microwave

The microwave has changed the way we think about cooking for decades. A modern marvel, microwaving food does more than just reheat and cook food, it provides users with the priceless luxury of more time. Unfortunately, it is not safe to cook or reheat these foods in the microwave. While some of the foods on this list may be common knowledge, some of the foods on this list are both surprising and disappointing. If you’re thinking about re-heating that chicken and rice dish in the microwave tonight, you might want to read this first.

Celery

celery

Okay, you’re probably thinking, “who puts celery in a microwave?”, but celery isn’t an uncommon addition to soups and dishes that are often reheated in a microwave. Celery contains a high nitrate content and when reheated in a microwave the nitrate in celery is converted into nitrite. Nitrite, in excess, is linked to certain cancers and can compromise the health of pregnant women and newborns. Remove the celery before reheating soup or other dish containing celery to avoid consuming the highly toxic compound. Carrots also fall under the same category as celery when it comes to foods to avoid microwaving

Hard Boiled Eggs

hard boiled eggs

A hearty and protein-rich snack, hard-boiled eggs are to never be microwaved whether they are shelled or unshelled. The egg absorbs the moisture becoming a tiny but mighty pressure cooker. If heated in the microwave the hardboiled egg could potentially explode in your hand, on your plate, or in your mouth. A steam bomb can be avoided if the egg is sliced or cut into small pieces, though you still run the risk of the egg potentially exploding in the microwave. To avoid a steamy egg bombing, skip the microwave altogether.

Steak

steak

Overcooking a steak is the worst thing you can do to a delicious, fine piece of red meat. Like chicken, fish, and other protein-rich foods reheating steak in a microwave affects the protein composition and can lead to an upset stomach and digestive issues. Not only can reheating in a microwave effect the health of the meat, it can also affect the taste and texture. A perfectly cooked steak can go from delicious to overdone in a matter of minutes in a microwave. Repurpose any left-over steak for salads or cold sandwiches or reheat on the stove top on low heat with light oil.

Breast Milk

breast milk

The microwave can be a new Mom’s best friend, but a microwave is no friend of a newborn. Warming breast milk before feeding a newborn is common practice, but it should never be done by heating it up in a microwave. Breast milk reheated in a microwave has the potential to burn the baby’s mouth and throat. Plastic bottles commonly used for feeding can become a host to illness and cancer-causing carcinogens. The FDA recommends new moms and dads warm the breast milk in a pot on the stove top or by running the bottle under warm water.

Fried Foods

fried foods

Crispy, delicious, and hard to resist, fried foods are a gift from the food Gods. Unfortunately, the deliciousness of fried foods is short. Reheating fried foods inside a microwave will turn the once delightfully crispy treat into a soggy disappointment. To revive and maintain the taste and crispy texture of leftover fried foods, reheat them in the oven at 375 degrees until warm on a sheet of foil. This will prevent any sogginess that usually occurs when fried foods are reheated by microwave only.

Pizza

pizza

Yeah, there is a button on the microwave for pizza, but like fried foods reheated pizza by microwave results in a major disappointment. The bread and crust of the pizza lose its crunch and becomes a soggy, sad cheesy mess. Pizza should be reheated in the oven for maximum tastiness. But, like, cold pizza is pretty tasty too; sometimes there’s nothing better than a cold slice of pizza for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Life is short, eat the pizza.

Bread

bread

Putting bread in a microwave sounds like a good idea, but it’s actually the worst. Unless you like your bread as solid as a rock, then nuke away. For the rest of us who enjoy the soft and fluffy texture of bread, avoid microwaving at all costs! The microwave dries out the gluten in bread, toughening it up so that it loses its chewy and fluffy texture. If warm bread is what you want, wrap it in tin foil and heat in a stove or toaster oven at 350 degrees and in ten minutes you will have delicious, soft fluffy bread worth eating.

Mushrooms

mushrooms

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, mushrooms are to never be reheated in a microwave. Given that they are a fungus, they are best consumed immediately after slicing and should always be refrigerated if there are any leftovers. Leaving mushrooms out at room temperature invites bacterial growth which can be dangerous to your health. Mushrooms reheated in a microwave disrupt and negatively impact and change the protein composition. This can leave you with an upset stomach or can potentially cause long-term heart and digestive issues.

Fish

fish

Aside from stinking up the microwave, fish should never be reheated in a microwave. Most fish is just as delicious cold as it is when it was warm. Leftover fish can be repurposed to make salads, fish cakes, or tossed in soups. If warm fish is the only fish that will do, then take out the grease up the skillet and reheat the fish on the stove top. The main thing against reheating fish is the lasting, ever lingering fishy smell. Of course, reheated in a microwave also affects the taste, texture, and protein composition as well.

Rice

rice

The main staple of many dishes, rice is one of the foods that is both shocking and disappointing to know that it cannot and should not be reheated in the microwave. Before rice is cooked, the spores of the bacteria Bacillus cereus, which is known to cause food poisoning are present. Once the rice is cooked the heat destroys the bacteria, but once left to cool to room temperature, the spores will respawn and are naturally very heat resistant. Food poisoning can be life-threatening and even deadly due to dehydration and loss of fluids.

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