Technically, you can microwave oil. It’s safe to do so, and your microwave won’t explode.
But should you microwave oil? The answer depends largely on what type of oil you’re microwaving.
Below, we’ll go over some of the most common types of oils that people want to microwave.
Can You Microwave Vegetable Oil?
The microwave isn’t the best way to heat up vegetable oil.
Specifically, microwaves are built to heat up water. Vegetable oil doesn’t have the same polarity that water does, which makes the microwave inefficient.
You can still heat up vegetable oil in the microwave, but the vegetable oil itself won’t heat up directly.
Instead, the dish that the vegetable oil is placed on will heat up, and the vegetable oil will absorb the heat from the dish.
Overall, if you are microwaving pure vegetable oil, we recommend using the range instead of the microwave. But if you’re microwaving a dish that contains vegetable oil, the microwave is A-OK. Olive oil is a special case that deserves its own post.
Can You Microwave Coconut Oil?
When coconut oil rises above room temperature, it hardens. Especially during the winter months, the coconut oil in your cabinet will almost always be a solid instead of a liquid.
The microwave is a great way to melt the coconut oil to use for baking.
When you microwave coconut oil to melt it, make sure to cover the oil in some way. There’s always the chance that the coconut oil “splatters” and forces you to clean your microwave before using it again.
Can You Microwave Essential Oils?
Interestingly enough, essential oils can be microwaved to clean your microwave (to remove residue and eliminate odors).
Take a small amount of your favorite essential oil and place it onto a microwave-safe dish. We recommend using an aroma that meshes well with the kitchen, such as citrus.
Add a minute to the timer. Once the timer beeps, remove the essential oil from the microwave.
Microwaving essential oils is highly recommended after you microwave something stinky, like fish.
Whether it’s olive oil, coconut oil, or essential oils, the microwave is safe to use. But depending on the type of oil you want to microwave; you may want to pick a different heating method instead.