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Can You Put a Metal Bowl in the Microwave?

Can you put a metal bowl in the microwave? Is a metal bowl microwave safe?

Yes, it’s possible to put a metal bowl in a microwave though it will take longer to warm your food. The best material, in this case, is glass or polypropylene.

 Some experts also ascertain that it is possible to use a metallic bowl in the oven provided that it does not have jagged edges. 

Also, according to Felix LU, a physics specialist, the bowl works appropriately if it doesn’t come into contact with the metallic lining in the microwave oven.

Related Post: Can You Microwave A Chipotle Bowl?

Is It Safe To Use Metal Bowls in a Microwave Oven?

No, it’s not recommended. Once the electrons inside are exposed to the metal, they react. This may cause some mini lightning. Even though this may not cause fire, it’s likely that your microwave’s transmitter will be damaged. 

Why Do Metallic Bowls Slow Cooking? 

Metallic bowls are robust such that they block off electromagnetic waves in an oven used for heating. Only those waves that hit the food from the top warm or cook it. This slows the cooking process considerably. 

a metal bowl
A metallic bowl for cooking

The unique design of a microwave uses a magnetron to produce the energy required in cooking. A magnetron is a high-powered magnetic tube that generates electromagnetic waves.

When the electromagnetic waves bounce off the metallic lining in an oven, they form strong microwaves. These microwaves penetrate through the various containers to heat up food. 

With resistance presented by bowls made from metals, the microwaves will not heat up food properly. This is because waves only penetrate from the top, slowing the cooking. 

Chefs advise that, to increase the effectiveness of metallic bowls, always leave the top uncovered. 

Why You Shouldn’t Use A metal Bowl in a Microwave

Dangers of using a metallic bowl in a microwave

Other than slowing down the cooking process, metal bowls are dangerous to the microwave and its users. 

  • Cause the oven’s circuit to blow off 

The inability of electromagnetic waves to pass through the tough walls of a bowl causes a mirror effect. They bounce back from surfaces forming a network of heatwaves in the oven’s cavity. 

As more and more waves reflect back, heat builds up. It will reach a point where the oven can no longer hold on to strong heat, causing the circuit to blow up. 

  • Arcing 

Introducing a metallic bowl or, let’s say, cartulary be it a spoon, fork, or that silver plate of yours, in the oven is a safety concern. Metals have electrons that, when they come in contact with the oven’s lining, cause arcing.

Arcing occurs when electromagnetic waves used to heat food in a microwave bounce back off the surface of metals. When this happens, and there are no materials inside the microwave to absorb the waves, they may cause the fuse to blow out. 

In worse cases, the oven just bursts into flames. Though the latter rarely occurs, it comes with devastating consequences if it does.

  • Burns 

Despite burns from microwaves being rare, with metal bowls, it is a regular occurrence. 

Typically, heat from electromagnetic waves is directed to the food. But since the heat can’t penetrate through the bowl, it remains confined inside the cavity. 

Removing the bowl directly from the oven without protective gloves will cause severe burns. Hence, you should take extreme measures to protect your hands when using metal bowls.

Using a Metallic Bowl in An Microwave Oven (it’s possible, though)

Suppose you decide whatever the outcomes will be, you’re going to use a metal bowl in an oven; how will you go about with them?

Using a metallic bowl will take longer than usual. This is because the electromagnetic waves released by the oven are reflected from the food by the bowl through counteracting.

However, investing in patience and removing the lid off the bowl will accelerate the cooking process. Just ensure your bowl is not covered throughout the process.  

While cooking, do not leave forks and spoons inside the food; they will further elongate the process. 

Also, sharp metallic cartulary may cause sparks to form inside the oven. So, avoid them at all costs.

Nevertheless, if you are using a metal bowl inside a microwave, observe the following;

  • Always use silicon gloves or hand muffins to remove food from the microwave.
  • Set your oven to take more time than usual
  • In case you hear a cracking sound inside the oven, switch it off using the wall switch immediately.
  • Always give your microwave a few minutes to dissipate electromagnetic waves before opening its door. By doing so, you will protect your hands against scalds.

Do All Metallic Bowls Possess the Same Danger?

As we have been emphasizing above, the shape of the bowl may increase or decrease the risk of a fire in an oven.

Rounder or oval bowls are the best in this situation. They do not deflect the waves. Instead, waves just slide off their surfaces, causing less harm.

Rectangular or square bowls with smooth edges might be preferred. These bowls, similar to round ones, do not concentrate electromagnetic waves towards a single focal point. Waves just slide off the corners.

Bowls with sharp edges are dangerous to the oven. They concentrate electromagnetic waves towards a single point or even force them outside the oven, causing sparks and fire.


Why is it advisable not to use metal bowls in an oven? 

Metal bowls cause arcing, which may create holes in the oven’s walls. Arcing also causes sparks to develop, leading to fires. 

Why is aluminium bowls the best in an oven despite being made from metal? 

Aluminium is a good conductor of heat. It distributes heat uniformly along its walls, preventing the food in direct contact with the surface from being burnt. 

What happens if I use steel in the oven?

Steel heats up pretty quickly. In the process, they produce sparks that are likely to cause fires. 

Which other materials are not microwavable? 

  • Storage containers 
  • Stainless steel bowls 
  • Insulated cups and trays made from foam 
  • Paper carriers are not recommended by the manufacturer as microwavable 


It is possible to use metal bowls to warm food inside an oven. However, chances are you will shorten the oven’s service life.

This is if you use a bowl with sharp edges or they come into contact with the oven’s metallic lining. Furthermore, the fact that metallic bowls take longer to heat food, they skyrocket energy bills. 

You may use bowls with rounded edges and smooth corners to reduce the chances of accidents. Also, aluminium shallow aluminium bowls are safe to use. 

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