9 Foods That Explode In The Microwave (Don’t Try This at Home)

The microwave is perhaps one of the most useful kitchen appliances ever invented, despite its controversial health effects. For college students across the world, it’s a godsend, capable of fitting in cramped dormitories and whipping up a ton of mouthwatering meals.

While a microwave is capable of a wide variety of uses, it does have its limits. I mean, have you ever popped something in it only to hear an explosion midway through? And I am not talking about popcorn here.

food splashes on walls of microwave

That is because microwaves function differently than ovens. As the regular oven heats food from outside in, then microwaves cause water molecules in the food to vibrate, producing heat that cooks the food and all that happens very fast.

What causes some foods to explode in the microwave is when water starts to turn into steam, gets trapped, and forms a bubble that eventually ends up bursting, and you end up with messy splatter all over your microwave.

Here are 9 food items that tend to pop or explode when heated inside the microwave.

exploded food in the microwave

1. Whole Eggs

Considered to be one of the most versatile ingredients, eggs can be used in a variety of dishes – drizzled with creamy hollandaise sauce, lightly salted, as a garnish for pasta, and more.

Unless you’re into fun experiments or you really crave a rubbery egg don’t ever attempt to cook whole eggs in a microwave.

Now, sometimes they may not explode while they’re inside but they definitely will after you take them out.

You see, pressure from steam tends to build up inside the steam-trapping shell, turning it into a highly explosive food item.

So, unless you’re ready to be coated in a flying egg yolk right when you’re about to peel it, then make sure to keep them far away from your microwave. 

Read Also: How To Peel An Egg Without The Shell Sticking? – Works Every Time!

2. Red Pasta Sauce

A delicious bowl of pasta may be one of the most incredible meals out there, beloved by broke college students and families eating on a budget.

The number of diverse and delicious dishes you can create out of a simple pack of noodles, combined with a can of pasta sauce, is simply astounding, which is why I recommend always keeping a few stocks of these ingredients in your kitchen.

However, red pasta sauce or any other tomato-based sauce should never be chucked into the microwave, at least without taking proper precautions, lest you want a mid-sized eruption on your hands. 

Once steam pressure builds up underneath its bubbling surface, the sauce will be sent flying, splattering every inch of your microwave.

Not only will you lose your dinner, but you’ll also have a hard-to-clean kitchen appliance covered in sauce.

3. Whole Grapes

A few years ago, social media was inundated with videos of crazy teenagers nuking whole grapes. These sweet and flavorsome fruits were shown to be spewing flumes of white-hot plasma – a sight that many found to be entertaining and fun, for unknown reasons.

Grapes may be made out of mostly water but that doesn’t mean that they won’t catch on fire if microwaved, and I do mean literally catching fire. Just check out the video below.

Their cousins, the wrinkly raisins, also have a rather weird reaction to the microwave too, however, they smoke rather than explode.

4. A Mug of Water

If you’re in the mood for a quick cup of tea and you’re too lazy to fill the kettle and boil some water then you might try to microwave it instead.

Understandably, you might believe that microwaving a mug of water would be the next best thing; after all, there’s less water wasted and it would be much faster than the five-minute wait for the kettle to whistle. 

When microwaving water, sometimes it can super-heat without boiling. Unfortunately, this could possibly lead to a small explosion when you add your teabag in since it causes all the components to boil rapidly all at once, causing it to go boom, as well as a few painful and permanent burns. 

Read Also: Is Your Tea Bag Made With Plastic? – Here Is Why You Should Care.

5. Leafy Vegetables 

Those planning to microwave last night’s dinner should take care never to pop dishes with large, leafy greens in.

According to Mark Golkowski, an associate professor of electrical engineering at the University of Colorado, the electrical properties that these vegetables contain may set off sparks while inside the microwave, which is definitely not a cooking experience that you’d like to have.

6. Potatoes 

No matter how you cook them and no matter what ingredients you add, potatoes taste awesome. Whether they be deep-fried or baked, mashed, or rolled into dumplings, these spuds are undoubtedly a cause of celebration, beloved by nearly everyone in the entire world – except by your microwave!

Chucking a potato into one without pricking a few holes into its skin may lead to a small explosion while inside. Besides that, its texture will also be compromised, due to the combination of high temperature and water.

So, while potatoes taste great whatever cooking method you use, it would probably be best to leave the microwave alone this time around.

Read Also: How To Properly Store Cooked Potatoes?

7. Eggplant

While the internet is filled to the brim with recipes urging one to cook eggplant in the microwave, it’s important to note that this comes with a few risks.

Similar to the potato, failing to prick the eggplant’s skin will cause a weird reaction between its water levels and the heat surrounding it, causing a few fireworks inside your microwave.

Now, this cooking method can be used, however, take a few extra precautions if you want your handy appliance – along with your kitchen – to stay intact.  

8. Carrots

Another vegetable that should never see the inside of a microwave is a carrot.

Carrots mostly grow in soils rich with minerals like iron, magnesium, and selenium, all of which cause highly explosive reactions when exposed to the intense heat and radiation of the microwave. 

When it comes to cooking carrots – whether they be baby carrots or beautifully sliced ones – it would be better to stick with the pots and pans.

9. Green Beans

One of the most polarizing vegetables ever, despised by kids and surprisingly beloved by a ton of adults, green beans are also infamous for the fireworks they set off whenever they’re placed inside a microwave.

Just like carrots, the high amounts of minerals they contain cause a negative reaction with the microwave, which ultimately leads to a whole slew of tiny explosions.

Hot Peppers

I kind of have left this one out of the list because these spicy vegetables won’t technically explode, however, they do release capsaicin – the chemical responsible for their hot, fiery flavor – when microwaved.

This means that your eyes and throat are at risk of stinging and burning once you open up that nifty little appliance. Turns out these veggies are great both as cheesy appetizers and as a modified tripwire.

How To Prevent Food From Exploding And Splattering?

There are some foods you should just not microwave. However, with many other foods that have a tendency to pop in the microwave and splatter all over the place, there are a few tips and tricks you can do to prevent it.

  • Don’t microwave on full power.
  • Pierce the food item with a fork.
  • Make a hole for the steam to escape.
  • Don’t microwave for too long.
  • Cover items loosely and not airtight.
  • Stir and rotate food in the microwave halfway through.
  • Use microwave splatter cover.

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About Jen Evansy

Nutritionist, researcher, avid home cook, and writer interested in everything nutrition and food-related. Striving to inform, encourage, and inspire all the readers to make healthy and informed choices when it comes to cooking, food, diet, and nutrition.