When shopping in the grocery store, you’ll see several food items that say Not Suitable for Microwave right on the package.
The labeling of this phrase is not always consistent, so it can be confusing to know exactly what it means when a manufacturer uses it.
To avoid the risk of blowing up your microwave and buying a new one or spoiling the food, you’ll have to learn what the Not Suitable for Microwave label means.
Is it just a marketing ploy, or is there a real reason to avoid microwaving such foods?
It essentially means that the food in question is not safe to microwave. There are several reasons why this might be the case.
Some foods may explode or emit smoke in the microwave. Other foods, when microwaved, can cause the food to release more harmful fats into your food.
Some foods do not react well with microwave radiation, as a result, cause an increase in the production of harmful chemicals known as Cholesterol oxidation products (COPs).
Foods that are unsuitable for microwaves can be heated in other ways: oven, stovetop, etc.
So, when you see “not suitable for microwave” on a food package, it’s best to heed the warning and cook the food in another way.
What Foods are not Suitable for Microwave Cooking?
While microwave ovens are convenient for quickly reheating food, not all foods are suitable for cooking in this manner.
Generally, foods with high water content are more likely to be successful when cooked in a microwave.
This is because the water molecules can absorb microwave energy and convert it into heat. As a result, foods like soup, pasta, and vegetables are typically good.
On the other hand, foods low in water content, such as meats and bread, are less likely to be successful.
This is because the water molecules cannot absorb the microwave energy, leading to uneven cooking.
As a result, it is best to avoid microwave cooking with these types of foods.
Similar to salty food, research conducted recently by microbiologists from the University of Leeds indicates microwaves cannot penetrate salty foods easily.
Foods high in fat or sugar should not be cooked in a microwave. And that’s because these substances can cause the food to heat up unevenly, leading to hot spots that can cause burns.
Microwaves can cause these substances to caramelize or burn, giving the food an unpleasant flavor.
Processed meats are meats that are preserved mostly by adding chemical preservatives.
These meats do not react well with microwave radiation, which can result in increased production of harmful chemicals; Cholesterol Oxidation Products (COPs), are known to be one of the causes of heart disease.
Processed meat should then be heated on the stovetop instead.
Fruits are generally unsuitable for microwaving; they are more likely to lose their essential nutrients when microwaved.
But in the case of grapes, it quickly turns to plasma when microwaved. And in the process, it creates several small explosions or one bigger one, depending on how many grapes you put in there.
Hard boiling egg in the microwave isn’t also a good practice and should be avoided. So what happens if you try to boil an egg hard? The egg gets heated up to high temperatures.
This causes steam to build up inside the shell of the egg, with no way for the steam to escape because the shell keeps it trapped inside.
The steam then tries to force its way out of the shell by exploding, causing a mess in the microwave.
It is important to note that heating food in the microwave does not cook it evenly. The edges of the food may get overcooked while some parts remain undercooked.
Why is Quiche Not Suitable for Microwaves?
When it comes to quiche, the jury is still out on whether or not it’s suitable for microwave cooking.
The main reason why quiche is said not to be suitable for microwaves is that it contains eggs and the potential for uneven cooking.
Eggs are a classic ingredient in quiche and need to be cooked slowly to prevent them from becoming rubbery.
The egg in quiche can cook faster than the rest of the ingredients, resulting in an unpleasant texture.
Also, the crust of quiche can become soggy and rubbery when microwaved.
One easy way to avoid this problem is by baking your quiche instead of microwaving it.
If you want to microwave your quiche, try using a glass pie plate with at least a 1-inch rim (to contain splatter) instead of one with a solid bottom.
Line the dish with parchment paper before adding the filling. Use low power settings, stirring occasionally, and set a timer, so it doesn’t overcook.
You may also want to use ceramic pie dishes as they are better suited for cooking foods in the microwave oven without overheating them.
Another reason quiche is not well suited for microwaves is its dairy content. Dairy products can also curdle when microwaved, which can ruin the quiche’s texture.
Is it Bad to Microwave Potatoes?
Potatoes are a versatile and popular food, but there is some debate about the best way to cook them.
Some people swear by microwaving, while others think microwaving potatoes isn’t safe. So, what is the verdict? Is it bad to microwave potatoes?
No, it is not bad to microwave potatoes. Contrary to popular belief, microwaving does not decrease the nutritional value of potatoes.
Microwaving can preserve some of the nutrients that are lost when potatoes are boiled or baked.
However, if you prefer boiling or baking your potatoes over microwaving them, you should be aware that boiling can cause vitamin C and B6 loss.
Baking causes a reduction in vitamin C and thiamin as well as an increase in tryptophan levels.
Thiamin is essential for proper brain function, and low levels have been linked to depression.
Low vitamin C levels can lead to scurvy and iron deficiency, while iron deficiency increases the risk of cognitive impairment.
Tryptophan is an amino acid that helps regulate sleep patterns; low tryptophan has been linked with depression, anxiety, insomnia, mood swings, migraines, eating disorders, addiction, and chronic pain syndromes.
Thus, microwaving potatoes does not destroy their nutrients but rather preserves them.
Why Would a Pie Not be Suitable for the Microwave?
There are a few reasons why a pie might not be suitable for the microwave, with the first reason being that they need to be cooked evenly to taste its best.
And when it comes to cooking with the microwave, they cook food unevenly, with the outside often getting overcooked while the inside remains undercooked.
This shouldn’t be the case with pies, which need to be cooked slowly and evenly to taste their best.
The crust can get rubbery in the microwave. And that happens because the heat causes the butter or shortening in the crust to melt, resulting in a texture that is less than ideal.
While the crust will still taste good, the doughy consistency of microwaved pies isn’t what people expect.
And in some cases, the filling of a pie can become overcooked in the microwave. And that’s because the filling is usually made with eggs, which can quickly become dry and rubbery when exposed to too much heat.
But there are exceptions. Some pies have a filling that doesn’t contain any eggs and thus should work well in the microwave.
Also, microwaves can cause the pastry to become soggy and lose its flakiness. That’s due to the water from the filling and sauce leaking out of the pie during microwaving.
And fruit pies can sometimes become soggy in the microwave since the fruit releases moisture as it heats up, which can make the crust and filling of the pie soggy.
That being said, if you don’t mind your pies tasting differently, then go ahead and give them a try in the microwave.
For these reasons, it is best to avoid microwaving pies and instead opt for another cooking method, such as baking in the oven.
You can also try placing your pie on a plate and heating the plate using your stovetop or even using an oven dish if you don’t want to use the stovetop.
Make sure you cover your pie with foil before heating it.
With all these being said, there are some technics you can apply to safely microwave pie without any issue of it getting soggy or the crust getting rubbery.
Some technics include wrapping the pie in a paper towel to help absorb any moisture when it’s been heated.
If you see a food product labeled not suitable for microwaving, the product cannot be heated in a microwave oven.
When heated in the microwave, these foods can harm the consumer and even damage the microwave or mess it up.
These foods may have been designed to be cooked on a stovetop or baked in an oven.
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