How to Microwave Chicken Thighs

// How to Microwave Chicken Thighs

Prep Time

2 mins

Cook Time

9-10 mins

Free Time

to read a few more lines in your favorite book

Cooking whole chicken thighs in the microwave is a great way to keep them juicy and flavorful. This method makes the chicken tender and delicious, perfect for serving with whole grains or a side of steamed veggies. The tasty stock that collects at the bottom of the dish is great for adding extra flavor to rice, creating a complete and aromatic dish with ease.

Missing that crispy skin? Fry up the cooked drumsticks in a hot pan, or finish under the broiler for added texture. You can also try finishing drumsticks over a hot grill for 1-2 minutes per side.

This recipe calls for bone-in chicken thighs. Want to use boneless skinless thighs? You’ll want to lower the cooking time by 2-3 minutes depending on their size.
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What You’ll Need

What You’ll Need

The Medium Shallow Dish

Look no further for making poached eggs, desserts, dips, and small portions of meat or fish.

The Medium Deep Dish

The best dish for 1-2 portions of grains, veggies, mac and cheese, ramen, and more.

The Anyhand Mitts

Handle hot Anyday dishes with care with these microwave mitts that double as trivets!
Try Anyday

Select your serving size and microwave wattage in the dropdown. The recipe will change accordingly.

2 bone-in thighs

Select your microwave wattage in the dropdown. The cook times in this recipe will automatically change accordingly.


To find your microwave’s wattage, look at the front panel, the side of the door, in the back, in the user manual, or Google the model number. If both an input and output wattage are listed, use the output.

Wattage translates to how powerful the microwave is. The higher the wattage, the faster your food will cook. The lower the wattage, the longer the cook time.

When in doubt, start with less time — you can always add more.

Microwave oven by power - 700w



The Medium Shallow Dish


  • 2 bone-in thighs
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste


  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper, then place the thighs in an Anyday dish and pierce the skin all over with a fork.
  2. Cover with the lid (knob lifted).
  3. Cook in the microwave at Power Level 6tooltip for 9-10 minutes, or until the meat is firm and cooked through. Make sure the internal temperature reads at least 165°F.
  4. If the chicken is not fully cooked, add 2-3 more minutes at the same power level until done.

Serving suggestions & tips

  • Tortilla filling: Shred and season with chili powder, lime juice, and cilantro.
  • Honey mustard: Brush with honey mustard and finish under the broiler.
  • Ginger soy: Mix with soy sauce, grated ginger, and fresh scallion. Enjoy over rice or charred bok choy.
  • Buffalo: Toss with buffalo sauce and melted butter. Serve with ranch or blue cheese dressing and a side of veggies.

Recipe notes

  • Poking holes into the surface of the chicken will allow moisture to escape. Otherwise, you may hear loud popping sounds as the chicken cooks. Do not skip this step if you’re cooking chicken straight from the fridge.
  • You can cook unthawed frozen drumsticks. Simply follow the directions in the recipe and add 2-4 more minutes depending on size and amount.
  • Frozen chicken cooks better when the pieces are frozen independently and not in a block. If the chicken is frozen together, add more time at the same power level.
  • If using the Extra Large dish, you may need extra time to compensate for the larger volume or increase the power level by one.
  • Don’t want to lower your power level? You can still microwave chicken thighs! Check the chart below for cooking times suggested for full power.
  • Microwave ovens vary, even with the same wattages. Adjust cooking times as needed.

Microwave Match Up: Chicken Thighs

See for yourself— microwaving chicken thighs is simply faster, start to finish.

Appliance Cook Time
Microwave in an Anyday dish 9-10 mins
Grill* 25-30 mins
Stovetop* 25-30 mins
Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker)* 20 mins
*Includes preheat time

All You Need to Know About Microwaving Chicken Thighs

How long does it take to cook chicken thighs in the microwave?

Ingredient Power Level Cook Time
2 bone-in thighs 6 9-10 mins
4 bone-in thighs 6 12-14 mins
6 bone-in thighs 6 14-16 mins
8 bone-in thighs 7 17-18 mins
Cook time calculated for 700w microwave

It typically takes around 3-5 minutes to cook bone-in chicken thighs in the microwave. To tell when the chicken is cooked through, look for white (not pink) meat that is cooked through. The chicken should be juicy with no pink areas. You can also use a meat thermometer; make sure the inside of the chicken registers at least 165°F.

Can you cook frozen chicken thighs in the microwave?

Cooking chicken from frozen is very easy! Just make sure the pieces are broken apart and not stuck together in one block. When cooking from frozen, we always recommend lowering the power level. It adds a few extra minutes of cooking time, but it’s necessary to defrost and cook without drying out the meat.

When cooking chicken thighs from frozen, consider microwaving them in a flavorful sauce, such as a store-bought curry. When you store foods in the freezer, there’s always a chance that the meat has dried out. When simmering something flavorful, you won’t notice the difference!

Should you remove the chicken skin before cooking in the microwave?

You can keep the chicken skin on when cooking in the microwave if you enjoy the flavor and texture it adds to the dish. Many people find that leaving the skin on enhances the flavor of their chicken. Just know that to get the skin crispy, you will need to finish the chicken in the oven or on the stove!

Why do I need to pierce the surface of the chicken before cooking?

The cooking process makes the molecules of water in the chicken heat up very quickly. This creates steam vapor, which can make loud noises as it escapes the protein. Piercing the surface of the chicken with a fork all over will reduce this noise.

How to freeze cooked chicken?

To freeze microwaved chicken, first, cook the chicken as desired. Remove thigh meat from the bones and discard skins. Allow to cool completely and transfer to an airtight container or freezer bag in a single layer. Freeze in an air-tight container for up to 2 months.

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