Top 10 Things You Should NEVER Put In The Microwave



Top 10 Things You Should NEVER Put In The Microwave

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: William Regot
Script written by William Regot

Try nuking these things, and you're gonna have trouble. From plastic, to Styrofoam, to an empty microwave… don't be that guy. WatchMojo counts down the Top 10 Things You Should NEVER Put In The Microwave.

Special thanks to our user EmJay for suggesting this idea! Check out the voting page at WatchMojo.comsuggest/The+Top+Ten+Things+You+Should+Never+Put+In+The+Microwave.
Script written by William Regot

Top 10 Things You Should NEVER Put In The Microwave

Try nuking these things, and you’re gonna have trouble. Welcome to, and today, we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Things You Should Never Put In The Microwave.

For this list, we’re looking at items that don’t look dangerous to stick in a microwave, but actually are.

#10: Plastic Containers & Bags

A lot of food comes in plastic, so it’s a good idea to remove plastic before inserting food into the microwave, especially if it’s not labeled “microwave safe.” When heated to high temperatures, plastic can let out toxic fumes, and chemicals such as BPA and phthalates can seep into your food, which has side effects such as disrupting hormones. Materials that are considered safer alternatives to plastic include glass and ceramic, and if you’re planning to use plastic wrap to cover your food, maybe use a paper towel instead.

#9: Styrofoam

A kind of plastic, polystyrene foam, or styrofoam, contains chemicals such as benzene and styrene which have been known to cause cancer. After eating food stored in styrofoam that was heated up in a microwave, people have occasionally experienced side effects such as headaches, loss of hearing, and depression. So just to be safe, the next time you want to heat something with styrofoam, take thecontents out of the container and put it on a plate wrapped in a paper towel, or check to see if the styrofoam is labeled “microwave safe.”

#8: Processed Meats

What’s worse for your health than hotdogs or beef jerky? Putting them in your microwave. Processed meats, which are meats that have chemicals and preservatives in them to extend their shelf life, don’t react well with microwave radiation. A study from the journal “Food Control” has shown that microwaving processed meats can result in the increased production of harmful chemicals known as cholesterol oxidation products, or COPs, which are thought to be a cause of heart disease. The best way to avoid this is by cooking processed meats on top of your stove, or avoiding the meats entirely.

#7: Anything That’s Been Reheated a Few Times Before

Sometimes, leftovers are a dish best served cold. The more times any food is reheated, the more times it diminishes in quality, especially if it has been sitting in the refrigerator for more than a few days. Foods such as chicken, rice, potatoes, or anything that has cream or milk could cause food poisoning if put in the microwave, because of bacteria that can build. If food that has been prepared with cooking oil is reheated, it can release free radicals, which have been known to cause cancer.

#6: Nothing

This may seem counterintuitive, but one of the worst things you can put in a microwave is simply nothing at all. If there’s no object inside a microwave while it’s turned on, there’s nothing that can absorb the electromagnetic waves being put out, so the waves return to the magnetron, the part of the microwave that created them in the first place. If this goes on for too long, it might end up destroying themicrowave, causing it to explode or catch fire.

#5: Grapes

If you stick any kind of fruit in the microwave, there’s a chance it will lose essential nutrients, according to a report from Harvard Medical School. In the case of grapes, they will quickly turn into plasma, and, in the process, this creates a mini explosion, or several depending on how many grapes you put in there. One popular experiment people have tried with grapes is to cut them in half and stick them in the microwave, and while it provides for a good light show, it doesn’t leave you with a tasty treat.

#4: Water

Microwaving water sounds like a convenient way to heat up your drink, but the process is more trouble than it’s worth. After spending enough time in the microwave, water can come to a superheated state without actually having ever come to a boil. As a result, the superheated water could ruin your tea bag, or, worse yet, the water could splash up and scald you. To get your water to a proper boil, it’s best to use a stove burner, even if you have to wait a few minutes for it to kick in.

#3: Eggs

If you’re looking to hard boil eggs, the microwave is not your friend. When eggs are heated up to high temperatures, such as those produced in a microwave, steam builds up inside. If the shell is completely intact, the steam has no place to go and is collected in the top, resulting in the egg eventually exploding. Then, instead of a delicious breakfast, you’ve got a big mess on your hands. So when you’re heating up eggs in the microwave, make sure they’re not in their shells, and if you want hard boiled eggs, get a pot and water.

#2: Hot Peppers

You might like your peppers spicy, but this is the wrong kind of heat altogether. So many things can go wrong if you stick hot peppers in the microwave. For starters, the capsaicin, the ingredient that makes hot peppers hot, vaporizes, and when those vapors come into contact with your throat and eyes, they can cause a stinging sensation similar to pepper spray. Potentially more dangerous, hot peppers that have been microwaved can explode or catch on fire, especially if they have been dried.

Paper Bags

Travel Mugs

#1: Metal

While there are exceptions to the rule, metal, for the most part, does not belong in the microwave. Electromagnetic waves emitted from the microwave bounce off metal objects, creating sparks. Tinfoil is okay in small amounts as long as it’s laid out smoothly. However, if the foil is heated for too long or arranged in a crumbled up shape, it can likely catch on fire. So if you plan on microwaving your Chinese takeout, take it out of the container and put it on a plate, and whatever you do, don’t leave your fork in it.