Its well debated topic whether plastic / glass plates are unhealthy when used to heat food in microwave oven.

I was thinking to get rid of them altogether. I think I found such bowls. They have stainless steel from inside and plastic from outside and are microwave safe. They look something like this: enter image description here

However I am failing to find any non plastic/glass microwave safe plates that I can use for reheating food.

I have ceramic plates. But they get hot very quickly.

Q. Does all ceramic plates get hot in microwave?

Also they dont have any microwave-safe label on them. I did a lot of search on amazon.in to find ceramic, porcelain microwavable plates. But I dont find any that are labeled both ceramic (or porcelain) and microwavable. Or is it like all ceramic plates are microwavable, thats why there is no explicit microwavabble label on these webpages. In that case how do I know if these plates wont get hot in microwave. I felt only those plates which dont get hot in microwave are microwave safe.

Q. Does such plates exist: ceramic (or porcelain) and microwavable and those which does not get hot in microwave?

If yes can anyone point me to any online store web page showcasing them. At least I will get some starting point.

  • 1
    I guess we can take it as a given that you don't want glass but... what is it about glass that makes you think it's unsafe, while you think ceramic would be? And do you really mean the dishes shouldn't get hot at all? Generally hot food and steam in contact with the dishes is enough to get any kind of dish at least a bit hot in the microwave. And are you saying that you will trust a microwave safe label on ceramic even though you don't trust the ones on glass? – Cascabel Sep 2 '16 at 19:42
  • I guess you're also looking for reusable plates, e.g., paper plates don't count? – derobert Sep 2 '16 at 19:50
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    "there are debates" about the health effects of glass with food? By whom? – Daniel Griscom Sep 2 '16 at 20:42
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    Doesn't matter... Health is off topic. That part of your question is irrelevant. – Catija Sep 3 '16 at 1:07
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    A bowl that looks like that with stainless steel is not microwave safe. – paparazzo Sep 3 '16 at 1:56

Essentially all food-safe glass and ceramic dishes are microwave safe these days - it's possible to make non-microwave-safe things, but there's not a lot of market for non-microwaveable dishes. Paper is too, but it's generally disposable. If you've decided that you don't like glass, you can still use whatever ceramic you want. It won't be any safer than glass, but it won't be less safe either. You do still want to look for some kind of microwave- or at least heat-safe label, though, and test it without food first if it doesn't have the microwave-safe label.

From the FDA:

Glass, paper, ceramic, or plastic containers are used in microwave cooking because microwaves pass through these materials. Although such containers cannot be heated by microwaves, they can become hot from the heat of the food cooking inside. Some plastic containers should not be used in a microwave oven because they can be melted by the heat of the food inside.

Note that this addresses your concern about dishes heating up: some of that is normal. However, dishes that truly heat up in the microwave aren't a good idea. The best way to check is by heating them without food on them, but with a cup of water in the microwave to absorb energy so the microwave isn't totally empty. That will let you see how much, if any, the dish is heating up compared to the water that actually should be heated. If you want the really paranoid version, here's a test from a ceramics store:

To test microwave safety, take a piece (such as a mug or bowl) and immerse in a pan of water. Bring the water to a boil, then simmer for a few hours. This will allow the piece to absorb water. Then put the piece in the microwave. (The piece should be empty, and you should also put a separate mug of water in the microwave to protect the microwave.) Heat the microwave on high in 10 second increments. After each 10 seconds, carefully touch the piece to see if it is hot. If it has absorbed water, it will heat up. This tells you the piece is not dishwasher safe. You can stop the test when the water in the second mug is boiling.

There are a few other things you might want to watch out for when purchasing:

  • Metal - sometimes you'll see glass or ceramic with metal details, like a gold or silver rim. That's no good in a microwave.

  • Glazes - some glazes used on ceramic aren't food-safe, so make sure you get something labeled for use with food, not something purely decorative. Some glazes also aren't dishwasher-safe. In the US, non-food-safe ceramic glazes are required to have a label ("not for food use" or some such), but that may not be true where you are.

  • Thermal differences - some materials won't hold up well to uneven heating in the microwave caused by hot food in contact with some parts, but not others. Make sure to get things labeled as heat-safe: the ideal case microwave-safe, oven-safe, and dishwasher-safe dishes, but any one of those indicates some amount of heat safety.

Finally, for anything breakable, watch out for super-heated water - heating pure water in a clean container can take it past the boiling point, and it'll then violently boil when disturbed. If you add something to water first, the risk is drastically reduced. It's a dangerous surprise with any type of material, but with breakable containers there's the added risk of breaking the dish.

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    +1 but I have had modern ceramic dishes that from new and undamaged got hot. So the test is worth it – Chris H Sep 3 '16 at 7:14

Actually not all food safe glass and ceramics can be used in the microwave without issues.

Ceramics can have conductive minerals, or they can have glaze defects (or no glaze) allowing water absorbtion... In either case these will get hot and could shatter, spall or cause burns.

Food safe is one thing, oven and microwave safe is another.

  • Hi Bigtexun, I know the question compels people to discuss whether glass is safe, but that's not what was asked. (I guess it's one of the reasons why the question gets downvotes). The OP has already decided to not use glass, and that for health reasons, which we do not debate. So answers should only focus on recognizing microwave safe ceramics. – rumtscho Sep 3 '16 at 7:04
  • damn someone understands what I am asking for. Thanks @rumtscho . I am straight about my question I want to keep using what I used traditionally: non plastic/glass simply because its time-tested for being safe. And I failing to find Ceramics which wont get hot in microwave (and hence microwave safe). – Maha Sep 3 '16 at 7:55

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