Have you been wondering if its safe to put your ready-to-eat meal in the microwave? You’ve come to the right article. We are going to explain whether or not it’s safe to put your MRE in the microwave.
MRE meals are not microwave safe. It can be very dangerous and completely damage your microwave. The foil packaging around the MRE is the reason why you should avoid putting one in the microwave.
Now that you know MRE meals are not microwave safe, we’re going to discuss exactly why they’re not microwave safe and other ways you can heat up your MREs.
Why Aren’t MRE Meals Microwavable?
The packaging on an MRE contains metal, and microwaves don’t get along too well with some types of metals, including the foil surrounding your MRE. If you were to put your MRE in the microwave, it will completely ruin your microwave–not to mention that it may harm you or others nearby.
Here is a video that shows exactly what happens when you attempt to put an MRE in the microwave.
Alternative Ways To Heat Up Your MRE
MRE Flame-less Ration Chemical Heater- Follow the instructions on the MRE heater and slide the MRE pouch into the plastic sleeve of the heater. Continue following the instructions on the MRE heater and carefully cut open the MRE pouch. The contents inside are ready to eat!
Boiling Water- First, you will need to fill a saucepan about halfway with water, and then bring the water to a boil. Then reduce heat to medium and place the MRE pouch into the water. Boil for around 5-8 minutes and carefully remove the MRE pouch from the water. Cut open the pouch and the contents are ready to eat!
Saucepan- Cut open the MRE pouch and remove the contents into a sauce pan. Heat the contents at a medium temperature for approximately five minutes. Remove the contents from the saucepan to a dish and the contents are ready to eat!
Microwave- There is a safe way to heat your MRE in the microwave, but you must first remove the contents from the packaging before putting it into the microwave. Place contents in a microwave-safe dish. Then microwave on high for about two minutes. Carefully remove from microwave and your meal is ready to eat!
Oven- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cut the MRE pouch and remove the contents onto an oven-safe dish. You do not want to put the pouch in the oven. Place in the oven for about 7-10 minutes, and then carefully remove from oven. Your meal is ready to eat!
Why Isn’t My MRE Heating Up?
In rare occasions, you may find yourself not able to heat up your MRE, even after trying all of the different ways to heat them in the list above. There are many reasons why your MRE may not be heating up.
Poor QC At Manufacture- When manufactured, the quality control could’ve been bad for the product, which makes it so that the MRE doesn’t preform the way it’s supposed to.
Extreme Age- Do not eat an MRE that you’ve had for more than five years. They will lose taste and nutritional value after extremely long periods of time. If the MRE is bloated or smells funny, you MRE has most likely expired. Should you try heating the MRE up after it expired, it may have hardened over time, so it is likely that it won’t heat up the way it’s supposed to.
Not sealed correctly- The plastic pouch that the MRE food comes in could’ve been punctured or sealed incorrectly.
Why Can’t You Put Metal In The Microwave?
An MRE is surrounded with a metal/plastic pouch that seals the food and keeps it eatable for years on end. Because of the metals contained in this pouch, it’s not microwave safe and can be extremely dangerous if exposed to the wrong heat source.
The main purpose of a microwave is to heat up the water molecules inside the food or drink you want to consume. The water molecules inside the food converts to steam and energy is released.
Metals are a lot more solid when compared to food, though. When the molecules inside a piece of metal heat up in a microwave, they don’t have the ability to escape like water molecules do in food. This results in the metal heating up rapidly and potentially catching fire.
Depending on the shape, some metal will actually reflect the microwave instead of absorbing heat. This causes the reflections to essentially bounce off the walls and the object. Eventually, the transmitter in your microwave will overheat and become damaged.
While microwaves are very efficient and good to use when you need a quick meal to eat, it’s very important that you understand how to use a microwave safely and the different things to avoid when using one.
Read And Follow The Manufacture’s Instructions- The user manual contains recommended procedures for heating up your food and safety precautions to take.
Microwave Safe Containers- You should always use containers that are specifically designed for use in the microwave oven. You should never use metal pans or aluminum foil in a microwave because the microwave reflects off of those surfaces. This will cause damage to your appliance and unevenly cook the food.
Heated Water- Take care when heating up water in the microwave. If you do end up heating water in the microwave, ensure that it is not for extended periods of time, and doesn’t go past the boiling point. If it goes past the boiling point, it may cause the water to explode out of the cup.
Check For Leakage- The FDA recommends checking your oven for damage door hinges, latches, or seals. Do not use your microwave if the door doesn’t close firmly or is damaged in any way.
Turn Off Timer- It’s always a good idea to turn of the timer before opening the microwave door. The reason for this is because it can potentially cause the safety fuse to blow.