Can Microwaves and Aluminum Pans Work Together?

Chefs and cooks make cooking look easy. Take some meat. Get a pinch of different herbs and spices. Sear. Voila! You have a delicious piece of steak!

Now, if you’ve ever tried to make a dish, you would know that cooking is not that easy. There are lots of do’s and don’ts. For one, you can’t just chuck and use any cookware in the stove, oven, or microwave, for that matter.

Can You Put Aluminum Pan in the Microwave

We know it could all be so confusing. So, today, allow us to try and lessen the confusion. Let’s tick one question off of your list.

Aluminum Pans in the Microwave: Is It Possible?

Aluminum pans and microwaves are common things you’ll find in the kitchen. With that, you could say it is almost inevitable to think of partnering them for a job. Do they go together, though?

Well, we’re not going to beat around the bush. You should not put aluminum pans in microwaves. Not everyone will agree, though. So, don’t go microwaving your dinner in an aluminum pan just yet.

Also, can and do are two different questions. You can use aluminum pans with your microwave. Whether they do go together or if you want to use them together is a whole other thing.

Confusing? Well, let’s talk about things in more detail.

The Great Debate on Aluminum Pans and Microwaves

can you put an aluminum pan in the microwave

As with many other cooking concerns, there is a debate when using aluminum containers in the microwave.

There are several reasons some are against using aluminum pans in the microwave.

Some say it could be dangerous in more ways than one. Supposedly, aluminum trays and foils could start a spark in your microwave and ultimately start on fire. Additionally, it has also been linked to several health issues.

Some studies seemed to have proved there is a health risk with using aluminum in the microwave. Don’t go just yet, though! These studies have also noted that that health risk is very little. Additionally, it appears that you should only be concerned if you plan to use aluminum pans as a habit.

Understandably, some would still be wary, though. The studies are not uniform. Some seemed to have found a potential link between aluminum and the health risks. Others didn’t. Are you someone who’d like to stay on the safe side? It is understandable to exhaust other safer options before turning to aluminum.

On the other hand, let’s talk about it causing sparks and, ultimately, a fire.

Again, it has been proven that aluminum can cause sparks. These sparks are not known to be dangerous, though. At most, it seems, they might cause some permanent marks on your microwave. However, nothing could cause damage to the mechanisms of the microwave.

Unless you try to fit in a large amount of aluminum in your microwave, it should all be okay. Even if you put a good chunk of aluminum in there, it should not start a fire. It might cause large sparks, but not fire.

Keep in mind that this is not something you want to experiment on. Even if putting a large amount of aluminum in your microwave is deemed safe, we don’t recommend you check on that. We will talk a little more about precautions later if you still want to use aluminum pans in your microwave.

Do You Want to Use Aluminum Pans in the Microwave?

Also, can and do are two different questions. You should not use aluminum pans with your microwave. You also got to know the risks of doing so. Now, let’s answer why you would or would not want to use aluminum pans in your microwave.

A microwave and an oven may look similar, but they don’t have the exact same mechanisms. An aluminum pan may heat your baked goods real good in the oven. Don’t expect it to do the same when placed in the microwave, though.

our food might not heat up evenly if you use an aluminum pan to hold them in the microwave. It might also not. Now, what do we mean? If your meal is in an aluminum container, your microwave can only heat the open part.

Additionally, it might be a good time to note that some suggest using glass or ceramic pans to put your aluminum pans on if the bottom of your microwave is metal for safety measures.

Since using an aluminum pan in the microwave is not recommended, we don’t think using one is a good idea.

Alternatives to Aluminum Pans

aluminum pan in microwave

Okay, so you might not want to use aluminum pans, or you might be looking for alternatives to limit your use of them. Don’t worry. We got you!

Usually, the best choice for cooking devices is those made of metal. The microwave is a different scene. You generally want to avoid metals in your microwave.

If you plan on using your microwave, you might want to grab your glass and ceramic dishes. Plastics could also be a choice. You might want to keep in mind, though, that it doesn’t mean a container is plastic, ceramic, or even glass that you can already use them. You might want to do a little test to check if they could handle your microwave.

For the test, put your chosen dish in the microwave for a minute. Take it out after. If it’s already hot, it is most probably not for use on your microwave.

On the other hand, you might also just want to just see if it has a microwave-safe label. For a little more information on what you can use on the microwave, you might want to go here.

Things You Might Want to Keep Away From the Microwave

Aluminum pans and containers are a little of a grey area. You could or could not use them. They’re not the only confusing pieces you might find in your kitchen, though. Here are some dishes you might want to be wary of or even keep as far away as possible from your microwaves.

Paper Bags

Paper Bags

Okay, so you might have gotten some take-outs. You’re tired. You just want to eat and rest.

With that, you might think of chucking in the whole take-out still in the brown paper bag. It might seem convenient, but that could be dangerous! There are types of papers that you could use in the microwave. Say, wax and parchment papers. Those brown paper bags are not one of those. It’s not well suited to take the heat inside the microwave. It could possibly catch fire.


aluminum bowl microwave

This one is another tricky one. Some say there are styrofoams you could use in your microwave. Some would tell you to put all of them as far away as possible from your microwave entirely.

If you want to stay on the safe side, you can check for the microwave-safe label on it, or you might want to stay away from them too.


microwave aluminum tray

Okay, so you might have had an idea of microwaving your egg instead of doing it the old fashion way. Hold it right there. We admit that that does sound like it’s possible. That is not the case, though. Putting an egg in your microwave will not give you a hard-boiled egg but a mess.

That is not to say that you can’t microwave an egg that is out of its shell. That’s totally possible to do!

Things to Keep in Mind

You now know how an aluminum pan can interact with the microwave. We’ve also let you in on the great debate about the duo. You’ve had your chance to weigh the pros and cons. Now, here are some things you might want to keep in mind before you go and use your aluminum pans on your microwave.

The Gap

Mind the gap! If you’re using an aluminum pan in your microwave it would be best to leave some gap between the walls and the pan. With this, you also minimize the chances of sparks happening.

Skip the Paper

Okay, so you might be looking for a lid to cover your meal. That is actually a bad idea. However, if you still want to use a cover to avoid messes in your microwave, avoid paper. It could get on fire from the heat inside and cause a fire.

can you microwave aluminum

Make Sure There’s an Opening (Skip the Lid!)

As we have said above, if you are using an aluminum container, your microwave could only heat the open part. With that, you might want to skip on the lid altogether. Make sure there is always an opening so your food would get heated.


Chefs and cooks may make cooking look easy. As you might have found out already, it is not that easy!

Today, we answered one of the many questions in the kitchen. Can you put an aluminum pan in the microwave? And as you found out above, yes. However, you also found out that there are lots of things to consider before doing so.

We know you might still have lots of cooking concerns and questions. Well, in that case, we invite you to take a look at our past discussions. We might have an answer to your question!


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