Microwaves are among the most helpful kitchen equipment; who hasn’t needed to reheat some leftovers or a cup of coffee quickly? However, there are several items that you should simply never, ever microwave. When microwaved, some foods and materials can leach chemicals into your meal and potentially create explosions, while others can generate sparks.
What are Microwaves?
Radiation from radio waves, UV rays, X-rays, and gamma rays are all examples of electromagnetic radiation. There are several uses for microwaves, including for communications, radar, and—possibly for the most part—cooking.
Waves or particles of electromagnetic radiation with various wavelengths and frequencies are communicated. The electromagnetic spectrum (EM spectrum) is the name for this wide spread of frequencies. In general, the spectrum is split into seven areas in an ascending sequence of increasing energy, frequency, and decreasing wavelength. Radio waves, microwaves, infrared (IR), visible light, ultraviolet (UV), X-rays, and gamma rays are some famous names for these types of energy. In the electromagnetic (EM) spectrum, microwaves are found between radio and infrared light.
6 items that you need should never microwave
Here are 6 items that you need should never microwave.
Some plastics release BPA and phthalates into food when microwaved. These substances, and BPA in particular, have been linked to issues with the reproductive system, obesity, and diabetes, as well as the disruption of your body’s hormones.
Many food packaging containers, such as yogurt and butter tubs, cannot be microwaved. Some producers, nevertheless, have transitioned to BPA-free plastics, which could be microwave-safe. Bottom line: Before putting a container in the microwave, always check for a microwave-safe label.
A plastic bag
Never microwave food that is in plastic bags. In bags, steam can accumulate and cause an explosion. Additionally, the bags might melt. So, before reheating your takeout, take it out of the bag, wrap it, and place it on a plate that can be used in a microwave.
Vintage mugs and plates
If you microwave food on plates and mugs over 40 years old, lead from the glaze may leach into the food. To be sure this isn’t a danger, examine your old crockery using lead testing kits.
Do you know why you shouldn’t put metal in the microwave? You’ve undoubtedly heard this advice before. Microwaves reflect off the metal. For example, the microwave will bounce off metal foil, and your food won’t reheat if you cover it with aluminum. Your microwave may sustain harm from the reflected radiation. According to MIT, objects with pointy ends, like forks, can produce a concentrated electric field and sparks.
Cooking in a microwave occurs rapidly. Everything happens so quickly that the steam inside the egg cannot keep up. The egg eventually bursts as a result of too much steam building up. Therefore, avoid using the microwave to cook hard-boiled eggs (or to hard boil raw eggs) since the result would be a huge mess.
Expanded polystyrene foam, sometimes referred to as “styrofoam,” is a kind of plastic found in packing peanuts and takeaway cartons. Although particular polystyrene foam containers are microwave-safe and the FDA considers expanded polystyrene foam acceptable for contact with food, it’s recommended to avoid using styrofoam in the microwave at all costs.
Styrofoam doesn’t respond well to the high temperatures created by a microwave, even though these sorts of containers are frequently used to keep your food and beverages warm owing to the insulation offered. This can cause the item to shatter, melt, or release hazardous compounds that might contaminate your meal.