You CAN Use Foil in the Microwave
Yes, foil can be used in your microwave and I’ll bet you’ve already done it without knowing.
I discovered this, and I’m ashamed to admit it, when I actually read the manual for my Microwave. Most people don’t believe this because they’ve always been strictly warned against using metal in the microwave — warned they’ll have to call for appliance repair if they do. I can’t blame them, even fellow blogger, Tinfoil Chef suggests that tin foil not be used in the microwave and there are lots of videos on youtube (like the one below) of foil being used incorrectly in the microwave.
But, there is good reason to use foil in the microwave and most people aren’t doing it.
First, let’s take a step back. Your food is heated by absorbing microwaves, but tin foil does not allow microwaves to pass through it. In other words, tin foil shields your food from microwaves. That can be used to your advantage!
This microwave user manual (pdf) suggests, “Thin areas of meat and poultry cook more quickly than meaty portions. To prevent overcooking, these thin areas can be shielded with strips of aluminum foil. Wooden toothpicks may be used to hold the foil in place.” [Page 25]
The next time you put a frozen mini pizza in the microwave, look closely at the top of the stand that the box turns into. That silver sheet under the pizza actually reflects microwaves so the pizza cooks more evenly with a crispier crust.
If you buy microwavable soups that have a peel back metal lid, there is a rim of metal left over. The side of the carton comforts consumers by saying, “Remaining metal rim is microwavable.” They have to say this, because most people don’t believe you can put metal in the microwave.
Some microwaves come with a metal probe that you can use inside the microwave to monitor the temperature of your food. Some microwaves even have metal shelves inside of them! So, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t use metal in your microwave, the key is to know when and how to use it.
The USDA has guidelines for safely using foil in the microwave here. Before trying it, be sure to check your microwave’s manual for official warning and usage guidelines.