D.C. Area Nesties

Carrots sparking in the microwave?

Has anyone had issues with carrots making sparks in the microwave? I'm so baffled by this. I've put raw organic carrots that are cut up into small little disks in a bowl of water to heat up for DD. A few different times they started sparking and after I stopped the microwave, there would be a little bit of black on them where they were sparking.

Tonight I had some frozen mixed peas and carrots. I put a little bit on the plate and the same thing happened again. This does not happen with other veggies like peas, corn, butter beans, etc. Our microwave is only about 3 years old and this never happens when we microwave anything else. I'm so confused. Any Nesties have an answer for this?

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Re: Carrots sparking in the microwave?

  • I'm curious to see if anyone has an answer because I've experienced the same thing, except I have had it happen to corn and peas too.
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  • This happened to me a few months ago (making baby food) and I thought we had a dysfunctional microwave. well, according to google- it is cause by the mineral content and the denseness of the carrot. I think it was called arcing?
  • image NowDNAtoo:
    I'm curious to see if anyone has an answer because I've experienced the same thing, except I have had it happen to corn and peas too.

    Okay, I'm glad I'm not crazy.

    I just Googled it and apparently we aren't the only ones. There were a lot of people asking this question.

    Here's what the USDA website says:

    What is "arcing"?
    Arcing (pronounced "AR-king") is sparks inside the microwave oven caused when microwaves react to gold paint on dishes, twist ties and other metallic materials. Some foods such as raw carrots and hot dogs can cause arcing while being microwaved. In hot dogs, this can be due to the uneven mixing of salts and additives. In carrots, it can be due to the minerals in the soil in which they were grown. Whatever the cause, turn off the oven immediately to end the sparks. Prolonged arcing can damage the oven and/or the utensil. If caught at once, arcing should not damage the oven. Remove the offending utensil or food from the oven and either substitute a microwave-safe utensil or cook the food by other methods.

    Okay, I answered my own question. I'm just glad we don't need to get a new microwave. I think I'll just start thawing the carrots in some warm water.

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  • I have no answer to how/why this happens but it happened to me one time with mushrooms, it was like little mini-explosions. It was at our old house in NC, it hasn't happened here. But it's one of life's mysteries that I'd really like to know the answer to!!
  • When we started microwaving Maggie's frozen peas and carrots this would happen (for finger foods).  If you cover them in water it prevents it from happening (at least in my microwave).
  • I've had it happen with carrots and with chopped onions (when I cheat to break them down a bit quicker)
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  • This happens to me, too. But I found a solution. Fill a small bowl or a mug with water and put it in the microwave along with the bowl of veggies. When I do this, there are no sparks. I can't explain why, but it works for my microwave.
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  • I've had that problem reheating steamed carrots.  Gtown - thanks for the water-in-mug tip.
  • Seriously, thank you for posting this. I thought I was going crazy when I reheated DS's carrots in the microwave...
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