You can toast bread with a microwave. However, the results will not be like if you had used a bread toaster. A microwave will not achieve that perfect crisp texture and brown color. Besides, if you toast for too long, the bread may become dry or get a rubbery texture.
However, if you do not have a toaster, there is a way to use a microwave to toast bread. A microwave with a grill is the best option. But you can still use a conventional microwave without a grill. Other alternatives include using an air fryer, waffle maker, panini press, oven, etc.
Below are the steps for toasting bread with a microwave, including specific instructions for a microwave with the grill option and one without. The article also discusses the challenges of toasting bread with a microwave and alternative methods.
How to Toast Bread With a Microwave—Without the Grill Option
What You Need
- Slice of bread
- Paper towel
- Butter both sides of your bread slices. It is best to grill one slice of bread at a time.
- Place a paper towel on the microwave turntable. The paper tower prevents direct contact with the bread on the turntable, as it may not be clean. It also absorbs excess moisture from the bread.
- Break a toothpick into two. Attach one piece on the right side of the bread and the other on the left side to elevate the slice of the bread and enable even cooking.
- Cook the bread on high for 30 seconds. Check if it has crisped slightly—if necessary, cook the top side for another 15-30 seconds.
- Flip the bread. Attach the toothpick pieces on the now lower side. Once again, cook on medium to high heat for 30 seconds or slightly longer. Do not cook the bread for too long as it will lose moisture and dry out.
How to Toast Bread With a Microwave—With Grill
What You Need
- Slice of bread
- Microwave grill rack
- Butter both sides of your slices of bread. Depending on the size of your microwave oven, you can toast 1-3 slices of bread at a time.
- Place the slices of bread on the microwave grill rack.
- Place the grill rack on the microwave plate and close the door.
- Turn on the microwave and press on the grill option.
- Heat the bread on high for 2-3 minutes, then turn over the slices of bread.
- Microwave the other side for 2-3 minutes.
- Your bread is ready for serving. It will be slightly crispy with brown marks.
Why Toasting Bread Using a Microwave Is Not Recommended
Ideally, a microwave oven is not designed for toasting bread. Its operating mechanism is such that it dries bread from the inside out. It uses electromagnetic waves to speed up water particles in the food resulting in the food getting hot.
Therefore, it draws out moisture from the bread, leaving it dry, yet it does not leave the bread brown and crunchy. Also, the electromagnetic waves cause the starch to regelatinize, causing the bread to have a chewy and rubbery texture.
Alternative Methods for Toasting Bread
In a Conventional Oven
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place your bread slices on the middle rack directly or on a baking sheet or pan. Let the bread cook for 10 minutes. Flip it after 5 minutes for an even toast. It should be crispy and dark brown after 10 minutes.
If you want your bread slices crispier and darker, leave them in the oven for longer. Conversely, if you want slightly crispy and light brown, leave it in the oven for 5-7 minutes only. Keep a close eye on the bread to prevent it from burning.
On the Stovetop
The process of toasting bread on the stovetop is straightforward. Place a pan—a skillet, shallow frying, or grill pan— on the stovetop. Preheat it to medium to low heat. Grease it lightly with butter or olive oil. Toast your slice of bread on one side until golden brown, and then flip.
Under the Broiler
Another option for toasting bread fast is using the broiler setting in your oven. Turn on the oven and select the broiler function. Allow it to preheat for 5 minutes at 375°F. Meanwhile, oil a sheet pan and apply butter on each side of the slice of bread. Place the bread on the sheet pan and position it on the first or second level on the upper side of the oven.
Keep a close eye on your bread. Each side should be ready in 1-2 minutes, depending on your temperature setting and the thickness of the bread. The broiler cooks at high heat, so keep a close eye on the bread to prevent it from burning. The toast should be crispy with a rich color.
Some microwave ovens are designed to combine microwave and toaster functions. The toaster function of the microwave toaster oven toasts almost as well as a regular toaster. Just ensure to use the right settings when toasting your bread.
Although a waffle maker is not one of the best options for toasting bread, it can still get the job done. Preheat the waffle iron for about 5 minutes. Place the bread and cook for 2-3 minutes. Keep in mind that the waffle maker will cause idents on the bread.
A panini press is designed to toast the panini sandwiches. Although it is typically used with bread, in most cases, the best bread for paninis is denser to withstand high temperatures and pressure. Therefore, use it for 2-3 minutes only when toasting regular bread. Preheat the panini press for 2-3 minutes before putting the bread in.
Preheat the air fryer to 400°F for 5 minutes. Butter the bread and put it in the air fryer basket or use the air fryer tray. Cook for about 2-4 minutes until golden brown.
Using a microwave is one of the least recommendable options for toasting bread, especially if the microwave does not have a grill option. However, if it is your only option, follow the abovementioned steps.
You may not achieve a perfect brown and crisp texture like you would have if using a toaster, but the bread will be warm and slightly crispy. Instead of using a microwave, you can also toast your bread under a broiler, on a pan on the stovetop, in the oven, using a waffle maker, air fryer, or a panini press. Alternatively, invest in a microwave toaster combo.