Is it OK to put paper towel in microwave? Must Know

The short answer is yes, you can put paper towel in microwave, as long as you follow some safety precautions. Paper towels are microwave-safe because they are made of cellulose, which is a natural polymer that can withstand high temperatures. However, not all paper towels are created equal, and some may have additives or coatings that can cause problems in the microwave. In this article, we will explain how to use paper towels in the microwave safely, what to avoid, and what are the benefits and risks of this practice.

How to use paper towels in the microwave safely

Paper towels can be used in the microwave for various purposes, such as covering food to prevent splatters, absorbing excess moisture, or warming up bread or tortillas. However, to use paper towels in the microwave safely, you should follow these tips:

  • Use only plain white paper towels that are unprinted, unbleached, and uncoated. Some paper towels may have inks, dyes, fragrances, or chemicals that can leach into your food or create sparks or fires in the microwave.
  • Use only one or two layers of paper towel at a time. Too many layers can trap heat and moisture and cause the paper towel to scorch or catch fire.
  • Do not use paper towels to cook or reheat oily or greasy foods, such as bacon, cheese, or butter. The oil or grease can soak into the paper towel and ignite in the microwave.
  • Do not use paper towels to cook or reheat foods that have a high sugar content, such as candy, chocolate, or marshmallows. The sugar can caramelize and burn the paper towel.
  • Do not use paper towels to cook or reheat foods that have a high water content, such as fruits, vegetables, or soups. The water can boil and steam the paper towel, making it soggy and ineffective.
  • Do not use paper towels for longer than necessary. The longer you microwave the paper towel, the more likely it is to dry out and burn. Check the paper towel frequently and remove it as soon as it is done.
  • Do not leave the paper towel unattended in the microwave. Always keep an eye on the paper towel and the food, and stop the microwave immediately if you see or smell smoke or fire.
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What to avoid when using paper towels in the microwave

Besides following the safety tips mentioned above, you should also avoid some common mistakes when using paper towels in the microwave. These include:

  • Do not use paper towels that are wet or damp. Wet or damp paper towels can create steam that can damage the microwave or cause burns. If you need to moisten the paper towel, use only a few drops of water and squeeze out the excess.
  • Do not use paper towels that are torn or have holes. Torn or holey paper towels can create hot spots that can burn the food or the paper towel.
  • Do not use paper towels that are too small or too large for the food. Paper towels that are too small can expose the food to the microwave radiation, while paper towels that are too large can touch the walls or the door of the microwave and cause sparks or fires.
  • Do not use paper towels that are wrinkled or folded. Wrinkled or folded paper towels can create air pockets that can trap heat and moisture and cause the paper towel to scorch or catch fire.
  • Do not reuse paper towels that have been microwaved. Paper towels that have been microwaved can lose their strength and absorbency, and may also harbor bacteria or mold. Always use a fresh paper towel for each use.

What are the benefits and risks of using paper towels in the microwave

Using paper towels in the microwave can have some benefits and risks, depending on how you use them and what you use them for. Some of the benefits are:

  • Paper towels can help keep your microwave clean by preventing food splatters and spills.
  • Paper towels can help retain the moisture and flavor of your food by creating a steamy environment in the microwave.
  • Paper towels can help speed up the cooking or reheating process by absorbing excess moisture and reducing the cooking time.
  • Paper towels can help prevent cross-contamination by creating a barrier between the food and the microwave plate or turntable.
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Some of the risks are:

  • Paper towels can pose a fire hazard if they are not used properly or if they have flammable substances on them.
  • Paper towels can affect the quality and safety of your food if they have harmful substances on them or if they transfer fibers or particles to your food.
  • Paper towels can waste resources and money if they are used excessively or unnecessarily.

Conclusion

Paper towels are microwave-safe, as long as you use them correctly and follow some safety precautions. Paper towels can be useful for covering food, absorbing moisture, or warming up bread or tortillas in the microwave. However, paper towels can also be dangerous or wasteful if they are not used properly or if they have additives or coatings that can cause problems in the microwave. Therefore, you should always use plain white paper towels that are unprinted, unbleached, and uncoated, and use only one or two layers at a time. You should also avoid using paper towels for oily, greasy, sugary, or watery foods, and do not use paper towels that are wet, damp, torn, holey, small, large, wrinkled, folded, or reused. By following these guidelines, you can use paper towels in the microwave safely and effectively.