Everytime I heat up chicken in the microwave it tastes pretty strange and has a not-so-appealing odour too.. What is the best way to heat up those leftovers?

  • How was the chicken cooked originally? Is it possible it's starting to turn bad?
    – Kenster
    Commented Aug 28, 2014 at 19:36
  • 2
    Also keep in mind that microwaves do not heat foods in a traditional sense, but rather "excite" water molecules, thereby heating the other molecules around them (simple English explanation here, more detailed version here). In my experience, this sometimes radically changes the flavor of the food. Food tends to taste different with different cooking methods in general, though (e.g., steaming a burger will taste different that grilling it).
    – valverij
    Commented Aug 28, 2014 at 20:01
  • The chicken was cooked in an oven originally. One time I had shawarma, but had the same result. What is the best way to heat up leftovers then, if microwave does not retain the good flavour?
    – Becky
    Commented Aug 28, 2014 at 20:35
  • What kind of container are you heating it in? Or just on a plate?
    – Cascabel
    Commented Aug 29, 2014 at 0:14
  • 1
    @Becky: you can use the edit option to add that information or revise your question, so that it's more visible. Good way to make sure you get the answers you're looking for.
    – logophobe
    Commented Aug 29, 2014 at 15:48

2 Answers 2


To get the best results reheating food in the microwave, use 50% or 75% power, and turn the plate every 20 seconds or so (if you don't have a turntable). Stir or flip a few times if you can. Only get it just hot enough, no more. Food overcooked in the microwave is just nasty.

  • +1 for a really good answer. Lowering the power level and heating in small increments is especially important in higher wattage microwaves. Mine is 1100w and when reheating I never go above 50% - 60%. Even when heating pre-packaged foods that say to heat on high, I have to reduce the power to 80% - 90% to ensure that the food does not overcook or, in some cases, burn.
    – Cindy
    Commented Aug 29, 2014 at 11:21

I usually add a little bit of water (just a few tablespoons) to whatever I am heating up. I find this provides additional moisture and keeps the food from getting too dry. Also, be sure to stir/flip regularly so that the food is evenly heated.

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