10 Things You Should Never Cook in the Microwave (With Videos of Each Mistake)

Updated on November 14, 2016

1. Forks and Other Metal Kitchen Utensils

No metal should ever go inside the microwave. Some thick metals can withstand the electromagnetic waves, but thinner metal, like the points of a fork, will heat-up so fast that a fire could happen. The first thing you will notice inside your microwaves are a couple of sparkles and blue electricity, very cool but dangerous. Just like in the following video, it might be hard to provoke a fire with a fork in the micro, but wherever the fork points touch the surface it will leave a burnt mark, Watch.

Fork Inside Microwave

2. Eggs

I read a raw egg in the microwave is as powerful as a Molotov bomb. I think this statement is an exaggeration, the egg probably explodes in a brutal way, but I doubt it causes your kitchen to ignite on fire. It should be really hot though to burn your skin, off course it all depends on the time you leave it in the microwave. The physics say that when the space between the egg yolk and the egg white grows hot it produces a high pressure explosion.

Eggs Go Boom! In Microwave

3. Aluminum Paper

Ever made the mistake of introducing food wrapped with aluminum paper in the microwave, just like you are used to doing in the oven? Aluminum paper is a thin metal and can cause a fire with microwaves. If you need something to cover your plate to avoid splashes, you can use an absorbent paper… or just use the plastic hard-cover every modern microwave comes with. It is a nice sparkly show in there if you ever tried this one.

Aluminum Fire In Microwave

4. Chili

Using the microwave to heat chili is like applying pepper spray in a closed environment. Just by the mention of this my eyes begin to water. When chili pepper heats-up it releases capsaicin, a very volatile substance that impregnates the environment irritating eyes and throat. Now you know an interesting prank for fools-day this year.


5. Old Tableware

Be extremely cautious with tableware that is hand painted since this type of crockery used to contain metal. My mother recently changed all of the house tableware to the one she had received as a gift from her wedding. Tired of never using it, she decided to replace the cheap one with this more elegant collection. The rims of the plates are all made from a fine metal. Whenever I heat a plate of food in the micro, blue thunder hits the plate and makes this “thong!” and “spack!” sound. I didn´t really know the dangers or if the microwave could get damaged from this, but it always is kind of amazing to watch.

Old Tableware with Metal Rimm

6. Grapes

Who heats grapes?? Not only do they explode, they can also light on fire one by one provoking a larger fire if you open the microwave and they shoot out. Sounds like an exaggeration but now you know grapes can turn into fireballs (and rice a deadly poison, thanks to Breaking Bad).

Cut Grapes In Half For An Incredible Experiment

The Grape + Microwave Plasma Creation Myth

There is this online/youtube speculation that grapes heated in the microwave create a plasma cloud that moves around the microwave. Reading about it on http://physics.stackexchange.com though, it all seems to be a nice show, but no plasma.

To perform this you need to cut a grape in two-halves (just like in the video) with just a tiny piece of skin making a link. Place them inside a glass in the microwave and heat them. After some time a heat cloud surrounds the grape. Is this Plasma?

What is really happening is the grape´s size is right to act as an antenna that focusses the power in the middle. The skin joining the grape heats-up bursting. The colorful cloud is not plasma, but rather a flame created from highly-exited electrons.

Grape + Microwave = Plasma

7. Potatoes AKA "The Time Bombs"

Potatoes have always been so communist. Socialist students in third world countries use them as bombs against the “repression”. In your microwave they become a time bomb. To heat potatoes in your micro, make some holes so heat can escape from inside. If not, after several minutes they can explode and ruin your kitchen and microwave… like this unwary husband did.

8. Water

Really? Water?? I know people that they only use the microwave to heat water for their coffee. So why is water dangerous in the microwave? In a tea kettle, water reaches 100° degrees celsius while it evaporates, that´s when it produces that screeching sound and you say, “Excuse me gentleman, I´m off to serve some tea”. In the microwave though, water can reach 300° or 400° degrees so fast that there is no time for evaporation. When you open the microwave´s door and that super-hot water makes contact with cold air from the kitchen, it will jump like a geyser over your face and hands, and even on your eyes leaving you blind.

Think twice the next time you are about to open the microwave´s door.

Mythbusters proofed this kitchen-myth to be true on this controlled experiment video.

Super-heated Water In Microwave

9. Carrots

Did you know carrots hold a small dosage of iron, magnesium and selenium, which in the microwave can create a deadly combination of dead and suffering… just a small fire really. All of the mentioned substances are metals, and by now you know thin metals heat-up faster than you think. When you place in the micro raw carrots, after a few seconds they will generate a colorful spectacle of blue, red and yellow sparkles.

Splarkling Carrot In The Microwave

10. Alcohol

Does warmed-up alcohol taste better? If for whatever reason you are planning to really create mayhem with your microwave, then place some alcohol inside, which like any liquor it is inflammable. Your microwave will explode and burst into flames. From all the previous “do-not-do” this one you should REALLLY not-do.

There is a lot of exploding alcohol videos on youtube, some are massive and others are more likely to be the real deal.

Champagne Becomes a Rocket in the Microwave

Wine In The Microwave Explosion

This second video with wine in microwave destroys the microwave, which seems unlikely to happen.

Wine + Microwave = BOOM!

Questions & Answers

    © 2013 David Trujillo Uribe

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      • David Trujillo profile imageAUTHOR

        David Trujillo Uribe 

        2 years ago from Medellin, Colombia

        If you watch Mr.Robot, a new hacker TV series, you´ll notice hackers use microwaves to bust their microships on the microwave when they believe their info is vulnerable. And their micro blows-up

      • David Trujillo profile imageAUTHOR

        David Trujillo Uribe 

        4 years ago from Medellin, Colombia

        Baking potatoes on the log burner?

        That sounds awesome. Wish I had one

      • leni sands profile image

        Leni Sands 

        4 years ago from UK

        It is surprising what people put in the microwave - I usually start my baked potatoes in the microwave (stabbed appropriately) before wrapping them in foil and sitting them on top of the log burner to frazzle sufficiently long enough to make a wonderful supper. Nice post, voted up interesting,funny, awesome and useful.

      • David Trujillo profile imageAUTHOR

        David Trujillo Uribe 

        4 years ago from Medellin, Colombia

        Chilli tends to burn very fast and then you get the sting on your eyes.

      • David Trujillo profile imageAUTHOR

        David Trujillo Uribe 

        4 years ago from Medellin, Colombia

        thanks athurion

      • David Trujillo profile imageAUTHOR

        David Trujillo Uribe 

        4 years ago from Medellin, Colombia

        Yeah, this suggestion take a lot of fun out of the microwave. I also didn´t expect potatoes on being more dangerous than metal things.

      • David Trujillo profile imageAUTHOR

        David Trujillo Uribe 

        4 years ago from Medellin, Colombia

        Toads! ink pens could be interesting... hmmm

      • David Trujillo profile imageAUTHOR

        David Trujillo Uribe 

        4 years ago from Medellin, Colombia

        My pleasure fiftyish

        Great nickname by the way

      • David Trujillo profile imageAUTHOR

        David Trujillo Uribe 

        4 years ago from Medellin, Colombia

        Yeah, we all have misplaced one thing or two in the microwave and looked sideways on those weird blue lighting stikes that spread out for a few seconds.

      • electronician profile image

        Dean Walsh 

        4 years ago from Birmingham, England

        Wow, great hub, I had no idea you couldn't microwave eggs or chilli.

      • profile image

        athurion 

        4 years ago

        Voted up

      • Beth Eaglescliffe profile image

        Beth Eaglescliffe 

        4 years ago from UK

        Excellent advice and amazing videos. The husband and the exploding potato was the best one. I'll be scared to put anything in the microwave now.

        Voted up.

      • Sharkye11 profile image

        Jayme Kinsey 

        4 years ago from Oklahoma

        This was fun to read. I have to say that I never considered heating up grapes, but I know better than to try it now!

        I do have to add that it is absolutely a bad idea to microwave candles, toads and ink pens. I have never heated any of these, but have known people who did! If you think metal rimmed plates are interesting, you should see what a microwave oven looks like after someone gets the bright idea that nuking an ink pen will make it unclog.

      • fiftyish profile image

        Andy Aitch 

        4 years ago from UK & South East Asian Region

        LOL David :) I use the micro every day for heating up meals and reheating drinks, and I also make my second rate jacket spuds in them too (glad I've never forgotten to fork holes in them first!). But there were some good things in this hub that I probably would not have thought of, so thanks for filling we hubbers in on those ;)

        Andy Aitch

      • CrisSp profile image

        CrisSp 

        4 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

        This is microwave 101! Great job in collecting info and filling them up with videos to support awareness.

        Fascinating! Voting up and sharing.

      • KoraleeP profile image

        Koralee Phillips 

        4 years ago from Penticton British Columbia Canada

        Very interesting topic, and you did a great job writing it. I had no idea how dangerous heating stuff in the microwave can be. Although I have done a couple of them involving metal lol.

      • David Trujillo profile imageAUTHOR

        David Trujillo Uribe 

        4 years ago from Medellin, Colombia

        I received these suggestion from a chain mail and thought it would make a great hub topic. I added videos of each event.

        I´m guilty of introducing old-style plates with metal rims into the microwave. Some blue sparkles occur inside after a couple seconds.

      • DDE profile image

        Devika Primić 

        4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

        A well advised hub on the things one should not cook in a microwave. You accomplished a helpful and useful hub on this topic.

      • David Trujillo profile imageAUTHOR

        David Trujillo Uribe 

        4 years ago from Medellin, Colombia

        Thanks Tillsontian. It is true though, any of these mistakes can get you on 1,000 ways to die.

      • tillsontitan profile image

        Mary Craig 

        4 years ago from New York

        So many people have been raised using microwaves that they are unaware of some of the dangers. This hub is a good warning.

        Voted up, useful, and interesting.

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