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I was thinking about getting plate that can be safely heated by microwave. What material should I look for? My point is to (partialy) turn microwave into induction heater. Plate like this is already sold by Samsung as "crusty plate", but those are hard to come by - I have seen them only along with new microwave.

  • your 'crusty plate' is often sold as a 'microwave crisping tray'. it's also called a susceptor – Joe May 10 '15 at 2:56
  • BTW, in engineering language, the material property that causes a non-conductive material (dielectric) to absorb microwaves is measured as the "loss tangent". Smaller values, less absorption. This property is frequency dependent, you care about values stated for frequencies in the range of 1-4 GHz (microwave oven is always 2.4GHz). Conductive (not ionic conductors like salt water!) materials heat up for different reasons (antenna effects + ohmic loss). – rackandboneman May 10 '15 at 9:09
  • I never realized that I should keep metalized cardboard from under ready-made pizza when I heat it up in microwave. Apparently it is susceptor. – PiotrR May 10 '15 at 20:07
  • The reason they tend to be sold with ovens more than as an aftermarket item might be that the wrong kind in the wrong oven might overload it. And metallized cardboard, unless the packaging states so explicitly, is very unsafe in a microwave. – rackandboneman Dec 1 '15 at 16:38
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In my experience, vitreous ceramic (Luminarc) heats up a lot in a microwave, usually ending up hotter than the food. But I cannot tell you if it has some advantage over heating the food in any other material.

Also, if you really want to eat crispy roasted food, the microwave is probably the least suited heating method for that. I have never used the suggested "crusty plate" but I wouldn't expect much of it.

  • Some of my dishes heat up in the microwave (they're some kind of ceramic, not sure specifically). It's definitely hot enough to be really annoying if all you want is to grab your food, but I can't imagine it having a cooking effect. – Cascabel May 9 '15 at 14:43
  • @Jefromi if you have held a vitreous ceramic plate, you'll recognize it. It is much more glass like than porcelain. A slightly cheaper material than real porcelain, it has brighter, less warm colors, a trace of translucency, and if it breaks, it shatters into many, many splinters instead of a few large pieces. If you don't know what ceramic, it's probably not this one (quite obvious) kind. But while it heats up more than standard porcelain in the microwave, the difference is small, and I also don't think it will cook the food. – rumtscho May 9 '15 at 14:55
  • Hm, well I guess it's not just vitreous ceramic that heats up. – Cascabel May 9 '15 at 15:42
  • @Jefromi: Thicker ceramics might contain small amounts of water within, especially if the glazing has (invisible to the naked eye) micro-cracks and said ceramics are washed in a dishwasher. They tend to get quite hot, too. – Stephie May 9 '15 at 17:11
  • "don't think it will cook the food" - more likely, it interferes with cooking it. There is a fixed amount of energy that a microwave oven can transfer into what is in it, and if your tableware gets heated that means it will be less efficiently transferred to the food (since there will always be thermal radiation loss). – rackandboneman May 10 '15 at 9:00
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Ceramic. Microwaves excite certain types of molecules and water being a prime target it heats foods rather quickly.

Ceramic that is glazed (the hardened colorful exterior of the ceramic ware) traps the water inside the clay when the bowls, mugs, plates are made. It makes a skin if you will. The microwave will heat these types of dishes up real fast and hold their heat well because they have a lot of mass compared to other types. I use Pfaltzgraff plates and they are heavy. They are heavy ceramic and if I cook a bowl of cold soup for 3 minutes in it.... I can not touch the bowl. It is screaming hot.

I have some raw ceramic pans (for meatloaf) with no glazing on them. They barely get hot. In a microwave.

Also there is sand mixxed in clay. This is more of a physics question. Good luck.

  • Here is a link to the plate you are talking about. Notice the oven this plate goes in is a Cenvection/Microwave oven. And in the instructions it says to warm the plate for 3 minutes before using. manualslib.com/manual/202073/Samsung-Ce107mtst.html?page=12 – Little Kobold May 9 '15 at 16:12
  • Seems pretty unlikely that trapped water is responsible for the heating of glazed ceramic dishes. More likely is heating of "dielectric ceramics" (look them up in Wikipedia), specifically the glazes that are used and not the stoneware itself. If there were trapped water, it would have been heated out during firing (or exploded the piece.) . Glazes could not have "sealed it in" water since the steam formed would have easily bubbled through the glazes when they were in their melted state. Glazes only solidify after they cool from high temperature firing. – BondedDust Dec 14 '15 at 23:36

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