1. CDs and DVDs - it can be tempting to microwave these 2 items...they do give off a pretty cool plasma display. Unfortunately, they can cause a fire, release toxic fumes an, at the very least, ruin your microwave.
2. Grapes. No, microwaving grapes won't make the raisins you need for those oatmeal cookies. What you will get is fire. Grapes are mostly water so you'd think they'd be okay, but it's not so. "However, the roughly spherical shape of the grapes, combined with their waxy peel cause the microwaves to generate plasma." Basically, what you're creating are mini-plasma balls; a spark can jump from one grape to another or to the innards of your microwave, essentially killing "Chef Mike."
3. Matches and toothpicks. Just like the little grape, matches and toothpicks, if stood up inside the microwave, can create a plasma display. The end result is fire and/or a destroyed microwave.
4. Hot peppers. Ever been tempted to dry hot peppers in the microwave? Don't do it! Heating peppers release capsaicin into the air which the fan then disperses into the room. And from there? it goes right into your eyes and lungs. Heating peppers won't hurt your microwave but you will pepper spray yourself and anyone else in the nearby vicinity.
5. Light bulbs. Why anyone would try this is beyond me, but apparently someone has. What happens if you do this? The energy from the microwave will actually light up the lightbulb. Cool, right? Again, no. Light bulbs also contain metal that will generate sparks, typically shattering the bulb and ruining your oven. If it's a fluorescent bulb, it's even worse! Microwaving those releases highly toxic vapors into the air. These vapors are poisonous! DO NOT MICROWAVE light bulbs of any kind. Please!
6. Eggs in their shells. You probably cook eggs in your microwave all the time. That's fine to do, as long as the egg has been removed from the shell. Cooking eggs in their shell makes them cook faster but also creates little egg-bombs. Not only will you have a big mess to clean up, but there's also a good chance that the explosion will blow the door right off your microwave. And, finally...
7. Water. Wait, what? Water is okay to microwave...but there are times when you shouldn't. You can run into problems when the water gets superheated. This means water gets higher than the boiling point without actually boiling. "When you disturb the water, it suddenly starts to boil, often explosively. People get burned every year, sometimes seriously, from superheating water in the microwave." How can you avoid this? Ovens with a turntable prevent superheating by jarring the water enough that it should boil when it gets hot enough. No turntable? Then be careful to not heat the water longer than is necessary and avoid reheating water that you've forgotten about. This is because the air bubbles that cause it to boil will have been "driven off" by the first round of heating. It's better to simply start over with fresh water.
This was a fun look at some pretty wild, scary, and incredible things that can happen when you put things in the microwave that don't belong there. it's fun to read about them but, please, those of you at home don't try any of these just to see if the frog's right. I am. Don't believe me? You can learn more from the citation listed below.
Don't forget, tomorrow is Wednesday and that means a visit from Dharma Frog. I wonder what lesson he's got "cooked up" for me this week? (Get it? Cooked up as in microwaved!)
Until then, stay safe and I wish you