Popping the wrong foods, containers, or mugs in the microwave could make you sick, expose you to harmful chemicals, or even (yikes!) start a fire. Follow these tips to avoid dangerous microwave mistakes.
Hard boiled eggs
Don’t let Pinterest fool you: If you try to hard boil eggs in your microwave you’re likely to either end up with a big mess or burned fingers! The rapid heat from the microwaves creates a lot of steam in the egg, which has nowhere to escape. Exploded egg is hard to clean up—trust us. (Here are some foods even professional chefs cook in the microwave.)
Frozen cuts of meat are tricky to defrost in a microwave: Thinner edges start cooking while the thicker middle remains frozen. And if your microwave doesn’t rotate food while cooking it, this too can lead to uneven distribution of heat, which can can allow bacteria to grow. The safest way to thaw meat is to defrost it overnight in your refrigerator, according to food safety experts at Pennsylvania State University’s department of food science.
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Not only does microwaving frozen breast milk warm it unevenly, which can create scalding hot spots for sensitive little mouths, other research has found that this heating method may destroy some of breast milk’s immune-boosting proteins, particularly on high power. A better bet: Nuke a mug of water, then place a bottle of breast milk in the mug to come to room temperature. (We bet you never knew these surprising ways you’re using your microwave wrong.)