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Can I use a microwave safe plastic container to bake in an electric oven?

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5 Answers 5

Here is a list of common plastics found in kitchen containers. You will find this information on the bottom of the container, in a triangle with a number inside.

While some plastics used in microwavable applications appear to have a high melting point, PET for instance melts at 510ºF, please remember that the material will soften, weaken and otherwise degrade long before actually melting into liquid. Other plastics labeled microwave safe, like HDPE, melts at a mere 265ºF! While microwave safe plastics may have a relatively high short term temperature resistance, sustained temperature tolerance, as in leaving it in an oven for baking, is much lower.

Silicone bakeware, by contrast, has a melting point of 935ºF, but is only rated for use at sustained temperatures no greater than 675ºF. Above that point, and the material will soften, warp and degrade. Thermoplastics have a much lower melting point, and it can be expected that their sustained temperature resistance is likewise much lower, to the point where using them as bakeware is unadvisable.

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Bakelite, often found in pot handles even today, is good in the oven to about 350°F. I've seen casserole dishes made of the stuff in the past, but not for decades. – Wayfaring Stranger Nov 1 '14 at 18:59

No. It will most likely melt. Once this happens, inner surfaces of your oven will be coated with molten plastic which will smoke and smell foul, and probably never come off. Every time you use your oven it will smoke all over again until it's as carbonized as it's going to get. Don't do it.

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Tonight I turned on my oven to preheat to 425 degrees for a pizza, and ten minutes later every smoke alarm in the house went off. I dashed upstairs and discovered that I had forgotten I had put a plastic bin of dishes from a neighborhood party in there to return them. (I don't have a lot of spare room.) There was a fire in my oven. Black smoke was billowing out the top. (I thought ovens were supposed to be airtight?) The whole plastic bin was melting and there was black all over the clean dishes that were in it. There were flames on either side of the melting bin. I've moved recently and had to leave my fire extinguisher behind because of a moving van regulation. So the one time I actually needed it, there was none there. (I'm buying a new one tomorrow.) I didn't know what else to do so I grabbed my wok, filled it with water, opened the smoking door and threw the whole contents all over both sides. That seemed to put out the fire, but for good measure I also filled the wok a second time and again hurled it inside the over. I see that there are hard little gray pools of plastic everywhere in there, and I suspect I have wrecked my oven. This is more than a hypothetical -- this is a PLEASE don't put any plastic in the oven!!!!! My ears are still ringing from all my smoke detectors, but they did their job. And I am shaken, every window and door in my house is open, but I'll never forget that again!

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Ovens aren't totally airtight; they have vent, often under one of the burners or at the back of the cooktop. The important thing is that they contain the flames, so as long as you don't open it, the fire can't easily spread to the rest of your kitchen. – Jefromi Oct 10 at 18:09

No. The heating mechanisms are different, and the oven will probably be hotter than the melting point of the plastic (which is often around 150-300 F, and maybe slightly higher depending on the kind of plastic).

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Plastic in baking oven = anathema.

In street language,
Anathema = gross, banned, ridiculously evil, unacceptable idiocy, banishment.

You will/should be exiled and banned from the kitchen, if you do that.

a·nath·e·ma (-nth-m)
n. pl. a·nath·e·mas
1. A formal ecclesiastical ban, curse, or excommunication.
2. A vehement denunciation; a curse: "the sound of a witch's anathemas in some unknown tongue" (Nathaniel Hawthorne).
3. One that is cursed or damned.
4. One that is greatly reviled, loathed, or shunned:

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I understand why your answer is getting downvoted, but I agree that using plastic in an oven warrants some sort of banishment from the kitchen. ;-) – Carey Gregory Oct 26 '13 at 1:30
There certain things in life where one should indulge oneself, to the risk of societal rejection, as a delusional prophet vehemently warning others of the mess such things would create in our lives. Use of plastic ware in a baking oven is one of those things. – Blessed Geek Oct 27 '13 at 22:35
-1: This answer essentially just says "no"; the rest is window dressing. A good answer might mention why, as obvious as it may seem. – Jefromi Oct 27 '13 at 23:23
If I go to my local supermarket and buy a ready-meal, it will come in a plastic container and have instructions for cooking in an oven. That doesn't mean that all plastics are suitable for oven use, but some plastics certainly are. – dopiaza Oct 11 at 0:26
Microwave oven or electric element oven ? – Blessed Geek Oct 11 at 7:16

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