Your cooking vessels may look good, sturdy and safe, but possibly aren’t. Do you know what you should be putting into your microwave?
The microwave oven is safe to use. Provided you know what’s going in.
Microwave cooking has made life simpler, but one has to follow the rules of safety, and they begin with the vessels that you use.
Paper, for example, could catch fire if the temperature goes too high inside the oven. If it’s recycled paper, which often it is, it would contain glue or ink and they produce toxic fumes when exposed to heat. So it is always better to use bags specifically meant for cooking. Many plastic bags are cheap and convenient, but not meant for food-related use. This holds true for disposable cups or meal trays, which are meant for one time use only. Trash them when you’re done with them.
When you use cling wrap for warming food, don’t let it touch the food. If your food is packed in foam insulated trays, transfer it to a microwave-safe container, because foam could melt upon being heated. Also, chemical migration doesn’t require the food to be in contact with the container, so it’s best avoided in microwave ovens. Some people wrap food items like bread in dishcloths or paper towels. That again is a fire risk.
All glass is not microwave proof. Some kinds could shatter or splinter. It’s best to check all plastic, glass, and ceramic containers for comments/instructions for use. Nowadays, many are made specifically for microwave ovens and, though a bit expensive, it’s best to stick to these. Even then, make sure there are no metal rims or colorful motifs, as they may contain harmful dyes.
All metal foils should be kept away from microwave ovens. Unpack the food and transfer it to a safer container before cooking or heating.
Have you inspected all your ovenware for scratches, cracks, chips, fissures? Did you know these could harbor bacteria or traces of stale food particles? Any tips on what to look out for when buying microwave-proof dishes? Share them with us!