Can you microwave glass? The short answer is YES. But read on to make sure you are taking the proper precautions.
There is no way around it: Microwaves make our lives easier, we can go from a frozen pizza to a freshly cooked dinner in five minutes, we have the power of cooking from chicken to popcorn at the tip of our fingers, but with great power comes great responsibility. A microwave can make or break your lunch, essentially depending on what you put it there.
Tips and Tricks when microwaving glass:
First of all, even though glass is usually ideal for the microwave, it is vulnerable to temperature shocks, so if you plan on microwaving a glass container that has been in the freezer, it’s best to let it come to room temperature before putting it in the microwave. When passing from freezing to scalding temperature the glass may break violently and explode outwards, even tempered glass.
However, we can’t always avoid putting something to heat directly from the freezer, so when thawing any food in the microwave, it’s best to use little power until all food is frost-less, and afterward stir the food before cooking it on full power. This procedure will help leverage the temperature without going into heat shock.
Glass and ceramic are, by the rule of thumb, healthier than plastic for microwave ovens, a few plastic containers contain an extremely harmful substance called bisphenol A (or BPA) that releases itself from the plastic and latches on to the food when the plastic is heated and may cause cancer. Even though nowadays BPA is not used in plastic food storage, make sure the box is marked as “BPA Free” before heating.
OK to microwave:
Porcelain and Stoneware behave similar to glass, it is safe to microwave, and they won’t release any harmful contaminants into your body. A word of caution, low-fired ceramic may explode, so to check if it’s safe to heat just knock on it and if it emits a clean sound you can microwave away!
Paper towels, napkins, and plates are safe to microwave.
Microwave plastic wraps, wax paper, cooking bags, parchment paper, and white microwave-safe paper are safe to microwave. Parchment paper is an ideal choice since it is grease and moisture resistant, so besides from being safe, it is also a no mess, no stress solution!
Controversial items to microwave:
Plastic and Styrofoam, even though the FDA states that if they are BPA-Free, they are safe to microwave, there is still debate as to the other chemicals these materials contain, such as phthalates, that could be linked to a decrease in male fertility.
Don’t even think about it!
Aluminum foil and metal or metal containers are a no-no, since it may catch fire at the microwave and even explode when exposed to very low heating temperatures.
Brown paper bags, plastic grocery bags or newspapers. Be sure to remove the wrapping since all of these items are not sanitary and may release harmful particles (as mentioned above with plastic), or catch fire.
Be rational when using the microwave oven. Don’t overdo it and try always to use glass or porcelain containers. After all, safety and health always should come first!