Microwaving Arby’s, Using a microwave to reheat your Arby’s is a fast convenient way to get your dinner, lunch, or snack warm or hot enough to eat. The microwave is also versatile enough to heat and even cook a variety of meals without the hassle involved in other methods of getting the same done.
Arby’s is certainly a fan favorite for fast food and with microwaving being so convenient a medium, the temptation is to simply put your Arby’s in the microwave, still wrapped, and heat it up.
Can you microwave Arby’s wrappers?
The simple answer is no. While microwaving Arby’s directly from the fridge or your shopping bags while it is still wrapped in fast food paper is commonplace, it is unsafe. There are two reasons for this:
- How the microwave works
- The material of the wrapping paper
How the microwave works
Microwaves heat food electromagnetically. Simply explained, food particles or molecules vibrate rapidly and for a certain time, causing friction and heat. Anything microwaved long enough will burn.Styrofoam and single-use plastics melt and burn in the microwave after a few minutes.
Air and waterproof microwaves keep nothing in or out. This makes microwaves energy-efficient. The chamber’s heat is almost entirely used for the task. In a sealed chamber, surplus heat and evaporating water cannot escape. If you calibrate the microwave incorrectly and leave food in longer than recommended, it can explode.
The material of the wrapping paper
Arby’s uses food-safe wrapping paper developed for food handling and consumer safety. The wrapping paper may come in different composite concentrations of paper and other materials but they all have some characteristics in common;
- They are non-absorbent. The paper does not absorb wetness such as water readily and does not absorb grease at all.
- The paper is coated in a wax-like substance to give it some of the properties of foil paper.
The qualities of Arby’s wrappers above mean that the wrapper keeps the food absolutely safe from contaminants that may get into contact with your food by adhering to and being absorbed by the wrappers.
The wrappers also help maintain the integrity of the food since they do not interfere with the consistency and moisture content of your food. You can only imagine what your Arby’s Reuben would look like if all its moisture and grease content ended up being absorbed by the paper it came in.
It would not be a sandwich you can consume if all its ingredients suddenly lost all moisture content.
When you place your Arby’s dinner still wrapped in the microwave, the grease in the food will heat up but it cannot be absorbed by anything and beyond its boiling point, it will catch fire and ignite the wrapping paper.
While Arby’s wrapping paper is fairly flame-resistant owing to the foil paper qualities infused in it, it is not flameproof. Hot grease has been known to ignite the wrappers and cause an explosion.
There is also the added concern regarding PFCs or perfluorocarbons. These are chemical compounds commonly found in grease-resistant items such as the wrapping paper used in fast-food restaurants.
The wrapping paper
Perfluorocarbons are often used in industry to make materials and coats for surfaces that are resistant to grease, stains, and moisture. This is different from bare surfaces, which absorb and stick to grease, stains, and moisture.
PFCs are mostly stable compounds, but heat can make their chemical structure less stable. This means that they could escape from the wrapping paper and get into your food.
When eaten in big enough amounts, many of them can cause cancer. No one knows for sure what they do to your body, how much of them you need to eat to get sick, or what kind of health problems they cause. However, they are not safe to eat and should never be put in food.
PFCs never touch food because they are used to make wrapping paper. Some people think that using plastics and packing papers can cause cancer, but this is not true.
Plastics have PFCs in them, and a lot of these plastics say they are safe to use in the microwave. Only if PFCs get into food can they be eaten. Since they are stable chemicals, they can only leech if they are exposed to high heat for a long time.
If you want to heat up an Arby’s burger, just throw away the wrappers. That way, you won’t eat any of these dangerous chemicals. Even better, put your Arby’s meals in airtight containers and put them in the fridge. You can then heat them up in containers that can go in the microwave.
You may find that microwaving your Arby’s burger always results in soggy buns. The reason for this is that the water molecules in your beef or chicken patty have no place to go during the heating process so the bun absorbs that moisture.
Instead, use the microwave to heat up your beef or chicken patty only. Leave the vegetables since they taste even better cold and crunchy.
On the stovetop, place your buns on a pan and let them heat up on a low flame on either side with some butter to prevent them from sticking to the pan. Once done, reassemble your burger and enjoy.
This way, your burger will taste much better with all the flavors and textures maintained.
The microwave is the quick and dirty way to get your Arby’s ready but with a bit of patience, reheating the buns separately from the meat will yield a better lunch.