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What Can You Microwave Safely? What You Can and Can’t Put in a Microwave

What Can You Microwave Safely? What You Can and Can’t Put in a Microwave

What Can You Microwave Safely? What You Can and Can’t Put in a Microwave

There’s no doubt that microwaves have revolutionised the way we heat our food – and even what we eat – by providing a rapid and convenient way to cook fresh food, microwave-ready meals, and even warm up leftovers from the night before. They are incredibly versatile and are unlikely to go out of style any time soon, despite the increase in popularity of wonderful appliances like air fryers.

Nevertheless, not everything is microwave-safe, and placing certain materials inside them can lead to fires and toxic fumes and can even damage the appliance itself. Therefore, it’s important to know what you should be microwaving and what should be left to other cooking methods.

In this post, we’ll look at what you can and can’t put in a microwave, so you can enjoy yours safely.

What Can You Microwave Safely? What You Can and Can’t Put in a Microwave

Can You Put Glass in the Microwave?

  • Short Answer: Generally safe, if labelled as such.
  • Explanation: Glass is a common choice for use in microwaves because it is often safe to use, thanks to its non-reactive properties. Therefore, you’ll be able to use most glass containers in your microwave.

    However, it should be noted that some glass containers are not suitable for microwave use. For example, some glass containers have decorative elements, such as metallic paint or trims, and these are not safe to use. Furthermore, glass can become fragile if it has been subjected to rapid temperature changes.
  • Tips: Before using glass in your microwave, check that it doesn’t have any decorative features that contain metals. Also, it’s worth checking that your glass container doesn’t have any cracks or chips in it, as this can lead to fracturing when it is heated.
Can You Put Glass in the Microwave?

Can You Put Ceramics in the Microwave?

  • Short Answer: Generally safe, if labelled as such.
  • Explanation: Like glass, ceramics are a popular choice for use within microwaves, and some are even designed with this purpose in mind. They also don’t tend to become as hot to touch as glass because they don’t absorb microwave radiation. However, some ceramic containers also have decorative elements, which can contain metallic paint, and this is not suitable for use within a microwave because it can cause sparks.
  • Tips: Check for any metallic decorative elements and defects that could cause the container to crack further before using ceramics in the microwave.
Can You Put Ceramics in the Microwave?

Can You Put Plastic in the Microwave?

  • Short Answer: It depends on the type of plastic.
  • Explanation: There’s no doubt that plastic is regularly used in microwaves but not all plastics are safe to use in this way. Although the former is designed to be used in microwaves, the latter can melt or release harmful chemicals when heated in this way.
  • Tips: Before using plastic containers in the microwave, you should also look for a ‘microwave-safe’ label, which will often be printed on the base. If you can’t see one, it’s not worth risking it due to potential safety issues.
Can You Put Plastic in the Microwave?

Can You Put Cardboard in the Microwave?

  • Short Answer: Avoid unless otherwise stated.
  • Explanation: Some cardboard can be used within the microwave, but this will always be stated on the container. For example, certain parts of ready meals may come in cardboard packages that are designed to be heated in this way. However, other cardboard should be avoided because it can contain other materials – like glues, waxes, and inks – that can present a fire hazard and even the harmful transmittance of other substances into your food.
  • Tips: Only use cardboard in the microwave when the instructions on the box tell you to do so. Otherwise, it’s not worth the risk because there can be serious safety issues if so.
Can You Put Cardboard in the Microwave?

Can You Put Metal in the Microwave?

  • Short Answer: Not safe.
  • Explanation: Metal is a major no-no when it comes to microwaves. Microwaving metals can cause sparks and fires and can damage both the metal of the item, as well as the microwave itself.
  • Tips: Avoid putting any metal in microwaves. It’s also worth checking other materials to see if they have metallic decorative elements, as these are not suitable either.

Can You Put Cling Film in the Microwave?

  • Short Answer: Avoid unless otherwise stated.
  • Explanation: Cling film and plastic wraps are often used for covering dishes to keep them fresh, and some people leave them on when reheating food in the microwave. However, this should be avoided unless otherwise stated as safe because many can melt and even release harmful chemicals into your food.
  • Tips: Always check the packaging of your cling film to see whether it is safe for microwave use. If you cannot see it stated as such, do not take the risk.
Can You Put Metal in the Microwave? Can You Put Cling Film in the Microwave?

Can You Put Foil in the Microwave?

  • Short Answer: Not safe.
  • Explanation: Aluminium foil is a metal and should be treated as such. That means that it is not suitable for microwaves because it can cause sparks, fires, and damage to elements inside the microwave itself.
  • Tips: Avoid all foils when it comes to microwave cooking. If you require an alternative, look for a cling film that states it is suitable for such use.
Can You Put Foil in the Microwave?

So, there you have it – a list of dos and don’ts when it comes to microwave cooking. For the most part, you should stick to containers made from glass and ceramics, but these too must be checked for safety before use. With any other materials, you should avoid putting them in the microwave unless the official packaging states otherwise. That way, you’ll know you’re always using your appliance safely.