Can Microwave Oven Overheat And How to Prevent

Yes, a microwave can overheat. Although it is not very common, it happens due to human error most of the time. For example, suppose you have placed food inside a microwave and heated it for too long, then as we know that the moisture inside the food absorbs heat.

After the water evaporates and the food has also absorbed enough heat equal to the food’s capacity, there is nothing left to absorb the excess heat. Therefore, your microwave oven will overheat.

Another reason could be if you leave the microwave turned on and keep on heating with space from inside. Then, of course, it will overheat because there is nothing to absorb the food inside the microwave. These are not the only reasons; let’s discuss more below.

Why Do Microwaves Overheat?

Microwaves usually have safety features to prevent overheating and stabilize the temperature in case of overheating. But in case it still overheats, then it could be due to the following reasons:

Fault in Auto-Switch Off Functionality:

Microwaves are built with an auto-switch-off functionality which activates when the microwave overheats to a dangerous level and crosses a certain predefined certain threshold. This functionality, when activated, switches off the microwave and hence prevents it from being damaged. 

But sometimes, the microcontroller system of your microwave might fail, causing a system failure, and hence your microwave will keep on overheating.

Therefore, you should keep a constant check on the maintenance of your microwave; otherwise, if such a fault arises, you might have to spend more money on the repair.

1) Overcooking:

If you keep heating the food for a longer time inside a microwave, then the water molecules will keep on evaporating from the food with time. It happens because the water molecules absorb most of the heat as it has high latent heat capacity while the food items absorb some heat.

Now, suppose the water evaporates, and the food items’ heat absorption capacity also gets full. Then, what will happen is that the heat will start accumulating inside the microwave, causing overheating phenomena.

Moreover, even if you remove the food, the heat will be left trapped inside. So the next time you heat the food, the heat will be there from before, causing overheating.

2) Problem with the Fan:

Almost all microwaves depend on fans for their temperature regulation. But if some fault arises in your Fan and it stops working entirely or poorly, that would lead to overheating your microwave because there will be no temperature regulation system left for the cooling purpose.

How to Prevent the Microwave From Overheating:

How to Prevent the Microwave From Overheating

Regular household microwaves or cheap ones with poor standard and quality do overheat no matter how hard you try to prevent them from overheating as they are not designed not to overheat.

On the other hand, commercial microwaves and good-quality microwaves can withstand heat to a larger extent and still not overheat.

These are some measures that you can take to prevent your microwave from overheating.

1) Avoid Overcooking Food:

You better avoid overcooking your food. Make sure to monitor the cooking process of your food and as you happen to feel that now your food is prepared, then stop the heating by shutting down the microwave.

2) Open The Doors Of The Microwave After Heating:

Once you have cooked or heated your food, please do not keep the microwave’s door closed; instead, open them so the heat can leave the microwave and prevent the microwave from overheating.

3) Make sure the proper working of the Fan:

Fan plays the most crucial role in keeping your microwave’s temperature under control. Therefore, make sure that it is working correctly.


I will not go into deep details. However, I would suggest keeping a good eye on your microwave and keeping it under good maintenance. If you take good care of your microwave, it will not overheat and will also possess a longer lifespan.

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