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Today's News and Features

9 Things Never to Put in the Microwave

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

By Barbara Pronin The microwave is, without a doubt, one of the greatest boons to the kitchen ever. It can bake a potato - or a single-serving cake in a mug - in minutes. It can even de-germ a grungy kitchen sponge before you can say, “Oh, yuck!”

But if you’ve ever seen sparks fly in your microwave, or even started a fire in it, you have learned the hard way that there are certain things never meant to see the inside of it.

From kitchen experts, here are nine things that can make your microwave go nuts:

Chinese take-out containers - Metal is a microwave fire starter, so keep those familiar metal-handled take-out containers out - and no metal utensils or other items in it, ever.

Styrofoam containers - Styrofoam is a type of plastic, and plastic doesn’t play nice in the microwave. Unless specifically marked, “microwave-safe,’ don’t use it to reheat leftovers.

Plastic containers - Light plastic containers, like margarine or sour cream containers, are meant for one-time use. They’re fine for refrigerating leftovers, but they are not equipped to handle heat. They could - as could even heavier, Tupperware-type containers - warp or even melt in the microwave, releasing harmful chemicals into your food.

Gold-trimmed dishes - Think about it. Gold is metal. Keep those dishes out of the microwave.

Eggs in the shell - The rapid heat from the microwave creates a lot of steam in the egg, and the steam has nowhere to go except to explode - and that's exactly what it does.

Uncovered liquids - When heated in the microwave just a bit too long, that red marinara sauce or pea soup without a lid, may explode, leaving an unholy mess to clean up.

Aluminum foil - Foil is metal, so figure it out.

Plastic wrap - Plastic wrap is sure to melt, so cover the food you want to reheat with waxed paper or a paper towel. 

Nothing - When there is nothing in it to absorb the microwaves, the magnetron that makes the microwave function absorbs the microwaves and essentially self-destructs. If there’s no food in it, don’t make the mistake of turning on the microwave when you only meant to turn on the timer. 

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