How Long To Boil Water in The Microwave? Lesser-Known Secret


How long to boil water in the microwave has become one of the most sought-after questions of a lot of people, as they think doing this will save them an insane amount of time.

Once again, we can not argue how effective and efficient a microwave is in helping us immediately get a boiled water bowl to make the meal ready! Why waste time on the stove when you can spend that time doing others with the help of a microwave, right?

Here in the frame of this article, we share with you the timing, the secret, safe way to do the job.

Let’s get to the deets now!

How long to boil water in the microwave

Can You Boil Water In A Microwave?

Yes, you can. In fact, research demonstrates that different microwave temps have an impact on water properties. Therefore, when you adjust the microwave’s temperature, you can reach the boiling point if you apply the right method. So far, as long as the proper steps are followed, boiling water in a microwave has no potential health risks.

Besides boiling water, you can also make popcorn, fry eggs, and bake cakes using this kitchen appliance.

However, it depends on the purpose of the water temp you look for to decide whether you should use a microwave or not. For instance, the microwave is more energy-efficient and faster than the stove. Nevertheless, a stove is a much wiser choice if you want water for coffee or tea.

Similarly, the microwave is the best bet for reheating or even cooking food, but it can not work for everything. You still have to use the traditional way to achieve the original taste of the food.


  • Simple to do
  • Fast to get the job done
  • Easy to clean
  • Work best in a hurry situation or when you have many things to cook at the same time

Potential Risks

You should follow the proper instructions to ensure your own safety, as boiling water in the microwave is somewhat risky. In a detailed manner, it is superheating or even burning.


The water boiling point is 212°F. Water and its container is super hot when you microwave water to this degree. So, whatever you touch, there is a good chance that you get burned or scalded. The most popular accident we got when applying the method is related to burning.


The problem happens when the water exceeds its boiling point. As a result, an explosion may take place when you stir or take it out of your microwave.

It is not a piece of cake to control the temperature when you boil water inside the microwave. It is easy to go under or over the ideal temperature. So the hidden risks are pretty concerning. However, getting the crux of the matter will help you do the job better, as always.

So, below is how to boil water using a microwave.

How To Boil Water In Microwave?

How To Boil Water In Microwave? 


  • microwave-safe container
  • water
  • oven mitt/towel

Steps By Steps

Step 1

Pour your water into the prepared container and place it inside the microwave. Don’t forget you need to leave the room for water to boil, so leave about 3-4 cm when pouring to prevent overflow.

Step 2

Adjust the heat mode to the highest setting, and turn the timer to the time you want.

Step 3

Now, it is time to observe and monitor the water inside. You need to make sure whenever you see bubbles. You should stop the timer.

Step 4

Put the oven mitt on, hold the container firmly, and take it out. There will be releasing steam when the container opens, so be careful.

Step 5

That’s the step-by-step guide on boiling water with microwave to follow. Now, use the water with care and discharge the left with double caution.

How Long To Boil Water In The Microwave?

How Long To Boil Water In The Microwave?

Expect to cook from 1.5-12 minutes, based on the wattage setting and your purpose.

Factors Affect Amount Of Time Boiling Water In Microwave

Microwave Wattage

Microwaves vary in wattage. The higher wattage is, the faster heating of the water is.

Water Amount

The less water is heated, the faster the microwave can boil the water.

Microwave Container

Generally speaking, ceramic/glass containers facilitate the boiling process faster than plastic containers. Besides, the container size matters too. The bigger it is, the longer the microwave needs to boil water.

Water State

Obviously, the frozen water will need more time to boil in the microwave than room-temperature water.

Microwave Altitude

According to the USDA, every 500ft increase in altitude equals a 1°F decrease in water boiling point. Therefore, at lower altitudes, microwaves will need more time to make the water “bubble.”

We can not exclude one factor when finding the proper time to boil water in the microwave.

In general, 250 ml water will need about 2 mins, provided that you set the microwave heat mode to the highest. Still, it varies in different types of microwaves with various wattages.

Factors Affect Amount Of Time Boiling Water In Microwave

How Long Does It Take To Boil Water In The Microwave?


The microwave with 1000 watts will heat the water to the boiling point faster than the one with only 700 watts.

It applies the same to other microwave types. So, you need to check the wattage of your microwave in its instruction manual. After finding out what it is, you can take the table below as a reference:

Microwave Wattage (watts) Reference Boiling Time (min)
1,200 1.5
1,000 2
800 2.5
700 3
600 3.5
500 4


As the above table says, you need to give a 1000W microwave 2 mins to boil 250 ml of water. However, with the same work, you must wait 4 mins to get boiled water if you use a microwave that has only 500 wattages.

Obviously, it is just for reference. The real-time you need will differ depending on the case. You can only know by putting your water inside and experimenting. That way, you will learn how much time you need to boil water with your microwave wattage.

We recommend you follow the order. First, set the microwave to the highest heating mode, turn on the microwave, and start the timer for 2 mins. If you do not observe any boiling, repeat the work for 30 more seconds. You can adjust the time to decrease or increase based on the result.

When you discover the ideal time to boil water using your microwave, you should take note and make the best use of it for the next time.

Different Purpose

How much time you need to boil water by using the microwave is surely affected by the purpose of the water you are about to use. Take tea, for example; you will not need 200 ml of boiled water for a small cup of tea.

Still, if it is for pasta, 500 ml or even 1000 ml is ideal. Besides, you don’t want too hot water for making tea as it can leave a bitter taste in tea. But if the water is for coffee, the hotter, the quicker you can enjoy the drink.

When you need boiled water to use in cooking, then the faster it boils, the better. Below is the reference time that you need to cook water in a microwave classified based on your purpose:

 Purpose Reference Boiling Time (min)
For tea making 2 mins
For pasta pot 8 mins
For a coffee cup 4 mins
For soaking beans 10 mins
For cooking rice 12 mins

Again, the above time is just for reference. To find out the exact amount of time you need to boil water in the microwave for your purpose, you need to experiment with your appliances. Then you can have the ideal number of your own for the next time usage.How Long Does It Take To Boil Water In The Microwave?

Microwave Water Boiling Safety Precautions

1. Use the tailor-made container to put in the microwave.

It is super important as it ensures your safety. Always check whether the products you are about to use are safe inside the microwave. If you don’t know whether it is safe, let it stay far away from your microwave.

2. Maintain the water in the container at 3/4 full.

Never overfill. Again, it is crucial to leave room for water to boil and expand. It prevents any hidden accidents.

3. Stir the water.

Stirring water before putting it in the microwave and after taking it out is a good step to ensure the heat is evenly distributed. There are no hot spots.

4. Let your water rest.

When you take the water out, let it stay on the table for a while, at least 1 min. Then you can use it. The waiting is to avoid unlucky accidents, so don’t be in a hurry.

5. Always use an oven mitt.

Don’t underestimate the heat, even when it is just a small cup. Using an oven mitt will protect you from being burned.

6. Pour hot water with caution.

As you hold the hot water, do not hurry to pour it into coffee or tea. Take it slow and do it cautiously, as water is easy to splash. Besides, measure your desired amount of hot water to not dilute your beverage.

7. Avoid metal containers.

The material is not safe in the microwave. It can cause a fire, causing it to fail in operation. You would never want to buy a new microwave just because you use it to boil water.

8. Apply the rule of thumb: never go over 2 mins.

The interval of 2 mins in boiling water in the microwave helps you stay safe and away from accidents. So, you can repeat, but not going over the ideal number is a wise choice.

9. Make sure your microwave is in a safe condition.

If your buddy does not function well, or it has any damage, etc., please don’t use it until experts say it is safe.

Make sure your microwave is in a safe condition

10. One purpose at a time.

If you use your microwave to boil water, don’t put any metal objects or food wrapped in aluminum foil in there, as it is the main reason for the fire in the microwave. Just one purpose at a time with microwave-safe products only.

11. Strictly follow your microwave instructions.

You should read the manual and comply with all the guidelines. As each microwave runs in a different mechanism, you should always follow yours.

12. Make sure your microwave is dry and safe.

If the microwave is in wet condition, it can start a fire. So, always check to ensure it is dry and in good condition to use.

13. Monitor your water.

Observe the water inside to make sure that if anything happens, you can cut the electricity immediately to prevent it from exploding.

Monitor your water


Is Heating Water In Microwave Or Boiling Water In The Microwave The Same?

No. The heating gives out lukewarm, not boiling water. That is why heating water is more likely to retain some bacteria, but boiling water kills all of them to ensure water is safe to consume.

What Boils Water Faster, The Stove Or The Microwave?

The microwave works faster regarding boiling water. Normally, it takes up to 5 mins to boil 500 ml of water if you use an electric stove, but just under 2 mins if you apply the microwave, which has a wattage of 1000.

The microwave is better at saving energy, and you don’t have to pay much attention to the microwave in comparison when using a stove if you have experience and a bit of info at the recommended time. The effect of a microwave in terms of boiling water is the same as a stove.

Is It Ok To Leave Your Boiling Water In Your Microwave Overnight?

No, it is not ok. Even if you don’t see any problems, leaving hot water there can cause issues with the microwave. Additionally, bacteria can develop in water when it gradually cools for a long time. So, only boiling water when needed is a safe step you should always follow.

Is It Ok To Leave Your Boiling Water In Your Microwave Overnight?

Final Thoughts

That is our answer for how long to boil water in the microwave.

After all, microwaving water greatly supports us when cooking or preparing meals in such a hectic life. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to drop them in the comment section, and we will answer them as soon as possible.

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