Why does your microwave spark when you put metal in it?



  1. 0 Votes

    As you may have noticed, the inside of microwaves are lined with metal. The purpose of this interior metal is to reflect microwaves back into the food chamber, otherwise they would be able to leak outside and lead to injuries.

    When you put something else made of metal into the microwave (or even aluminum foil), the object reflects the microwaves and end up ricocheting around inside the chamber. The waves can reflect back to the magnetron, the part that generates microwaves, and damage it by causing overheating.

    Microwaves can also create an electric current in metals because the waves themselves are “oscillating electric and magnetic fields.” It is possible for thin metallic objects to build up an electric charge on their sharp points, and if this charge becomes strong enough, it breaks down the insulating properties of air and causes a spark.

    If your food comes with a thin layer of foil, that should be microwave-safe as they are supposed to be designed to heat up enough to just brown the food.

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