It might sound silly to some people, but it’s a question that many people ask – can you put things on top of the microwave? If you ask other homeowners, they would probably say it is okay.
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You just have to use your common sense to figure out which items you can put on top of the microwave and which you can’t. But is that really safe? Well, let’s try to delve into that in the rest of this article.
Can You Put Things on Top of the Microwave?
Technically, you can. There is space there where you can put small things, so there is nothing that is physically stopping you from putting anything on top. But the real question is, “should you?”
It seems like a great idea to put some items idly on top of the device but said items could damage your microwave or create more problems. You see, the opening and slamming of doors can cause those items to teeter on the unit’s surface, causing them to fall and break.
Not only will you no longer be able to use those items, someone could step on the broken parts and hurt themselves. In that case, you should probably heed the advice of the manufacturer to avoid anything any accident or incident.
One of the concerns of manufacturers when it comes to putting items on top of the unit is the ventilation. With a countertop microwave, the ventilations are usually on the top and sides. Providing enough air to circulate is crucial for the health and lifespan of the microwave.
If you put something on top of the device and end up blocking the ventilations, this could lead to more serious accidents like fire. Thus, it is really not the best idea to place things on top of your microwave for your family’s safety.
Using the Top of the Microwave to Store Things
But if you really cannot help but put things on top of your microwave for various reasons (i.e., lack of space), below are some of the things you can put there. Keep these in mind to ensure the safe use of the unit and avoid accidents that can lead to injuries.
Microwaves and toaster ovens are often together out of the different appliances in the kitchen. In some cases, you may want to put the toaster oven on top of the microwave to save space. If you plan to do this, make sure that you proofed the unit first.
You will need a protective layer, such as a rubberized mat or any proofing materials against fire and heat. Not only will they help avoid the occurrence of a fire, but they can also secure your toaster oven on top of the microwave.
The rubberized mat will prevent the toaster from sliding. It will also keep the heat from transferring. As you probably already know, toaster ovens tend to get really hot. If it is stacked on the microwave, which is also metal, it can result in discoloration of the unit’s surface.
Storing the Microwave Metal Rack
Most microwaves come with a metal rack, which usually ends up tossed aside. But this metal rack is useful, so it would be a shame if it just ends up in thrash. When not in use, you can safely store it inside the microwave instead.
You can also put it on top of the microwave when you do not need it yet. It will be safe there, not taking up precious space and neatly stacked up. The microwave metal rack has plenty of uses, like for grilling and warming foods at the same time.
With it, you can maximize the space inside the microwave. Of course, make sure to use only the metal rack that came with your unit. This rack is suitable for your device, so there will not be a risk of spark or fire, not to mention that it fits snug inside.
Storing Microwave Grills
Another item that often comes with the microwave is the microwave grill. If it’s this, then you can safely put it on top of the unit. Like the metal rack, it is attuned to the device, so it will not cause a spark or fire, nor will it block the ventilation. By putting it on top of the microwave, you can save even a little bit of space in the kitchen.
Microwave grills are great for cooking meals quick and easy, but they can also be annoying to store. It’s a good thing you can simply put it on top of the microwave until you plan on using it again. However, be sure not to leave it inside the microwave, or they can end up overcooking foods. It is better just to put it on top of the unit when you are done using it.
Keeping Out Items that Melt or Break
Among the items you absolutely should not place on top of the microwave are those that melt (like candles) or break, such as glass. Even with heat shielding, the microwave still gets hot and will obviously melt a candle.
Moreover, the melted candle can get inside the unit, damaging it or shortening its lifespan. Another thing you better not put on top of the unit is the glass items. Even when you put the microwave somewhere away from the doors, movements can still upset anything you put on top of it.
If it is glass, it can slip down, break, and cause a mess. You will not only end up with extra work but risk getting hurt from the broken pieces of glasses. It is best to avoid this from happening by never putting any similar items on top of the unit.
What Are the Things You Can and Cannot Do With a Microwave?
You now know what you can and cannot put on top of the microwave, but what about what you can and cannot do with it? Being familiar with the dos and don’ts of using a microwave ensures its safe use and long lifespan.
Ceramic, Glass, and Microwave-Safe Plastic Containers
Using plastic containers inside a microwave isn’t great because they have chemicals that can leach into your foods. However, it really depends on the plastic. There are microwave-safe plastic containers that you can use, so just look for a microwaveable one and is BPA-free.
If not, you can use ceramic and glass containers instead. Those are neutral, so they will not leach off onto the food you are heating. They can withstand the heat of a microwave, so you are safe that it will not cause spark or fire.
Stir Foods to Heat Thoroughly
There is a turntable inside a microwave for a good reason. This is to ensure all the radio waves reach all sections of the food you are heating. Without it, not all parts of foods won’t be heated thoroughly. That said, make sure to stir your foods to spread the heat.
Heat Until Steaming or Bubbling
It would be best to heat your food at 75-degrees C, at least, to get your desired hot food. You can accomplish this by putting the food in a shallow dish and with the microwave on “high” for 2-3 minutes. When you see the foods bubbling or steaming, then you’ve done it right.
Check Food Frequently
Different foods cook differently, so it makes sense that you always check the foods you are heating. Otherwise, you may end up with exploded eggs or dry papadums. Basically, you will end up with ruined food because they were heated too much or too little.
Clean Microwave Regularly
Cleaning your microwave regularly is expected. Ensure the inside of the microwave – the sides, the bottom, and the top – are clean. You should especially check the top as there maybe foods there that could drop back into what you are heating next time.
Metal Bowls and Utensils
Metals are a big no-no inside the microwave. This is because they shield and spark, which may cause a fire. That is something you definitely don’t want to happen. Instead of metal utensils and bowls, use microwave-safe plastic, glass, or ceramic containers.
Cooking Foods for the Same Time
Foods have different heating times, that’s for sure. Dense, solid foods heat differently than more liquid foods, for instance. Keep this in mind and look for the right heating time for the foods you want to microwave to ensure you heat them right.
Microwave Uncovered Food
Please cover whatever you are heating, or you will end up with a food explosion that is a big hassle to clean. If it’s foods with liquid or fat, it is especially important to cover them since they tend to explode. You can even just use a paper towel, which is enough to stop the food splatter.
Use to Thaw Meat
Solid food cooks partially inside the microwave. This means that heating foods with meat is not such a great idea. This also applies with thawing meat, which you really should get out a few hours before cooking to get it ready.
You can also check out this video of the things you should never put inside a microwave.
Can you put things on top of the microwave? Yes, but better not. That’s the best answer to this question. Although manufacturers advise not to put anything on top of the microwave, the thing is it doesn’t really deter anyone. So instead, keep the pointers mentioned above in your mind.