About metal in microwave ovens

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If no thin metals bit are allowed, why can I use small strips of aluminum foil to cover the ends of meats while defrosting?
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If I remember correctly, it has to do with the wavelength of the microwaves. Put a big piece of metal in the microwave and it probably won't do anything. Put two pieces of metal in close proximity and the microwaves will tend to spark between them. This includes items placed too close to the walls of the microwave.
Lay a piece of aluminum foil out flat, it probably won't spark. Crumple it up into a loose ball, and you'll probably get sparks between adjoining folds.
Stick a paper clip in the microwave, it will probably arc. Straighten it out and it probably won't arc.
Plates with gold rings around the outer edge tend to spark because the ring isn't electrically continuous. It may look like a solid ring, but there are microscopic gaps that allow the microwaves to arc.
It's all about the distances between pieces of metal.

You can use normal paint, as the oven doesn't get any hotter than the food you are cooking. Be sure to remove the rust, sand it lightly, and wipe it clean with laquer thinner or something before spraying the paint on. You may want to use an appliance paint for longevity. I just bought some from Home Depot last night for another project.
Obviously, wait until the paint is dry before you start cooking with the oven. I would probably boil a cup of water a couple of times and discard it before I started putting my food in there.
Anthony
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