Have you ever reheated your dinner in a microwave, only to discover that your bowl is warped when the timer goes off? Or have you ever placed a ceramic bowl into the oven, then hear a dreadful cracking sound? Knowing that your food containers are safe for ovens and microwaves is crucial for avoiding broken vessels and ruined meals. But what if you know for sure that your bowl is microwave safe? Would that make it ok to use in the oven? We researched information from several sources and have our findings presented throughout this post.
Oven safe and microwave safe are not interchangeable terms. Just because a bowl is safe to use in one does not mean that it can be safely used in the other. While some materials are perfectly safe to use in both, many are not. Bowls made from the following material can be used without issue in a microwave:
- microwave-safe plastics
- most ceramics
Now that we know which types of bowls can be used safely in a microwave, we'll dig into several popular brands that are available. We'll look at bowls that are only safe in microwaves, as well as ones that can be used in ovens. We will also cover whether or not you can microwave a Ziploc bag or how you can tell if a bowl is microwave safe. To see what we've discovered, read ahead in this post.
Food storage containers that are oven and microwave safe
If you have a typical kitchen, you have an assortment of bowls. They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors and are made from a wide variety of materials. Before you grab one at random to reheat last night's lasagna, read on to see which ones are safe for microwaves.
The one material that is only microwave-safe is plastic. Microwave safe plastics are usually a little thicker and more rigid. They'll take the microwaves bouncing off of it with no issue and are durable enough to withstand the heat from the food you're warming up.
But just because it's plastic does not mean that your bowl is ok to place in the microwave. Be sure to read the manufacturer's recommendations to ensure that what you're using is labeled as microwave safe.
For obvious reasons, no plastic is oven safe. While plastics can be made strong enough to withstand hot foods, they are nowhere near sturdy enough to withstand direct heat from your oven. Placing plastic in your oven will cause it to melt. You'll ruin not only the container but also your dinner. Even worse, fumes from melted plastic are harmful to your health and the environment.
Stainless steel and cast iron are excellent examples of materials that will serve you well in the oven but will destroy your microwave. The stainless steel bowls and cookware popular among chefs found a place in our kitchens over the last few decades. These durable kitchen containers are perfect for baking or reheating and are safe in your dishwasher as well.
Cast iron has had its popularity wane in the last forty years, but it's still a safe material for your oven. Bowls and pans made from this type of material uniformly heat the food but are much more time consuming to clean. They also require routine maintenance.
Placing either stainless steel or cast iron in your microwave will do considerable damage to your appliance. Remember that no metal should ever go into your microwave.
Microwave safe and oven safe
So which materials are safe to use in both your oven AND your microwave? There are several out there, and they come in a wide variety from scores of manufacturers.
This popular glassware company makes bowls and food containers that will work safely in your microwave and oven. This heavy-duty glass product is also safe to place in your dishwasher.
Ceramic is popular in restaurants for small deserts and individual dishes. In recent times, these ramekins have become more used in home kitchens. Ceramic is safe for the microwave, and most ceramic dishes are safe for the oven. It's always a good idea to check that the vessel you're about to use is oven safe. Some ceramics don't have the type of glazing to withstand an oven's high heat, and they'll crack when they overheat.
This company manufactured millions of bowls and food containers for decades, and many kitchens still have them at the ready. Made from a combination of ceramic and glass, Corningware works safely in both your oven and microwave. They are also dishwasher safe.
How can you tell if a bowl is microwave safe?
Before you place a bowl into a microwave, you'll want to be confident that it is microwave safe. If the bowl is plastic, ceramic, or porcelain, then there's a great chance that it's ok to use in this appliance.
To be sure, check with the manufacturer's recommendations. If it does not explicitly state "microwave safe," then do not place it inside of one.
What happens if you put a metal bowl in the microwave?
Metal should never be placed inside of a microwave. Doing so will burn up your appliance, causing you to have to replace it.
Metals have a high amount of electrons in them. When the microwaves hit the metal, these electrons accelerate rapidly, moving into an excited state. This rapid movement of electrons is more than the appliance can handle due to the massive amount of rapid heat that begins to emanate from the metal.
What plastic is safe to microwave?
Most plastics are safe for microwave ovens. But as we pointed out earlier in this post, some are made of thin and flimsy plastics that will melt from the heated food.
Generally, plastics that are comprised of polyamide and polypropylene are microwave safe. But check the manufacture's guidelines; if the plastic is safe for the microwave, it will indicate that it is "microwave safe."
Can you microwave Ziploc bags?
While you might be tempted to leave frozen food in a Ziploc bag, it's a pretty good idea to remove it from the food. These bags are designed with a super-thin plastic material that works great in freezers but is not durable enough to withstand microwaves. The food's heat will also be too much for the bag and will cause it to melt. This ruins your bag and also ruins your food.
This post discovered multiple materials that can be used in a microwave or an oven. Some of the materials, like ceramics and glassware, can safely be used in both appliances.
You can tell if a bowl or other dish is safe for use in an appliance by reading the manufacturer's guidelines. If it says "microwave safe" or "oven-safe," then you're ok to use the dishware in those appliances. Never use any dishware in an oven, dishwasher, or microwave unless it expressly states that it's safe to do so on the box or in the instructions.
If you found this post on microwave-safe bowls to be informative, you might enjoy reading these posts on kitchen items: