Sunday, July 13, 2014

13 Things NOT To Put In The Microwave

Microwave ovens—you will find them in almost every residence whether house, condominium, apartment or college dorm room.  They are also in many places of business, both for use by employees only and for use by the public.  Those for consumer use come in various sizes and power from the small .7 cu.ft. 700 watt dorm room size to those large enough to hold a turkey with a power rating of 1250 watts or higher.  They can be counter top models, installed under a cupboard, or above/part of the stove.

The first microwave oven was invented after World War II from radar technology developed during the war. The Radarange, as it was called, was first sold in 1946 but was prohibitively large and much too expensive for all but the largest of commercial applications.  The home-use microwave oven was introduced in 1955, but was still too large and expensive for general home use. The practical counter top home-use microwave oven was introduced in 1967. For those of us 'older' folks, we quickly adapted to their use.  The younger among us grew up with them.

This list of 13 relates to specific dangers from trying to heat certain items in your microwave.  I imagine we've all learned the hard way (no pun intended) what happens when we try to microwave bread-type products rather than heating them some other way.  That one is not dangerous, but it dries out the food and when the items start to cool they become too hard to eat.

1)  Aluminum Foil—we all knew that one, it literally catches on fire.

2)  Stainless Steel—we all know not to put our metal pots and pans in the microwave.  That also includes our stainless steel travel coffee mugs.  In addition to possible harm to the microwave, the metal blocks the waves so it won't heat your cold coffee anyway.

3)  Plastic Storage Containers—these contain chemicals that could be toxic, or at the least alter the taste of the food you are reheating.

4)  Chinese Take-Out Cartons—the metal handles on the carton are dangerous and the cartons themselves contain plastic.

5)  Styrofoam—this is plastic.

6)  Raisins—these smoke when heated in a microwave.

7)  Grapes—if raisins are bad, it follows that the fruit that gives us raisins are also a microwave no-no.  The grapes will catch fire.

8)  Plastic Bags—the type the store uses to bag your purchases in addition to the more heavy-duty storage type.  These are toxic and can catch fire.

9)  Brown Paper Bags—these are as dangerous in the microwave as the plastic bags the stores use.

10)  Eggs—if in the shell, they will explode.

11)  Dried Hot Peppers—chemicals are released.

12)  Sauce—without a lid, it will splatter all over the inside of the oven and create a messy cleanup.

13)  Nothing—to run an empty microwave can harm the appliance as there's nothing there containing water molecules for it to absorb.


Louise Lyndon said...

I am sooooooooo guilty of putting foil in the microwave on occasion. I know I shouldn't do it, but I do.

Samantha Gentry said...

Louise: I have to admit I'm guilty of microwaving food in the plastic storage containers...from the refrigerator directly to the microwave. But, gee...I don't heat them on full power, so it's probably okay? :)

Thanks for your comment.

Ashantay said...

I've been known to heat food in the take-out containers. That was before I knew about the cancer issue, though! Or was it? Hmm. Thanks for the info - I didn't know about grapes and raisins!

Samantha Gentry said...

Hi, Ashantay: I didn't know about grapes either. But on the other hand, I can't think of any reason why someone would want to heat grapes (or maybe that's just me). Even though I sometimes heat food in the plastic storage containers, I'd never put styrofoam in the microwave.

Thanks for your comment.

Sandra Dailey said...

I didn't get my first microwave until 1978. It only had one dial on the front for timing and no glass tray or turntable inside. They're so much advanced now. Funny thing is, my two youngest kids, (mid 30's) refuse to have one in their houses.

Laura Strickland said...

OK, I bought some grapes yesterday. Now I just HAVE to go put some in the microwave so I can watch them catch fire.


Great post and thanks for the plastics warning. Hope paper plates are OK, that's what I usually use.

Samantha Gentry said...

Sandra: Wow...that's unusual/surprising about your two kids not wanting a microwave. I think of them same as a television, they're in almost every home.

Thanks for your comment.

Samantha Gentry said...

Laura: Good luck with those grapes, hope nothing gets damaged. As to paper plates, I use them in the microwave all the time.

Thanks for your comment.

Penny Rader said...

Oops. I've used plastic containers and take out containers. [sigh]

Samantha Gentry said...

Hi, Penny. Yep, I use the plastic storage containers (the ZipLock containers) in the microwave and haven't had any problems. I think there's even been a couple of occasions when my brother has stopped by to 'heat up his tea' when he's been out and about and has put a styrofoam cup in my microwave, but I wouldn't swear to the one.

Thanks for your comment.