Can you put metal in the oven? 10 things you should not

Share with friends

Can you put metal in the oven? Your microwave is an interesting ally in your kitchen for quickly reheating your dishes, defrosting food or even cooking…

However be careful what you put in your device! Whether for safety or taste reasons, there are some mistakes you shouldn’t make. The consequences can be only aesthetic or taste or even more annoying, which can irreparably damage your device.

In this article, you will discover 10 things not to put in a microwave, whether it is food or objects. And if some are well known, others might surprise you more.

List of things not to put in a Microwave :

  • Metal and microwave: incompatible duo!
  • Certain types of dishes due to their composition
  • Polystyrene trays: watch out for melting!
  • Eggs: Mayonnaise doesn’t set in a microwave!
  • Cooking fruit in a microwave
  • A dish in sauce without a lid: Splash!
  • The paper you should avoid…
  • Point of wood for the waves!
  • Bringing water to boil
  • Thawing meat? We avoid!
Can you put wood in the microwave - not recommended
Can you put wood in the microwave – not recommended

Can you put stainless steel in a microwave? Can you put metal in the oven?

Let’s face it: virtually everyone knows that metal and microwaves don’t mix. It is an association which makes sparks. But why so?

Why you shouldn’t put metal in a microwave?

Let us recall here the operating principle of a microwave oven. As its name suggests, this household appliance uses waves to heat food or liquids. What do you mean ? The specific frequency of the waves produced by a microwave will cause the water molecules present in foodstuffs to vibrate (several million times per second) generating the heat allowing these foods to be heated or cooked.

Metal objects are incompatible because metal is a very good conductor of electricity. The waves received will also agitate the electrons contained in the metal. When the object presents angles or points, the electric field will be concentrated there and will create electric arcs. For example, it is better to forget a teaspoon in a bowl than a fork in a plate!

In addition, this material reacts like a mirror by reflecting the waves instead of absorbing them.

In scientific jargon this is called the geometry of metals.

But are the walls of the microwave very often made of metal? Certainly, but they do not present any roughness and they serve precisely to better diffuse the waves on the element to be heated…

Moreover, certain low-rise metal packaging with large openings can allow heating without creating sparks such as industrial ready meals.

However, as a general rule, reheating is less effective in the presence of metal and in doubt… Refrain!

Can you put plastic in the oven or not?
Can you put plastic in the oven or not?

Can you put metal in the oven? What is the risk ?

The risk of explosion is minimal but not inexistent. Moreover, if you hear or observe sparks coming from your device, your reflex will be to immediately turn it off and then remove the dish or object in question.

However, if you do not intervene quickly, there is a risk of triggering a micro-fire in your device and extremely rare cases of explosion have been reported.

You should also know that if the waves reflected by the metal fail to reach the food to heat them, they will be reflected on the walls of the appliance and end up damaging the components of the oven.

Did you Know?

Not just metal: researchers have shown that the geometry of grapes is very favorable to the production of sparks and makes this fruit an excellent microwave concentrator.

Don’t put grapes in a microwave; this is not the way you will get raisin.

Things not to put in a microwave : Certain types of dishes due to their composition

We immediately think of the pretty service decorated with gilding from Grandma’s. Well, beware of sparks if you use it to reheat your meals!

Likewise, do not put crystal in the microwave because it contains a certain amount of lead.

As for clay dishes, they do not contain metal, but they absorb waves and lengthen cooking time considerably.

Youngever 32 ounce Plastic Bowls – Microwave safe bowls

Can you put metal in the oven? Better to use microwave safe appliances!
Can you put metal in the oven? Better to use microwave safe appliances! Youngever bowls

Styrofoam in microwave? Polystyrene trays: watch out for melting!

When you take a take-out… to bring it home, it sometimes gets cold during the trip. If your first instinct is to heat it in the microwave in its Styrofoam packaging: forget it! This material is likely to melt as quickly as the cheddar in your burger!

Take a few seconds to transfer the dish to a suitable container. Some take-out packaging is microwave safe. They are marked microwave safe“.

Can you put eggs in a microwave? Eggs: Mayonnaise doesn’t set in a microwave!

Cooking your eggs in the microwave seriously affects its cleanliness! Basically, nothing too bad but you will firstly wasting food and also spend some time to clean the eggs that have blown into your machine. Up to you !

Indeed, the proteins they contain start to swell, swell and bam! It can even be dangerous if the egg did not explode in the oven but happens when you break its shell.

Good to know

How do I knowif a dish can be used in a microwave oven? Just place it in the oven with a little water, for 1 minute. If the dish is hot and the water stays cold, the dish is absorbing microwave energy and should not be used.

Can you microwave fruit? Cooking fruit in a microwave

And these aren’t… fruit salads

If you’ve ever tried, you know: fruit doesn’t like the microwave. Apples and bananas will lose their original taste and texture.

As for the grapes, there is a good chance that they will explode. It is also not recommended for dried fruits which may smoke your kitchen!

Can you microwave fruit?
Can you microwave fruit?

Can you put sauce filled dish in microwave? A dish in sauce without a lid: Splash!

Who hasn’t already been fooled? Place a dish of pasta with tomato sauce in the microwave and lick your lips.

Unfortunately, your dish will have cooled down by the time you clean the sauce spatters on the walls of your oven!

And if the damage is done, do not wait until the sauce is dry before intervening because this will make the work even more painful!

The solution is to cover the dish with a cover specially adapted for the microwave.

Also Read : How to clean a hob

Can you microwave parchment paper?

It may be tempting, for example, to heat a pastry directly in its paper packaging

Danger ! Indeed, some papers can ignite if they are overheated.  This is particularly the case with brown “doggy bag” type papers. Also, we would tend to say that if in doubt it is better to abstain…

Finally, if you have an oven, it will necessarily be better to reheat your croissant at low temperature. And if you are not so lucky, just place the food on a suitable plate. We don’t recommend you to put parchment paper or any other type of paper inside the microwave oven.

Sealco Food Storage Containers with Lids – Microwave, Dishwasher, & Freezer Safe

Microwave safe container you can use in microwave - Article : Things not to put in a microwave
Microwave safe container you can use in microwave – Article : Things not to put in a microwave

Can I put wooden serving dishes in microwave?

We agree, wooden dishes are not very common these days but some serving dishes sometimes have decorative wooden parts.

Likewise, bamboo tableware is very trendy!

Do not damage it by putting it in your microwave. Of course, there is no major risk apart from the fact that the wood will dry out and risk splitting or decomposing.

Can I boil water in a microwave? Is it safe to microwave water?

It seems very convenient and quick to boil your water using the microwave. This is not prohibited but we do not recommend it because it may cause serious burn injuries. Indeed, when the water is overheated in the microwave and you put a teaspoon in it, for example, it can cause an explosion of boiling water.

Why ? This phenomenon occurs when water heated in the microwave reaches its boiling point without forming bubbles due to the absence of nucleation points (that is, rough spots on which the bubbles can settle. form). Also, as soon as the water is stirred by an object, it will generate these nucleation points and the water may suddenly gush out. This is especially observed when the container used is not suitable for the microwave or if it is very smooth (without any roughness that could create these famous points causing boiling).

Enther Meal Prep Containers Single Lids Microwave/Dishwasher, Freezer Safe

Enther Meal Prep Containers Microwave Safe / Positive review given by 12K users
Enther Meal Prep Containers Microwave Safe / Positive review given by 12K users

Thawing meat in a microwave? We avoid!

When you’re in a hurry, thawing meat in the microwave can seem like a handy solution.

We will not say the opposite, but at the risk of disappointing sometimes, we do not recommend this method.

Reasons you should not thaw meat in a microwave :

  • On the one hand, you risk getting irregular thawing of your meat and the ends of the food can start to heat up or even cook, while the inside remains frozen.
  • On the other hand, there is a real risk of bacterial contamination because the microwave raises the temperature of food and promotes the proliferation of bacteria.  In fact, frozen foods contain bacteria which are neutralized by freezing, but they are reactivated as soon as the temperature of the meat rises.
  • This is why; moreover, thawed raw meat should be immediately cooked and not left in the refrigerator.

Defrosting meat operation!  Method of defrosting meat in a microwave :

Here are 2 methods that are more suitable for defrosting meat or other food.

  1. Go ahead by placing the frozen food in the refrigerator allowing it to gradually reheat. The time needed will of course be different if it is a few sausages or a 2 kg chicken!
  2. In an emergency, you can quickly defrost your meat or other food by enclosing them in an airtight plastic bag in water at room temperature for the necessary time (you will need to renew the water regularly to speed up the process).


It is imperative to cook meat immediately after thawing because of the high risk of bacterial contamination!

Glass Meal Prep Containers - Microwave safe
Glass Meal Prep Containers – Microwave safe

Conclusion : Can you put metal in the oven

If you already had bad experience putting things into microwave oven then do not repeat them. Always see the box of any cookware or food item if they are meant for microwave or not.

To conclude, let’s say that the microwave is a very useful device but one that you must know some rules of use.

And, let us repeat: when you have a doubt about the compatibility of an object or a food with the microwave, it is better to abstain! Please feel free to share your personal experience with us by leaving a comment below. Even you can send me a mail from contact page.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *