5 Things You Should Never Put in the Microwave

5 Things You Should Never Put in the Microwave

It wasn’t that long ago that every American household seemed to have a microwave in their home. It was one of those must-have kitchen appliances that people couldn’t live without. Even though 90% of Americans have a microwave now, they’re not as popular as they once were.

If you have never owned a microwave before, you might not be familiar with operating it safely. Keep reading to learn things to avoid putting in your microwave to sidestep an expensive appliance repair.

1. Non-Food Items

It might be obvious to you, but not everyone knows not to put non-food items in the microwave. The truth is, 4% of cooking-related house fires start because of improper microwave use.

The most obvious non-food item to avoid is anything metal. Things like twist ties, staples, or spoons can start sparking once the microwave turns on. Be sure to remove any aluminum foil on your food before reheating, too.

Though your favorite restaurant may package your to-go order in styrofoam, do not reheat it in the packaging. The high heat of the microwave can cause the foam to melt and release chemicals into your food.

2. Hot Peppers

While a chili pepper won’t spark like a spoon will, it will cause just as unfortunate side effects; heating a spicy pepper in the microwave causes it to release capsaicin. Capsaicin is the chemical in hot peppers that makes them spicy.

When you open the microwave, you’ll be releasing these chemicals into the air. This can cause painful, burning eyes.

3. Grapes

We’re not entirely sure why you would want to microwave grapes initially, but avoid doing it.

There are plenty of YouTube videos that showcase the results of mixing grapes and microwave ovens. Stick to watching the videos, and don’t try this science experiment at home.

When you put a grape in the microwave, it can explode into a miniature fireball, creating quite the fire hazard.

4. Frozen Meat

Though there are plenty of vintage cookbooks that say it’s okay to cook meat in the microwave, we don’t recommend it. It’s difficult to cook meat because it’s hard to tell when it’s fully cooked. If you want to avoid illnesses like trichinellosis, cook your meat in other ways.

Microwave Meal Prep‘s folks say reheating meat in a microwave is okay, but not to cook it from frozen.

5. Nothing at All

When you turn your microwave on without anything in it, there’s nothing there to absorb the radio waves. When there is no food to take on this task, the waves redirect themselves back into the appliance. This can cause severe damage or even start fires.

Avoid Preventable Appliance Repair

Avoiding preventable (and expensive) appliance repair is easy, especially when it comes to the microwave. Don’t put any of the above items into the appliance, and you’re set.

Check out some of our other blogs for more cooking tips and recipes.


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