Not too many people now that the microwave was invented almost by accident 70 years ago when a Raytheon engineer named Percy Spencer was testing a military-grade magnetron and suddenly realized his snack had melted. Spencer wasn’t the first to notice something like this with radars, but he was the first to investigate it. He and some other colleagues then began trying to heat other food objects to see if a similar heating effect could be observed.
The first one they heated intentionally was popcorn kernels, which became the world’s first microwaved popcorn. Spencer then created what we might call the first true microwave oven by attaching a high density electromagnetic field generator to an enclosed metal box. It wasn’t until 1967 that the first microwave oven that was both relatively affordable and reasonably sized became available.
While convenience is very important here are 5 things you are better off never putting in a microwave oven.
- Broccoli is one of the most common quick heated vegetables around. However, any form of cooking is going to destroy some nutrients in food. Steaming is the most gentle and still causes a loss of around 11% of the antioxidant content of broccoli. On the other hand, cooking it in a microwave with a bit of water will result on a loss of up to 97% of its beneficial antioxidants.
- Eggs: Putting eggs in the microwave will, for sure, leave you with a huge mess, after the high temperatures cause them to explode. If you want to make hard-boiled eggs, boil them in a pot on the stove.
- Frozen Fruit: For some reason, it is not uncommon to see lots of recipes online for nuked pears and apples. However, whole fruit contains lots of water that can cause steam to build, leading to a potentially messy explosion—so don’t even think about nuking your pear, peach, or plum. That said, if you really want to, you can microwave sliced fruit, because even though it has the same water content as its whole counterpart, steam can’t get trapped under the skin.
- Chicken has to be cooked carefully because it could contain salmonella contamination. The main issue with reheating chicken in the microwave is that the heatwaves don’t evenly cook all parts of the foods. Chicken should be frequently rotated to ensure even cooking from the inside and out.
- Breast milk. Microwaving frozen breast milk warm it unevenly, which can create scalding hot spots for sensitive little mouths, other research has found that this heating method may destroy some of breast milk’s immune-boosting proteins, particularly on high power. A better option is placing a bottle with the milk in the warm mug of water to come to room temperature.
- Defrosted Meat. Frozen meat is a tough thing to have to defrost in a microwave, as it can take so long that it becomes very easy to start cooking it. Edges of meats can start to cook and turn brown while the inside remains frozen.
- Hot peppers can be a very troublesome thing to try to microwave. The capsaicin, or the active ingredient in making peppers spicy, vaporizes when exposed to microwaves. The smell of this vapor makes for a highly uncomfortable experience.
- Bread. It takes only 15 seconds in the microwave to transform bread into a chewy mess. The best way to bring back stale bread is to stick it in the oven for a few minutes.