Did You Know – Microwave Oven

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When you talk to people about the Microwave Oven, you may hear some pro’s and con’s about it’s safety. Check out some of the facts below.

Below is some information that I found from http://www.GoodHousekeeping.com.

  1. Heating plastic in the microwave could be dangerous. If you put plastic containers in the microwave, make sure they say safe for microwave use. If the container doesn’t say it’s safe, that doesn’t mean it is necessarily unsafe, it just means the FDA hasn’t determined it is safe. However, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tested plastics that were labeled microwave safe and those were still found to release “toxic doses” of Bisphenol-A when heated in the microwave. Putting any plastics in a microwave is probably not a great idea but it is completely up to you. Instead, opt for ceramic or glass that is microwave safe.

2. Oils such as olive oil do not heat well in the microwave. The molecules in the oil lack the polarity like is found in water.

3. Frozen butter is difficult to thaw in a microwave. The bulk of the butter is oil and the portion of water present is in the form of ice. The ice keeps the molecules locked up in crystal form, making oscillation more difficult.

4. Boiling a cup of water in the microwave can cause it to explode and scald you. When water is heated in a ceramic or glass container for too long, it can prevent bubbles from forming. The bubbles are usually a way of cooling the water down. When the water is superheated, past the boiling point, and you disturb it by moving it or putting something in it, the heat releases violently causing the water to erupt from the cup. I can attest to this! I boiled water for my hummingbirds in a Pyrex measuring cup. When I poured the sugar into the cup it shot up and almost hit the ceiling! Luckily I was able to move out of the way, it scared the heck out of me! Now I place a spoon in the cup before adding anything to the cup which stops the water from erupting.

5. According to http://www.Whirlpool.com the first commercial microwave oven in 1946 weighed over 750 pounds, was 6 feet tall and cost nearly $5,000. In 1967 they sold residential countertop microwaves for $500. In the 1970’s, technology and cheaper parts brought the price way down.

6. In 1986 statistics indicated 25% of all American households owned a microwave oven. By 1997 the statistics indicated 90% of all American households did!

I could not cook without my microwave oven. I don’t cook as much as I thaw meats safely rather than on the counter. Heating up a bowl of food in the microwave sure beats doing so on the stovetop burner. I love having a microwave!



    • I hope you didn’t get burnt Mitzy. I had no idea that could happen especially after doing it the same way for decades. I had bought a new Pyrex measuring cup so I blamed it on that. I was so surprised, after researching for this post, that it wasn’t the cup I used. They also said never use a fork to avoid the eruption as the tines will arc.

  1. I didn’t know about the butter Diane!
    I use my microwave for three things: heating up a small portion of leftovers, melting butter for popcorn, and thawing something that I forgot to take out of the freezer. That’s why it is tucked away in my pantry and not taking up prime kitchen space!

    • My butter is always gone before I need to freeze it. I just bought 8#’s at Sam’s Club. Lol It is worth having a microwave just for those three things Dorothy. I definitely use mine everyday so mine sits on the counter.

  2. We use the microwave all the time, too. Thanks for the tip about the spoon – didn’t know that! We do heat up food that comes in a plastic container. I’m sure it’s determined to be safe, but as your post points out – maybe it is safe or maybe it’s not. Our new camper has a convection oven built into the microwave. I’ve never used a convection oven before, so I’ll be learning about that. I remember when microwaves first came out (in the 70s) hearing a lady talking about going to Chicago to take a class about how to cook in the microwave (we were in St. Louis.)

    • They also said never use a fork because it will arc across the tines whereas a spoon will not. How funny, now, to think we needed a cooking class for a microwave. Your new camper is amazing Betty. I hope you will have many years of enjoyment with it.

  3. It’s a terrible story, but I remember years ago a woman walked her dog in a heavy rain. So, she put the pup into the microwave, I guess figuring it would dry off faster. No need to tell you how it worked out, but suffice it to say, the pup didn’t survive. The moral here is, don’t ask your appliances to do something they cannot do.

  4. When we got our first microwave, we lived in Tennessee without air conditioning so I actually used the microwave to cook meals as much as possible to avoid heating the house. Like you, I now use it more for heating things up. I’m famous for putting my cup of tea into the microwave to reheat and not remembering it.

    • Meals aren’t the greatest in them but I have the best potato recipe I came up with and my mother in law asks for it whenever I invite her over for dinner. They said thick meats are not the safest food item cooked in it because it only cooks to a depth of 1” if I remember right. After researching for this post I should be dead with cancer because I have heated in restaurant take home containers, plastic bags and plastic wrap, all no-no’s! 🤣

  5. That would be scary with the hot water Diane – yikes! We bought our microwave and my mom was nervous about using it after reading endless warnings with the directions, but since we had no counter space to speak of, it was put downstairs on the old mini freezer. She seemed more comfortable with that, however, our neighbor’s son, put a bowl with a gold metal ring in the microwave and blew the microwave door off. I did know that no metal should be placed in the microwave, but apparently he didn’t!

    • Holy cow Linda! I have accidentally left a twist tie on many times and it arcs and burns the paper off of it. One time when I was young and stupid, I reheated food on my good china plate, problem was the edge is lined with silver! My good china arced! 🤦🏽‍♀️

      • That is scary indeed Diane. I remember my mom sitting and reading the directions and saying “I want you to take it back – it’s not safe.” Yes, Jimmy blowing the door off the microwave for the same reason – metal decorative part of a china plate. You were lucky … the arcing is scary to have happen too!

  6. Oh my, your episode with the water in the microwave for the hummingbirds sounds terrifying! I love cooking milk in the microwave (when I cook milk on the stove, it usually burns … and I hate cleaning the pot 🙃).

  7. Wow, Diane, good info! I have experienced the exploding water, and the spoon tip will be handy. (My mother used to put a spoon in a teacup before pouring boiling water into it to keep the cup from cracking. – same principle , I suspect.)
    I don’t know if I knew why, but putting plastic in the microwave has always been counterintuitive to me. I don’t even like covering something with plastic wrap.

    • Thank you! The exploding water could be so nasty if it would hit us just right. I found it fascinating that they said never use a fork because the tines will arc and still allow it to explode. I’ve never had any issue with a spoon but I am still paranoid. Lol

  8. We use our microwave. Our kitchen is too small for a regular oven but we do have a bench top oven and air fryer in one so the microwave is an added bonus especially with vegetables. Oh, there’s plenty of dangers but common sense helps.

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