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How to Microwave Bagels

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With cream cheese and lox, or simply serve with butter and jam, bagel is undeniably delicious. With every bite, you get to explore the crispy and chewy texture accompanied by sweetness and a hint of saltiness.

Bagels are versatile type of bread that is favored for breakfast. When warmed in the microwave, the flavor and texture revive immediately for better taste.

How do you microwave bagels? Slice the bagel in half and place on a microwave-safe plate with the cut sides facing up. Microwave on high for 10 seconds. Add cream cheese, butter, or any toppings to serve.

Depending on the condition of bagel, you may need to wrap with a damp paper towel to recover from stale, or any frozen bagels need to be nuked on medium power to defrost before warming.

Bagels are often toasted in a toaster, however microwaving is a faster way to reheat a bagel without burning.

In this article, we are going to answer frequently asked questions about warming bagels in the microwave. From tips to what to avoid, these guidelines can ensure you prepare delicious bagel at any time of day.

Can you warm up bagel in the microwave?

Yes, you can warm up bagel in the microwave. However, the bagel won’t get the same crispiness as with a toaster.

Microwaving bagels offers a quick turnaround to warm up when cut in half. If they are frozen, it is the easiest method to defrost bagels in the microwave to prevent from altering the texture and taste.

It is important to utilize short burst of cook time to heat up bagel in the microwave. Overcooking in a microwave can result in the bagel becoming soggy or hard immediately if not done properly. 

Will microwaving a bagel make it softer?

Definitely yes, microwaving a bagel will make it softer. Add a splash of water drops on top or wrap with a damp paper towel to recover the stale condition of a bagel.

The water impact the starches in the bagel when microwaved, which results in an easier chew. However, direct contact between water and bagel is quite risky to try.

Putting ½ cup of water in the microwave with the bagel also helps to create steam to cautiously absorb. Heat the cup of water for a minute or two before placing the bagel in the hot microwave and nuking for another 10 seconds.

Can you microwave a bagel with cream cheese?

Yes, you can microwave a bagel with cream cheese on it. In fact, warm runny cream cheese soaked into a warm bagel tastes gooey and delicious.

Once a bagel has cream cheese spread on it, it is not recommended to use a toaster due to easy burning. So, the microwave method is best reheating to get the job done. 

When microwaving a bagel with cream cheese to warm it, consume immediately instead of leaving a bagel with cream cheese out at room temperature. Melted cream cheese is considered a perishable food that should not be left out for longer than 2 hours because it may present harmful bacteria growth once exposed to heat.

How long to microwave a bagel?

Most bagels can be microwaved for about 15 to 20 seconds to fully reheat. Depending on the condition and storage method, the microwave time may vary slightly:

  • Stale bagel: 30 seconds
  • Room temperature bagel: 10 seconds
  • Dried bagel: 20 seconds 
  • Frozen bagel: 30 seconds with 15 seconds addition

In total, avoid microwaving a bagel more than a minute because this will cause it to become rubbery and stiff.

Tips to microwave bagels

Serving warm bagel with cream cheese, melted butter, peanut butter or jam is heavenly. The warmth enhances the fresh taste and texture, which can be achieved with a microwave.

Even though it is quite easy to heat up a bagel in the microwave, be careful as heating for too long will make the bagel tough and rubbery. 

Tips to microwave bagels include:

  • Slice the bagels in half and microwave with the cut side facing upward.
  • Place the sliced bagel on a microwave-safe plate to reheat.
  • With microwave, it is ok to heat up bagel with cream cheese, butter, or any toppings.
  • Use high power setting to heat room temperature bagels.
  • Change the setting to medium or defrost setting for frozen or refrigerated bagels.
  • In some case, when the bagel is stale or dried up, sprinkle a few drops of water on top of bagel and wrap with a paper towel to microwave and make soft once again.
  • It is best to defrost frozen bagels first with defrost setting, and then heat for 10 to 15 seconds at a time to heat up.
  • Avoid refreeze already defrosted bagels. Refreezing bagels may cause staleness because the dough looses its moisture content.

Best way to microwave bagels

It is convenient and straightforward to heat bagels in the microwave. In case you encounter difficulty and end up stiff or chewy texture, add water moisture and do not heat longer than 1 minute in total for best results.

To microwave bagels, cut the bagel in half and place cut side face up on a microwaveable plate. Whether it is frozen or not, slicing helps to easily add spread afterward, but also shortens the microwave time by evenly distributing the heat.

Sprinkle water or wrap with a damp paper towel and microwave on high power for 10 to 15 seconds at a time. Depending on the temperature and condition of bagels, you may need to lengthen or shorten the total cooking time. 

Furthermore, consider placing a cup of water in the microwave to help soften the bagel. In this case, nuke the cup of water until hot and steamy, then adjust the power to medium to slowly heat the bagel instead of causing superheated water to explode. 

Toast bagel in microwave

Microwaving Bagels: Conclusion

Bagels are filling and nutritious bread that is frequently served for breakfast. It is easy to store and pop in the microwave at anytime to enjoy the fresh taste. 

Even better, if the bagel already has cream cheese on it, microwave is the only option to heat up because a toaster presents all sorts of challenges. 

Microwave is an excellent appliance to warm up and make bagels softer, however it does not make it crispy like a toaster does.

Depend on the how the bagels are stored, the microwave time may range from 10 to 30 seconds, and is not recommended to exceed 1 minute in total.

Cut the bagel in half when microwaving on a plate, this will help to evenly the heat and shorten the reheating process. If the bagel is too stale or tough, add a splash of water on top or cover with a damp paper towel to add moisture for perfect texture.

It is common to make breakfast in the microwave, and microwaving bagels may sound foreign to some people. However, microwaving evenly heats up the bagel without burning the edges and is actually a method preferred by many.