...OR How to Prevent Super Heated Exploding Water!
Did you know that it can be very dangerous to microwave water or any other liquid by itself in a microwave? Learn how NOT to get scalded & please keep this in mind when reading this week’s kitchen hack cleaning tips!
You’ve seen this on Facebook posts: a man decided to have a cup of coffee. He took a cup of water and put it in the microwave to heat it up to a boil. When the timer shut the oven off, he removed the cup from the oven. As he looked into the cup, he noted that the water was not boiling, but suddenly the water in the cup ‘blew up’ into his face. While at the hospital, the doctor stated that this is a fairly common occurrence and water (alone) should never be heated in a microwave oven.
Alton Brown described the phenomenon in an episode of “Good Eats” and is recounted in an English Tea Store blog post:
The first thing to note is that water will form a film where the top layer of molecules in a cup or other container, or even in a drop or puddle where there is no motion, will cling together rather strongly, needing a bit of extra effort to break through. When heating water in the microwave, the molecules are heated within their center under that film. The molecules can reach boiling temperature (212° F or 100° C at lower elevations) without breaking the film and roiling (where bubbles burst up through the film in rapid succession). The best prevention, according to Brown, is a stick set in the cup. It breaks the film and allows the roiling to take place when it should, that is, when the water has reached boiling temperature, not much later when it has super-heated to a higher temperature.
The reason lies in science and is also outlined in an experiment on Steve Spangler’s Science website.
Without bubbles, the water cannot release the heat that has built up, the liquid does not boil, and it continues to heat up past its boiling point. If the water is bumped or jarred, it’s enough of a shock to cause the bubbles to rapidly form and the result is an exploding liquid that is scalding hot. One solution is to place a wooden stir stick or something non-metallic in the water to help diffuse the energy as it is heating in the microwave.
In a nutshell you can avoid having boiling hot water spraying all over yourself by placing a wooden stir stick, chopstick (as pictured in the post caption photo), wooden utensil or something else non-metallic in the container with the water.
In this week’s kitchen hack it shows a quick and easy way to clean a microwave with vinegar-infused water… and I have done it before with no adverse results. BUT you can be assured that from now on I am going to add a chopstick into the mix just to be on the SAFE side!
How about you? Do you have a microwave kitchen hack to share? Leave a comment below! OR hop over to the Facebook group or page and share it with our thousands of members! We’d be thrilled to have you!
In the meantime that’s the skinny on how to stay safe in the kitchen while getting skinny!
Ciao for now! ~Marge
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