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Are plastic bowls microwave safe?

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How do you know which plastic bowls are microwave safe? Are disposable plastic bowls microwave safe? What are the dangers of plastic containers for food? If a plastic container melts in the microwave is the food still safe to eat?

Many people express fundamental concerns about plastic compounds not being safe to use in the microwave. There is a fundamental difference between microwave safe plastic bowls and those that are not.

Microwaves are meant to expedite food prep, cooking and also reduce the need for excessive cleaning. Occasionally we find ourselves wanting to use a disposable plastic bowl in the microwave instead of transferring the food to another dish.

How do you know if a plastic bowl is microwave safe?

Most plastic containers like takeout boxes, water bottles and condiments tubs or jars are not safe for microwave use. Microwavable takeout dinner trays have been specially engineered to withstand a single-use in the kitchen appliance. In general, this will be disclosed somewhere on the package.

However, you can purchase microwave safe plastic bowls made with plastic compounds that have been formulated to withstand high-heat and do not melt when used in the microwave. The commercially manufactured materials are specifically designed to hold up to the extreme heat inside the microwave.

When using a plastic container, check the bottom to see what type of material is used. The number corresponds to the type of chemical compound.

  • 3, 6, 7 are not microwave safe
  • 1, 2, 4 are sometimes microwave safe.
  • 5 is polypropylene, PP, and is generally considered safe to use in the microwave.

What are the dangers of plastic containers for microwaving food?

assortment of colorful plastic bowls on a shelf

There are circumstances where plastic containers may be harmful for the food when microwaving. Therefore, it is especially important to use plastic bowls that are microwave safe.

When used improperly, plastic compounds can leach harmful chemicals into food and liquids. Make sure to only use microwave safe plastic bowls. Furthermore, it is important to avoid using plastic bowls that are chipped, cracked or damaged in any way.

Another factor of concern would be the lifespan of the plastic container. Plastic bowls do not have a never-ending life and are consequently limited to the number of times they can be used in a microwave. There is no predetermined number of uses, but if your plastic bowls have seen better days, then maybe they have extend beyond their usable lifespan and should not be heated up in the microwave any longer.

If the plastic container melted in the microwave, then there is a large chance that chemicals leached into the food. I would not consider that food to be safe to eat, and would therefore throw it away and start over.

Which bowls are microwave safe?

Some plastic dishes have been specifically formulated to tolerate the extreme temperatures generated within a microwave. Commonly the information is found on the underneath side of the dish, and it will be clearly labeled as microwave safe.

In general, ceramic, glass and porcelain can all be used safely in the microwave. The exception being if the manufacturer clearly states that the dishes are not microwave safe.

The microwave is a powerful kitchen appliance that significantly helps to reduce time spent preparing food. Here are microwave soup bowls that can help you with meal prep, storage and also reheating food. Because minimizing food prep and cooking is a concern, kitchen cleanup is another redundant task that consumes excessive amounts of time.

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