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Q: boil water in microwave ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: boil water in microwave
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: hannalo-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 11 Jan 2004 13:49 PST
Expires: 10 Feb 2004 13:49 PST
Question ID: 295365
I know. Stupid question but here goes; Approximately how long does it
take to boil 2-3 cups of water in the microwave and is the safest
container to use. This would be for making something like  soup in
those packets and cup of noodles.
Subject: Re: boil water in microwave
Answered By: missy-ga on 11 Jan 2004 14:20 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello hannalo,

Nope, not a stupid question at all!  Most people don't boil water in
the microwave, because if you overheat it you can get hurt.

To boil plain water in a microwave, use a large (4-cup) Pyrex
measuring cup (Pyrex being virtually unkillable in the microwave). 
Fill with the desired amount of water, then *stick a chopstick or
wooden skewer in it*.  Stir it a bit, leave the chopstick/skewer in
the cup, and heat on high for one minute per cup of water (so 2
minutes for two cups, etc.):

"Take 1 cup water. Heat it in the microwave on high power for 1
minute. (In a 1000 Watt microwave it takes 1 minute to boil 1 cup of

Boiling Water

So what's with the stick in the water?  Water acts funny when heated
in the microwave - rather than bubble, it can just become superheated,
and not appear to be boiling until you put something into it.  By
leaving the chopstick or skewer in there, you're allowing the energy
to be diffused and reducing your risk of injury:

"The FDA has received reports of serious skin burns or scalding
injuries around people's hands and faces as a result of hot water
erupting out of a cup after it had been over-heated in a microwave
oven. Over-heating of water in a cup can result in superheated water
(past its boiling temperature) without appearing to boil.

This type of phenomena occurs if water is heated in a clean cup. If
foreign materials such as instant coffee or sugar are added before
heating, the risk is greatly reduced. If superheating has occurred, a
slight disturbance or movement such as picking up the cup, or pouring
in a spoon full of instant coffee, may result in a violent eruption
with the boiling water exploding out of the cup."

Risk of Burns from Eruptions of Hot Water Overheated in Microwave Ovens

"If you're really worried about this happening to you, follow the
advice and leave some non-metallic object (such as a wooden spoon or
stir stick) in the cup when you boil water in the microwave."

Consumers need to be cautious that water boiled in a microwave oven
can suddenly "explode."

Hope that helps!


Search terms: [ boil water microwave ] and daily practical application.

Clarification of Answer by missy-ga on 11 Jan 2004 16:14 PST
Hi again,

Colleague Pinkfreud passed on an additional resource, in case your
microwave is less than 1000 watts:

Microwave Conversion Charts
hannalo-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars

Subject: Re: boil water in microwave
From: probonopublico-ga on 11 Jan 2004 23:49 PST

What a find ... I've often wondered how to do the conversion properly
... I've always guessed,

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