Microwaves are one of the most used appliances in our homes, dorms and office break rooms. In our daily lives, we use the microwave oven to defrost frozen food, reheat leftovers and make quick meals.
It’s vital to put the proper utensils in a microwave. Otherwise, it could produce toxic substances in the heating process, and may even lead to an explosion.
But what utensils are safe to use in a microwave? How to tell if your utensils are microwave-safe? You can easily find the answers in this article.
What utensils are usually safe to use in a microwave? — Ceramics
Generally speaking, ceramic utensils are safe to use in a microwave. Ceramic utensils are fired at high temperatures in the production process. Therefore, ceramics are usually heat-resistant.
However, there are all sorts of ceramic products on the market, and some of them are not meant to be used in a microwave.
For instance, ceramic products with gold, silver rims should not be put in a microwave, as metals are not meant to be used in microwaves.
If you want to find out whether your ceramic utensils are microwave-safe or not, read this post.
What utensils are usually safe to use in a microwave? — Glass
It’s safe to say that glass is almost always safe to put in a microwave. Glass has relatively stable physicochemical properties, and most glassware on the market is resistant to high temperatures.
Therefore, glass products are suitable and safe for microwaving. Still, there are some “buts” attached to that conclusion.
If you’re about to put a glass product in a microwave, make sure that it doesn’t have any metal lid or metal decorative paint or glaze. Otherwise, the metal could spark while heated and lead to shattering.
What utensils are partially safe to use in a microwave? — Paper Products
Most paper plates and paper bowls are safe to put in a microwave, but they’re not meant for long-time microwave cooking.
Microwaves cause water molecules within the food to vibrate, in order to produce heat that cooks the food. And water only goes up to 100 degrees when it boils, while paper can withstand the heat that ranges up to 130-180 degrees.
Still, I’d recommend you to check for the MICROWAVE-SAFE label on a paper product before you use it in a microwave. Because some paper products with wax and printing should not be heated as they can pose potential safety hazards.
Also, it’s best to check on the paper product every now and then as it cooks, to make sure it’s still in good shape.
What utensils are partially safe to use in a microwave? — Plastic Products
Plastic utensils are one of the most used utensils in the microwave. However, not all plastic products are safe to use in a microwave. How to tell if your plastic utensil is okay to use in a microwave? Read on.
Plastic products on the market are divided into 7 types: #1 (PET), #2 (HDPE), #3 (PVC), #4 (LDPE), #5 (PP), #6 (PS) and #7(OTHER).
Among all, only PP plastic (5), also known as polypropylene, is safe to use in a microwave. Therefore, check the bottom of your plastic utensils for the mark “#5” or “PP” before you use it in a microwave.
Also, single-use plastics like those used for bottle drinks and food wrapper should never be used in the microwave.