Kitchen safety 101: Learn what not to put in the microwave

Learn what not to put in the microwave

It’s important to know what not to put in the microwave because there are some things that can be damaged by heat.

The first thing you should know is that you shouldn’t put metal in a microwave. This includes foil, pans, and even dishes that have metal on them. The reason for this is that the metal will conduct electricity and cause sparks when it comes into contact with microwaves. This could cause a fire or even damage your microwave.

Another thing to avoid is placing liquids in a microwave. This includes water, juice, milk, and anything else liquid. You can still use these items but they should be heated on high power for a short period of time instead of low power for longer periods of time like most other foods would need in order to cook properly. It’s important to know how to use it safely. We’ve put together this list of what not to put in the microwave so that you can safely enjoy your delicious meals.

Uses of microwave

Learn what not to put in the microwave

The microwave may be the most versatile appliance in your kitchen. It can cook, defrost, reheat, and even keep food warm. But there are some things that you shouldn’t put in the microwave. Microwave ovens are used to heat food and beverages, cook and melt chocolate, and defrost frozen foods. Microwaves can also be used for cooking bread, cakes, and other baked goods.

A microwave oven cooks food by using microwave radiation to vibrate the water molecules in the food. The heat that is produced makes the food hot enough to cook in a few minutes.

Things shouldn’t be put in the microwave

Plastic storage containers

Learn what not to put in the microwave

You can put plastic storage containers in the microwave, but it’s not recommended.

Microwaves work by heating food from the inside out, which means that the heat has to pass through the container and into your food. This is why you should use glass or metal containers when microwaving: glass and metal don’t absorb as much of the microwave energy as other materials do, so they allow more of it to get into your food and heat things up faster.

Plastic containers absorb more microwave energy than other materials, so they take longer to heat up—and if you’re heating something up slowly in a plastic container, it might not reach a high enough temperature to cook it all the way through without causing changes in texture (think mushy veggies).

Hot peppers

Learn what not to put in the microwave

Hot peppers are not a good choice for the microwave. Hot pepper is a fruit that can be eaten, but it’s also spicy, which means that it contains a chemical called capsaicin. Capsaicin is what makes hot peppers spicy. When you put hot peppers in the microwave, the chemical in them will vaporize and create an aerosolized mist that can irritate your lungs and eyes when it comes out of the microwave.

If you really want to eat a hot pepper, consider cooking it first so that the capsaicin has time to dissipate before eating it.

Aluminium foil

Learn what not to put in the microwave

Aluminium foil, although it can be used to make delicious meals, should never be put in the microwave. Aluminum foil is also sometimes coated with lacquer or plastic, which could melt and create smoke in the microwave.

Microwaves use radio waves to heat water molecules in food and aluminum blocks radio waves. When you put aluminum foil in the microwave with your food, it prevents your food from heating up or cooking properly. As a result, using foil in microwaves you end up with half-cooked, cold food that is almost impossible to eat and has a metallic taste.

Styrofoam containers

Learn what not to put in the microwave

Styrofoam containers should never be put in the microwave. Styrofoam is made of polystyrene, which is a non-biodegradable plastic that melts when exposed to heat. When styrofoam melts in your microwave, it can cause toxic fumes to release into the air.

The fumes are harmful to humans and animals alike, and they can cause long-term damage to your health. If you use styrofoam containers in the microwave, the risk of getting sick from those fumes is very high.

If you need to store leftovers that came in a styrofoam container, make sure you transfer them into a different container before putting them in the microwave.

Brown paper bags

Learn what not to put in the microwave

Paper bags are made of wood pulp and have a high water content, which means they can catch fire easily if you put them in the microwave. Paper bags are made of a material called kraft paper, which contains acid and lignin. When you put a paper bag in the microwave, it will ignite and burn. If you’re heating up food in a paper bag, make sure to remove it before putting it in the microwave.

Mug of water

Learn what not to put in the microwave

Putting a mug of water in the microwave is a common mistake, but it can be avoided. The problem with putting water in the microwave is that it will boil and produce steam, which can cause damage to the interior of your microwave. The microwave is a great way to heat up food, but it’s not the best option for heating liquids. The microwave heats things by vibrating them, which can cause the water in your mug to boil and leave it with a strange texture or taste. Microwaves heat food by causing molecules to move faster and bump into each other, which generates heat energy. When you put water in a mug and microwave it, the water absorbs this energy and heats up.


Learn what not to put in the microwave

Eggs are a go-to for quick meals and snacks, but you should never put them in the microwave.

The temperature of eggs can change rapidly when heated in a microwave oven. Eggs are made up of water and proteins that are very sensitive to heat. When you put them in the microwave, the proteins will get overheated and then turn rubbery. You should also avoid cooking eggs on high heat, as this can cause them to splatter and burn.

Insulated travel mugs and bottles

Learn what not to put in the microwave

You may think you’re saving time and energy by putting your insulated travel mug or bottle in the microwave, but you’re actually doing the exact opposite.

The reason your drink stays warm in that cup is that it’s insulated. That means it keeps its heat in, instead of letting it dissipate into the air. But when you put it in the microwave, all that insulation gets destroyed: The heat from your drink escapes as fast as it can, and you end up with a lukewarm beverage. The heat from the microwave will cause the vacuum inside your mug or bottle to expand and contract, which can damage the seal of the lid. This will cause your beverage to leak or spill when you open it up.

Metal utensils and cookware

Learn what not to put in the microwave

The microwave is a very powerful appliance, and it can easily burn or melt metal. If you use a metal spoon or fork to stir your food in the microwave, it can cause sparks to fly and damage your microwave. If you use metal cookware in the microwave, it can get very hot and cause burns if you touch it. Metal utensils and cookware should never be put in the microwave because they can cause sparks that can set off an electrical fire or damage the oven.

Cardboard food boxes

Learn what not to put in the microwave

Cardboard food boxes, takeout containers, and other microwaveable containers made of paper or cardboard can catch fire in the microwave.

This is because the paper or cardboard might have been treated with chemicals that help it withstand moisture, but they can cause sparks when they’re heated. When you put these items in the microwave, they’re usually surrounded by liquid or other soupy foods that can cause a fire or explosion when they come into contact with the sparks.

To avoid this problem, don’t heat up any food in a cardboard box. If you have to use a cardboard box for your meal, remove any packaging from the food before heating it up.

Processed meat

Learn what not to put in the microwave

Processed meat is something that should be avoided for microwaves. Processed meat contains nitrates, which are known carcinogens. When the meat is heated, those nitrates can be converted into nitrosamines, which are even more dangerous than the nitrates themselves. It also contains nitrites and nitrates, which are chemicals that can cause cancer in humans.

If you want to eat processed meat, you should cook it on a grill or in an oven instead of in a microwave.

Leafy greens

Learn what not to put in the microwave

Leafy greens are a great addition to your diet, but they should be avoided in the microwave.

While they may look like they’d cook quickly in the microwave, they actually cook at a lower temperature than other fruits, vegetables, and proteins (like meat). Leafy greens are delicate and can lose much of their nutritional value when heated. This means that you’ll have to cook them longer than other foods in order to achieve a soft texture throughout.

It’s also important to keep in mind that leafy greens release oxygen during cooking, which can result in an explosion if you put too much water into them.


In conclusion, microwaves are great for reheating and heating up food. However, they are not an appropriate place to put any of the items listed above. If you want to use a microwave, make sure you’re putting things in there that won’t destroy your microwave or harm you. We hope this guide has been helpful in explaining what not to put in the microwave. We hope you’ll always use caution when heating food, and that you’ll take care of your microwave.


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