7 things you should never put in the microwave

Published: March 23, 2017
PHOTO: Davidwolfe

PHOTO: Davidwolfe

One-minute mug cakes, brownies, baked potatoes, popcorn and so much more;  microwaves really are highly relied upon in the modern kitchen. But how carefully do you use them?  If you haven’t yet started a fire, you’re either a very smart user or very lucky.

Here are some things you should never put in the microwave to avoid that explosion some others couldn’t. Further, some ingredients lose most of their nutrients when heated in the microwave, it is wiser to cook them differently.

1. Paper bags

PHOTO: John Sykes Jr

Brown paper bags can ignite in the microwave. According to the USDA: “They are not sanitary, may cause a fire, and can emit toxic fumes.” Concentrated heat may cause a bag to catch fire, which can cause a fire in the oven. Further, the ‘ink, glue, and recycled materials in paper bags can emit toxic fumes when they are exposed to heat.’

2. Eggs

When cooked on high heat eggs explode in the microwave. According to Jim Hutchison, a physicist at the University of Aberdeen, UK: “microwaved eggs can reach temperatures much higher than if they were simply boiled in water at 100° Celsius”

At such raised temperatures, water inside the egg, mostly in the white, vaporises – even as the white solidifies. If the pressure inside the egg surpasses the breaking strength of the shell, the egg will explode.

3. Styrofoam containers

PHOTO: houstonpress

A Styrofoam container either melts or loses it shape in the microwave as its contents warm up. Toxic chemicals can leak out into the food when this happens which are considered harmful to consume and can have grave side effects if consumed over a period of time. However, Styrofoam containers that are labelled microwave safe can be used.

4. Chilli peppers

PHOTO: gadventures

This is not a good idea.The peppers will just burn and might catch fire. The chemicals released from the peppers may sting your eyes and hurt your throat when you open the microwave door.

5. Grapes

PHOTO: ndtv

Grapes are not able to withstand microwave heat. They explode.

6. Metal

PHOTO: sixsistersstuff

Remember that physics lesson where you learnt that metal is a conductor of electricity; it will come in quite handy here. The rays from the microwave striking the metal can generate sparks which can lead to a fire. Therefore putting crockery with metallic rims as well as cutlery and tin foil in the microwave is a terrible idea.

7. Nothing

The magnetron creates microwaves which are transmitted into the cooking compartment to heat food. When there is no food to absorb the microwaves, they will eventually find their way back to the magnetron. This will cause damage to the oven and possible cause a fire.

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Reader Comments (3)

  • kemosabe
    Mar 23, 2017 - 9:33PM

    Are aerosol cans ok ? Who puts grapes in the microwave anyway ?!?!Recommend

  • Acorn Guts
    Mar 24, 2017 - 12:58AM

    Learnt about the eggs the hard way, brought it up to my nose for a sniff, and bam! Recommend

  • MJ-Sid
    Mar 24, 2017 - 8:00PM

    Don’t put eggs in a shell but beaten eggs in a bowl with other ingredients can be put in the microwave for a quick omelette. Just do it in 30 second increments and mix the ingredients with a fork between each session. Recommend

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