Twenty-four-hours a day doesn’t seem to be enough to get everything done, and we need to find innovative ways to save ourselves some time. That’s why microwaves were invented – they are fast, practical, and absolute lifesavers when it comes to food preparation. However, it’s important that you know which things are microwave safe and which things you should never, under any circumstances, put in the microwave.
Here is a list of 10 things you shouldn’t put on your microwave oven.
1. Breast milk
If you can’t breastfeed without pumping and you store your breast milk in the fridge, you are going to want to heat it before feeding it to your baby, and you should never use the microwave for this purpose. The heat in the microwave is not evenly distributed, and as a result, some of the milk might be too hot, which may cause damage to your baby’s throat and mouth. You should always heat it on the stove or using hot tap water.
2. Plastic takeout containers
The vast majority of plastic takeout containers are single-use, which means they are not supposed to go in the microwave. If you want to keep them and use them to store stuff in the refrigerator, you can, but do not heat them – they will release harmless plastic particles that can put your health at risk. Always read the labels on plastic products and Styrofoam food containers to find out if they are microwave safe.
3. Aluminum Foil
The interior of a microwave is made of metal, which means this kitchen tool kind of works like a mirror, reflecting microwaves or radio waves if you prefer. These radio waves release the electromagnetic energy responsible for heating your food. If you place aluminum foil inside the microwave, the waves will reflect off of it, causing it to burn and ignite. This can be very dangerous, and it can cause extensive damage to your microwave.
4. Paper Bags
There are different types of paper bags, and not all of them can go in the microwave. To be microwave safe, a paper bag must be equipped with a specific material that consumes radio waves – which is the case of popcorn bags. The regular paper bags that you use to pack your sandwiches are different, they don’t have that material, and as a result, toxins might be released as you warm them up. The heat from the microwave can be so intense that the bag could actually burn and start a fire.
5. Travel Mugs
Travel mugs are usually made from steel or plastic, and these materials are not exactly what we would call microwave friendly. Steel is the type of material that can interfere with the radio waves, damaging your microwave. And as for plastic bottles, it depends – the ones that are microwave-safe will say so in the label.
6. Hard-boiled Eggs
There are recipes everywhere promising that you can cook a hard-boiled egg using a microwave in no time. And as tempting as that sounds, you should know that it’s not a job for this amazing kitchen tool. Microwaves can cook at super high temperatures, and if you try to use them for cooking an egg, it will explode. This happens because the steam will rise inside the eggshell, causing it to crack and make a whole mess.
7. Glass with silver or gold rims
And to the question “is glass microwave safe?” the answer we have to give you is… it depends. Some glass ceramic can be microwave safe, but the majority glass cups, for example, are usually not. Plus, if your glass-ceramic cookware has silver or gold rims, it should not go in the microwave as well.
8. Hot Peppers
If you want your microwave to make you cry, you should put a hot pepper inside. But you don’t want that, do you? As you open the microwave, the pepper might release chemicals that feel very similar to pepper spray. As a result, you might burn your eyes and even choke. It can be very dangerous, so we do not recommend heating hot peppers on the microwave.
9. Everything without a lid
Tiny explosions may occur inside your microwave, and this is why you should always cover everything – be it a plate of soup, or a Tupperware with spaghetti Bolognese. Plate covers for microwaves are pretty inexpensive and can save you the trouble of having to clean a whole mess every single time you heat your food.
10. Nothing at all
If you want to preserve your microwave, don’t go around experimenting to see what happens if you turn it on with nothing on the inside. Like we have stated before, this kitchen appliance releases radio waves, and the waves need to have a destination. Otherwise, they will end up bouncing around, which can, in a worst-case scenario, blow up your microwave.