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Why You Shouldn't Microwave A Hot Dog

Updated: Jan 6, 2023

Over The Range microwave
Over the Range Microwave

Despite how temptingly easy it can be to just heat up everything in the microwave, there are some foods that don't really belong.

Because of non-ionizing radiation, certain foods and materials can react in hazardous ways when put in a microwave. Specific metal materials and foods such as carrots and hot dogs can cause a phenomenon called "arcing" which is when the foods begin to spark.

According to the USDA, the specific salts and various additives found in the hot dogs, and the specific minerals found in the soils that carrots are grown in, can cause arcing when reacting to the energy from the microwave. It's actually quite a sight to see, but probably not the best thing for your microwave or your kitchen.


Arcing as an isolated event is actually not overly dangerous (unless there is something flammable present in the microwave) but can do damage to the appliance over time, so it's best avoided.

Microwaves also run the risk of not thoroughly cooking your hot dog. Raw and processed meats can play host to lots of different bacteria, so you want to make sure that they are cooked to an adequate temperature. To make sure you get your hot dogs up to a safe temperature, WebMD urges you to microwave them for at least 75 seconds and to do so in a dish with some water in it. These temperatures have been found to safely cook the hot dog without causing any undue appliance malfunctions. And of course, all hot dog packaging has instructions for how to safely consume your food.

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