Knowing the right utensils to use in a convection microwave will not only help you enjoy using the appliance but also save you a lot of trouble.
Remember, you can’t just toss any material in there. While some work just fine, others will melt when exposed to the high temperatures in the unit.
Worse still, some materials can even cause a fire!
That’s why you should always check whether a utensil is safe to use in the microwave before placing it in there.
So, can we use steel utensils in microwave convection? You can use stainless steel utensils in a microwave on the convection mode for cooking.
Unlike regular microwaves, convection microwave ovens cook by circulating hot air around your food. Therefore, since the microwave doesn’t use radiation to warm the food, you can use a stainless steel utensil.
That said, never use an empty stainless steel dish, pot, or pan in the microwave, as this can cause overheating.
What is a Convection Microwave?
A convection microwave combines the features of a microwave and a convection oven. In addition to heating foods, it allows you to bake and roast them.
The microwave has 2 modes; the standard mode, which uses microwaves to heat food, and the convection mode, which transforms the microwave into a convection oven.
A convection microwave uses a heating element and a fan to distribute heat evenly throughout the appliance.
You can bake, roast, broil, and grill with the appliance, cooking techniques that you can never apply in a regular microwave.
Why Can’t We Use Steel Cookware in Microwave Mode?
Using stainless steel utensils in microwave mode may not give you the intended results.
Although the microwave mode features a few unique capabilities, it’ll still not give you the best results when using steel utensils.
Therefore, using a steel utensil may result in:
- Uneven cooking
- It might lead to a fire risk.
Uneven Cooking: In a convection microwave, food gets hit by microwaves and heats up. And with the help of the fan, the heat is distributed evenly for even cooking.
When you put a steel pan or pot in the unit, your food will get warm thanks to the fan. You’ll definitely get the expected results if you just want to heat your meal lightly.
This is not the case with the microwave mode, microwaves won’t pass through steel, meaning that your food would be unevenly cooked.
Might Lead to Fire: When using steel utensils, convection microwave ovens are relatively better than standard microwaves. If there’s a system malfunction or the interior of the microwave is worn out, it can catch fire.
As the heated pan releases the electrons and the oven circulates the microwaves, the 2 can create electrical disturbance leading to sparks of fire.
Utensils that You Should Never Use in Microwave Convection
- Styrofoam Containers
Styrofoam is a type of plastic that you should never put in your microwave in any mode. The plastic can melt from the heat and contaminate your food.
- Plastic Plates
No matter what type of plastic you have, don’t use it in your convection microwave. It will melt from the inside or, worse, melt completely.
The melted plastic is not only toxic when it leaches into your food but can also cause your oven to catch fire.
- Paper Plates
Using a paper plate in your convection microwave oven is not safe. Note that these plates are combustible in temperatures between 424 and 475 degrees F (218 and 246 degrees Celsius).
Using a paper plate in the microwave can cause a fire.
Some Pointers to Bear in Mind
- Metals reflect microwaves, so avoid using metal utensils when heating, cooking or thawing food in the microwave.
- Always ensure that your pot or pan is safe to use in convection mode before using it in a convection microwave. If you are unsure about a utensil, test it by placing a cup filled with water next to or in the utensil.
- Heat for a minute on microwave mode. If the water is hot and the utensil cold, it’s microwave safe. However, if the utensil gets hot, avoid using it for microwaving.
- Avoid using plastic containers, paper plates, and Styrofoam utensils in your convection microwave.
- Always choose the correct size of microwave utensils. Ensure there’s at least a 1-inch gap between the utensil and the microwave walls and top.
Knowing the right utensils to use when using your microwave oven, both in microwave and convection mode, will help you a great deal. You will have no issues with your appliance, and your food will always be safe to eat.
Coking in the microwave with stainless steel won’t give you the expected results as microwaves can’t penetrate the steel well enough to heat your food.
Can you use steel utensils in microwave convection? Definitely. Convection microwaves don’t use radiation to warm food but by circulating the hot air around the food.