Microwaves might be one of the greatest inventions of our time. People were VERY excited about them when they first emerged. They wanted to microwave EVERYTHING and take advantage of the tremendous convenience that came along with being able to cook your food in record time. The future had arrived! Unfortunately for them (but fortunately for us) the early pioneers of microwave technology quickly discovered that despite all its magical powers, the microwave was not compatible with everything. And thus we give you a list of items that you should definitely keep out of your space-aged cooking device for your own health, safety and sanity:
Objects that might catch fire
Most people know that you should never, under any circumstances, microwave metal. Pots, pans, travel mugs, and even things that just have a tiny bit of metal in them should never be nuked unless you want to start a fire in your kitchen. Watch out for those sneaky plates that may have a tiny amount of metal in their designs as well (we’re looking at you, grandma’s china!).
Objects that might leach harmful things into your food
Some plastic containers are fine to microwave, but the majority of them are not, so just don’t do it, ok? Many plastics contain chemicals, such as BPAs, that can seep into your food when the plastic is heated. Do yourself a favor and take an extra moment to transfer your food onto a microwave safe plate before you heat it up.
Microwaving whole eggs puts you at risk of two things: an eggy explosion which will NOT be fun to clean up, OR steam burns on your fingers when you try to crack open the microwaved egg. Unless you’re a glutton for self-punishment, we highly suggest you avoid microwaving an un-cracked egg. Cracked eggs, however, can be quite delicious when microwaved, like in this recipe for Coffee Mug Quiche.
Did you forget to thaw your meat for dinner? Instead of trying to thaw it awkwardly in the microwave, either thaw it under water in the sink or make something else. The heat in your microwave tends to be uneven, so microwaving frozen meat can lead to bits of it cooking while other bits are still frozen and you don’t want to mess around with your meat’s ‘doneness’ if you know what I mean.
So it turns out the chemical that makes hot peppers taste all fiery in your mouth – capsaicin – can also get a little too fiery in the microwave. Not only will the fumes make your eyes burn, but the pepper itself could catch on fire. Yikes!
You might be tempted to microwave last night’s rich and delicious pasta sauce or hearty stew, but thicker liquids might give you problems in the microwave. As they heat up, the molecules don’t move around fast enough resulting in air bubbles and tiny explosions that make the inside of your microwave look like a mini murder scene.
In what world would anyone want to microwave grapes? I guess someone tried to once because grapes are now on the no-microwave list because, you guessed it… they explode when nuked.
Have you ever microwaved something you shouldn’t have? Share your experience in the comments and be sure to subscribe to our newsletter, Plated, for more tips and tricks!