Last updated on May 11th, 2023
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Pasta is a delicious dinner, but can also be a delicious reheated lunch. Something tastes a little different and a little better when eating reheated pasta.
Olive Garden is a great place to eat pasta for dinner and then take home some leftovers. While dining at Olive Garden, you can also choose to add a take-home meal to your bill. You can order anything on the menu and then choose Fettuccine Alfredo, Five Cheese Ziti al Forno, or Spaghetti with Meat Sauce as your extra meal.
Your extra meal will be sent home with you in a ToGo container. When you are ready for lunch the next day, are you able to microwave your Olive Garden leftovers in the microwave or will they need to be removed before reheating?
You can leave your Olive Garden leftovers right in the container to reheat them. Olive Garden’s ToGo boxes are microwavable. They will not damage your microwave nor compromise the food inside.
This makes it a lot easier for you and also saves you on getting some dishes dirty so it really is a win win. Just make sure to be careful as the containers can get really hot if you leave the food in the microwave for too long!
Nothing beats having some delicious pasta for lunch… except not having to do any dishes afterwards!
How Do You Know If A ToGo Box Is Microwavable?
At some point and time, you have had to clean a big mess out of the microwave. Whether you cleaned up splatter from an uncovered dish or cleaned contents that spilled out of a damaged container, the rules of a microwave are many.
If you place a container that is not microwave-safe in the microwave, not only is your food ruined but your microwave can be ruined as well. Is there a sure way to know whether or not the container you are placing in the microwave is actually microwave-safe?
You can look at the bottom of your takeout container to know whether or not your container is microwave-safe. There should be symbols on the bottom letting you know if your container is safe to go in the microwave or not.
The symbols for microwave safe containers will look like one of the images below.
If your takeout container contains styrofoam, do not microwave it. The styrofoam containers are designed to keep your food warm during transport. They are not designed to be used in the microwave.
The styrofoam will melt onto your food which will ruin your leftovers.
APET (E) is also not a safe takeout container to microwave. You will typically see these containers in delis or supermarkets. APET is usually used for cold foods and displays.
While they may be recyclable, these clear containers are not microwaveable.
Can You Microwave Leftovers In Foil?
Some restaurant takeout containers contain aluminum. Lunchtime has come and you are now ready to enjoy your leftovers.
Are you able to microwave those leftovers in the foil? If not, how should you warm up your leftovers?
Foil should never be used in the microwave. The foil will leave your food inedible and your microwave unusable.
The electricity in the microwave causes charges to flow through the metal in the foil. When the pieces of metal in the foil are electronically overwhelmed, they can ignite.
If your leftovers were wrapped in foil, the best option is to remove your leftovers from the foil. You can place your leftovers onto a microwave-safe plate for proper reheating.
If you do not want any splatter in your microwave from the leftovers, you can use a microwavable plate protector to cover your food.
Are There Foods That You Should Never Microwave?
Foil and other materials can cause quite some damage to microwaves when heated inside. What about food? Are there any certain foods that can cause damage to the microwave or even explode in the heat?
There are some foods that you should avoid placing in the microwave. Some of the foods that are not microwavable are:
- Red peppers
- Deli meat
- Whole eggs
- Frozen meat
- Breast milk
I will go into more detail about each of these foods that should not be microwaved below.
Even though grapes are mainly made up of water, they can ignite when they are microwaved. The waves in the microwave bounce back and forth between grapes which causes them to ignite and even create fiery plasma.
Raisins, however, do not create the same fire show that grapes do. Raisins tend to just create a smoky atmosphere when microwaved.
Red peppers contain capsaicin which is what gives them their fiery hot taste. Coincidentally, capsaicin is also the chemical released while microwaving them and can end up creating a few different problems.
Not only does the pepper have the potential to catch fire, but the capsaicin which is released will “smack you in the face” when you open the door.
Opening the microwave door after microwaving the peppers will be like taking the pepper and smearing it all over your face and eyes.
Deli meats contain many chemicals and preservatives that don’t take well to being microwaved. Microwaved deli meat can release cholesterol oxidation products which are very harmful and directly linked to heart disease.
If you like your deli sandwiches warm, your best option is to toast them.
If you microwave a whole egg, be prepared for an explosion. Microwaving a whole egg causes a build-up of steam inside the egg. This steam build-up needs somewhere to go and ends up being released in the form of an exploding egg.
You can prevent your eggs from exploding by piercing the yolk and breaking it up. You can also slice the egg and microwave it that way as well.
While it may be convenient to pop your frozen foods into the microwave for a quick defrost, this is not an option with meat. Studies showed that meat thawed in the microwave is more susceptible to food-borne diseases.
Your microwave will not evenly defrost your meat. This allows the bacteria to form on the cold areas which will end up contaminating all the meat.
The best method for defrosting your frozen meat is by either placing it in the freezer 24 hours before use or placing it in cold water.
Freezing breast milk is an excellent way to store excess milk. All you need to do is thaw the milk whenever you are ready to use it. Using a microwave to heat the breast milk will leave hot spots in the milk.
The best way to heat breast milk is by running the bottle under hot water or placing it in a pan on the stove. Always test milk by shaking the bottle and putting a few drops of milk on the back of your hand before giving it to your child.