7 Foods You Should Never Reheat in the Microwave: Microwaves have no doubt made reheating foods remarkably less stressful. They allow you to heat meals conveniently without going through so much of a hassle.
When you can’t be bothered to spend ages in the kitchen making yourself dinner, reheating some leftovers that you’ve been keeping in the fridge may seem like a logical thing to do.
It would, however, interest you to know that reheating certain foods, especially with microwaves has a detrimental effect on the food quality, especially when they weren’t stored properly (in an airtight container and at the right temperatures) beforehand, and even the lifespan of your microwave.
The pressure build-up while microwaving these foods could cause them to explode, emit smoke, or any other dangerous thing. Going on to microwave these foods can mean harm to your overall health, either when you consume them or through a resulting domestic accident.
The following are 7 of these foods that you should never reheat in the microwave:
1. Processed meat
Microwaves give off radiations that are absorbed by our foods, allowing them to get heated.
While these radiations do not naturally contaminate food or make them harmful, there is an exception with processed meat.
Processed meat contains high amounts of salt, additives, chemicals, and preservatives which are not so healthy to consume, and when processed meat absorbs the radiation from microwaves, things could get even worse.
When processed meat is reheated in a microwave, they form cholesterol oxidation products (COPs), and these can have more damaging health implications than typical cholesterol alone.
You can develop coronary artery disease (CAD) or other heart diseases when you consume micro-waved processed meat.
While it might be tempting to toss your sausage or hot dog into the microwave for a quick warm-up before eating, this poses a major health risk.
The safest way to heat your hams and sausages is on the grill or the stovetop.
Rice, as well as other types of food, contains bacteria called Bacillus cereus.
Since cooking rice doesn’t necessarily kill these bacteria but only makes them impotent for a while, it means that they can become active again when the rice is left to cool down at room temperature.
The Bacillus cereus can then multiply and emit toxins that can cause serious health implications when consumed.
Whether brown or white rice, the way you store them grossly influences it, thus, re-heating them with a microwave is a bad idea and can make them unfit for consumption.
If you must microwave rice, ensure that it is stored within at most 2 hours of cooking. This prevents the bacteria from re-activating.
It’s okay to reheat chicken, but reheating with a microwave may not always be a good idea.
This is because chicken is dense and attention has to be paid to the temperature levels and the heating duration.
More so, microwaves may not fully or evenly cook all parts of the chicken, and this means that the bacteria present in chicken called salmonella has a high chance of surviving. These bacteria are one of the leading causes of food poisoning.
If the chicken was not stored properly and quickly after cooking, like rice, the bacteria get reactivated when allowed to cool at room temperature.
When the chicken is reheated, the bacteria loses its potency again, but it turns out that microwaves do not do a particularly great job compared to grills and stovetops.
Furthermore, the high protein content in proteins can be negatively impacted by reheating and this can cause digestive troubles.
The best way to consume stored chicken is to put it in a cold salad or a cold sandwich.
Like chicken, microwaves heat potatoes unevenly. This means that some parts of the potato may be at a higher temperature while some other parts may be at a lower temperature.
And this makes microwaves ineffective at killing bacteria and other pathogens that may lead to food poisoning.
When heating potatoes, the heat needs to be lower and the cooking time much shorter.
Going on to increase the temperature and rapidly heating potato can cause pressure to build up inside it, causing the cell walls to burst, releasing starch molecules that glue together the broken cell walls together.
If the potato doesn’t splatter all over the interior of your microwave, then the resulting potato you would get would be rather dense and sticky.
Also, going on to increase the duration of heating the potatoes could cause them to lose their nutritional value.
5. Boiled Eggs
Reheating boiled eggs in a microwave is a hazard and can result in a potential explosion.
Either the egg explodes while still in the microwave, on your plate, or even while you’re taking a bite! You do not want this to be your story.
Boiled egg still has moisture inside it and as the temperature of the egg rises while in the microwave, steam begins to build up inside the yolk from the water molecules and this causes a pressure build-up.
The shell of the eggs constrains the egg and doesn’t give it room for expansion. And so, if you then go about peeling the egg right after taking it out of the microwave without first allowing it to cool, there are higher chances of it exploding.
If it doesn’t explode while you’re peeling off the shell, then it most likely will when you’re taking a bite. The thin membrane of the egg is unable to hold in all of the pressure.
6. Tomato and tomato sauce
Tomato and tomato sauce do not belong in the microwave. Like boiled eggs, heating tomatoes in a microwave can cause an explosive mess.
Tomato and tomato sauce are naturally liquid content, and the heat from the microwave can cause pressure buildup.
This can then cause them to bubble up and splatter all over the interiors of the microwave.
Even though they are heated for only a short time, the ingredients and heavy consistency of tomato sauce make this splatter inevitable.
To avoid having to lose a majority of your tomato sauce or going through the stress of cleaning your microwave, it is best to not reheat tomato and tomato sauce in a microwave.
7. Leafy Greens
Foods like Leafy greens are known to contain high levels of nitrates and when you reheat in the microwave, these nitrates are converted to carcinogenic nitrosamines.
These carcinogenic nitrosamines cause health hazards including cancer, liver and kidney damage.
As much as you can, boil greens instead and consume them at a go. If there are any leftovers, they should be discarded.
Best Microwave To Buy
Microwaves make reheating foods a lot more convenient. However, care should be taken when doing this as not all foods are microwave heating compliant. Thus, you should never reheat the foods mentioned in this blog in the Microwave.