Now don’t go starting a kitchen fire. But did you know that cooking was actually one of the major causes of home fires from 2009 to 2013? So it goes without saying that cooking can be potentially dangerous. And small kitchen spaces are not doing anything to help the already tricky situation. There’s the risk of serious harm of course, and also property damage. And one most commonly neglected kitchen appliance responsible for increasing the likelihood of fire hazards is the microwave. So a question like can you put paper towels in the microwave demands utmost attention.
For safety in the kitchen, it’s important to know the answer, the correct answer. To keep the kitchen and your home away from catching fire, even if it’s a small one.
What Not to Put In Your Microwave
#1. Can You Put Paper Towels in the Microwave?
The majority of paper towels out there are microwave-friendly. Many people use paper towels for covering foods during cooking or heating in the microwave. So the food doesn’t splatter about. And that’s completely safe. But don’t do this without supervision.
Shorter intervals of microwaving are important. What’s also important is keeping a check on the paper and your food.
What types of paper are a potential safety hazard? Printed paper towels, recycled paper towels, and also brown paper bags.
#2. What About Microwaving Paper Plates?
You can put paper plates into your microwave without a worry. But only if they’re marked microwave-safe. Because the thing with disposable tableware is that it’s almost always coated with plastic. So check that out first, whether using a bowl or plate made of paper.
#3. Can You Microwave Plastic and Tupperware?
Needless to say, microwave-friendly plastic does exist. For example, Tupperware, which is perfect for microwave applications. But then not all plastic containers are safe for microwave use. Single-use plastics (cottage cheese, yogurt, etc. plastic that is) are not to be put in the microwave.
Likewise, discolored, old, or cracked containers made of plastic are no good in your microwave either.
#4. Can You Microwave Ziploc Bags?
Food storage bags manufactured by Ziploc, popularly known as Ziploc bags, are perfectly safe for reheating or defrosting food in the microwave. As long as you follow the directions printed on the label.
And when using a different food storage bag brand, check if its products are microwave-friendly or not. If not sure, then it’s best to avoid using the storage bag for microwave applications.
#5. Can You Microwave Glass?
Dishware made using ceramic and glass is normally microwave-safe. But then there are exceptions like handmade pottery, crystal, etc. However, with ceramic or glass plates, mugs, bowls, bakeware, and the like, you don’t have anything to doubt. Not as long as the dishware is not painted or decorated with anything metallic.
Why Use Paper Towels in the Microwave in the First Place?
Can you put paper towels in the microwave? Yes, you can. Now that you know the answer, how about finding out the benefits? Is it any useful or helpful to begin with? Seems like there are a few advantages here…
#1. Paper Towels Prevent/Control Splashing
It’s the most common reason for using paper towels when microwaving. You don’t obviously want all that food to splash about in the appliance. Because then that would mean spending time and effort cleaning up the mess, right? Especially when you’re heating liquids or foods that tend to splash easily. Enter paper towels to prevent all that splashing.
#2. Paper Towels Catch Drips
You can just place these on the turntable. So potential drips get caught by the paper towels at the time of reheating soups and other foods that consist of mostly liquid. After the microwaving is done, remove the paper towels. Meaning no need to clean the turntable.
#3. Paper Towels Retain Moisture
Now how about wrapping food using paper towels? What this does is keep all that moisture present in the food from escaping. Because cooking in the microwave takes away moisture. So it’s best to wrap the food with paper towels. Much like using a lid to cover the pot during steaming on the stovetop.
#4. Paper Towels Are Convenient and Cheap to Use
Aren’t they just convenient and cheap to use? In comparison to other techniques, using and then re-using paper towels for microwaving is pretty cost-effective if you ask me. And also very convenient. They’re packed in the form of rolls, which you could just place next to your microwave. That means easy to grab and use whenever needed.
Paper towels are not so uncommonly used for cooking and reheating foods in the microwave. And this is done even without most people knowing whether they’re safe to use or not. Lucky for them, paper towels are indeed microwave-friendly. Unless they’re printed, recycled, or brown paper bags. At the same time, using the right ones provides plenty of benefits.
As long as the paper towels don’t have any chemicals, you don’t have to worry about safety. Because if such materials are a part of the composition, then it just defeats the whole purpose altogether. For example, newspapers are a horrible idea. They have ink on them, correct? And the ink is not just a potential fire hazard, but it also bleeds.
In this post, I have also discussed if you can use paper plates, Ziploc bags, glass dishware, and more in your microwave. You’re sure to find the right answers in this article.
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