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


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. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bakelite Nov 1 '14 at 18:59
  • @WayfaringStranger : and if you put a bakelite handle in a hot oven (I didn't know, they were hand-me-down pots from a deceased relative) ... gasses will bubble up from inside, resulting in a dull, slightly pock-marked handle. And it will stink horribly.
    – Joe
    Mar 30 '18 at 1:36
  • @Joe Never had that happen to me, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if there were quality variations in batches the plastic depending on manufacturer. Mar 30 '18 at 15:45
  • @WayfaringStranger : I don't remember what I was making ... so it might've been over 350F ... and it was a rather odd, 3 burner stove (in an apartment kitchen that was smaller than either of the two closets in the place) ... so I don't know if I'd trust the temperature it said, anyway.
    – Joe
    Mar 30 '18 at 16:46

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.
    – Cascabel
    Oct 10 '15 at 18:09

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.


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).


No. No matter what kind of plastic you are using, don't use it for oven use. It will melt from the inside or it might melt completely. For safer use, don't use plastic 'cause your oven might catch on fire.

  • Please do not use ALL CAPS, because it is considered "shouting" in the Internet. There is no need to yell at us...
    – Stephie
    Dec 11 '16 at 9:50
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    Btw., there are companies that market special plastic containers as oven-safe (within certain limits) for baking.
    – Stephie
    Dec 11 '16 at 9:55
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    @Stephie : you should have the reputation on here to get an 'edit' button under the answer. (for me it's between 'share' and 'delete'). Then you can fix the problem (so the rest of us don't have to see it), rather than just shaming the person. Abigail : the problem is that when things are in all caps, they're quite jarring -- it gets people's attention as they can't use word shapes to help them read, so they have to slow way down ... so attention getting + harder to understand + annoying = shouting. (All lower or lack of punctuation are problems because sentences seem to run together)
    – Joe
    Dec 11 '16 at 10:55
  • @Joe I do - and while I diligently contribute to this site, I don't have the time or energy to fix everything, so I sometimes use the "teach a man to fish" approach. Thanks for pinging me if you felt my tone was off the mark.
    – Stephie
    Dec 11 '16 at 11:23

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