Can You Microwave Wood?

Q: You won’t be surprised by hearing that certain kinds of kitchenware cannot be used for the microwave oven. You will never microwave your food in silver or metal or cheap plastic or paper. But is it also about wood? Wood is used in so many branches of industry. There must be some microwave-safe wood utensils too.

Can I Microwave Wood?

The modern world with its high-tech achievements makes us believe that even the most incompatible things can coexist and interact.

You can hardly find a kitchen where there’s nothing made of wood there.

Unfortunately, the highest percent of the experiments and the examinations show that we can’t use wood dishes or utensils for microwaving.

The microwave oven is known for reaching high temperatures in a split of seconds. It warms up water inside the product or dish, too.

Wood is something that definitely contains water, so when you put it in the microwave oven, it dries.
Well, sometimes this is exactly what you need to do.

The microwave oven is a very good place for drying wood. So if you enjoy handmade or whatever which needs dry wood, keep going and put it in the microwave. No problem.

Why Can’t You Microwave Food in Wood Dishes?

That’s because wood plates or utensils would crack and shrink, or catch fire.

What do you usually call wood cookware?

  • dishes
  • bowls
  • cutting boards
  • pizza store
  • trays
  • spoons

None of them can go in the microwave oven for one simple reason: they are flammable.

Can you imagine that the wood dishes were invented around seven thousand years ago? People ate food from the handmade wicker baskets. Later on, they started to glue the baskets with clay. But once the basket hit the fire, it burnt, and the clay remained.

What is more, the clay became even more resistant and so the ceramics were invented.

Unfortunately, wood dishes are flammable and can’t be microwaved.

Can I Dry Wood in the Microwave Oven?

Yes, sure. Wood cookware has the properties of drying out. If you microwave it for too long, cracks may appear on the surface. So if it is possible, try to avoid using wood frequently in the microwave oven to prolong its shelf life.

By the way, any wood can’t go in the microwave and it doesn’t depend on the type of wood.

At present, loads of stores are full of bamboo dishes for kids. They are promoted as highly ecological and naturally dyed cookware that you can easily wash in a dishwasher and sometimes even microwave.

Nevertheless, we wouldn’t recommend you to spoil the kid’s nice cookware by microwaving. Replace the cold food into a microwave-safe container and heat it without remorse.

You might think that nothing really happens, but in fact, it will burn. It will slowly get burnt from inside just like any other object in the microwave oven.

For example, when we put a bamboo stirrer for a frying pan, it started to stink, as if charred. You cannot see it, of course, because it’s inside. But you can easily smell it.

How to Dry Wood on Purpose Using Microwave?

It doesn’t really matter the kind of the microwave oven that you have in your kitchen.

You need to make sure that plate-stand rotates and there is a defrosting mode at 300 Watt or so.

Before drying your handmade bracelet, or vase, or a toy car or whatever you want to put in your microwave oven for an experiment, take a piece of wood that you don’t really worry about.

Here you are some general recommendations for drying wood in the microwave oven:

  • Mind that the selected wood can enter the microwave easily and rotate
  • Place objects next to each other
  • You will need the scales to record how much the weight of the wood has changed, i.e. how much moisture it has lost
  • Set the defrosting mode for 1 minute
  • Check the wood and increase the time interval if needed
  • The larger the diameter of the wood brick, the more time it is recommended to microwave
  • Don’t switch the microwave oven mode. The wood can start to smolder from the inside.

4 thoughts on “Wood

  1. My mother always taught me after washing wooden spoons, to put them in the microwave for 30 seconds to dry them and kill the bacteria. I have done this for years. I just wanted to confirm this was safe. I guess wet wood is key then. You never want to put dry wood of any kind in there.

  2. I actually make a lot of items from wood, including spoons and salad forks. I sometimes use bamboo as well. Is this the same type of deal? Can bamboo utensils be put in the microwave so long as they are wet? I like to do this to clean them off before shipping them to customers.

  3. I remember my wood shop teacher doing this in high school and most of us thought he was nuts for using the microwave to dry out wood. He said he kept a large one in his garage to dry out logs of wood as well for fire. I guess he wasn’t so crazy after all!

  4. My husband tried to sterilize a bamboo utensil in our microwave today and nearly burned the house down. He used full power for about 25 secs. until he noticed smoke pouring out. Our entire kitchen and the microwave were filled with nasty smoke. Still trying to get rid of the smell with lemon juice and vinegar.

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