Author Topic: Water "exploding" in microwave  (Read 552 times)

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Offline Jersey Pie Boy

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Water "exploding" in microwave
« on: January 18, 2016, 10:42:42 PM »
Think I got lucky tonight and didn't get hurt , but had a weird issue with microwave and thought I'd see if this has happened to anyone else.

For some reason, my starter..ordinarily so robust I can't keep it from  going nuits,  was being very sluggish today. Eventually I decided I needed to heat force it. So I tried a method I've read  of and tried before. Boil water in microwave, then put starter/dough microwave..close door and steam from boiled water forces the dough/starter.

Tried this, no real luck. Tried again. Water didn't fully heat up, so gave it another shot..just starting to boil. So opened microwave door put starter container (Pyrex) covered with plastic wrap into microwave. Then the water pretty much exploded sending hot water everywhere, including  right into my eyes/face. The water stung briefly but I don't think I got any burns. Still, scary.

So...why did this happen?   Thanks

Offline jeff v

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Re: Water "exploding" in microwave
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2016, 11:34:54 PM »
I've seen a couple news stories on this. The water gets superheated  in the microwave and when something disturbs the surface, boom. Glad you're ok!

ETA: googling "superheated water in microwave" gets you lots of stuff to read/watch
« Last Edit: January 18, 2016, 11:37:22 PM by jeff v »
Back to being a civilian pizza maker only.

Offline vtsteve

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Re: Water "exploding" in microwave
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2016, 11:59:17 PM »
When I'm nuking water to a boil, I drop a bamboo skewer in the container -- the rough surface provides nucleation sites so it can't superheat.
In grams we trust.

Offline Jersey Pie Boy

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Re: Water "exploding" in microwave
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2016, 06:51:35 AM »
Thanks Jeff, Steve... I had no  idea about this but glad to have learned without getting hurt..Yikes

Offline texmex

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Re: Water "exploding" in microwave
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2016, 07:50:14 AM »
Bill, I'm sure glad you weren't seriously hurt.
Thank you for sharing....I had never heard of such a thing.  I use the microwave to boil water quite often but I normally watch it and stop the machine when the first bubbles start to occur.  I'm not going to take chances any longer with that!
Reesa

Offline Jersey Pie Boy

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Re: Water "exploding" in microwave
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2016, 09:40:07 AM »
Thanks Reesa..Yup, I'm fine..in fact, right after it happened, I got right back to breadmaking..But from what I'm reading, I was just plain lucky...It was pretty impressive, water flying  all over the place.  The Pyrex measuring cup involved was quite new...which turns out to be part of the issue. If it had some scratches on the surface, it's unlikely the outburst would have happened. But somehow the smoothness was part of the issue. Looking now for a safer technique..thinking the woodern stirrer or popsicle stick idea mentioned above is a good direction to go.


Offline texmex

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Re: Water "exploding" in microwave
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2016, 09:59:17 AM »
Heating a cup of water for tea, I've had the teabag cause a small eruption in the cup when it hit the water. I merely thought....hmmm, that's hot water!

  I just cut a few bamboo skewers to use from now on.
Reesa