Can You Microwave Coffee in a Yeti Mug?

by Charlie
Black Yeti Mug

Are you the kind of person who takes a sip or two of their morning coffee and then forgets about it? Of course, later on, you rediscover your fancy Yeti mug, but the drink already got cold. You weren’t exactly going for an iced latte, so you start to wonder “can I microwave coffee in a Yeti mug?”.

So, can you microwave coffee in a Yeti mug? No, you should not microwave coffee in a Yeti mug. In a nutshell, experts do not recommend putting stainless steel into a microwave. The worst-case scenario – the mug will explode. Also, microwave heat cannot penetrate metal, so warming up your coffee in another cup is far more efficient.

Not quite satisfied with our short answer? Then let’s dig deeper into the topic.

Is it OK to Microwave Coffee in a Yeti Mug?

Yeti mugs are tough and their main aim is to keep the cold or hot contents well-insulated, while simultaneously protecting your hands. 

There are quite a few videos on the Internet of people putting these kinds of mugs into their microwave to see what will happen. The majority of the experiments end well, so you might say that microwaving a Yeti mug is ‘ok’.

But that doesn’t mean that you should do it (maybe the failed experiments simply didn’t make it to the Internet, who knows?). There are just too many things that can go wrong.

To understand the physics behind the process, we need to find out what this drinkware is made out of.

Yeti takes pride in the design of their popular mugs. The drinkware is made out of 18/8 stainless steel and has double-wall vacuum insulation. The tumbler also comes with a lid that helps the thing serve its purpose (important fact: the lid features a magnet component).

On the official Yeti website, we can find a disclaimer that says that you should not place the mug over an open flame or an external heat source. But there is no information about the kitchen appliance that gathered us here today – the microwave.

However, the fact that the Yeti mug is made out of stainless steel and that it has double walls should prevent you from placing it into the microwave.

The chances are high that nothing will happen if you try to warm the mug up for a minute or so. But there is always a possibility that a disaster might occur.

Is it Safe to Microwave Coffee in a Yeti Mug?

The short answer is ‘no’.

To go the extra mile, let’s find out what can actually happen to stainless steel and a double-walled item in the microwave. Oh, and we should not forget about the magnetic lid that your Yeti mug features.

Safety Risk #1: Stainless Steel

The only thing that makes stainless steel different from other metals, is the fact that it’s covered with a layer of chromium oxide that prevents corrosion and oxidation. This ‘shield’ makes it practically impossible for the coffee in your Yeti mug to warm up once in a microwave.

If the lid is open, the liquid will become hotter simply because it will be receiving some heat from the open top (not through the walls).

The real drama might start if the mug comes in contact with the walls. The arcing that can start a fire will occur between the microwave’s metal walls and the Yeti cup. You will witness distinct sparks and hear a crackling noise.

Arcing happens when an electric current flows from one conductive point to another. It may cause severe damage and injuries. As most metals reflect microwave energy, they can disrupt the appliance’s paths and cause arcing.

Moreover, heating up stainless steel can reduce the service life of the microwave’s magnetron tube.

Safety Risk #2: Double-walled Items

This is the kind of hazard that might not seem so obvious. We all know that metals are not friends with microwaves, but what on earth is wrong with double walls?

The truth is that any container with double-walled insulation can become extremely dangerous when put in a microwave. The actual insulation material might start to expand from the heat, the pressure will increase, and the mug can potentially explode.

Safety Risk #3: Magnetic Lids

The kitchen appliance already has the magnetron that creates a magnetic field, so placing another magnet inside will not do any harm, right?

Well, not quite. A ceramic magnet would be just fine, but in the case of Yeti mugs, the chances are high that the company uses metal magnets. The microwave’s energy will, most likely, overheat and kill it.

How Long to Microwave Coffee in a Yeti Mug?

We have already found out that no one would recommend heating up a stainless-steel mug in the microwave. But if you were to do it, how long would it take your coffee to become warm again?

Microwaving for longer than 1 minute isn’t a great decision. And you might want to leave your coffee in there for even less, just in case.

Sometimes, a few seconds are enough to cause arcing. And the longer you leave the Yeti mug in the microwave, the higher the chances that the mug or the microwave will damage.

Besides, the stainless steel will prevent your drink from actually heating up, so why even risk it?

Tips for Microwaving Coffee in a Yeti Mug

The number one piece of advice is don’t microwave coffee in a Yeti mug. You can, for example, pour some boiling water into your tumbler, let it sit for a few minutes, pour it out, and then add your hot coffee to the mug to keep it warm for longer.

 But if you are the unstoppable kind, then here are a few easy-to-follow tips.

  • Remove the magnetic lid. Theoretically, this will make the whole process a little safer. Moreover, you won’t end up damaging the magnet and the content of the mug will heat up a little from the top.
  • Microwave the coffee for about a minute. The shorter the session, the lower the risk that something would happen. But please do remember that arcing can happen even in the first few seconds. Talking of which…
  • Make sure that your Yeti cup is not touching the microwave’s walls. Because of this contact, arcing might start, and this can result in a fire or an explosion.
  • Be careful when taking the tumbler out of the microwave. Excessive heating may damage the container and make it very hot. So don’t burn yourself.

Final Thoughts

In simple words, don’t microwave coffee in a Yeti mug. The stainless-steel tumbler can cause arcing, put your appliance on fire, or even explode because of its double walls.

Furthermore, the Yeti mug might damage your microwave and vice versa. And you don’t want that to happen to your expensive mug and kitchen appliance, right?

Moreover, this drinkware keeps liquids hot for a long time, especially if you use the lid, so it is safer to try and make the most of what the design has to offer.

If you still decide to microwave your coffee in a Yeti mug, make sure to take into consideration the tips that we have mentioned above. And here is our last one, before we say goodbye…

It is better to pour your coffee into safe kitchenware and heat it up on a stove. This is the only way to preserve the drink’s aroma!

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