Oftentimes, homeowners wonder if they can microwave aluminum takeout containers. Well, the answer is yes, aluminum takeout containers are microwavable, provided one follows the safety tips.
Though experts do not recommend eating food from an aluminum foil tray regularly, you can microwave them when necessary.
However, when you do so, don’t forget to keep in mind the precautions you must take when microwaving food in aluminum takeout containers.
In this guide, we have discussed whether or not microwaving food in aluminum takeout containers is safe and what are the safety tips that one should keep in mind while using an aluminum container to heat food. Without delaying any further, let’s dive into the details.
Can you microwave aluminum takeout containers?
In simple terms, yes, it’s possible to microwave an aluminum takeout container. But, when you take it out after microwaving, don’t touch it with naked hands as it will be too hot. We have discussed these precautionary measures in detail later on.
What happens if you microwave aluminum takeout containers?
As soon as you put an aluminum takeout container containing food inside a microwave oven and switch it on, a magnetron generates microwaves by conducting electric current.
In the process, the magnetron goes on and off innumerable times every second, meaning that the microwaves too alter between being off and on. While doing so they pass through the food, heating it gradually.
The Aluminum Foil Container Manufacturers Association claims to have made technical improvements to make aluminum foils safe for microwaving. The aluminum foils available nowadays will not affect the longevity of the microwave oven, neither will cause any sparks if the safety tips are followed.
Another study conducted on behalf of the European Aluminum Association in collaboration with the Aluminum Foil Container Manufacturers Association concludes that aluminum packages containing food are perfectly viable for microwave heating.
Are aluminum takeout containers Microwave Safe?
Yes, aluminum takeout containers are microwave safe. Having said that, it’s also necessary to keep a few do’s and don’ts in mind while putting an aluminum foil tray or container inside a microwave.
When you put an aluminum tray in a microwave oven, the microwaves bounce off the aluminum. Hence, they don’t pass through the food. Only the upper layer of the food gets heated. There wouldn’t be any sparks unless the aluminum foil touches the side of the microwave.
Some people mistakenly believe that microwaves will break an aluminum foil. However, it’s entirely not true. Microwaves are electromagnetic waves of high frequency and therefore can pass through almost every substance, including aluminum.
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Safety Tips: Things to know before microwaving aluminum takeout containers
Now that you know aluminum foils are safe to be placed inside a microwave oven, you should know the precautionary measures to ensure your safety. We have enlisted the safety tips one by one below.
- You should be careful to remove the aluminum lid before placing the tray inside the microwave oven. The food shouldn’t be covered.
- Be careful to place the aluminum tray in the center of the turntable. Make sure it doesn’t touch the sides of the machine in any way.
- If your microwave has a metallic turntable, you should always place a glass or ceramic plate beneath the aluminum foil tray. Remember, no direct contact between two metals.
- Also, remember to put only one aluminum tray inside the oven at a time.
- The shallower the trays, the better. There should be a depth of less than 3cm for maximum safety.
- Make sure the food covers the bottom of the aluminum foil container fully.
- If you notice sparks occurring, turn off the machine without delays. If neglected, it can damage the entire machine or result in fire breakout.
- Don’t use cardboard or paper beneath the aluminum foil. The intense heat of the metal might set the cardboard or paper on fire, causing an accident. Only place a ceramic or glass plate under the foil.
- Don’t use high heat for a long time.
- Experts advise not to microwave soups in any aluminum container because, in case of any leakage, it will catch fire.
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A study conducted by the Fraunhofer Institute (IVV), located at Freising in Germany, has proven that aluminum foil containers are safe to be used in microwaves. The results conclude that fears regarding the use of aluminum foils in microwaves is simply unfounded.
Another study conducted by The Alzheimer’s Society claims that no such health threats are present when aluminum foil trays are used to heat food in microwaves. However, one shouldn’t use them regularly. It further suggests that food consumed from aluminum pans haven’t caused acute effects among people so far.
What’s important to note here is that if anyone is using aluminum foils to heat food in a microwave oven, one shouldn’t use high heat for a prolonged period.
You shouldn’t leave the food inside the microwave and get occupied with other activities. Overheating food can be dangerous, both for the consumer and the machine.