave.

What happens when you microwave a bagel?

Microwaving a bagel can heat it, but improper handling can lead to uneven heating.

When you microwave a bagel, the microwave radiation agitates water molecules in the bagel, generating heat. However, the outcome depends on how it’s done.

Microwaving it too long or at high power can overheat and make it tough or rubbery. To prevent this, use low power setting, microwave in short intervals (15-20 seconds), and turn it to ensure even heating.

Additionally, moisture control is vital; patting the bagel dry with a paper towel before microwaving prevents sogginess.

How do you thaw frozen bagels quickly?

The most efficient method is to use a microwave. Remove the bagel from its packaging and place it on a microwave-safe plate. Set the microwave to the defrost setting or use 50% power.

Heat the bagel in short intervals (15-20 seconds), turning it between intervals to ensure even thawing.

Check for doneness by gently pressing the center of the bagel; it should be soft but not overheated.

This microwave method typically takes 1-2 minutes, making it a speedy way to enjoy your bagels without sacrificing their taste and texture.

How long does a frozen bagel take to thaw?

It takes 1-2 minutes. Thawing at room temperature can take several hours, usually around 2-4 hours.

In the refrigerator, it may take longer, requiring overnight thawing.

The exact duration can also depend on the bagel’s size and thickness, so it’s essential to monitor it closely to prevent over-thawing or overheating.

Can you microwave a frozen bagel?

Yes, you can microwave a frozen bagel, but it requires careful thawing to preserve its texture and flavor.

Microwaving a frozen bagel is possible, but the key is to do it correctly to prevent unwanted texture changes.

Be cautious with bagels containing toppings, removing them before microwaving and adding them after.

Why defrost bagels in the microwave?

Microwaving your frozen bagels offers several advantages. Firstly, it’s a time-efficient method, allowing you to enjoy your bagel within minutes. Secondly, when done correctly, it can preserve the bagel’s texture, preventing it from becoming soggy or tough. Now, let’s dive into the step-by-step process.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I defrost a bagel in the microwave if it has toppings?

Yes, you can, but it’s better to remove toppings like cream cheese or butter before microwaving. Add them after the bagel is defrosted.

How long should I microwave a frozen bagel?

Start with 15-20 seconds at a time, checking for doneness between intervals. It typically takes 1-2 minutes.

Is it safe to microwave bagels in plastic wrap?

It’s not recommended to microwave bagels in plastic wrap, as it can melt and release harmful chemicals. Use a microwave-safe plate instead.

Can I use the microwave for day-old bagels?

Certainly! You can use the microwave to revive day-old bagels. Wrap them in a damp paper towel and microwave for 10-15 seconds.

What if I don’t have a microwave?

If you don’t have a microwave, you can thaw your bagel in the fridge overnight or leave it at room temperature for a few hours.


Defrosting bagels in the microwave is a convenient method that ensures you can enjoy a delicious bagel.

By following the step-by-step guide, you’ll defrost your bagel perfectly every time.