There’s a lot of debate on how safe it is to microwave a metal spoon.
Generally, we stereotype all metals as microwave unsafe but there are several testimonies where people left a metal spoon in the microwave and nothing unusual happened.
Our write up today seeks to crack the misery behind these happenings and therefore answer the question, “can you put a metal spoon in microwave?”
Step by step to the end:
Can You Put a Metal Spoon in The Microwave?
Yes, you can put a round, thick metal spoon when heating liquid food in the microwave.
In some cases the metal spoon will be forgotten in the microwave by pure accident while other times we intentionally leave the spoon for a purpose.
You are therefore advised to know the basic factors to consider before you put a metal spoon in the microwave.
Is It Safe to Put a Metal Spoon in The Microwave?
Most probably, your spoon will run safely in the microwave. Most metal spoons have a round surface that cannot reflect the dangerous electromagnetic waves that cause sparking.
The microwave is designed in such a way that it emits electromagnetic waves at a frequency that allows them to be absorbed by the food content.
The microwaves move at a frequency that excites loosely held electrons on the metallic spoon. The free electrons move around so rapidly that they block the electromagnetic waves from being absorbed by the metal spoon hence are reflected back.
A safe distance between the metal spoon and the microwave walls is recommended to block the microwaves from reaching the spoon.
Below are the factors to consider before you put a metal spoon in the microwave:
Factors That Determine The Safety of a Metal Spoon While Put in The Microwave
While metals are feared to spark fires if put in the microwave, some metal cutlery are just safe depending on the following factors:
- The shape of the spoon
Metal spoons with a round surface are safer compared to those with sharp edges.
When the metal spoon gets heated, it releases the loosely held electrons that move rapidly to cause an electric current.
The electric current tends to be spread out on the round surface and concentrate on the sharp edges.
The current that concentrates on the thin edges may build up and cause a spark hence deemed unsafe.
It is therefore considered to use a round spoon in the microwave and avoid those with sharp edges.
- The thickness of the metal
Electromagnetic waves tend to induce an electric current when they hit a metal surface.
The electric current has no impact on thick metal objects. However, the electric current can heat up the metal surface and spark a fire if they land on a thin metal surface.
In most cases, nothing unusual will happen if you forget your spoon in a running microwave.
Normally, the food absorbs the electromagnetic waves from the oven hence they can’t bounce back to the walls of the microwave.
A microwave’s architecture ensures that its heat is applied to the outer sides of the food before it reaches its center.
Therefore, if a flat round metal spoon is left in a microwave-proof dish for a short period of time, the food will heat normally and the appliance will go off without any mayhem.
Sparks will only appear if:
- The metal spoon touches the walls of the running microwave.
- The metal spoon has sharp, uneven and reflective edges.
- The back and forth reflection of waves from the microwave to the metallic spoon are rapid enough to cause an electronic charge with enough voltage to cause fire.
The sparks ignited could form a small fire within the microwave.
Luckily, the fire cannot spread outside the oven. Therefore, it can only damage the microwave but cannot raze down a house.
Otherwise, if there are no sparks (arcing) in the oven, putting a metal spoon in the microwave remains a safe endeavor.
Tips For Microwaving Metal Spoon Safely
Follow these tips to enhance safety when you put a metal spoon in the microwave:
- Read the user-guide manual
Never assume that an item is microwave safe or unsafe just by the look.
Most metals are microwave unsafe but there are exceptions.
Most microwaves come with a user-guide manual with instructions on how to use several cutlery in it. Some will tell you to submerge a spoon in the food before you put it in the microwave.
If the specific information you want is not captured on the manual, check the manufacturer’s website for clarification.
- Ensure the metal spoon does not touch the walls of the microwave
The walls of the microwave are metallic hence a safe proximity from the metallic soon is recommended. This way, the reflection of the electromagnetic waves that cause fire will be minimized.
- Understand the role of the metal spoon
A metal spoon is often placed in a boiling liquid food to prevent spillage. Bubbles from the liquid tend to gather around the metal spoon.
In such a case, the metal spoon should be placed at the center of the microwave safe dish.
- Regulate the temperatures in the microwave
Too high temperatures are likely to make the spoon overheat which may spark up a fire.
- Run the microwave for a short time
The recommended heating time for a microwave is usually 30 seconds. If you wish to heat for a longer period do it at intervals.
- Be wary of unusual sounds in the microwave
The microwave will always make some sounds to alert you before it sparks up. If this happens, put off the microwave immediately and remove your food or fix the problem.
- When in doubt just don’t do it
Never take risks when using electric appliances when not sure about the safety measures involved. Better be safe than sorry.
It is generally safe to put a metal spoon in the microwave as long as it has round edges and it does not touch the walls of the microwave.
Metal spoons are likely to reflect the electromagnetic waves back to the microwave causing a spark. However, the sparks are only contained within the microwave and cannot cause major harm.