7 Metal in Microwave Mythbusters Facts

How do the Electrical Parts of the Microwave Work? How does Heating work? What Metal should be used inside a Microwave? What should you Avoid in Microwave Cooking?
Metal in Microwave Mythbusters

With the advancement of technology, you got microwaves as an easy way to heat up and cook things. You can use it for baking, grilling, cooking, etc. However, people are talking about certain myths about the metal used in a microwave. Today you will cover reading about the metal in microwave mythbusters. You will also find out which metal can be used for cooking.

1. How did Microwave Originate?

Percy Spencer was a self-taught engineer from Howland, Maine. He was an American and was employed at Raytheon Technologies Corporation in 1945. Then an incident took place when Percy was working on a radar set and a microwave ray started melting the chocolate bar in his pocket. He then used this technique, and the first thing he cooked with this technology was popcorn, then he cooked an egg. The first-ever microwave was tested in a restaurant in Boston on a commercial level in 1947. (See 8 Fuel Types For Cars)

2. How did the Technology and Product Modify over time?

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  • The radar technology used in the microwave oven was developed during World War II. This technology was named Radarange, officially sold for commercial level in 1946.
  • The earlier manufactured microwaves were very large and heavy. Raytheon Technologies got the technology patented and the first microwave oven with a turntable was introduced by, Sharp Corporation between 1964 and 1966. (Also read Why do some people fear technology?)
  • The first portable microwave, which fits on a kitchen counter, was manufactured by Amana Corporation. Later microwave ovens are manufactured in a small and portable size at an affordable price.
  • And then, after the 1970s, they became widely distributed worldwide in both commercial and household kitchens. Internal walls of the microwave oven are made from metal, the metal in microwave mythbusters will uncover this myth also. Must read the Morse Code uses in communication.

3. How do the Electrical Parts of the Microwave Work?

  • A microwave oven consists of a cavity magnetron that converts the electricity into microwave radiation and a magnetron control circuit which is a micro conductor for the appliance.
  • It has a simple transformer and a high-voltage capacitor connected to the magnetron. They transfer energy to the magnetron. A short-wave guide transfers the power from the magnetron into the cooking area, the place where you keep your food to be heated.
  • It also has a turntable that provides equal heating from all sides and a metal waveguide fan that acts as an exhaust. A control panel exists outside that enables the user to punch in the instructions for the appliance to work accordingly. (See 13 Different Types of Compasses)

4. How does Even Heating affects Food?

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Metal in microwave mythbusters will tell you about the effect of heating on different metals which affects the quality of food. There are several myths regarding the heating done by a microwave.

  • Unlike what people think, the heat given by the appliance can penetrate only up to 1 cm of the food layer. The process of conduction heats up the food evenly from outside and inside. (See Why does Black Absorb more Heat?)
  • If your food is not evenly heated, then it is because different foods have different capacities to absorb heat. Some food absorbs heat quickly, and thus they are heated up quickly, and evenly, while others are not absorbing evenly. 
  • Certain foodborne diseases can affect the health of the person consuming unevenly heated food. To check if food is evenly heated, you can use a food thermometer or you can let the food sit for a few minutes until the heat reaches all the parts through conduction.
  • In most cooking, the water-soluble vitamins and other nutrients are destroyed while cooking on high flame. But in a microwave, they are not evaporated due to the quick and evenly heating method that helps in maintaining the nutrient value of food. (Also read List of Snacks with No Carbs)

5. What kind of Metal can you Put in a Microwave?

People think that they can use any metal utensils for heating or cooking inside a microwave, but it is not true. Every metal has a different capacity for absorbing and reflecting radiation. The shape and composition also affect the response they give to the heating. The following points will add some light on the metal in microwave mythbusters.

  • The metal racks which are kept inside a microwave, and the interior walls of a microwave, are made up in a safe shape with no irregularity. So the metal used in making them has to be a  conductive metal that is beneficial for effective heating.
  • Any metal formed into a pointed shape can also cause an electric spark inside the appliance. So better use even shaped or flat based metal containers inside the microwave. (Also read What is Metal Made of?)

6. What other Materials are considered Safe for a Microwave?

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After certain experiments, some materials have been termed safe for heating purposes in a microwave oven.

  • Aluminum foils can be used only as a covering for food, and that too is not in a crumpled form. The foil should have clean edges with no spikes or irregular patterns. 
  • Glass jars or glasswares are used for heating purposes. But not all glassware is microwave safe, so do not overheat them, and make sure to remove the lid before heating to avoid an explosion of the container inside the appliance. You should avoid using any glassware that is cracked or chipped because it may also lead to a spark or even bursting of the container.

So on this topic of metal in microwave mythbusters, you now know about safe materials to be used in microwave cooking. (Must read 10 Tips to Know If You Were Stranded on a Desert Island)

7. What are the Safety Precautions needed for Microwave Cooking?

Metal in microwave mythbusters is not always a myth as the food sometimes burst in a microwave oven. In order to maintain the long life of the microwave oven, you should avoid some materials that can cause sparks. You need to keep some related points in mind for your own safety while using the microwave. (See How to Change Transmission Fluid and Filter?)

  • Some close foods like eggs will burst if kept inside a microwave because the steam building inside the egg will increase the pressure leading it to explode. So set up a timer whenever you boil eggs. Similarly, fish, peppers, fruits, or utensils kept closed inside a microwave can also burst inside. 
  • While working with induction and gas stoves, you know that utensils get hot, and you need a cloth or something to hold them. But in the microwave oven, the inside walls of the appliance are heated to a higher temperature. Therefore, you need gloves or mittens to protect your hands from getting burned.
  • Plastic foam and wood are also on the list of avoidable. Wood can get dry when heated, and sometimes overheating may cause cracks in it. And plastic foam may start melting due to the heat and gets mixed in your liquid or food making them contaminated.
  • Paper bags and food cartons with metal handles should be avoided because a paper bag can burn into the fire due to overheating and the metal handle of the container can cause sparks leading to the burning of the cartons. 
  • These days microwave containers are made up of plastic also. But not all these containers are considered microwave-safe because BPA and Phthalates in plastics are getting mixed with your food and are considered harmful. Plastic containers with a #5 sign on the bottom are considered safe for microwave heating. 

If the sign is nowhere to be found then, you should read the instructions or ask the salesperson. But it will be better if you lookout for some more metal in microwave mythbusters. (Also read What is Area Code 855?)

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