Can You Microwave Stainless Steel Bowls? Myths and Facts

Microwaves are amazing home appliances. They can not only heat up your food but also cook it from scratch. Some even have the option to roast, broil, and dehydrate. And it doesn’t need any introductions, you already know all of these.

We put a bunch of things in the microwave. Even paper and styrofoam plates. Which is not the ideal thing to heat your food on, but gets the job done in a dangerous manner. But can you microwave stainless steel bowls? It’s safer right? Metal = safe.

Microwave-safe steel bowls are generally safe, but avoid metal accents to prevent sparks and microwave damage. Metal reflects microwaves, causing electrical arcing. Use a different container if unsure. Microwaves function by emitting microwaves, and when these waves are reflected by metal objects, it can be compared to using a mirror to concentrate the sun’s rays and ignite objects, potentially leading to microwave damage or even a fire.

Not fully board with us? We will explain it further. 

Can You Microwave Stainless Steel Bowls

Why You Cannot Microwave Stainless Steel Bowls | Explained

There are numerous reasons why you cannot microwave stainless steel bowls. It might seem to be a viable candidate to heat your food, like a cast iron skillet, but for a microwave, it isn’t. Let’s look at the reasons behind it, shall we?

Won’t Absorb The Microwaves

Like any metal, placing stainless steel bowls in the microwave will not be as efficient as other materials. Because stainless steel does not absorb microwaves, instead reflects them. So you won’t get the proper heating of your food like you intend to. 

Arching Is Waiting To Happen

As the stainless steel won’t absorb the microwaves, it will also reflect it. Which will cause the heating to dissipate and start to heat up the microwave interior. Which causes arching. And we all know what happens with arching. It will cause a fire. 

fire due to metal bowl

Uneven Heating, Longer Time In Oven

Although metal objects work great on stovetops and other heating elements, in a microwave it doesn’t. As the waves are reflected, it will be hard to heat up your food. Even if you give it time, it will take way longer and create hot spots on it. 

Bad Tasting Food

Guessing you still went on with the time and bad heating of your microwave with the stainless steel bowl, your food will now taste metallic. This is due to the metal not reacting well to microwaves, it will cause an electromagnetic field around the bowl and cause it to ionize. Which will then get absorbed by the food and cause a metallic taste. 

So it is best you use microwave-safe glass or ceramic bowls and plates instead of stainless steel bowls. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to microwave a metal bowl?

No. Any form of metal will cause the microwave to ionize and cause fire. Also, it will leave a metallic taste in your food. And will take a whole lot of time to heat up. 

Are stainless steel mixing bowls microwave-safe?

No matter how handy and sturdy stainless steel mixing bowls are, they are not microwave-safe. 

Instead, you can use microwave-safe glass or ceramic bowls. 

What kind of metal is microwave-safe?

No metal is safe for microwaves. Period. Although some people use aluminum foils in microwaves, we suggest you stay away from doing that too. 


There are a lot of microwave-safe glass, ceramic, and even plastic bowls in the market. Although we don’t suggest plastics, it’s better than stainless steel. So don’t try your luck with a stainless steel bowl and cause a fire in your home. It’s not worth it. 

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