Microwave cooking is often a go-to choice for many occasions that require a quick dish. Whether you’re trying to make a side dish or need to reheat some leftovers, microwaves can be a lifesaver. However, not everything can be microwaved and it’s important to be aware of what not to microwave
Video: 16 Things To Avoid Putting in the Microwave - Channel: Synergy Appliances
Microwaving is energy efficient and helps retain valuable nutrients in your food while providing ease that conventional kitchen cooking can’t compete with. However, despite its benefits, there are potential setbacks when the wrong thing is nuked.
The containers that we can use in microwaves, like glass, plastic, ceramic, or paper, do not heat up themselves when microwaved but get hot due to the food warming inside. However, some plastic containers may melt when the food inside gets too hot, which will leach chemicals into your dish. Metals and foil should never be heated in microwaves. Their surfaces cause the waves to reflect and thus cause damage to the appliance.
Many foods, when microwaved, will heat unevenly. While this isn’t as serious as a microwave fire or exploding food, it can still pose a serious health hazard for raw food.
Avoid nuking these 16 items altogether:
1. Bread: Bread particles react to the heating and cooling of microwaving and then taking it out, making the bread harder and chewier, basically ruining the bread.
2. Single-Use Plastics: These can melt and leach phthalates into food, which can be especially harmful for pregnant women and young children.
3. Breast Milk: It’s likely to heat unevenly and cause certain areas of the milk to be very hot, which can seriously hurt a baby.
4. Frozen Meat: Will cook unevenly and result in random cooked and frozen spots. A better way to defrost frozen meat quickly is to submerge it in hot water.
5. Nothing: Running an empty microwave can ruin it since none of the microwaves are absorbed and will reflect around inside the appliance.
6. Water: A cup of just water may super-heat (heat above its boiling point) and explode when touched or when anything is added to it.
7. Food With No Cover: Although the nutritional value of the food won’t be affected and this won’t damage the microwave, the food can explode and create a big mess.
8. Oil: Since oil is not a liquid, rather a fat, it will not heat effectively, and when it does heat it can potentially catch fire or become way too hot to touch.
9. Hot Dogs: Preservatives such as sodium nitrite and sodium nitrate that are present in hot dogs can spark when heated.
10. Travel Mugs: The stainless steel that most travel mugs are made of can stop your drink from heating up and can also severely damage the microwave.
11. Eggs in Shells: Steam gets trapped in the egg due to its shell and can’t escape, which can make the egg explode.
12. Hot Peppers: The main ingredient that makes peppers spicy, capsaicin, vaporizes under the effect of microwaves, and the fumes released are like pepper spray.
13. Takeout Box: Many have metal handles. We already know what happens to metals in a microwave.
14. Leftover Potatoes: If the potatoes were left to cool at room temperature, botulism may grow and make you very sick. It’s better to put potatoes in the fridge immediately.
15. Leafy Greens: Nitrates in leafy greens can become nitrosamines and thus carcinogenic when heated.
16. Frozen Fruit: The severe temperature change can foster carcinogens. The fruits will also lose some texture and flavor due to the heat. Let frozen fruits thaw naturally.
Can you think of anything else that should never be put in a microwave? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
For your convenience, use this visual from Kitchen Cabinet Kings as a reference to safe and unsafe microwave practices.