Can You Microwave Cup Noodles or Is It Dangerous?

Published Categorized as Journal

If you’ve ever picked up cup noodles and eyeballed the cooking directions, you may have noticed the absence of microwave instructions. So, can you microwave cup noodles? You shouldn’t! Surprised? Read on to find out why we recommend keeping your cup noodles out of the microwave. We’ll also detail how you should go about quickly heating the noodles instead!

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Can You Microwave Cup Noodles?

Table of Contents

Why Can’t You Microwave Cup Noodles?

The reason you can’t microwave cup noodles has everything to do with the container it is in, and nothing to do with the product.

To phrase it differently, you can, technically, microwave cup noodles. They’ll likely turn out fine.

But the true question is, should you microwave cup noodles? Therein lies the dilemma!

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Can You Microwave Styrofoam Cup Noodles?

You should not microwave styrofoam cup noodles.

Styrofoam, in general, actually isn’t always microwave-safe. Not only can it create messes, melt, and burn in the microwave, but it can also leach chemicals, like styrene and benzene, into your food. 

During the microwaving process, any styrofoam touching your food can lead to trouble. Styrene, especially, has a whole host of negative effects on the body. We will be diving deeper into these effects later. Because of this, it is recommended that you avoid placing cup noodles in the microwave, despite its convenience and ease. 

Is It Only Cup Noodles I Need to Worry About?

Any type of styrofoam in the microwave can be deemed unsafe. It isn’t only limited to cup noodles. 

Cup Noodles are simply a variety of ramen noodles made by Nissin Foods that have risen in popularity due to their delicious taste, convenience, and lack of added MSG. Most people think that cup noodles can be thrown in the microwave, but are shocked by the absence of microwaving instructions on the package. 

The reason that microwaving instructions are absent from most cup noodle packaging is that cup noodles shouldn’t be microwaved. But it isn’t only cup noodles that you should worry about.

Any type of styrofoam can be dangerous when nuked. Rather than taking the risk, it’s best that you read the label of whatever styrofoam product you are using to ensure that it is microwave-safe. 

If the label indicates that your styrofoam can be placed in the microwave, then, by all means, go ahead and do so. We still recommend watching the amount of time you place the noodles in the microwave though, to ensure that the styrofoam doesn’t melt or catch fire.

If, however, your styrofoam doesn’t feature a “microwave-safe” statement or symbol, your best bet is to steer clear of it. Styrofoam that isn’t microwave-safe can still be good for holding warm or cold food. But placing this item in the microwave may end up causing harmful chemicals to leak into your meal, which can ultimately make you sick.

Therefore, it is best to avoid placing styrofoam of any kind, including plates, cups, and containers, in the microwave, unless you know with certainty that it is safe to do so.

Not convinced that this is a matter worthy of your attention? Keep reading for even more insights on why you should absolutely avoid using styrofoam containers in the microwave.

Microwave Cup Noodles Cancer: The Rumors Are True!

So, you’ve heard that microwaving cup noodles causes cancer. If you find yourself shrugging your shoulders and placing your noodles in the microwave anyway, we need to talk.

Several studies have been conducted to show that cancer-causing agents in styrofoam can leak into food and cause adverse reactions in humans. One of the greatest concerns is that the chemical styrene is tied to several types of cancer when a person is exposed to it long-term. 

Studies performed on rats and mice unearthed several strands of varying cancers as a result of exposure to styrene including the following:

  • Mammary Cancer
  • Lung Cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma

There were also notable risks for:

  • Stomach Tumors
  • Pancreatic Tumors
  • Esophageal Tumor
Can You Microwave Cup Noodles Or Is It Dangerous?

Can You Microwave Water For Cup Noodles?

Now that we’ve answered the question, “can you cook cup noodles in the microwave?” we hope you understand the associated risks. It’s now time to take a look at other ways you can go about heating your cup noodles quickly and effectively.

  1. To make cup noodles, you essentially need to add boiling water to the noodles. To do this, you can boil water in the microwave and then pour them directly over your noodles.
  2. Simply add the desired amount of water according to the package directions into a microwave-safe bowl or cup and microwave until hot. This usually takes 1-2 minutes.
  3. Microwave at intervals of 1 minute to check for temperature before continuing.

Note: Most glass or paper cup or bowl options should be fine here, but always check for microwave safety to be sure.  

When removing the boiling water from the microwave, you must be careful not to burn your hands. The water and the container you’ve microwaved the water in will likely be blistering hot. In fact, the steam alone harnesses the ability to cause serious burns. Therefore, when removing microwaved water from the microwave, be sure to use hot pads or another agent to shield your skin from the warmth of the cup. Always grab the cup or container from the sides and not the top, as this is where the most steam is emitted. 

Once safely removed, pour the water directly over your cup noodles. Stir and cover, according to package directions, before enjoying.

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How to Make Cup Noodles in Microwave

Now that the risks have been spelled out and you’re aware of the consequences of microwaving cup noodles, it’s normal to feel a bit apprehensive. But don’t fret! There are still a couple of ways you can safely use the microwave to prepare ramen cup noodles.

As previously explained, it is still possible to heat water using your microwave. Since cup noodles are prepared by adding boiling water to the noodles, you can use your microwave to get the process started. The following are step-by-step instructions on how to use the microwave to prepare cup noodles.

Disclaimer: Always read and follow the directions printed on the label of the container. Not all cup noodles are created equal, and some will have different package directions than others. If the directions on the label deviate from what we’ve detailed here, then, by all means, follow the instructions as specified by the manufacturer.

  1. Open your cup noodles.
  2. Locate a microwave-safe cup and heat enough water to fill your cup noodles to the line indicated on the cup noodle container. 
  3. Place the cup in the microwave and heat for one minute. 
  4. Check the temperature of the water by gently tapping the sides to see if it’s warm enough. Do not grab the water from the top of the cup as the steam may scorch your hand.
  5. If the water isn’t hot enough, continue to microwave your water for another minute. 
  6. Check the water once more to ensure it is nice and hot. The ideal temperature is between 195-212F to result in delicious noodles. Use a water thermometer to be sure.
  7. Very carefully pour hot water over the noodles and cover the container. Place something with a bit of weight on the top (such as chopsticks or a small plate) to prevent steam from escaping. 
  8. Wait until the indicated amount of time as specified on the package directions for your noodles to soften. 
  9. Enjoy!

How Long Can You Microwave Ramen Cup of Noodles?

There is another way that you can make ramen cup of noodles that only takes about 2-3 minutes. With this method, you’ll remove the noodles from the cup they came in and place them in a microwave-safe bowl. Put at least 2-3 cups of water in with the noodles, and heat them for about 2 minutes in the microwave. If the noodles aren’t as soft as you’d like them, nuke for an additional 1-2 minutes or until completely soft. 

When removing the bowl, be sure to do so carefully as both the bowl and the contents are likely to be very hot. If you can, we’d suggest allowing the bowl to rest in the microwave for another 2-3 minutes in order for it to become cool enough to handle. But whether or not you do that is completely up to you! 

How to Store Ramen Noodles

We’ve covered how long to microwave ramen cup, and we’ve warned you of the effects that microwaving your noodles in styrofoam could have on your body. Now that you’re aware of these ramifications, you may be wondering how to store ramen to make sure it stays in top shape. 

To do this, consider keeping the noodles in a separate container and storing the broth separately. This will keep your noodles from becoming super soggy over time. Store your noodles this way in the fridge for about 1-2 days. Ramen noodles don’t last long so be sure not to consume ramen noodles that show signs of spoilage, including changes in taste, texture, color, or consistency.

Can You Microwave Cup Noodles Or Is It Dangerous?

Cup Noodles and Other Health Concerns

You know that cup noodles aren’t to be consumed if they’ve been microwaved in a styrofoam cup, but are there any other health concerns you should know about? 

When it comes to ramen, most people would agree that the noodles aren’t exactly a health food. Though delicious and easy to make, cup noodles are high in sodium. They also lack certain key nutrients that keep your body healthy and strong. Of these nutrients include Vitamin A, B12, magnesium, potassium, and calcium.

Still, cup noodles do have their benefits, as many brands are made from wheat flour which is often fortified to include synthetic versions of nutrients that our body can absorb. The nutrients that can be found in cup noodles include protein, thiamin, manganese, and folate. 

How to Make Ramen Noodles Healthy

If you love ramen noodles and want to make them a bit more healthy, you’ve got options. There are ways to take the sting out of their high sodium content, and also, to add more nutrients to this beloved Asian dish.

Consider the following steps for increasing the nutritional value of your cup noodles at home:

Don’t Microwave The Cup

We had to mention this one more time because it bears repeating! Remember that heating any type of styrofoam that isn’t specifically marked as being microwave-safe could wreak havoc on your health. Therefore the very first step to making ramen a bit healthier for you is to nix the microwave and choose the other methods mentioned in this article to hear your ramen instead. 

Switch Up the Broth

If you think you have to use the little seasoning packets that come with your ramen, think again! You can actually add your own broth to the noodles before heating them according to the package directions. Bonus points for if you choose an organic broth– you can even try making your own at home!

Toss in Some Veggies and Protein

When heating your ramen, it might be fun to jazz things up a bit with added veggies and protein. Choose from cooked chicken and tofu, or grab a few mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, or spinach to throw in. Feel free to use whatever you have on hand!

Using added protein and veggies also keeps you from consuming so many noodles in one sitting, while injecting plenty of nutrients into this otherwise somewhat unhealthy dish.

Note: When using these additions, it may be better to heat your ramen via stovetop in order to fit all of the yummy additions you’ve chosen. 

Can You Microwave Cup Noodles?

Can You Microwave Cup Noodles? Do It the Right Way!

We hope we’ve cleared things up for you concerning whether or not you should microwave cup noodles.

To recap, you shouldn’t microwave cup noodles in their original cup, but you can microwave them by other means. Try using a microwave-safe dish to microwave the noodles instead. You can also choose to boil some water to pour over your noodles instead.

Whatever your choice, you can bet that it is much safer than putting yourself at risk for the diseases associated with chemicals present in microwaved styrofoam. 

Oh, and don’t forget to add the nutritiously delicious toppings we’ve suggested to make your ramen even tastier! Until next time! 

FAQs

What happens if you microwave noodles without water?

Noodles that are microwaved without water will likely burn, smell funny, and create loads of smoke. It isn’t something we recommend you try!

Are cup noodles bad for health?

They can be. Because of their high sodium content, it is recommended that you limit the number of cup noodles you eat. It also helps to throw in a bit of protein and veggies for added health benefits.

Published
Categorized as Journal

By Anna

Hey, I’m Anna; writer, editor and amateur cook extraordinaire! Food has been my life and my passion for the most of my life – it’s crazy to think I didn’t pursue a career in cooking. I’m obsessed! However, keeping cooking as an obsessive hobby has worked for me – my passion grows as the years pass by – maybe I wouldn’t say the same if it was also my day job! I hope you find cooking inspiration, entertainment and “stop and think interesting tid-bits” throughout my writing – and I’d love to hear from you if you’ve got anything you want to share. Food feeds the soul – so get eating!

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