Experiment #271: Jar of Nutella
(Rated G) I've been hearing a lot of people telling horror stories on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube about how they microwaved Nutella and it blew up their microwave and nearly blew up their house. I knew this to be hyperbole, but I at least expected that microwaving Nutella would be like microwaving a lava lamp based on how they were describing it. In fact, it was in the comment section of another microwave show that I got the idea to do it. Supposedly the metallic foil lid heated up the jar enough that it explodes, blowing the microwave apart with impressive force or at least ripping the door off. In reality, though, very little happened. The metallic thing may have sparked once or twice when in the jar but even after four minutes there was no explosion, nor was there anything close. It looked like part of the jar might have ruptured like the Mr. Bubble that I microwaved, but it would have just burst out. Honestly, an egg would be worse for a microwave than a Nutella jar. Since you're not going to microwave it sealed with the lid on for four minutes, I declared it safe, since if I can't blow it up when I'm TRYING to, you obviously won't damage your kitchen, or even your microwave, from heating it up for 30 seconds or so with the lid off. I saw other people's videos of this and was quite unimpressed, I've had stuff I gave a "good idea/safe" verdict that did worse than that. But I figured maybe that was a tame example and wanted to test this myth out for myself. And there you go, myth busted! A jar of Nutella will NOT blow up a microwave!
Then, I decided since very little happened during the actual microwaving, I'd just do the foil lid by itself. While it was one of my better tin foil experiments, it did not come anywhere close to blowing apart the microwave, nor did it do any real damage. It left a couple char marks on the plate, but that was it (hence the "unsafe" verdict for that). But still, I did this bonus for two reasons. One, I wanted to prove to anyone who watches this (even though I've done tinfoil and metal based experiments far more intense than this) what metal in the microwave really does, there is no explosion, not even a little one, but it does leave burn marks on the microwave, so my guess is the myth started from parents exaggerating to scare their kids away from using foil in a microwave, and it's something they never questioned. And two, I wanted to give you at least a little bit of entertainment after this stinker of an episode. So once again, this Mythbusters style test should put you at ease about heating up your jar of Nutella for a few seconds to soften it up a little. Season 8 of Microwave Me is filmed, edited, hosted, and produced by Matthew Villani, also known as Captain Microwave, using different microwaves over the course of a season, this time a Sunbeam microwave named Jessie.
PS: I'd also like to give a shout out to SmashPenguinTV whose YouTube handle is SmashPenguinTV1, you really should check out his stuff.
PPS: If you're wondering what happened to the old microwave, she still works but doesn't work right anymore. What happened is that after the snow globe and the mouse, she was left outside where some of the water froze, and thus did some damage even after thawing and drying out. Li turns on and works sometimes, but usually after a few seconds or immediately after startup shuts off and needs a half hour to cool, similar to Ivanka from "Is It A Good Idea To Microwave This?". She passed the CD test but wasn't much use for an actual experiment. So since she still works but isn't really useful to me anymore, I consider this a retirement and not a death.