You know what I love about internet videos? You can witness people try stupid and dangerous things through the complete safety and comfort of your computer.
Case in point: dangerous microwave experiments. Recently, Mehdi Sadaghdar of YouTube channel ElectroBOOM did us all a service and caught on camera the result of microwaving metal. The answers may be less surprising than you think!
Contrary to popular belief, popping any sort of cutlery into the microwave isn’t dangerous at all! Mehdi tried multiple variations and orientations of spoons, knives, and forks. The result? None of them caught a single spark or flame. They got heated, that’s for sure, but so does anything you put into the microwave.
Aluminum foil, on the other hand, is a different story. Sheet metal with smooth edges is safe, but add a sharp or jagged edge to it and it could catch fire almost immediately. Mehdi didn’t explain it in his video, but moving electrons that are charged by the microwave get concentrated along creases and sharp edges – creating a static charge which will set off sparks.
You might be wondering why the knife and fork, both of which have pointy metal bits, didn’t catch fire. This may likely be due to the finish and thickness of the cutlery. Most people don’t like an extremely sharp knife or fork, so cutlers dull the tips a bit to make them easy to store, clean, and use. Maybe if he used an extremely sharp and serrated knife (such as those butchers use), Mehdi might have had different results.
So there you have it. Provided you aren’t heating anything sharp and creased (aluminum and tin foil are the biggest culprits here), you should be fine with accidentally heating metal inside your microwave. But do yourself a favor and pay attention to what you put inside your kitchen appliances! Leave the dangerous stuff to folks (like Mehdi Sadaghdar) who seem to get a kick out of doing everything their parents told them not to do.