Table of Contents
- Can you put wood in the microwave?
- What is a microwave oven?
- 5 materials that are safe to put in the microwave
- 8 Reasons why wood is fine for microwave ovens
- 6 Tips on using wood in your microwave oven
- Related Questions
Can you put wood in the microwave?
There is a lot of incorrect information out there about what you can and cannot microwave.
Can you put wood in the microwave? You Betcha! Wood and wood utensils are perfectly safe for microwave ovens. So, yes, you can put wood in the microwave.
This blog post will dispel some of the most common myths about microwaving, so you can use your microwave with confidence. This blog post has everything you need to know about microwaves and using wood in them.
Let’s get started!
What is a microwave oven?
In case you’re wondering what kind of oven is microwave, it is a type of oven that cooks food using microwave radiation, instead of heat.
Microwaves work by causing water and fat molecules in the food to vibrate rapidly which produces energy in the form of heat. The cooking time depends upon the intensity of the microwaves, how much water and fat are present, and what parts of the food absorb microwaves and convert them into heat.
The microwave oven itself works by sending microwaves from a transmitter at the top of the oven to a receptor at the bottom, which acts as a reverse antenna.
This enables radio waves to get through walls and reflect off food so that water molecules start vibrating quickly and get hot, thus cooking the food.
5 materials that are safe to put in the microwave
Now that you know how microwaves work, let’s talk about the materials that are safe for microwave use!
1. Wood utensils
Wood utensils are 100% safe to use in a microwave. You can stir your food with wooden spoons, cook it on a wood cutting board, or even eat right out of a wooden bowl. If you like to use chopsticks, you can poke holes in a cardboard tube and microwave your food on that.
2. Disposable plastic
Disposable plastic utensils are okay to use but are careful not to tear or melt them as they could release chemicals into your food. There is no point in using these if the only reason you’re doing so is saving time, as they’re a huge waste of money and not something you can reuse.
Ceramic plates, bowls, cups are great for microwaves as they are made to withstand high temperatures! You can eat off these dishes in the microwave or use them in place of regular dinnerware if you don’t have enough.
While glass is safe to microwave, it can also shatter if heated too quickly or unevenly. Otherwise, if you use thick glass for a few hours, you would be fine. There are a few precautions you can take to ensure your dish stays intact. Use tempered dishes in the microwave instead of regular ones.
Although putting silicone in a microwave for hours is a big no-no, you can put silicone in the microwave for a few seconds to a minute at a time. This is helpful if you have a silicone muffin tray for example, and want to use it without having to wait hours before being able to wash it!
Now let’s move on to the material under discussion-wood.
8 Reasons why wood is fine for microwave ovens
Less risk of melting and deforming
When compared to other materials like plastic, wood is less likely to melt or deform when exposed to extreme heat. You can place wood blocks in ovens for hot food and use them as bread baskets without having to worry about anything melting.
Can withstand high temperatures
Wood doesn’t get warped or damaged when exposed to high temperatures such as those produced in ovens. A few hours inside an oven will not damage wood at all, provided you don’t let it burn.
Can withstand acidic foods
Wood is also fine for microwaves when exposed to acidic foods like pineapples or tomatoes as the acid won’t burn through the material easily.
Wood is a natural material so it’s better for the environment than plastic or silicone. You can reuse wooden plates or bowls multiple times, which helps reduce your carbon footprint.
Prevents chemicals from leeching into food
The porous surface of wood doesn’t allow chemicals to seep through easily as other materials do. If you want to avoid lead, BPA, or other chemicals leaching into your food, wood is a safe option.
Won’t burn your hands
Due to its high degree of porosity, wood has good insulation properties that protect your hands from extreme temperatures. You can hold hot bowls or plates without worrying about getting burned.
Can be easily cleaned
Wood does not absorb water so even if you wash it with soap, it won’t dry out quickly. Dishwashers are also safe for wood as the heated drying cycle will only speed up the evaporation process without causing damage to the material.
Wood is an insulator
That’s the best thing about the wood. Unlike metals that always pose a risk of catching fire and allowing current to pass to other materials in the oven when they touch, wood is an insulator. The current will only pass to other materials if it comes in direct contact with them, thus making your microwave safe.
6 Tips on using wood in your microwave oven
Although wood is safe in the microwave, sometimes it can cause problems. Here’s a list of all some precautions you need to take so that you can enjoy your meal without worrying about anything.
Don’t use the microwave for drying the wood
Using wood as utensils and cookware is okay, but using a microwave with the intent to try a wet wood is a big no-no. Microwaves are not good at drying things out and they can cause the wood to warp or crack, especially if it’s dry already.
Never overcrowd wood plates or cups in microwave ovens. This can lead to uneven heating and cause warping or damage to the wood.
Check the manufacturer’s precaution
If you have a wooden plate or bowl from a manufacturer, check if they have any precautions regarding its use in the microwave. Some wooden plates for example are not good for microwaves while others can withstand it.
Keep distance between wood and metal
Always ensure that no metals come into contact with your wooden utensils. This is the main reason experts recommend using wooden plates or bowls with microwaves instead of metal ones.
Keep an eye on the microwave
Heat rises so there is a chance that the parts on top of the oven are hotter than those at the bottom. That’s why you should always keep an eye on your microwave to make sure everything is fine.
Read the microwave-user-manual
Always keep the manual of your oven for reference. Some prefer to use a wooden bowl or plate without any heating while there are microwave models that require an oil coating before using wood utensils.
Does it take longer to cook in wooden cookware in the microwave?
It takes the same time to heat food in wood or metal utensils. If your wooden material is thin, it might take a little bit longer than metal ones because of the difference in thermal conductivity.
Is wooden cookware more expensive than metals?
A simple, plain wooden bowl or plate is cheaper than a metallic one. A fully-crafted wooden bowl on the other hand is more expensive than metal ones because of its intricate design and high cost of labor.
How do you clean wood that’s been used in the microwave?
To remove any excess food or dirt, just use hot water and soap. Make sure that the soap is rinsed off to prevent any chemicals from seeping into your food.
In a nutshell, wood is safe for microwave ovens as long as you follow a few precautionary measures. So follow the above-mentioned tips and you are good to go!