Is It Safe to Put a Metal Spoon in the Microwave? Think Again!

Categorized as Microwave Safety
microwave metal spoon

One of the most common questions when it comes to microwaving is if we can put a metal spoon in the microwave? While it may seem like a simple question, there is actually a lot of debate on the subject.

Some people argue that metal spoons can cause sparks and even start fires, while others claim that they’ve been using metal spoons in their microwaves for years with no problems. So, what’s the truth?

In this article, we’ll answer the question once and for all, “Can you put a metal spoon in the microwave?” We’ll also discuss some of the risks associated with microwaving metal objects and offer some tips on how to stay safe.

Can Metal Spoon Go in the Microwave?

Many people believe that metal should never be put in the microwave. However, this isn’t always the case. While it’s true that metal can cause sparks and even fires in the microwave, not all metals are created equal. Some metals are actually safe to use in the microwave.

So, can you put a metal spoon in the microwave? The answer is yes… but there are some things you need to know first.

2 Factors That Determine If Your Cutlery is Microwave Safe

There are two factors that you need to consider when determining if a metal object is safe to put in the microwave: the thickness of the metal and the shape of the cutlery.

1. Thickness of the Metal

While microwaves can penetrate food, they cannot penetrate metal. This is because the metal reflects the microwaves back into the oven. However, microwaves can induce an electric current in metal objects.

In a thick piece of metal, the electric current from a microwave is unlikely to have any consequence. However, in a thin piece of metal, the same current can heat the metal to a temperature that is hot enough to spark and start a fire.

2. The Shape of the Cutlery

The second factor to consider is the shape of the metal object. Sharp or pointy objects are more likely to cause sparks than rounded objects.

This is because the electric current from the microwaves has nowhere to go but to concentrated in the sharp points of the cutlery.

Rounded edges, on the other hand, have less surface area and are less likely to generate sparks.

In short, if the metal spoon is tick and has a rounded edge, it is unlikely to cause any problems in the microwave.

Tips for Microwaving Metal Spoon Safely

While it is technically safe to put a metal spoon in the microwave, there are still some risks associated with doing so. To minimize the risk of sparks or fires, there are a few things you can do:

1. Check The Owner’s Manual

Before using any new appliance, it’s always important to read the owner’s manual. This is especially true for microwaves, which can be dangerous if used incorrectly.

Microwaving metal can cause sparks and even fires, so it’s important to know what materials are safe to use in the microwave. Most microwave manuals will explicitly state that metal should not be placed in the oven, but there are a few exceptions.

For example, some microwaves have an instruction to put a metal spoon in the liquid based food before microwaving to reduce the likelihood of superheating.

Superheating is a phenomenon that can happen when the liquid becomes hotter than its boiling point but there are no bubbles present. If bubbles are present, they can help to release the heat and prevent the liquid from superheating.

However, if there are no bubbles present, the liquid can continue to heat up until it boils violently. This can be dangerous as the boiling liquid can splash out of the container and cause burns.

By placing a metal spoon in the liquid, you provide a surface for the bubbles to form on. This can help to prevent superheating and reduce the risk of the liquid exploding out of the container.

If you can’t find anything about microwaving metal in the owner’s manual, you can also check the manufacturer’s website.

2. Make Sure The Metal Spoon Is Not In Close Proximity To Another Metal Object

When microwaving any metal object, it’s important to make sure that the object is not in close proximity to another metal object.

This is because the electric current from the microwaves can flow between the two objects and cause sparks. If the two objects are in close proximity, the sparks can be more likely to cause a fire.

3. Use Approved Materials

Before microwaving any metal object, it’s important to check that the material is approved for use in the microwave. The USDA has a list of safe and unsafe containers for microwaving, so be sure to check before you start cooking.

For example, small pieces of aluminum foil can be used in the microwave to help cook food evenly. However, it’s recommended that the foil is new and smooth, not crumpled.

Crumpled foil will cause sparks that can damage the microwave. If you are using foil to cover food, make sure there are no sharp edges that could poke through the food and cause sparks.

Another thing that the USDA warns against is microwaving dinnerware with metal trim. The metal can cause sparks that can damage the microwave or start a fire. If you must microwave food in a dish with metal trim, be sure to remove the trim before cooking.

4. Use Metal Wisely

It is important to understand the role metal plays in the microwave. Metal is an excellent conductor of electricity and heat, which is why it is often used for electrical wiring and cookware. However, metal can also reflect electromagnetic waves, making it an ideal material for shielding.

By understanding how metal interacts with microwaves, you can use it to your advantage. For example, placing a metal spoon in a container of liquid food will help to prevent superheating by providing a surface for bubbles to form on.

Many food manufacturers also utilize metal in their packaging to help cook food evenly by shielding one part of the dish from the microwaves.

5. Follow the Directions on Your Meal’s Packaging

Take a look in your kitchen cupboards and take note of how many items come in packages that contain metal. Canned goods, foil-wrapped protein bars, and even some types of cooking oil all rely on metal packaging to keep their contents fresh.

But what about those meals that come in microwave-safe containers? It turns out that metal plays an important role in making these foods safe to eat. For example, susceptors are often used in popcorn bags to ensure that the kernels are evenly heated and popped.

This is why it’s important to read your package’s food safety instructions before cooking. Some types of food, like frozen meals, come in packaging that has been specifically designed for microwaving. These containers often have a layer of metal that helps to cook the food evenly.

6. Err on the Side of Caution

If you’re ever unsure about whether or not you can microwave a metal object, it’s always best to err on the side of caution. When in doubt, opt for using proven microwave-safe containers like ceramic or glass.


When it comes to microwaving, there is a lot of confusion about what is safe and what isn’t.

In this article, we’ve answered the question, “Can you put a metal spoon in the microwave?” We’ve also discussed some of the risks associated with microwaving metal spoons and offered some tips on how to stay safe.

There are a few things to keep in mind when microwaving metal objects.

First, make sure to check the owner’s manual or manufacturer’s website to see if the microwave is able to safely heat the object.

Second, be sure that the metal object is not in close proximity to another metal object as this can cause sparks.

Finally, use approved materials for microwaving and follow the food safety instructions on the packaging.

When in doubt, it’s always best to play it safe and use a microwave-safe container such as ceramic or glass.

Related Question

1. Can You Put a Metal Fork in the Microwave?

No, you cannot put a metal fork in the microwave. Metal objects with sharp edges, like forks and knives, can cause sparks in a microwave.

They reflect the microwaves back and forth so that they hit each other. And when the waves hit each other, they create an electric field. If the electric field is strong enough, it can cause an electrical spark.

By Rosie Elliott

I’m Rosie. I’m a professional chef with experience in Western, Mediterranean, and Italian cuisine. I’ve been cooking for over 15 years, and I have two daughters that keep me busy!