The Dangers Of Microwaving Sugar Are More Serious Than You Think

girl eating tanghulu
girl eating tanghulu - Veestudio89/Getty Images

With the popularity of tanghulu (the sweet and crunchy way to enjoy your favorite fruit) and dalgona candy surging across the internet, more and more people have been heating sugar into a hot amber syrup. Usually, one would heat the sugar on the stovetop to make these treats, but lately, people have been microwaving the sugar. While convenient and fast, it can be dangerous to microwave sugar. Now, we're not saying it's always dangerous to microwave sugar — We've even encouraged you to soften brown sugar in the microwave.

We're also not saying microwaves are dangerous. Time and time again, science has debunked the myths that microwaves and microwaved food are bad for your health. In fact, some types of food fare better in the microwave.

Then why is microwaving sugar dangerous, you ask? When you heat sugar in the microwave long enough to result in a bubbly, hot syrup, it can become dangerous, and it's more serious than you think. The sugar is so hot that it can melt holes through plastic containers and bowls. As a result, this hot sugar syrup can leak on someone and cause bodily damage as serious as burns. The container can also explode. According to BIZoom, a teenager in Australia, while trying to make dalgona candy from Squid Game, microwaved sugar in a plastic cup. It exploded in the microwave, and the child sustained first-degree burns on his hands and third-degree burns along with nerve damage on his legs.

Read more: 30 Types Of Cake, Explained

Avoid Microwaving Sugar Into A Hot Syrup To Prevent Accidents And Burns

spoon in hot sugary syrup
spoon in hot sugary syrup - Patrycja St/Shutterstock

At least 15 children across New Zealand and Australia have been hospitalized in 2024 by microwaving sugar to make viral toffee, according to 9Now. Some children had severe third-degree burns and needed skin grafts as a result.

You may think it won't be dangerous if you microwave sugar into a hot bubbling syrup using a sturdy glass container or a heatproof container. But the glass container will still be very hot. Glassware can also overheat and break, leading to the hot sugar leaking as well.

It does not appear that tanghulu's popularity will decline anytime soon. To safely make this delightful crunchy snack at home, it's best to avoid using the microwave to heat up the sugar. Supervise minors at all times. Even we have burned ourselves making tanghulu in the past over the stovetop, forgetting the liquid sugar is very hot when it drips down from freshly dipped fruits. Before you set out to heat sugar to make caramel, toffee, tanghulu, dalgona candy, or something else sugary, be sure to  first check out Tasting Table's eleven tips when cooking with granulated sugar.

Read the original article on Tasting Table