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Nov 12, 2008 05:31 PM

Oops, won't do that again

I am sure there must be other threads like this, but I wasn't able to search one out. We all do things in the kitchen that in retrospect seem so obviously dumb. I managed a good one last night. I wanted to heat up some canned tuna before cooking with it (didn't want to burn the outside but still crisp up the outside a bit). All I can say is do not put canned tuna in the microwave (yes, i took it out of the can, I wasn't that clueless). I guess it would not have been so bad if I had stood there watching for the minute and a half i set the timer for, but I had to go put the laundry in the dryer....

I returned to find virtually no tuna left on the plate and almost all of it plastered over the whole interior of the microwave. I wiped it down, steamed a couple of wet sponges in it, and even zapped two consecutive lemons into near oblivion.... still smells slightly of tuna. I'm sure it will fade with time.... but please learn from my lesson... don't put tuna in the micro.

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  1. Just wond'rin' why that would happen. Was the tuna in oil or water? Could your plate have not been micro-friendly? Is it the mercury in the tuna that caused it? (Could be like nuc-u-lar fusion!!!) Bizarro!! Where's our chemists and scientific types on CH? I've never experienced this when thawing frozen fish in the nuker, but I've never tried to warm up tuna, either..... Sorry Charlie, indeed.... Adam
    P.S. What brand of tuna was it? Bumble-Burst? Super-Nova Kist? TNT of the Sea?

    2 Replies
    1. re: adamshoe

      I've had that happen more than once -- well, not the whole can, but a good bit. I don't know what the mechanism is, but I know it's not the plate and I don't think it has anything to do with whether it's in water or oil (the last time it happened a couple of weeks ago it was water pack on a plate I use in that same microwave all the time). You can heat canned tuna in a microwave, but you have to do it on low power and make sure you don't let it go too long.

      1. re: adamshoe

        glad to know im not alone Ruth, thanks. It was albacore chunk, and it was packed in water. I think what happens is the water that has permeated the fish hits the boiling point, and when it does it expands rapidly... blasting the tuna hither and yon. I'm sure it would not happen with fresh tuna (although I can't imagine putting fresh tuna in the mic.)

      2. I've had exploding meat in the microwave, too. I've learned and now use a mesh microwave cover when there might be a chance (great for butter, too). I would have recommended lemon juice or vinegar but apparently it didn't help. You could always follow up w/ burnt popcorn to cover the smell of the tuna...;-)

        2 Replies
        1. re: chowser

          How did you know I exploded butter all over my microwave just last week? :-)

          1. re: Ruth Lafler

            I can't tell you how many times I've done it. It's the definition of insanity. I love my mesh cover.

        2. I have since learned from a friend that you should not put a jar of marshmallow creme in the microwave. All I could get out of him is that it was a brand-new expensive built-in microwave/hood combo - and had to be replaced. He wouldn't tell me exactly why they wanted to heat the marshmallow creme in the first place.

          5 Replies
          1. re: KaimukiMan

            Hadn't he ever microwaved Peeps before? My favorite part of Easter.

            1. re: mordacity

              Microwaved Peeps! Wow, now that's an idea. Do they melt? Expand? Get tough?

              I usually unwrap them and leave them sitting around for about a week until they they really hard and chewy. Now I have a new way to kill those little yellow things off before I devour them.

              1. re: chicgail

                Sorry if this is a little bit OT, but everything you ever wanted to know about Peeps:


                1. re: pamf

                  OMG! Reproducible, peer-reviewed studies to support my own theories of Peeps life forces. And I'm not the only one.

                2. re: chicgail

                  If it's YOUR microwave, you want to be hovering by the "STOP" button......I've got some Halloween ghost ones aging in my desk....if we leave them long enough, we might be able to microwave and reshape them into snowpeeps....

            2. A few things come to mind.

              Knife accidents, ouch
              grabbing a hot skillet handle that was recently removed from the oven without a mitt, OUCH
              Making stock and pouring it into a strainer that DID NOT have a pot underneath, watching it go down the drain, #*##

              These are stupid mistakes that hopefully will not be repeated

              13 Replies
              1. re: scubadoo97

                Last night I reached for a knife from the magnetic strip, but my sleeve caught the next knife over and pulled down, crashing on to the counter then floor right next to my (bare!) feet. Thank goodness I have quick reflexes. And all 10 toes.

                One morning in high school I was slicing a bagel for breakfast at 5:30am, and forgot to move my thumb out of the way. Ouch it right.

                Haven't had too many microwave mishaps, except for the time I misread the instructions for the frozen egg rolls and set the microwave for the oven time. I had to get a new microwave and spent a few hours scrubbing soot off the wall.

                1. re: mpjmph

                  I learned from my coworker that you should never use a heavy chef's knife to cut a piece of cheese for youself as a midnight snack. Her fingers got a little oil residue from the cheese and she dropped the knife on her foot. The tip of the knife went clear through her foot into the kitchen floor!! Luckily there was no major damage!

                  1. re: spkspk

                    OUCH! That could have been an incredibly serious accident for your poor co-worker.

                    I have learned through my own kitchen buffoonery not to try to catch things in drop in the kitchen. I retrained my first instinct to be : scoot my feet out of the way and let it crash. If i have a second to think about it, I can decide - "Can I catch this safely or not?" But often... not. Hot things, sharp things, breaking glass - usually best to just get the hell out of the way, let gravity take its course, clean up ,and be happy if no one gets hurt.

                    1. re: Mawrter

                      You are to be commended, o Grasshopper! You have grasped the pearl of wisdom with the chopsticks of experience! ;)

                2. re: scubadoo97

                  "Making stock and pouring it into a strainer that DID NOT have a pot underneath, watching it go down the drain, #*##"

                  LOL. I thought I was the only one!!! I'm so used to draining pasta, veggies, well I don't have to explain Scuba, you know the feeling of holding a strainer full of tired saggy brown carrots, celery and chicken scraps while the beautiful stock of three hours prep time swirls down the sink ...

                  I have also dropped a phone into:
                  a lasagna
                  a cherry pie.

                  I figure it took me two times to learn because one was savory and one was sweet, and one has the house phone and one was a cell. Note- the cordless phone and the lasagna survived, the pie mostly did, but a cell phone will not survive falling onto a pie and bouncing into a hot oven.

                  1. re: yamalam

                    Don't feel too bad. I've read stories of culinary students doing this on purpose. Draining the pot, not realizing that it was The Liquid that they should save, and proudly bringing their "finished product" (ie colander of bones and mushy vegetables) to the chef-instructor to show off.

                    1. re: Louise

                      Okay now I don't feel so stupid because that is REALLY stupid.

                  2. re: scubadoo97

                    Oh my gosh! I did the draining the lovely broth into the sink thing too. I got so mad at myself. I had been sampling the wine pretty heavily as I remember.

                    1. re: scubadoo97

                      How about forgetting the *whole* skillet gets hot in the oven. The stainless steel handle only stays cool when it is used on the stovetop. And it burns the hand when grabbed trying to remove it from the oven!

                      1. re: al b. darned

                        Yeah, that's exactly what happened. I use my SS pan on the stove top most often and when it came from the oven I blanked out on that fact and grabbed the handle like I usually do. My cast iron skillet I know always has a hot handle so no mix up there.

                        1. re: scubadoo97

                          I did the same thing at my brother's house one evening. I got a third degree burn on my thumb. I ate dinner, with my thumb in a glass of ice water. My brother is an amazing cook so I guess I didn't realize how bad the burn was.

                      2. re: scubadoo97

                        i touch hot skillet handles out of the oven ALL the time - it's like some sort of mental block, my brain sees a handle and assumes it was on top of the stove vs in it

                        1. re: scubadoo97

                          After the third or fourth time I grabbed the handle of an iron skillet fresh from the oven, the rule that a pot holder STAYS on the handle after removing the skillet was instituted at my house. And butter in the microwave always gets covered by a paper towel, but I've managed to blow that off with exploding butter when I wasn't paying attention to the timing....;-)

                        2. I've dropped a knife, landing right by my bare feed too many times to count. Luckily, it has never landed ON my feet, but my life (and therefore dropping knives) isn't over yet. Last night, I was re-heating some pizza in the toaster oven. The first time I brought it out, the edges were warm, but the inside was still cold. So, I decided to put it in for just a few minutes longer. Yep, you guessed it, the entire thing was charred. when I pulled it out the second time.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Melanie

                            My husband has dropped a knife and caught it midair before it hit the new dishwasher. I guess he figured he'd heal but the dishwasher wouldn't... The next time you drop a knife, jump back.

                            1. re: Melanie

                              I had that happen to me last week. Just after I had sharped the knife too.