What Happens When You Put Metal In A Microwave?

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Lisa Winter

Guest Author

1709 What Happens When You Put Metal In A Microwave?
HuffPost Science

If your childhood was anything like mine, you probably had it drilled into your head that metal was never to go into the microwave under any circumstances. For longer than I care to admit, I was convinced that leaving a fork on a plate in the microwave would lead to certain death (or at least the house burning down). 

As it turns out, some metals are perfectly fine to be in the microwave. Heck, many of the components of the microwave itself are made out of metal and things like Hot Pockets require being microwaved inside of an aluminum-lined sleeve that has small amounts of aluminum in it. 


As explained in this video from HuffPost Science, the type of metal and the shape of the object really dictate how disastrous it will be to microwave a utensil. While spoons are generally okay, forks can create sparks due to a built up negative charge in the tines. Depending on what else is in the microwave, the sparks can cause a fire. Even without causing a fire, these sparks can damage the inside of the microwave and make it unsafe to use.

Despite this knowledge, it probably isn’t a great idea to load your microwave up with all of your silverware or other metal items just to see what happens. IFLScience will not be held liable for any damage that results from a terrible decision like that.

Check out what’s really going on when metal goes into the microwave:





  • tag
  • Microwave radiation,

  • microwaves