You Should Never Microwave Processed Meat. Here's Why

If you've ever been tempted to nuke a hot dog or a few strips of bacon in the microwave instead of firing up the grill or dirtying a frying pan, we get it. The convenience of a microwave is unrivaled in the kitchen. But using one to cook processed meats isn't doing you any favors. The problem comes in the form of three little letters: COP, which stands for Cholesterol Oxidation Product. What are COPs and why should they get in the way of you enjoying tasty microwaved breakfast sausage? 

According to BioMed Central, when foods derived from animals are heated, the cholesterol in these foods oxidizes and degrades, forming Cholesterol Oxidation Products. COPs can contribute to conditions such as atherosclerosis, which The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute describes as a hardening of the arteries that restricts the flow of oxygen-rich blood to other parts of your body. COPs are a necessary evil if you eat meat, eggs, and other animal products since most of these things need to be cooked before they can be consumed. But the combo of the hot, fast heat of a microwave and some ingredients commonly found in processed meat makes the situation worse. Here's why.

The microwave amplifies the oxidation of cholesterol

Studies noted by BioMed Central have shown the microwave produced more COPs when cooking foal meat and pork than roasting, grilling, and frying. A 2015 study in Lipids in Health and Disease found that he problem worsened when pork products such as bacon were cooked, stored in the refrigerator, and then reheated in the microwave. (Oven grilling also markedly increased COPs).

This is a tough hot dog to swallow if you are accustomed to microwaving your processed meats. The good news is, there are better ways to cook! Instead of using the microwave, try simmering your bacon in water on the stove top until the water evaporates, then let it fry until done. Not only are you avoiding the excess COPs, but this method produces the perfect texture combo of chewy, crisp bacon. When it comes to hot dogs and sausages, the grill might be your best bet! Light it up, call some friends over, and enjoy yourself. COPs aside, we'd rather attend a cook-out than a microwaved processed meat party any day.