The microwave is a very practical invention but, contrary to what one might think, it doesn’t work at all like an oven.
When you put something in the microwave, you send electromagnetic energy to it.
Some foods heat up very well by absorbing or reflecting this energy.
For other foods and objects, a trip to the microwave can mean disaster, even explosion or fire.
So here is a list of 11 things to never put in the microwave, to be read carefully!
1- Metal object
Most people know not to put metal objects in the microwave if you don’t want to create fireworks in your kitchen.
However, this is still a common mistake, because of metal cutlery forgotten in the plates, or even aluminium foil!
Indeed, even if the aluminium foil is very thin, you should never put it in the microwave!
2- Fine porcelain
Many people are unaware that fine porcelain also contains metal.
In fact, a metal ring is often used to solidify the structure inside these old vessels.
Moreover, the paints used on fine porcelain are generally not made to resist this kind of heat and will quickly disappear if they are subjected to frequent microwave ovens!
It might seem like a good idea to save time putting an egg in the microwave in the morning.
The truth is, whether the egg is raw or already cooked, there’s a good chance it will explode in the microwave!
The egg is essentially a protein that increases in volume under the effect of the heating waves. As the shell does not swell, the detonation happens very quickly, even if you have thought of drilling a small hole in the front shell.
4- Plastic object
Under no circumstances should plastic objects be placed in the microwave unless their label clearly indicates that this is possible.
Some plastics will melt under heat, but the main danger is not there.
Some plastics, sometimes found in tupperware boxes or plastic cups, will not visibly melt but will spread their carcinogenic molecules to the surrounding elements: the food or drink they contain.
So always put your food in a suitable container before putting it in the microwave!
Some seafood should never be reheated in the microwave, otherwise it will explode! This mainly concerns shellfish such as clams and oysters.
Indeed, small pockets of air are still present in the shell, which will try to escape under the effect of the waves!
6- Closed dishes or jars
Prepared dishes or closed jars (e.g. a jar of tomato sauce) should never be placed as is in the microwave.
The danger is that a hermetically sealed container will not allow air pockets to escape, causing an explosion in the microwave sooner or later.
Pierce the film on the prepared dishes with a fork, or simply unscrew the lid of the sauce pot, so as not to risk disaster!
7- Chillies and peppers
Chillies naturally contain a special chemical called capsaicin.
This substance is not bad for your health and is what gives chilli and pepper their spicy taste.
However, capsaicin is also easily flammable, so microwave waves are a fire starter when in contact with chilli pepper!
Whether fresh or dried peppers, keep them away from the microwave!
8- Sponges and textiles
It may seem like a good idea to dry a sponge quickly by putting it in the microwave, but you’re actually taking a big risk.
As long as the sponge is wet, there is no problem. But as soon as the sponge gets dry, the waves can set it on fire very quickly!
It is therefore better not to take this risk and put the sponge in the dishwasher to wash and dry it from time to time!
This effect is also valid with all textiles (clothes, cloths, washcloths, …).
9- Blue cheese
Heating real blue cheese is not very risky in itself, but you may still regret it.
As it melts under the effect of the microwave’s electromagnetic waves, the blue in the cheese will spread and the particular smell will develop until it embalms the whole room.
If you don’t want your kitchen to smell blue for a week, melt the cheese in the oven!
A marshmallow warmed over a campfire is delicious, but those who have already tried the experiment know that if left too long near the flames, the marshmallow will swell, explode and then burn out very quickly.
In the microwave, the reaction is even faster. At best, you risk spending an hour cleaning your microwave, at worst, you risk starting a small fire!
11- Things to never, ever put in the microwave
The list of things never to put in the microwave could go on forever, but sometimes common sense is enough.
All electronic items such as telephones and batteries can explode or catch fire.
CDs and DVDs also cause sparks and will not be usable afterwards. More surprisingly, toothpicks and matches also contain a highly flammable substance.
Finally, light bulbs are objects that should not be put in the microwave if you don’t want to damage the light bulb, the microwave and the kitchen!