How to Toast Bread in Microwave

Contrary to belief, you don’t actually need a toaster to achieve perfectly crisped bread. Albeit a lot easier to plop in a toaster or toaster oven, you can successfully use the microwave. All you need is a paper towel, a slice of bread, and a microwave.

Hey, there! My name is Michelle, and I love toast. I have toasts at least three times a week, but let’s be honest – that number is a lot higher than I would like to admit. Of course, I haven’t always had a toaster in my vicinity, so being adaptable to my situation was imperative.

While toast is typically made in a toaster (see the connection here?), that doesn’t mean it is an absolute must. You can successfully make a slice of bread crispy enough to soak in butter by using the microwave.

Who’s ready to make toast in the microwave?

How to Toast Bread in the Microwave

If you were to tell someone you would toast bread in your microwave; they’d likely scratch their head. Isn’t a toaster or toaster oven the best option for bread? While these two appliances may be the ideal choice, they’re not the only option.

Here is how you can successfully toast bread in the microwave.

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

The first step is to gather up all of your supplies. Luckily, you only need three things to be successful at toasting your bread in the microwave:

  • Your desired slice of bread
  • A piece of a paper towel
  • A microwave

No, really – that’s it. And to be honest, the paper towel is optional. However, I recommend using a paper towel for two reasons. One, microwave turntables aren’t exactly the cleanest items. Two, the paper towel will soak up any moisture to enhance crispiness. Winning combo!

Step 2: Place the Bread in the Microwave

Next, you will want to lay the paper towel down on top of the turntable (or bottom of the microwave if your appliance does not have a turntable). Then, place the slice of bread right on top.

It’s best to go for one slice of bread at a time. You might not get the right consistency with multiple slices of bread. This is mostly because microwaves are notorious for uneven heating, which may leave you with crispiness on one slice and a floppy mess on the other.

Step 3: Elevate the Bread, if Possible

Elevating the bread is recommended, although it is not a must. Using something to elevate the bread off of the paper towel, such as toothpicks, will help the bread to heat up and get crispy on both sides. Make sure the elevator is a microwave-friendly product.

While this is not a critical step of making toast in a microwave, it will help achieve better results that are more similar to how a freshly toasted piece of toast feels and tastes.

Step 4: Cook for 30 Seconds

It doesn’t take much to make “toast” in a microwave. All you need to do is hit the “30 Second” option on your microwave. Then, let the microwave work its magic. You can have the turntable set to “rotate” if your microwave has this option.

Step 5: Check for Doneness

After the microwave beeper goes off, check for doneness. You can do so by poking the top of the bread. Is it perfectly crisp yet? If yes, remove the bread using the paper towel as the bread is likely to be quite hot.

If the answer is no, then let the bread cook for another 30 seconds. Keep a close eye on the bread, though. Overcooking will lead to a rock-hard slice of bread rather than a perfectly crisp piece of toast.

When your toast is made, it will have a crispy texture similar to bread that’s just popped out of the toaster. However, it will not have the same browned appearance as “regular” toast, so don’t think you can judge doneness based solely on how the bread looks.

Also, keep in mind that toast from the microwave will not be exactly like toast made in a toaster. It will likely not have the same ideal crispiness and flavor, but it will be close – especially if you use favorite toppings like butter, avocado, peanut butter, and more. 


Now you know how to toast bread using your microwave successfully. Pretty cool when you’re in a pinch, huh? If you still have some prying questions about how to toast bread in the microwave, then check out these frequently asked questions below.

Can you make toast in the microwave?

Although the bread may be slightly different in the end, you can still “toast” bread in the microwave. The best thing to do is to use a paper towel and elevate the bread using microwave-friendly materials. This will help to achieve toasty goodness. 

How can I toast bread without a toaster?

Microwaves aren’t the only other option for toasting bread without a toaster. You can also opt to use an air fryer, broil in the oven, slow cook in the oven, or even heat on the stovetop. All of these options will render fabulously crisp and delicious results similar to a toaster.

Can you toast bread in a convection microwave?

A convection microwave cannot make toast because instead of heating from the top, these microwaves heat from the side. Therefore, the sides of the toast will get heated up, but the top will not crisp up like it is supposed to.

Can you microwave buttered toast?

You can microwave buttered toast, and it will taste splendid! Just make sure not to overcook, as this can cause the bread to become too hard and have an off texture.

Final Words

Toast is a breakfast staple. When you’re in a pinch, you can use a microwave instead of a toaster. Just use a paper towel and elevate the bread for the best results. Don’t overcook! Most bread will crisp up in as little as 30 to 60 seconds.

Have you ever made toast in a microwave?

About Michelle
I have been a lover of sweets since day one. This led me on a self-taught baking journey starting at the age of 13. It's been over 10 years since the start of my baking adventures, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Now, people rave about my delectable treats, whether it’s a chocolate cake or a strawberry crepe.

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  • Bob Bailey

    The center of the bread’s thickness was toasted when I ran the microwave about four times at 20 seconds, flipping the bread between cycles. The surface of the bread was not as brown as the middle.

    • Michelle

      Hi Bob,
      Wow! Interesting results. Thanks for sharing. Did you use the instructions above?

  • Augustin

    Hmmm. Perfect. Cheers ????

    • Michelle

      Hi Augustin,
      Hope you enjoyed! Cheers!

  • Charlotte

    To make a rack to raise the bread off of the microwave turntable, cut the rim from a small paper bowl. Lay the bread on this rim.

    • Michelle

      Hi Charlotte,
      Thanks for sharing!
      Happy baking,

  • Jakkcy

    Umm… that’s a great way to make the toughest, non-toasted bread in history.

    • Michelle

      Hi Jakkcy,
      It certainly doesn’t render the same, desirable results as a toaster, but it can work in a pinch! Thanks for commenting.
      Happy baking,