Frozen fish sticks are an easy meal for kids and adults. You can dip them or eat them plain, and they’re quick to bake in the oven. However, sometimes you need an even quicker meal than that, and you don’t have many options. Can you microwave fish sticks, or is it unhealthy?
You can microwave frozen fish sticks. However, they won’t get as crispy and tender as they do in the oven. Microwaved fish sticks are perfectly safe to eat, but they tend to be more soggy. The method for microwaving fish sticks is slightly different to cooking in the oven.
To microwave fish sticks, you need to ensure they are fully cooked first. Uncooked fish can be dangerous if it’s not completely cooked through, and the microwave won’t do a thorough job of that. However, precooked frozen fish sticks are fine to microwave for a quick meal.
Can You Microwave Fish Sticks?
While it’s not ideal, it is possible to microwave fish sticks without an unpleasant fishy smell or raw taste. Most frozen fish sticks are pre-cooked, which means they are safe to eat after a little heating.
It is essential to check the packaging before microwaving your fish sticks. Not all brands recommend it, and some fish sticks aren’t fully cooked. However, you want the entire fish finger to be cooked because it’s unpleasant to bite into a frozen fish finger. Here are microwave instructions for fish sticks.
How to Microwave Fish Sticks
To microwave fish sticks, arrange them in a single layer on a microwave-safe dish. Set the microwave to medium power. If the microwave is on high power the fish fingers could burst and make a mess.
Microwave the fish fingers in one minute intervals, turning them between each minute. After three minutes, the internal temperature of the frozen fish should be thoroughly cooked and hot enough to eat. If necessary, pat the fish sticks with a paper towel to gather excess moisture or grease.
Other Methods of Cooking Fish Sticks
Of course, there are other options. If you don’t love the idea of soggy fish sticks but don’t have time for the microwave, check out these common methods of cooking fish sticks. They both are labor-intensive and involve cooking utensils, but you will get crispier fish sticks in less time than the oven.
Fish Sticks in the Air Fryer
If you’re in a hurry, you don’t have to resort to the microwave. Fish sticks work best in an oven, but you can also cook them in the air fryer. In fact, because the air fryer works to heat and crisp at the same time, you might find that your fish sticks are lighter and crispier than when you cooked them in the microwave.
The air fryer isn’t quite as fast as a microwave, but it is the best way to get fish sticks crispy quickly. All you need to do is set the air fryer to the temperature on the side of the fish sticks package (generally somewhere between 375℉ and 425℉). The air fryer takes much less time than the oven to heat up.
Lay the fish sticks in a single layer in the air fryer tray, and set the timer for 10-15 minutes. Once they are hot and crispy, take them out and enjoy! An air fryer works like a tiny convection oven by blowing hot air around the food to crisp the outside. You won’t have to wait as long for the taste of fried food.
Fish Sticks on the Stovetop
You can also saute fish sticks to heat them up. Although this is a bit more labor-intensive, it is more accessible for those who don’t own an air fryer. It’s quite easy to cook fish sticks on the stovetop, and all you need is a pan and a little bit of oil.
To heat up fish sticks on the stove, pour about a tablespoon of vegetable or olive oil into a pan. Let it heat over medium heat, and then add the fish sticks in a single layer. They don’t need to be in the heat very long. Three to four minutes on each side should heat the fish sticks nicely and sear the edges a bit.
Always use kitchen safety. Do not allow young children to be near the stovetop while the burner is on, and make sure you are a safe distance from the heat and the hot oil. Oil can pop when it’s hot, so be extra careful when sauteing or heating things on the stove.
If you are still wondering about certain aspects of microwaving fish sticks, here are some commonly asked questions and their answers.
Are fish sticks precooked?
Fish sticks are generally precooked. They are usually dipped in yellow corn flour, white flour, corn starch, or another kind of breadcrumb casing and cooked, then frozen. This is both for the customer’s safety and convenience. If you don’t fully cook the fish stick, it won’t be dangerous to eat. You can eat them raw if you really want to.
Can you reheat fish sticks?
You can reheat fish sticks if you don’t finish them all the first time. However, after a few days it’s better to throw them away. The more you reheat the meat, the more likely bacteria will grow on it. If you keep it in the refrigerator between reheats, it should be safe. However, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
How long are fish sticks good in the fridge?
Cooked fish sticks will remain good in the fridge for up to four days. However, if they start to smell unpleasant or look slimy, it’s vital to throw them away. Food poisoning can be a serious illness. It’s better to waste a little food than to get sick, especially on bad fish. Fish fingers will also get soggy the longer they are in the fridge.
Microwaving your fish sticks is definitely the quickest way to get them hot and ready to eat. However, it doesn’t lead to the best results. If you want crispy fish fingers, don’t use a microwave. It may be quick, but the moisture in the meat will soak into the breadcrumb coating and cause the fish finger to be a little soggy.