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Unexpected danger from microwave - please read!

(15 Posts)
ilovepiccolina Mon 02-Nov-09 08:44:37

My friend was passing a neighbour's house when she heard their smoke alarm. They were out (no cars), and she saw b;ack smoke coming out of a bedroom window. She called the fire brigade & the owner. He turned up just after the fire brigade, but they wouldn't let him go in because by that time black smoke was right through the house. So they went in with breathing equipment, and came out a few minutes later with....... a black, very small, chicken in a roasting dish!

Luckily that was it - it had caught fire in the oven & there were no other flames, just lots of smoke. The oven was set at 180 degrees & the owner said it had only been on about half an hour - weird. One of the firemen said that perhaps the thermostat had a fault so the temperature was at full blast. Also, that cheap chicken had a lot of water that mixed with the oil to spit & catch fire. The chicken was completely black & shrunken, but inside wasn't dry.

Anyway, later that day the owner tried the oven & found the thermostat was working fine. He then mentioned that he had taken a frozen chicken from his freezer and had defrosted it in the microwave!

So there you go - lots of water, presumably, and another reason not to defrost thick cuts of meat in the microwave. Now I shall also be very wary of leaving the oven on when I go out.

andlipsticktoo Mon 02-Nov-09 10:38:21

Blimey! I leave things in the oven when I go out all the time - jacket potatoes, casseroles, sometimes roast meats! Always on a verty low heat though..!

Curiousmama Mon 02-Nov-09 10:42:01

EEEk thanks goodness they're ok, thanks for the warning too but I only ever defrost small things.

AitchTwoToTangOh Mon 02-Nov-09 10:45:22

yuck. i never defrost meat in the micro, it goes all semi cooked and revolting. mind you, you might just as well say that it's the fault of the cheapo chicken, you can't really blame the micro.

Jux Mon 02-Nov-09 11:01:35

Thanks for that, though I never defrost meat in the mw either. Often go out leaving stuff in oven, but only when it's on low.

belgo Mon 02-Nov-09 11:04:32

My microwave has a defrost option for different sorts of meat according to weight. it works fine as long as it's used properly.

ilovepiccolina Mon 02-Nov-09 16:20:33

Agree with you H2toT about the defrosted meat ending up half-cooked, like blotting paper. Ugh. Blimey, how long does it take to defrost a whole chicken? Don't they always say 'defrost overnight'?

Yes, the more I think about this the more it gets curiouser and curiouser. Not sure what can have happened.

I have often put water in the bottom of a roasting tin to keep the meat moist, also blast pork at high temperature to get the crackling. Perhaps it was just a bit of bad luck that it caught fire.

trixymalixy Mon 02-Nov-09 16:33:35

Do they use a combination microwave and oven?

We have been caught out before putting the microwave on instead of the oven which is really easy to do on our crappy new mcrowave. That seems to make more sense than any of the other theories.

Microwaving food for 1/2 an hour would definitely burn it in that way.

Lilymaid Mon 02-Nov-09 16:40:46

I've made the mistake of microwaving frozen fishcakes in my combination microwave instead of baking them. Result - completely dry, crispy objects (got them out just before they started to burn as well). Very shrunken - rather think that is what happened to OP's friend's neighbour.

AitchTwoToTangOh Mon 02-Nov-09 16:45:10

that would make sense, i think. i find my mum's combo one most confusing.

ilovepiccolina Wed 04-Nov-09 19:29:03

I asked about the oven and apparently it was his normal oven (elec) that he used to actually cook the thing, not his microwave. So, just bad luck, stray spark?

BertieBotts Wed 04-Nov-09 19:34:28

Maybe it was heated to a very high temperature inside by the microwave and then by the time it had been in the oven for half an hour the middle of the chicken was so hot it had burnt the rest of it dry and started the fire.

ilovepiccolina Thu 05-Nov-09 15:59:00

Good suggestion, but don't think that can be it because it was still pink inside but encased in a black shell, as though it had been barbecued a bit enthusiastically.

So, come on all MN Sherlocks, any other ideas?

AitchTwoToTangOh Mon 09-Nov-09 02:45:12

maybe it just touched the element and caught fire? easy enough to do if you're not paying attention when you slide in the shelf? (9t would be JUST liek a man to ruin meat in the micro then jam it onto the top shelf.)

ilovepiccolina Tue 10-Nov-09 09:28:00

That sounds possible. I didn't know you're not suppodes to touch the element! How come mine's never caught fire then? grin

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