“Never put metals into microwaves.”
This warning is not new to us, who love using our microwaves. And for those who just love breaking the rules (I guess I’m one of them), there may have been a time when we thought of every microwave user’s nightmare. Can you microwave aluminum foil?
Some people may think we’re out of our minds. Aluminum foil certainly IS metal. So, why should we even think of putting it into a microwave? Do we want fireworks to come from our kitchens?
Well, I’m happy (and sorry) to tell you that sometimes, you get to know new things around here.
This article will be telling you everything you need to know about microwaving aluminum foil. Can you do it, and is it worth the risk? Is it safe or will New Year’s Eve come early to your kitchen?
Well, let’s find out, shall we?
Can you microwave aluminum foil?
Yes! You can microwave your aluminum foil. But, of course, you have to be extra careful when doing so. You should also make sure that you observe proper safety measures while doing it.
We should always remember that metals should never be heated in a microwave. But aluminum foils may be an exception.
Aluminum foils are thin sheets of metal and it is not likely to cause really big damage compared to when microwaving much bigger kinds of metal.
However, when you are not careful enough, microwaving your aluminum foil may cause it to spark and start a fire in your appliance.
There are safety measures that you can observe to make sure you and your microwave are both safe. Keep reading and check them out!
What happens when you microwave aluminum foil?
The thin sheet of aluminum foil may quickly overheat and catch fire when you microwave it. However, you can always avoid this by being extra careful.
Microwaves heat food by producing radio waves that let water in the food vibrate and warm up through friction.
When you put metal into a heating microwave, the radio waves bounce to the metal and back again to the walls of the microwave. It heats the metal faster if there’s no water present inside the microwave.
Aluminum foil is a very thin metal sheet. Hence, it may not possibly withstand the back and forth bouncing off the radio waves. The foil will easily heat up and may even catch fire if it becomes too hot.
It is important that the aluminum foil doesn’t have any sharp or pointed edges or is touching the walls of the microwave since it will cause it to easily heat up.
Moreover, the aluminum foil also prevents heat from passing through it. So, if food is fully wrapped in foil, it will not be heated as expected.
Is it safe to microwave aluminum foil?
Yes! It is safe to microwave aluminum foil. Of course, you need to make sure that you are using your foil properly when microwaving it.
After knowing what can happen to aluminum foil if you microwave it the wrong way, you may wonder if it’s safe. Well, now you know it is!
It’s always useful to check your microwave’s manufacturer guidelines first. Some microwaves are not suitable to handle aluminum foil. So, you need to make sure yours is capable of heating aluminum.
Another thing is that you should always see if your aluminum foil is labeled as microwave-safe.
As you can see later, there are different kinds of aluminum foil cookware. We are not only talking about the thing aluminum foil sheet used to cover your food.
Before you even consider microwaving your food in your aluminum foil cookware, make sure you check if they are safe to be used in the microwave.
On the other hand, when it comes to the actual aluminum foil sheet, it is completely safe to microwave them if you’re using only small portions (don’t worry because we’ll be talking more about this in a while).
What are the different kinds of aluminum foil cookware?
There are different kinds of aluminum foil cookware that you may have been already using at home. These are cake pans, utensils, bread loaf tins, pie plates, steam table pans, and pie plates to mention a few.
You should remember to always check if these are labeled microwave-safe. If they are, then do use them in your microwave with caution.
Also, make sure that they are new and not smooth when you microwave them so that they don’t heat up too rapidly inside.
But if they are not labeled as microwave-safe, you may try contacting the manufacturer and asking whether it is or not.
You can also try testing if your aluminum foil cookware is microwave-safe by putting a cup of water in it and microwaving them for a minute.
If the foil becomes too hot, the cookware may not be microwave-safe. On the other hand, if it is cool, then it may be microwavable.
However, it may be safer to just assume that they are not.
You may just use them as serving dishes and utensils or even storage containers for your leftovers.
How much aluminum foil can you microwave?
You should use only a piece of aluminum foil sheet that can cover about ¼ or 25 percent of the food you’re going to heat. Do NOT use or put too much aluminum foil inside a heating microwave.
Make sure that the aluminum foil you put inside your microwave does NOT touch the microwave’s walls. It should also be smooth and has no sharp edges.
If your aluminum foil touches your microwave’s walls and if it has sharp points and edges, it will most likely heat up and catch fire.
The same applies if you’re using aluminum foil cookware.
Make sure that the size of your aluminum foil cookware is enough to hold your food and NOT touch the walls of your microwave.
If you think that your aluminum foil cookware is too large. In that case, it’s better to transfer your food to another microwave-safe container made of either ceramic, glass, or microwavable plastic.
How can you safely microwave aluminum foil?
Now, you know that you can microwave aluminum foil. But you do need to be very careful when doing so.
With that, how can you safely microwave aluminum foil then?
Well, I have listed down some of the useful tips that I also follow when using aluminum foil as I microwave my food. Check them out below:
- Make sure your aluminum foils (sheet or cookware) are smooth and new so that it doesn’t easily spark inside your microwave. NEVER reuse aluminum foils and put them inside a heating microwave
- Your aluminum foil should be at least 1 to 2 inches far from the walls and ceiling of your microwave.
- If your microwave has metal inside it (either in its turntable or shelves), then do NOT put aluminum foil inside it since the foil will possibly overheat faster.
- Wrap the aluminum foil sheet properly on the food. There should NOT be any loose bits hanging out since this might catch fire inside the microwave.
- As much as possible, do NOT wrap your entire food with an aluminum foil sheet. Your food might not heat properly. I suggest that you only wrap the parts that don’t need to be heated (just like the drumstick bone of a chicken or a roast turkey).
- Immediately remove the foil from the microwave if it starts to spark inside. Transfer your food to a microwave-safe container and continue heating it in the microwave.
Did you expect to read that you CAN microwave aluminum foil? I bet you didn’t. Well, I told you that you’d learn something new here.
Now you know that you don’t need to stop yourself from buying some aluminum foils for you to use when cooking (and microwaving!).
So, that’s it for now. Go and enjoy microwaving!
Is it safe to use aluminum foil containers for cooking?
Yes, it is safe to use aluminum foil containers for cooking as long as they are not damaged or torn. However, it is important to note that putting aluminum foil on a metal turntable may cause sparking and damage the appliance.
What should I do if I accidentally put tin foil in the microwave?
If you accidentally put tin foil in the microwave, immediately turn off the appliance and remove any visible pieces of metal with tongs or gloves. Check for any damage before using again.
Can I cover a metal pan with plastic wrap instead of aluminum foil?
Yes, you can cover a metal pan with plastic wrap instead of aluminum foil. However, be aware that plastic wrap may melt if placed directly on hot surfaces.
Are there any safety precautions when using disposable foil trays?
When using disposable foils trays, make sure they are not damaged or torn before placing them in the oven. Also ensure that they are placed on a flat surface and not touching any heating elements. Finally, never place uncovered food directly onto these trays without covering them first with either another tray or some form of protective covering such as aluminium foil which has been smoothed out so there are no wrinkles present.
How does aluminum foil in a microwave affect the appliance?
Aluminum foil in a microwave can cause electric fields to build up and potentially damage the oven’s metal walls. It is not recommended to use especially aluminum foil or any metal shelves, turntables, or thin pieces of metal in a microwave.
What happens when you put wrinkled foil in a microwave?
Putting wrinkled foil in a microwave can create sparks due to the uneven surface causing electric fields to build up. This can be dangerous and potentially damage both the oven wall and the appliance itself.
Can you put water molecules into an electric field created by using aluminum foil in a microwave?
Water molecules are naturally present inside food items that are heated inside microwaves. However, putting water molecules directly into an electric field created by using aluminum foil could result in arcing which may cause damage to both the appliance and surrounding objects.
Is it safe to use only a short time for cooking with aluminum foil inside microwaves?
It is generally not recommended to use any amount of aluminum foil inside microwaves as it can create dangerous electric fields that may harm both people and appliances. If absolutely necessary, only very small amounts should be used for very short periods of time.
Why shouldn’t you place metal shelves or turntables inside your microwave oven?
Metal shelves or turntables placed inside your microwave oven will reflect microwaves back onto themselves creating hot spots that could lead to fires. Additionally, these surfaces may also generate strong electrical currents which could pose serious safety risks if they come into contact with other conductive materials such as especially aluminum foils or thin pieces of metals.