7 Foods that You Shouldn't Heat Up in the Microwave

Not all foods should be heated in the microwave. Learn which foods you shouldn't put in the microwave in this article.
7 Foods that You Shouldn't Heat Up in the Microwave

Last update: 09 October, 2022

The microwave is one of the most famous appliances in the world, not only because it helps to heat up food in seconds, but because it also can cook some meals in water. However, there are some foods you should know about that you shouldn’t heat up in the microwave.

There are some vegetables which retain more of their properties when cooked in the microwave compared to other methods.

However, as we said earlier, there are some foods that you shouldn’t heat up in the microwave because they can lose their nutritional qualities when subjected to high temperatures in this apparatus.

Because of this, it’s important to know which foods you can and can’t heat up in the microwave and which other methods can be used to prepare them.

Discover them below!

1. Food you shouldn’t heat up in a microwave: meat

Some people often put meat in the microwave to thaw it in a matter of minutes before preparing it.

While this may help prevent the contamination with some bacteria, it decreases the amount of vitamin B12 and amino acids in the meat.

Moreover, when this apparatus is used to reheat meat cooked on the previous day, it reduces the meat’s natural juices and its protein value.


  • Put the meat at the bottom of the fridge to defrost it a day before you’re going to use it.
  • Heat the prepared meat in a pan at a low temperature.

2. White rice

White rice is a food that shouldn’t be heated in a microwave at all. This is because the high temperatures it’s subjected to deprive it of a large part of its nutrients.

Microwaves set a uniform and high temperature from the first moment they start to cook the food. This directly affects the foods’ vitamins, minerals, and fiber content.


  • Cook rice in a pot with water, where the temperature increases gradually as the food cooks.
  • If you want to reheat rice, then add a little water to the pot and put it on low heat.

3. Broccoli

Some broccoli in a bowl.

The high temperatures that microwaves are capable of producing can destroy up to 97% of the antioxidants contained in broccoli.

The changes that this vegetable undergoes when using this cooking technique can be perceived both in its texture and taste.


  • Consume broccoli in salads and smoothies to take full advantage of its nutritional value.
  • If you prefer to cook it, then choose to steam it.

4. Butter

Although many people tend to melt butter in the microwave, its heat can reduce the protein value of the butter.


  • Put the butter in a frying pan over a low heat.
  • Whenever possible, keep it at room temperature so it can soften naturally.

5. Milk

Milk you shouldn't heat up in the microwave.

Milk and other dairy products such as yogurt lose up to half of their nutrients when subjected to high temperatures.

Subjecting it to this environment completely eliminates its vitamin B12 content and reduces its essential mineral content.


  • When you want to drink hot milk, put it on low heat in a pan until it reaches a temperature suitable for consumption.

6. Garlic

Nutritionists have always recommended consuming raw garlic to obtain 100% of its nutritional benefits.

When this food is cooked or heated at very high temperatures, it loses up to 95% of its vitamins and minerals.

In fact, a single minute in the microwave is enough to destroy garlic’s allicin content. This natural ingredient gives garlic its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.


  • Add raw garlic into your smoothies, salads, and other recipes.
  • Consume a garlic clove on an empty stomach to enjoy its health benefits to the max.

7. Mushrooms

The proteins that mushrooms contain are completely destroyed when this type of food is cooked or reheated at high temperatures.

In fact, once they cool back down to room temperature, mushrooms are more susceptible to contamination by certain microorganisms.


  • Try not to reheat mushrooms after you’ve cooked them, as they may cause indigestion and abdominal inflammation.
  • Cook this food at a temperature of 70 ° C (about 160 ° F).
  • Prepare them in recipes that don’t need too much cooking.

Now that you know which foods are not suitable for the microwave, try to be more careful the next time you want to prepare them.

While microwaves are very useful, it’s best to limit their use in these cases.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.