Sometimes you may wonder why microwave manufacturers warn you against using metal containers while warming your food on the microwave.
I know many of you have tried it severally without seeing any harm.
This article explains how safe it is to use stainless steel in microwaves.
Is Stainless Steel Microwavable?
So, is stainless steel microwaveable or not? The answer is no!
Metallic objects pose a significant danger when placed inside a microwave and can cause damage to your container, your microwave and you.
Understanding the Principle Behind the working of Microwaves
These ovens use microwave technology to heat food.
Most foods can absorb these radiations, making it possible to warm after a few seconds.
The radiation causes atomic motion in the food, making it warm evenly.
Sometimes foods may heat unevenly when the radiation fails to reach the center of the food, especially when you place a large chunk of meat.
To ensure that it heats properly, distribute the food evenly to enable proper penetration of the radiation into the food.
Microwave ovens work by causing loose molecules in the food to rotate, thus causing friction, leading to heating.
The Reaction of Metals with Microwaves
You are now aware of how microwaves work, and therefore it is simpler to understand the reaction with metals.
You now understand that fat, sugar, and water absorb microwaves to produce heat.
However, materials such as ceramics, plastics, and glass do not absorb any radiation.
Unlike foods, metals reflect microwaves similar to how they reflect light.
Molecules in metals are closely bound, making it hard for the radiation to penetrate through.
Instead, the microwaves cause the electrons to charge hence building electric currents on the surface and creating sparks.
The main issues why microwave manufacturers warn users against using metal are because they reflect the radiation.
The reflective nature of metals is the reason why manufacturers construct the ovens using metals.
It helps to confine the radiation within the oven.
How Safe is it to Place Metals inside a Microwave
Manufacturers always warn microwave owners to avoid placing metal objects inside microwaves.
However, there are some types of metals that are safe to use in microwaves.
Most takeaway joints cover their foods with metallic foil and place them inside an oven while heating.
This foil gets hot quickly hence distributing the heat evenly on the food.
Remember, not all metals are safe inside a microwave.
Some types of metal can cause major destruction to your appliance and even cause a fire in the kitchen.
What Metals are Safe to use in the Microwave?
The safety of the metal depends on not only the type but also the shapes and surface conditions.
A thin layered tin or steel laid flat on the microwave without touching the sides may not produce any sparks.
It is best to check the timing and avoid heating food wrapped in the foil for a long period.
A metal container may not be safe for use inside a microwave.
Since it has four walls, the radiation bounces back and forth, creating charges that can lead to a fire, hence burning down the food.
How Does Shape Affect?
Metallic utensils with sharp edges such as forks are not safe inside a microwave.
Electrons often concentrate on sharp corners.
The charges at the corners create sparks which can cause a fire.
Spoons have smoother edges, making them safe to place in the microwave.
However, it is essential to avoid putting these metallic objects in microwaves to be safe.
Not only will it lead to the burning of food, but it may also damage the oven and, in extreme situations, cause a fire.
Is Timing Important?
Even when using metals considered as safe, timing is an essential factor to consider.
Avoid heating foods wrapped in metallic foils for too long inside the microwave.
Severally, I place the spoon inside the microwave together with the plate while reheating my food just for a few seconds.
I do not notice anything wrong since it is there for only 30 seconds.
Does Stainless Steel React with Microwaves?
The discussion above brings us to our main topic, ‘is stainless steel microwavable?’
Stainless steel is no different from ordinary steel. Developers coat steel with chromium oxide to produce stainless steel.
This move was to prevent rusting and corrosion of the metal.
Inside the microwave, stainless steel reflects microwaves like other types of metals. Using a small sheet of stainless steel may not cause any harm to the food or oven.
However, a stainless steel pan or fork may pose some significant danger.
Placing them next to the walls of the microwaves can lead to sparking and damaging the oven.
Most of our household items are made of stainless steel.
They are safer compared to utensils made with glass, especially when you have children.
However, do not try to place them inside your microwave.
Not only will your food remain cold, but it will also definitely destroy the device.
Microwaves play a vital role in our homes.
Therefore, it is crucial to use them correctly for them to last longer.
Metallic objects pose a significant danger when placed inside a microwave.
The best thing is to avoid them.
Instead, buy plastic containers, which are much safer for heating.
It is essential to go through all the guidelines given in the guide that comes with the device.
It provides you with the best techniques on how to use it.