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Butter "Sparking" in microwave

Last post Feb 19, 2005 7:08 PM by nitchke . 6 replies.


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  • Butter "Sparking" in microwave
    Sometimes when I melt butter in the microwave it will "spark." Does anyone know why this happens? If I put a paper towel over it, it stops. Does this happen to anyone else? Just curious why this happens.
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  • RE: Butter
    You really need to melt butter on a lower heat because the water in it and the grease get to dancing aroung and that is what causes it to spark. LOL, I just re-read and my post sounds like something the "waterboy" would explain cause his mama said so.
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  • RE: Butter
    What type container are you melting the butter in? If it is glass, my first suspicion would be that the glass has metal in it in some form of decorative pattern.

    Another possibility is that small bits of foil wrapping have adhered to the butter.

    I have melted a lot of butter in the microwave and have never had sparking as long as I used a non-metallic vessel.
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  • RE: Butter
    When cut a portion off of a pound of butter I don't unwrap the foil off the pound first. The odd time there is a very small piece of foil from the wrapper on the chunk of butter. It always causes sparks. Marlene
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  • RE: Butter
    This happens in both plastic containers and glass and I buy the butter that is wrapped in the paper-type wrapping, so it can't be foil. I will try melting it on simmer instead of high. Maybe that will help. I guess it's just me :)
    Thanks for the replies. Enjoy your day.
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  • RE: Butter
    I wrote about this a couple years ago myself and mentioned it again in a post about a year ago.

    While softening butter in our semi-new microwave it started sparking. I transferred the butter to a paper plate (off the paper it came wrapped in) and it still sparked. Sometimes more, sometimes less, sometimes not at all but soon it sparked all the time.

    Thinking there were tiny pieces of metal in my butter tried a different brand... same.

    Within 2 weeks I noticed while softening flour tortillas they too started sparking.

    Long story short: What ended up to be the problem was the metal plate on the side of my new microwave. When I had cleaned it and sprayed the inside, a tiny droplet had found its way inside the seam surrounding the metal plate and dropped to the 'back' side of it. When we started the microwave the waves were drawn to the bead of moisture and zapped it.

    This caused sparking. As the microwave was ran it kept zapping that 'weak' spot in the metal plate even though we couldn't see a thing because it was on the other side.

    When it got bad enough that is when it started to show itself by sparking my butter... and later flour tortillas and still later before it was fixed it would spark cups of water too.

    The fixit man had to order a new metal plate, and when he took the plate out he showed me the dime sized spot where the arcing was occuring.

    WHEW! Long story. LOL. But I'd look into the metal plate issue if I were you. :)
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  • RE: Butter
    Wow, I never would have thought of that. I have only had it happen with butter and it doesn't happen every time and it happened with different brands, like you. Neither my husband nor I could figure this out. Thanks for the advice.
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