GladWare is a household brand that manufactures products including durable plastic containers that are BPA-free, microwave-safe and freezer-safe. The affordable lightweight food grade containers are proclaimed to be microwave safe, but is that really the case?
Can you microwave GladWare? According to the manufacturer, you can microwave GladWare containers. They recommend lifting the corner of the lid to vent the steam.
No everyone hols the same position when it comes to the safety of microwaving plastic. The chemical compounds have a lower tolerance to heat compared to glass or ceramic dishes, as a result the materials may melt and leach harmful materials that are not safe for consumption.
The overall safety of plastic containers and food has been a contentious debate. Industry leading manufacturers of brand names like Rubbermaid, Ziploc and Tupperware use marketing campaigns to dodge sensible concerns over food safety with their products, however I continue to question the resilience of plastic containers when facing heating elements.
GladWare products should be microwaved as per the manufacturer’s recommended instructions, and the information provided in this article will help you understand the importance. Detailed responses to the frequently asked questions about microwaving GladWare are included, along with the best way to safely use GladWare in a microwave.
Is Gladware safe for microwave?
Yes, it is safe to microwave GladWare. The only instruction provided by the manufacturer is to lift one corner of the lid before microwaving.
GladWare provides an easy mechanism to food and leftovers while on the go. They are durable containers that are microwave, freezer, and dishwasher safe as well as being made from BPA-free plastic.
Plastics are not always made from the same chemical compounds, but GladWare products are proudly made BPA-free. This is no surprise as it has inevitably become an industry standard for a majority of food grade plastic manufacturers.
According to the manufacturer, you can microwave Gladware by lifting a corner of the Gladware lid to vent the release of steam.
Now, this is oddly peculiar as other plastic are seemingly more transparent about heating food in plastic. Competitors in the reusable plastic containers industry only recommend using plastic containers to reheat or defrost food, not for cooking or steaming. [1, 2, 3]
Isn’t it quite odd that Glad seems to be the only plastics manufacture that puts no limitations on microwaving their containers?
Can GladWare plastic go in the microwave?
GladWare plastic containers can go in the microwave. When you are using one of their containers, open the lid at one corner to let the steam vent.
Can I use plastic containers in the microwave? Yes, you can use plastic containers in a microwave if it is made with microwave-safe BPA free plastic. Plastic containers that are not microwave safe may potentially be hazardous for heating food.
Safely use a plastic container in the microwave as long as it is microwave-safe labeled. Never use plastic for storing food when it is not food grade quality and do not heat plastic that has no microwave-safe label as they may leach or melt when heated.
No matter what type of plastic container it is, foods high in sugar and fat are not recommended for microwaving. This is because fat and sugar have higher boiling points than water, therefore any type of plastic may melt as a result.
Always allow the lid to vent and release heat pressure when using plastic. Cautiously remove the lid post-microwaving food to avoid heat burn from scalding steam.
Always use cling wrap or freezer bags or food storage bags for microwaving, only if they sustain the microwave heat and labeled microwave safe. Leaching of plastic or the chemicals in the plastic to the food in the container is hazardous and can risk cancer.
GladWare microwave safe symbol
The microwave-safe symbol for GladWare containers is five squiggly lines on top of each other. The wavy lines represent that the container is using FDA approved microwave-safe plastic.
Squiggly lines represent that the product is microwave safe and can be used for microwaving food. Some products show the microwave image or at times a dish that is set below waves, but squiggly lines are constant to signify that the container is microwave safe.
Are Glad Heatables microwave safe?
According to the manufacture, Glad Heatables are microwave safe. They are an aluminum foil based material that can be used in a microwave, oven, and toaster.
Gladware Heatables are the first disposable and reusable aluminum storage and cooking container. They are leak-resistant making them ideal to be used in the microwave to minimize spills.
Heatables are no longer available, and the product has been rebranded as Glad OvenWare. Heat, reheat and cook meals by placing them directly into the microwave from the fridge or freezer.
Can you microwave GladWare lids?
Yes, you can microwave GladWare lids, however it is recommended to lift a corner of the lid to vent the steam pressure while microwaving.
FDA states that any plastic labeled as “microwave safe” is protected from harm and danger when used in a microwave indeed. GladWare lids are better than using plastic wrap, but you should maintain a one inch gap between the lid and the food.
The lid may leach chemicals if it comes in contact with the heated food. Although it may not be harmful, if they are microwave safe and food-grade variety, but that is not a risk that everyone is willing to take.
The GladWare lids are reheatable and reusable. Don’t allow them to come in contact with food while microwaving.
How to safely store and reheat food?
You can safely store and reheat food by using Gladware containers or any other microwave-safe containers like ceramic and glass. Do not use any containers that are not meant for heating food.
Some tips to safely store and reheat food:
- Do not use margarine tubs or yogurt container to heat as they tend to melt or warp in the microwave. This type of plastic can leach into reheated food as it is designed for cold food storage.
- Safely store food in an airtight container to retain the freshness.
- Properly store perishable food in the fridge within 2 hours of exposure to the temperature danger zone of 40°F to 140°F.
- Prevent using plastics that are stained, visibly damaged, or have a strong odor.
- Type 1, 2, 4 and 5 are considered microwave safe plastics.
- These plastics are reinforced with chemicals that strengthen the plastic to avoid leaching when heated in a microwave.
- When microwaving, ensure that the lid vented to release steam.
- Stir the food to have even heat distribution throughout the food.
- Store food in freezer-safe food storage containers that can be placed in the microwave to reheat.
- FDA has set safety standards for food packaging materials, so choose plastic that is FDA approved. Store the food in them to avoid any leaching or melting of non-food grade plastics.
Things to know before microwaving GladWare containers
GladWare containers are BPA-free, microwave-safe, and dishwasher safe. They can be placed directly in the microwave and safely reheated.
However, when microwaving food in GladWare containers, you should know the following:
- When you microwave food in the GladWare container, lift a corner of the lid to vent the steam formed during microwaving.
- Let the container sit for a minute to allow the steam to settle before removing the lid to avoid any scalding.
- When using resealable bags or freezer bags by Glad in a GladWare container, leave the bag slightly open to vent the heat.
- GladWare containers are BPA-free.
- Plastic containers may be used directly from the freezer to a microwave.
- The container comes with air-tight lids to keep food fresh while storing. Lift a corner of the lid to create a vent when microwaving.
- The containers neutralize odors and also use minimal plastic to make them eco-friendly.
- It is always better to avoid microwaving food with high sugars and fats in plastic containers.
Microwaving GladWare: Conclusion
Yes, you can microwave GladWare products as they are BPA-free, dishwasher, microwave, and freezer-safe containers. When heating GladWare with a lid, leave one of the corners of the lid open to create a vent for the steam to release.
If microwaving GladWare containers has produced successful outcomes for you in the past, then you may have no concern or worry to deviate from the same path. Even though all Glad containers are BPA-free and “microwave safe,” the manufacturers lack of specific guidelines is quite worrisome.
When analyzing the subject a bit deeper, I would rather use ceramic and glass microwave safe containers instead of microwave GladWare containers.
Additionally, covered food heats up easier and more effectively as the moisture is trapped under the lid to prevent food from drying out. A microwave food cover decreases cooking, defrosting and reheating time by trapping steam that encourages even distribution of heat around the food.
Although all GladWare containers are BPA-free, the manufacturer has provided only one instruction that should be followed when you microwave GladWare containers, “Lift one corner of the lid prior to microwaving.”
Based on the recommendations of other brand names, here are some other suggestions to follow when microwaving plastic containers:
- Do not microwave empty containers.
- Do not overfill container
- Do not heat foods that are high in fat, oil, sugar or tomato sauce.
- Do not overheat contents in plastic containers
- Vent container in microwave
- Use medium to low heat
- Defrost and reheat only
- Nuke for durations of 1-minute or less
Although GladWare containers are reusable, GladWare containers dating before 2010 may contain BPA.
Furthermore, I do not recommend microwaving old GladWare containers that have been extensively microwaved. There is no set life expectancy for a GladWare container, but burdening the utilization puts food at risk of toxic release from plastic as it further degrades.
If the container has exceeded its useful lifespan, maybe it’s time to rotate it for other purposes that are separate from microwaving and food storage. When it comes to the food storage and microwaving plastic containers, it’s important to understand the proper usage and misuses of the products in question.
If you are convinced that microwaving GladWare containers is perfectly safe, then follow the best practices and continue along with no concerns. However, if you have question the safety of using a microwave to heat food in plastic containers, then it may be time to switch to glass or ceramic dishes to sidestep using plastic in a microwave.