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How To Microwave Garlic Bread | The Best Way

If you’re in a hurry or only have access to a microwave, it is possible to enjoy types of food that aren’t usually associated with microwaves. Garlic bread is no exception.

You can microwave garlic bread by setting the microwave temperature high and letting the bread bake for about thirty seconds. If your microwave oven bakes fast, set it to a lower temperature and leave the bread in for 20 to 40 seconds. Anything longer than that can burn the bread. 

In the rest of this article, I will explain how you can make the best garlic bread (I’ll list the necessary ingredients) from scratch using a microwave and whether you can microwave frozen garlic bread. I will also talk about how you can correctly defrost garlic bread in the microwave.

1. Get the Right Ingredients

Here are the essential ingredients you’ll need for making garlic bread:

  • Bread (French bread or baguette is the best option)
  • Garlic
  • Unsalted butter or olive oil
  • Herbs like oregano, chives, or parsley (Optional)
  • Grated cheese (Optional)

2. Prepare a Garlic and Butter Mixture and Coat Your Bread With It

You can use any bread you like, but to get the nice-looking round pieces of garlic bread we usually see in cookbooks, you’ll need a loaf of French bread or baguette. Cut it into smaller circles. 

Then, prepare the ingredients you’ll use to coat the pieces of bread.

Mince the Garlic

You first need to mince your garlic. The easiest way to do this is to use a garlic press. If you don’t have one, you can do it manually. Peel your garlic cloves and smash them using a fork or the flat side of a knife blade.

When you’ve successfully crushed your garlic cloves, use the cutting side of your knife blade for mincing. Some people also use a grater to do this, but then you’ll have grated garlic.

Note: It’s also fine to use garlic powder instead of fresh garlic cloves. Be careful, though. Garlic powder has a strong aroma; add very little if you don’t like garlic too much.

Mix the Garlic with Butter

Mix your minced or powdered garlic with butter. It’s also OK to use olive oil, sunflower oil, or margarine as a butter substitute. 

You can use any type of butter you like, salted or unsalted. If you use unsalted butter, add salt to the mixture. 

Coat the Bread Slices

Finally, coat your bread slices with the garlic and butter mixture. 

Optional: Add Something Extra on Top

Bread, butter, and garlic are the essential ingredients of any garlic bread recipe, but you can also add some other things.

Spices are optional, but some like adding chives, oregano, pepper, or parsley to the garlic mixture. You can put spices directly into the garlic and butter mixture or sprinkle them on top once you’ve coated your bread with garlic and butter.

Some cooks also like having grated cheese like Mozzarella or Parmesan on top of garlic bread. If you add cheese, leave garlic bread inside the microwave oven for a little longer. 

3. Place Your Bread Slices Evenly Onto a Safe Dish

When you cook something, you want it to cook evenly. Therefore, you’ll have to arrange the pieces of bread so that each piece receives the same amount of heat. Never stack them on top of each other.

If you’re a microwave user, you already know which materials can go safely into a microwave. Never put aluminum foil inside a microwave because you could start a fire this way. You don’t want this in your kitchen. Also, don’t use plastic (which can melt and get inside your food) or stainless steel. 

4. Cover the Pieces of Garlic Bread With a Paper Towel

If you cover bread pieces with a paper towel, there’s less chance of getting butter all over your microwave oven. Paper towels also help food retain its moisture. Paper towels are perfectly safe in a microwave, especially if they stay inside for no longer than 30 seconds, as you’ll need to do with garlic bread.

5. Set the Right Cooking Time and Temperature

Most cooks recommend leaving your garlic bread inside the microwave oven for about 30 seconds at the high setting. Please note that every microwave is different. For this reason, you must get familiar with your microwave before cooking garlic bread.

Leaving it inside for too long can easily get it burnt, especially if your microwave is fast at cooking food. If you have a slow microwave, you’ll need to leave your garlic bread inside for more than 30 seconds. 

Still, I would take it out after 30 seconds and take a bite to see if it’s cooked. You can always put it back in the microwave for extra cooking time (10 seconds or more) if it’s still unbaked. However, if you burn it after leaving it inside for too long, there’s no turning back.

I recommend you test it out first. Try to bake just one piece of garlic bread and see how long it takes. Based on that knowledge, you can safely bake the remaining pieces. 

6. Eat the Garlic Bread Right Away

Eat your garlic bread as soon as it’s baked, but be careful not to burn yourself if you just took it out of the microwave. If you let it sit out for a long time at room temperature, there’s a good chance it’ll get hardened and not be edible later.

A woman taking a bite of garlic bread

Also, it’s not a very good idea to re-reheat it in the microwave once it’s cooled down. Reheating food several times won’t make you sick if you handle the food properly.

However, if you reheat food multiple times, it won’t taste as good and won’t be fresh anymore.

Also check out: Can You Microwave Frozen Pizza?

Can You Microwave Garlic Bread From Frozen?

It’s possible to microwave garlic bread from frozen. It’s better to use a microwave for defrosting than to leave it at room temperature to thaw out. Defrosting without a microwave can make the bread taste stale. 

If you made garlic bread and decided to freeze it until later use, cut it into smaller pieces before freezing (this allows for faster and more efficient reheating). When you take out your frozen garlic bread from the fridge, it’s easy to defrost it. Put it onto a safe dish and leave it in the microwave for about 30 seconds. 

How Do You Defrost Garlic Bread Correctly in the Microwave?

You don’t have to defrost garlic bread before putting it inside a microwave; just put frozen slices of garlic bread on a safe dish, cover them with a paper towel, and throw them into the microwave for about 30 seconds. 

The process is similar to microwaving your homemade garlic bread. However, I know many of you buy frozen garlic bread from the store. It usually doesn’t require prior thawing or defrosting unless it says so on the box. 

Since the garlic bread comes frozen, you might think it should stay in the microwave longer, but take it out and see if it’s baked after 30 seconds. If not, you can always put it back in the microwave for a little longer, but make sure the butter doesn’t melt completely.

Does Garlic Bread From the Microwave Taste Any Good?

A microwave oven isn’t suitable for baking bread because it doesn’t produce natural heat. For this reason, the final texture of your bread will be soggy and chewy. It also won’t turn brown in the microwave (which gives baked goods a better taste).

One of the most important things for producing tasty baked goods is heat. A microwave oven doesn’t create real heat. In fact, it uses electromagnetic waves called microwaves (hence the name microwave oven) to cook food. These waves cause the water molecules inside the food to move around and create friction which causes the food to become warmer. 

This warmth comes from within food. On the other hand, goods baked in regular ovens get an external source of heat which makes them crispy and causes browning.

When you bake something in the oven, you know it’s almost done when it starts to take on a brownish color. 

Did you know that this brownish color is a chemical called the Maillard reaction? It’s an indispensable part of baking bread, cakes, and pastries, and it not only gives the food an attractive color but also makes it more delicious. 

Now that you are familiar with the main disadvantage of the microwave oven, you know why garlic bread can never taste as good as the one made in a conventional oven. However, it’s possible to make bread this way if you’re in a hurry because microwave ovens’ main advantage is their being fast. 

Final Bite

Garlic bread is relatively easy to make; you just need to get French bread and coat it with a garlic and butter mixture. Bake it in the microwave on the highest setting for about 30 seconds, take it out, and eat it before it cools down.

You can also use your microwave to defrost garlic bread. It will take 30 seconds or a little longer, and the good news is that you don’t need to thaw it at room temperature beforehand. Although bread made in the microwave may not be the tastiest option for some, it’s sure quick and easy.

For more, don’t miss The 10 Best Substitutes For French Bread.