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Microwave oven for warming plates?
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# 1
davethetaller
Old 14-03-2008, 11:43 AM
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Default Microwave oven for warming plates?

I had always believed that a microwave oven should never be used empty.

(I know that there would be no good reason to do that!), but,my daughter

uses hers on the microwave cycle,for just a minute, to heat up two dinner

plates. It does an excellent job, but is it causing harm? :confused:
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# 2
BillScarab
Old 14-03-2008, 11:47 AM
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I may be looking at this simplistically but if it has plates in then it's not empty.

We do that too sometimes and ours is still fine.
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# 3
totalsolutions
Old 14-03-2008, 12:06 PM
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You should not do that, I believe its still empty! Water molecules are vibrated that create heat, there are no water molecules in plates, so what is getting hot, its the metal inpurities in the cheap/import/Chinese pottery and as we all know you dont place metal in a microwave. These plates can/will get extremely hot and in a localised point and cause you a bad skin burn and as its so hot, you do not at first, feel it. The plates will have very fine hair line cracks in them.

I place mine in the upper oven (plate warming setting) at 35C.

Why not place the meal on the plates and then into the microwave, the plates will get warm...

Last edited by totalsolutions; 14-03-2008 at 12:14 PM. Reason: Addition/last line
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# 4
BillScarab
Old 14-03-2008, 12:14 PM
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Hmm, perhaps it's not a great idea. However this site recommends sprinkling a little water on the plates first.
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# 5
tinkerbell84
Old 14-03-2008, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by totalsolutions View Post

Why not place the meal on the plates and then into the microwave, the plates will get warm...
Because it would ruin the food!


I use the microwave to warm plates, it's quicker than the oven, which is often full of food anyway! I do run them under the tap first.

Alternatively I time a hot wash in the dishwasher to end when I'll need the plates
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# 6
Swan
Old 14-03-2008, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillScarab View Post
Hmm, perhaps it's not a great idea. However this site recommends sprinkling a little water on the plates first.
I'm sure that tip was in the instruction manual (long since vanished so I can't check) for one of my microwaves, so I would imagine it's ok to do it that way

never tried it out though
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# 7
totalsolutions
Old 14-03-2008, 12:31 PM
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>Because it would ruin the food!

Do explain, Tinkerbell84, Radiation Exposure?
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# 8
tinkerbell84
Old 14-03-2008, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by totalsolutions View Post
>Because it would ruin the food!

Do explain, Tinkerbell84, Radiation Exposure?
Hardly. By overcooking it :rolleyes:
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# 9
isofa
Old 14-03-2008, 1:18 PM
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You should definitely not do this! And I can't believe people do.

You'll potentially damage the plates, but almost certainly you'll damage the magnetron in the microwave. Effectively the microwave is empty as there is are water molecules to "excite" in a solid dry plate. So all the warnings you'd heed for an empty oven running on the microwave setting are applicable.

Microwaves usually have a glass plate, but you wouldn't turn it on and use this without anything else in it would you? Again with this is, the microwave is still empty, no significant microwave energy will be absorbed by the glass platter.

The only safe way to warm plates is in a combi microwave oven, using the convention oven function, not the microwave.

Last edited by isofa; 14-03-2008 at 1:21 PM.
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# 10
tinkerbell84
Old 14-03-2008, 1:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isofa View Post
You should definitely not do this! And I can't believe people do.

You'll potentially damage the plates, but almost certainly you'll damage the magnetron in the microwave. Effectively the microwave is empty as there is are water molecules to "excite" in a solid dry plate. So all the warnings you'd heed for an empty oven running on the microwave setting are applicable.

Microwaves usually have a glass plate, but you wouldn't turn it on and use this without anything else in it would you? Again with this is, the microwave is still empty, no significant microwave energy will be absorbed by the glass platter.

The only safe way to warm plates is in a combi microwave oven, using the convention oven function, not the microwave.
unless you put water on the plates!
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# 11
vernall
Old 14-03-2008, 1:47 PM
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i use ours to warm plates,always have done,i just pop a small old cup half full of water on top of them
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# 12
Aliktren
Old 14-03-2008, 2:33 PM
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yep, a little water is better, the plates get far warmer that way
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# 13
isofa
Old 14-03-2008, 2:45 PM
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A google, as usual, finds plenty of advice, and most concur you shouldn't do this. This post below is a good example of advice, giving more detail about the magnetron damage which I mentioned earlier. Taken from: http://howthingswork.virginia.edu/page1.php?QNum=1524

Can I warm plates in my microwave oven? — AC

Yes, but it's not a good idea. Depending on the type of plate, you can either damage your microwave oven or damage the plate.

If a plate is "microwave safe," it will barely absorb the microwaves and heat extremely slowly. In effect, the microwave oven will be operating empty and the electromagnetic fields inside it will build up to extremely high levels. Since the walls of the oven are mirrorlike and the plate is almost perfectly transparent to microwaves, the electromagnetic waves streaming out of the oven's magnetron tube bounce around endlessly inside the oven's cooking chamber. The resulting intense fields can produce various types of electric breakdown along the walls of the cooking chamber and thereby damage the surface with burns or arcs. Furthermore, the intense microwaves in the cooking chamber will reflect back into the magnetron and can upset its internal oscillations so that it doesn't function properly. Although magnetrons are astonishingly robust and long-lived, they don't appreciate having to reabsorb their own emitted microwaves. In short, your plates will heat up slowly and you'll be aging your microwave oven in the process. You could wet the plates before putting them in the microwave oven to speed the heating and decrease the wear-and-tear on the magnetron, but then you'd have to dry the plates before use.

If a plate isn't "microwave safe," then it will absorb microwaves and heat relatively quickly. If it absorbs the microwaves uniformly and well, then you can probably warm it to the desired temperature without any problems as long as you know exactly how many seconds it takes and adjust for the total number of plates you're warming. If you heat a plate too long, bad things will happen. It may only amount to burning your fingers, but some plates can't take high temperatures without melting, cracking, or popping. Unglazed ceramics that have soaked up lots of water will heat rapidly because water absorbs microwaves strongly. Water trapped in pores in such ceramics can transform into high-pressure steam, a result that doesn't seem safe to me. And if a plate absorbs microwaves nonuniformly, then you'll get hotspots or burned spots on the plate. Metalized decorations on a plate will simply burn up and blacken the plate. Cracks that contain water will overheat and the resulting thermal stresses will extend the cracks further. So this type of heating can be stressful to the plates.
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# 14
totalsolutions
Old 14-03-2008, 3:12 PM
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So, everyone will still continue to do so because thats what they want to do and will not be told otherwise, because it works for them...D'oh
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# 15
robnye
Old 14-03-2008, 3:33 PM
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a colleague of mine many years ago, couldnt work out why his microwave kept breaking, until his then teenage son (but was much younger when they broke) admitted to using the timer switch on the microwave to time games that he and his friends where playing...... and used th 'bing' at the end as the final whistle
smile --- it makes people wonder what you are up to....
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# 16
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Old 14-03-2008, 3:43 PM
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+1 Vernall

A small cup of water in the microwave when it's nearly empty or heating something small/with little water stops resonance getting out of hand, and wrecking the magnetron.
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# 17
maryfrench
Old 14-03-2008, 5:49 PM
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I've been warming my plates in the microwave for years and years.
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# 18
isofa
Old 14-03-2008, 6:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elkieluca View Post
I've been warming my plates in the microwave for years and years.
But that doesn't mean it's safe or sensible to do this. :rolleyes: The scientific opinion states you will slowly damage the magnetron (the large component that produces the microwave energy), so your microwave will be much more inefficient nowadays than when it was new, let alone the hidden damage to the coatings inside too.

People used to think smoking had health benefits 80 years ago...
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# 19
prost
Old 14-03-2008, 8:09 PM
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a bowl of water rather than a small amount I think. I turn my oven on for 5 minutes at 100deg C. The heat lasts. Heat for longer if you want it hotter.

Microwaves put negative magnetic energy in food. So I now use a cooker for porridge.

I live on my own & use a small cooker with 2 rings, a grill & an oven(Russell Hobbs 12667) & is a little bigger than a microwave.
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# 20
Zahc
Old 14-03-2008, 8:16 PM
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I told my Brother not to put an egg (in it's shell) in a microwave, it will explode. He didn't believe me, went ahead and did it and blew the bl**dy doors off. I, of course, got the blame for planting the seed....... kid Brothers, sheeeesh.


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