1. Home
  2. /
  3. Can Water Explode in a Microwave?

Can Water Explode in a Microwave?

Microwaves heat food by exciting water molecules. Since water molecules are asymmetrical, they rub together when excited, and the resulting friction produces the heat that cooks the food. Symmetrical molecules generate significantly less friction when excited by microwave radiation, which is why microwaved food can be hot while the outer edge of the plate remains relatively cool. As water reaches the boiling point (212º F, 100º C at sea level), bubbles form as the liquid converts to steam. When water is heated in a smooth vessel in a microwave, there is no place for bubbles to form. The water continues to heat beyond the boiling point without actually boiling, in a phenomenon known as superheating. If the water is then agitated (as by putting a spoon into the cup, for instance) bubbles will immediately form and the water will boil instantaneously. Since liquids expand as they convert to gases, this means that the water will "erupt," possibly causing severe burns. To more safely boil water in a microwave, place a wooden skewer or bamboo chopstick in the water before microwaving. This will give bubbles a place to form so that the water can boil without superheating.

Was this content helpful?

Comments:
146 people found this helpful.

How would you like to contact us?

Give us a call 1-800-SAMSUNG (1-800-726-7864)
Mon – Fri: 8AM to 12AM (EST) Sat - Sun: Closed Printer support visit: hp.com/support/samsung

Chat with us

Live Chat support with a Samsung Care Pro.

24 HOURS 7 DAYS A WEEK

Help with your order

Send us your inquiry and we will respond within 24 hours.

Social Support

Contact us on Twitter or Facebook and we'll reply with an answer to your question or issue.

Ask the Community

Browse answers, ask questions and get solutions from other Samsung customers.

Send us an Email

We’ll respond within 24 hours of your request.

Question about a promotion?

Learn more about Samsung promotions.