If you have been shopping for a new kitchen appliance, you may wonder why is there a metal rack in a microwave. Some of the best microwaves, after all, tend to include these metal partition racks. Why do they exist and what do they do? Keep reading to find out.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Metal racks have begun appearing in some microwaves, though they do not pose any risk of danger, as they are affixed via plastic or rubber.
  • These microwave racks actually serve a number of uses, including significantly reducing the defrost cooking time.
  • Other uses for a microwave oven metal rack include two-level cooking and convection oven cooking if you have a combination unit.

Why Does My Microwave Oven Have a Metal Rack?

You have likely heard over and over again that it is never a good idea to place metal inside of a microwave, as the metal can spark and start a fire. This is the case even if you are looking to learn what happens when you place aluminum foil in the microwave. So why do some microwave ovens seem to break this rule? It all boils down to how metal interacts with microwaves and some manufacturers actually use these scientific principles to protect the internal workings of the appliances.

Insider Tip

Check any bowls or plates you are going to use in a microwave for metal, as they may include metal handles.

What Does a Metal Rack Do For Microwaves?

Metal racks can appear in all types of microwaves, from a range microwave to countertop microwaves. If you are wondering what drawer microwaves are and whether or not they ever have metal racks, the answer is yes.

So what do the metal racks do for these microwaves? The metal used in these racks has been purpose-built to match the metal that is used in the interior of the microwave. They are also typically affixed via rubber or plastic, so the metal is not actually touching the microwave in any way, eliminating the risk of warping, sparking, and burning. In other words, they are safe. They offer a number of functionalities as well.

Two-Level Cooking

If you want to cook more than one thing at once, you will have a difficult time with most microwave ovens. Metal racks, however, make this possible, as you’ll have two levels in which to place ingredients.

Defrosting

A metal rack assists in the defrosting process due to how microwaves circulate inside the cavity. If a frozen item is placed on the bottom of the microwave, the electromagnetic waves will not be able to come in from below the ingredient. If you place that same item on a metal rack, though, the waves will hit it from all sides. This results in quicker defrost times.

Convection Cooking

If your oven has a convection cooking feature, a metal rack will come in extremely handy, allowing heated air to circulate in all directions.

F.A.Q.S

Can you put metal in a microwave convection oven?

You can put metal in a microwave convection oven when you are using the convection setting, even aluminum foil. However, do not do this when using the microwave setting.


Can I leave the metal rack in my microwave?

If the metal rack has been placed there by the manufacturer, you can leave it in, as the metal atoms within the rack will not interact with the microwave energy.


Can I put a plate in the oven?

This will depend on if the plate has been labeled as oven-safe or not. Check with the manufacturer.



STAT: The countertop microwave oven was introduced in 1967 by the Amana Corporation. (source)

Lawrence Bonk

Lawrence Bonk is a copywriter with a decade of experience in the tech space, with columns appearing in Engadget, Huffington Post and CBS, among others. He has a cat named Cinnamon.

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