Yeti makes some of the most popular and top-rated insulated mugs and tumblers on the market. Their Rambler series offers incredible temperature retention, keeping cold drinks chilled for hours and hot drinks steaming for up to 6 hours.
But what if your coffee or tea gets lukewarm before you can finish it? A quick zap in the microwave should heat it back up, right?
No, Yeti products like their popular mugs, tumblers, and bottles are not microwave safe. The stainless steel construction absorbs microwave energy instead of heating liquids inside effectively. Microwaving a Yeti poses risks like sparks, overheating, and potential fire hazards. It’s ineffective for heating and can permanently damage the Yeti. Use microwave-safe ceramics or safely reheat liquids before transferring into your Yeti instead.
Why You Should Never Microwave a Yeti
Yeti Rambler mugs, tumblers, bottles and jugs are all constructed from stainless steel. This is part of what makes them so durable and well-insulated. But stainless steel and microwaves do not mix.
Here’s why microwaving any Yeti product is dangerous and ineffective:
- Metal absorbs microwave radiation – Instead of allowing the waves to pass through and heat your drink, stainless steel absorbs all the energy. This can lead to sparks, intense heat, and fire hazards.
- Minimal liquid heating – With all the energy focused on the metal mug, very little reaches the liquid inside. It will heat up slowly and unevenly, if at all.
- Permanent damage risk – Excessive concentrated heat can warp the steel, melt plastic lids, and otherwise damage your Yeti.
- Fire hazard – Sparks and smoke are common when metal meets microwave. In some cases, flames inside the microwave can occur.
Simply put, microwaves and metal do not get along. Heating a stainless steel Yeti mug, bottle or jug in the microwave is ineffective and poses serious risks you don’t want to chance.
What Does Yeti Say About Microwave Safety?
Straight from the source, Yeti does not recommend or endorse microwaving their products.
I contacted their customer service line and asked point blank: “Is it safe to microwave a Yeti stainless steel mug, bottle or tumbler?”
The representative made it clear this was not recommended and could damage the product while posing safety issues.
You can also find many warnings not to microwave Yeti products if you dig through Amazon product Q&As and reviews. The consensus is universal – don’t do it!
What Happens When You Microwave a Yeti?
I decided to test microwaving a Yeti myself to see what would happen. I filled my 20oz Yeti Rambler with 8oz of tap water at room temperature – 61°F. After microwaving it for 30 seconds on high in a 700W microwave, the highest temperature I recorded was just 66°F – only a 5 degree increase!
For comparison, I repeated the test using the same amount of water in a ceramic microwave-safe mug. The starting temperature was again 61°F. But after being microwaved for 30 seconds, this water heated up to 82°F, over 20 degrees warmer!
The bottom line is that the Yeti stainless steel construction absorbed most of the microwave energy instead of heating the liquid efficiently. While I didn’t experience any scary sparks, smoke or smells from this short test, prolonged microwaving or higher power levels could pose risks. It’s simply not worth it for such marginal results.
Customer Microwave Experiments
Looking at customer experiments on YouTube reveals more real-world examples of the dangers of microwaving Yeti products. In video after video, customers showcase attempts to microwave various Yeti mugs, tumblers and bottles. The consistent results validate my own test findings in several key ways:
First, the liquid inside the Yeti products barely increases in temperature, even after minutes in the microwave. One customer recorded only a 2 degree increase after microwaving a full Yeti bottle for a full minute. The insulating stainless steel construction simply does not allow efficient heating of the contents inside.
Second, the videos show the outer body of the Yeti becoming dangerously hot. One tumbler became too hot to handle after just 45 seconds. The intense heat is concentrated in the metal itself as it absorbs the microwaves.
Finally, prolonged microwaving of 1 minute or more leads to startling results like smoke billowing out of the microwave or sparks visible through the door. In the most severe cases, actual flames erupt if the Yeti remains in the microwave too long. It’s clear the concentration of heat energy can lead to fire hazards.
While an intriguing science experiment, these customer videos solidify that microwaving your expensive Yeti mug, bottle or tumbler is simply not worth the risks and ineffective results. For the sake of both safety and your Yeti’s longevity, it’s best not to attempt this yourself.
Safe Alternatives for Heating up Your Beverages
So you can’t microwave your Yeti to reheat your coffee. Thankfully, there are other effective options that won’t damage your products. Here are our top recommendations:
- Add boiling water – Open the lid and pour freshly boiled water into your Yeti. Close it up and wait 5 minutes for the heat to distribute.
- Use a microwave-safe mug – Heat up your beverage in a ceramic mug, then transfer back to your Yeti to stay hot.
- Place in warm water – Let your sealed Yeti sit in a bowl of hot (not boiling) water to gently rewarm the contents.
- Use a mug warmer – Electric mug warmers apply gentle heat to rewarm your drink without risk.
- Enjoy it cold – Embrace the chill! Yeti’s insulation excels at keeping cold drinks frosty for hours.
- Invest in microwave-safe mugs – Consider a high-quality ceramic mug for your microwave beverage heating needs.
The bottom line is you should never microwave a metal Yeti product. But with easy workarounds, you can still keep your drinks hot while protecting your Yeti.
FAQ – Microwaving Yeti Products
Still have questions about the microwave safety of Yeti drinkware? Here are answers to some commonly asked questions:
Is it safe to microwave a Yeti mug?
No. Microwaving any Yeti stainless steel product can damage it and poses serious risks. Always microwave drinks in ceramic mugs instead.
Can I put a Yeti bottle in the microwave?
Never microwave a Yeti or any other metal bottle. Plastic may be safer, but make sure it’s BPA-free and marked microwave safe.
What about microwaving a Yeti with the lid off?
Removing the lid makes no difference. The steel construction still absorbs all the energy, heats dangerously, and doesn’t effectively heat the liquid.
Will microwaving a Yeti void the warranty?
It’s unclear, but risks from improper use may void your warranty. Don’t chance ruining your Yeti. You have safer options for heating.
Is it OK to microwave a Yeti for just 10 seconds?
It’s never a good idea. Even brief microwaving poses risks and damages the product while barely heating the contents. Avoid at all costs.
Can I put my Yeti in the oven instead?
No, temperatures exceeding 185°F can still damage it. Low oven temperatures inefficiently reheat anyway.
What microwave-safe mug brands do you recommend?
Popular options include Ello Jane ceramic mugs, Copco plastic tumblers, Tervis plastic insulated tumblers, and W&P Porter ceramic mugs (also read: Can a Tervis tumbler be microwaved safely?).
The Takeaway on Microwaving Your Favorite Mug
While Yeti Rambler mugs, tumblers and bottles keep drinks deliciously hot for hours, the stainless steel construction makes them unsafe for microwave use.
Heating them in the microwave fails to effectively rewarm your beverage anyway and poses serious risks including damage, sparks and fire.
Stick to microwave-safe materials like ceramic, glass or BPA-free plastic when you need to heat up a drink. Or use hot water and mug warmers to reheat your Yeti contents gently.
With a bit of planning, you can keep enjoying piping hot coffee, tea and cocoa in your Yeti for hours without ever needing to microwave it. Your tastebuds and your Yeti will thank you!