Can You Use Stainless Steel Pans In The Microwave Oven?

Stainless steel pans are highly versatile and can be used for a number of cooking techniques but there is one place that many are unsure of where they can use stainless steel pans and that is within the microwave oven.

You cannot use a stainless steel pan in a microwave oven. This is due to metal counteracting the radiation that occurs to heat up the food, this can also work against you by making your microwave break, blow a fuse or worse. No metal objects should be placed in your microwave oven.

In this article, I am going to talk about whether you can use stainless steel pans in a microwave oven, if it is safe or what you need to know before doing so.

Can You Use Stainless Steel Pans In The Microwave Oven?

You cannot use a stainless steel pan in a microwave oven. This is due to metal counteracting the radiation that occurs to heat up the food, this can also work against you by making your microwave break, blow a fuse or worse. No metal objects should be placed in your microwave oven.

While stainless steel is a great component for cooking it is not suitable to use within a microwave due to the microwave using electric and radiation waves to cook the food within the pan. The metal pan would block these waves and so the food wouldn’t cook and you run the risk of damaging your microwave oven.

Also, you cannot place metals with pointy edges; even metals made of stainless steel are hazardous. The reason is that the pointed edges allow for heat to bounce around the oven, resulting in a spark. The spark can then lead to a fire. The fire can also lead to an explosion if not carefully managed. I am sure you get the picture.

Is It Safe to Use Stainless Steel in a Microwave oven?

Metals of any kind are not safe to put in a microwave oven. While technically you can put stainless steel pans in a microwave oven and nothing may happen, we don’t recommend it. Putting steel in a microwave largely depends on its shape. For example, if you put a stainless steel fork or bowl, there is a high chance that your microwave will spark. However, if you place a thick stainless steel flat sheet pan in the microwave, it may not affect it. Still, microwave ovens are electrical appliances that you shouldn’t be experimenting with.

A microwave does not heat food with fire or electricity, as most people think. The heat is a result of the magnetron—a part of the microwave which converts electrical energy into radio waves. The radio wave is what vibrates through plastic or other microwavable materials to heat up the food.

The reality is metal items shouldn’t be affected by Microwaves. Steel does not get an electric charge from microwaves. The molecules that make steel are too closely bound to respond to the microwave by vibrating. Many manufacturers use metal to seal the microwave oven walls to confine the radiations inside the oven. Hence, Microwaves will not penetrate through steel to heat the food inside.

Disadvantages of using Stainless Steel Pans In A Microwave Oven

We advise that if you can refrain from using metal in your microwave, then you totally should. The disadvantages are much more costly than its advantages.

  • Since there is no way for heat to pass through the sides of the stainless steel bowl, the wave mirrors and bounces back to the oven; this continues as long as the microwave is in rotation, which can eventually lead to the circuit of the oven burning out.
  • If you microwave a stainless steel pan or bowl with a sharp edge, the heat or electrons from the microwave can build up in your oven and lead to a spark. If there happens to be a gas leak or anything flammable close to your microwave, then it can lead to a fire.
  • When the build-up of heat from using a metal bowl surrounds the interior of the microwave oven because it cannot pass through the bowl, it will cause it to be scalding to touch, which can leave you with severe burns if you’re not careful.

How To Use Stainless Steel Pans In A Microwave Oven?

Suppose you wanted to use a stainless steel pan in a microwave oven. If you’re using a Stainless steel bowl, the food will not heat up quickly because the steel counters the microwave radiation. For your food to heat up, leave the cover of the pan open so the heat can go through the top.

You will have to wait for a longer time than you usually do. Also, do not put in metals like forks and thick bowls. It is best to use a stainless steel sheet pan to heat up your food.

If you are heating up food in the microwave with a stainless steel bowl, and you start to hear a crack and pop sound, simply turn off the microwave oven from the switch. Wait for a few minutes before opening the oven door and retrieving your food.

Also, ensure you have a silicone glove or hand muffin to carry out the stainless steel bowl from the microwave after heating the food. Ensure you wear safety gloves, or you will scald your fingers.

What Happens When you Use Metallic Bowls in a Microwave Oven

When Stainless steel bowls are placed in a microwave oven, they can cause arcing to bounce around the microwave. Arcing is an electrical current that is strong enough to cause a power outage. In the case of a microwave, arcing can burn a hole through your oven because there is nowhere to release the current.

What bowls are not safe to use in a Microwave oven?

  • Do not use containers for cold storage (such as margarine tubs, cottage cheese, yogurt cartons).
  • Brown paper bags, newspapers, and paper towels that have been recycled or printed.
  • Do not use stainless steel, such as pans and utensils.
  • Avoid using insulated cups, bowls, plates, or trays made of foam.