We already know better than to nuke plastic—or heaven forbid, aluminum foil—but certain foods can become downright toxic when blasted in the microwave. Here's what you need to know.
BY AUBREY ALMANZA
Some 30 years ago, American kitchens received the gift of the microwave and quickly became dependent on it for lightning-fast heating. Younger generations can’t even imagine making oatmeal, hot chocolate, or popcorn without it. And yet so many of us are using the microwave incorrectly. Sure, we know to never zap aluminum foil, metal, or plastic, but there are equally dangerous risks involved in reheating certain foods.
For starters, a microwave does not cook food evenly, which often means any bacteria present in the food will survive. Then there’s the problem of microwave blasts directly contributing to the production of carcinogenic toxins. To minimize the microwave risks, resist the urge to use to cook or warm these six foods:
1. Hard-boiled eggs: Shelled or unshelled, when a hard-boiled egg is cooked in a microwave, the moisture inside creates an extreme steam buildup, like a miniature pressure cooker, to the point where the egg can explode! Even scarier, the egg won’t burst inside the microwave while it’s being heated, but afterward, which means the scalding hot egg can erupt in your hand, on your plate, or even in your mouth. To avoid turning your egg into a steam-bomb, cut it into small pieces before reheating, or better yet, avoid putting it in the microwave all together.