The usual thing is heating food, cooking using a microwave oven. However, so that there are no surprises during the cooking process, microwave utensils should be selected very carefully. What materials should be preferred? And what to consider when choosing utensils?
The nuances of products for microwave ovens
The variety of containers created from various materials and suitable for cooking is very large. However, not every container is suitable for cooking using a microwave oven. When deciding what kind of dishes you can cook in the microwave, choosing such containers, you need to pay attention not only to the material, but also to the size of the product. What should be preferred?
Dishes for the microwave oven: subtleties and nuances
- Kitchen utensils that are planned to be used for a microwave oven must be made of durable material. Microwaveable dishes must withstand high temperatures without deforming, cracking or emitting toxic fumes that can cause poisoning.
- When purchasing glassware or containers made of other material, you should take care of the issue of its «throughput». The most suitable choice is a transparent container, devoid of any patterns.
- On the surface of the products, as well as in the composition of the material, there should be no metal elements. Therefore, utensils with gilding, silver or copper patterns are unsuitable for microwaves. Its use may cause electrical discharges inside the appliance.
- A popular option is plastic dishes for the microwave, but before buying, you need to pay attention to the presence of a special stamp located on the bottom or lid of the container. The marking of dishes for a microwave oven made of plastic is indicated by letter combinations (PP and PC), and a thematic sign in the form of waves or a schematically depicted microwave oven must also be present on the container.
- It is better to give preference to those kitchen products that have lids. At the same time, they should have a small hole for the exit of heated air.
- When choosing a container, it is useful to take into account its shape. It is best to use round, oval, cylindrical dishes as part of cooking dishes in microwave ovens. The sides should not be too high. If the container is with sharp corners, this can sometimes lead to dry food around the edges.
- The size of the kitchen utensils is also extremely important. It should be easily located inside the microwave, without touching the walls during operation of the device.
In addition to the common and familiar materials from which dishes are made, the following options are suitable for heating and cooking dishes in a microwave oven:
- you can use transparent foil or a special film, on the packages of which information is indicated on the availability of use in microwave ovens; baking bags are also suitable, however, they must first be pierced with a thick needle or knife in a couple of places so that air and steam can escape;
- it is also allowed to put dishes made of thin pressed polystyrene in a microwave oven; you just have to carefully monitor the heating process so that the container does not melt;
- disposable products made of thick cardboard, paper are also suitable; exceptions are those forms of dishes that are covered with a wax layer or have an oily, greasy base; the wax can melt under the influence of heat, and the oil base can flare up, provoking a fire in the household appliance;
- it is allowed to put containers made of aluminum in the microwave if they have low walls; and also on the dishes for the microwave oven, made of such material, there must be a corresponding sticker;
- you can warm up pastries, muffins, sandwiches on napkins, in paper bags, wrapping them in parchment paper;
- fabric versions of «dishes» in the form of pure linen or cotton material are also suitable for microwave ovens.
When there is a general idea of what kind of dishes can be put in a microwave oven, you need to definitely decide on the main types of materials that are suitable and prohibited for use in microwave ovens.
Good to know:
Materials Not Suitable for Microwave Use
Among kitchen utensils that are not specialized for the microwave, there are a number of options that cannot be placed in the microwave oven due to various reasons. What utensils will have to be abandoned as part of the heating and cooking with a microwave household appliance?
Which dishes can not be used: the main list of unacceptable materials
- Products from crystal glass should not be used for microwave cooking. Firstly, in its composition the material has silver and lead. Secondly, the crystal surface is often inhomogeneous. The influence of microwave radiation on thin places of crystal utensils can cause the utensils to explode right inside the household appliance.
- Is it acceptable to put products from thin glass? Definitely not. This kind of glassware is made from melanin, which is sometimes referred to as «artificial» or «synthetic» porcelain. By its structure, this material is very fragile and too light. Under the influence of heat in a microwave oven, it can crack and crumble into fragments.
- should be excluded from use iron container, even suitable for baking in the oven. This ban does not apply only to certain aluminum products. Although such containers do not deform, their walls, even thin and low, are not able to pass microwave radiation through themselves, while heating up very much. Because put metal utensils in a household electrical appliance is not recommended.
- Pure pottery and earthenware, not covered with a layer of durable glaze on top, cannot be used for cooking using microwave ovens. Due to high temperatures, such containers simply crack and crumble.
- should be avoided and plastic tableware, not labeled or purchased elsewhere than in specialized stores. Plastic is not a heat-resistant material, it is easily deformed and has a toxic effect on products. The exception is special varieties for microwave ovens.
The best microwave cookware options
Before you decide for sure which dishes are suitable for the microwave, you need to remember a few basic rules that allow you to test and then use non-specialized kitchen utensils for cooking in a microwave oven.
Rules and techniques for checking dishes
- The selected products must withstand strong temperature influences (up to 300 degrees, if the grill function is used).
- In addition to the “throughput”, the containers should not get very hot while in the microwave.
- Kitchen utensils should not have chips, cracks, scratches, or any other surface damage. There should also be no frozen air bubbles inside the products.
- If it is possible to conduct a test, then in the selected container you need to put a glass cup with dense walls, in which there is a certain amount of cold water. Then, placing the entire “structure” in the microwave oven, turn on the device at full power, setting the time to a minute. A positive result of such a home test is hot water in a glass at the outlet and cold or slightly warm walls of the dishes being tested.
What dishes can be used for the microwave: the best material options
- Porcelain or faience are considered quite suitable options for a microwave oven. Despite the fact that containers made of such materials are opaque, both faience and porcelain are «conductors» for the waves of the stove. At the same time, they do not heat up excessively and do not crack due to heat.
- If there is a need to apply ceramic utensilsthen it must have complete glazed coating, including the bottom and inner walls of the cookware. Ceramics, like clay, heats up evenly, which guarantees successful heating or cooking. Such containers must be carefully removed from the household appliance, using oven mitts, so as not to burn yourself.
- The most popular special containers for microwave ovens are products from fire-resistant, heat-resistant (heat-resistant) glass. The first version of the dishes will allow you to cook at temperatures up to 300 degrees, the second is only suitable for microwave mode (about 145 degrees). It is easy to distinguish such glassware from analogues: it has very dense walls, the sides are not too high, and there are often hollow or flat handles.
- special plastic utensils, created from polypropylene (use polycarbonate products with care), is considered to be the second most popular option for microwave utensils. Additionally, sealed containers allow you to easily store food and cooked meals in the refrigerator.
- Also silicone tableware suitable for cooking in a microwave oven, without being afraid of high temperature effects. And she has certain advantages against the background of other utensils. First of all, these containers are suitable for baking and baked dishes. They are distinguished by lightness and softness of the material, thanks to which it is easy and simple to handle such modern dishes, as well as to store them.
When wondering whether it is possible to make the process of cooking food in the microwave using non-specialized dishes, you just need to pay attention to the material from which it is created. And then take into account the size and shape. For example, the following options for utensils can help out when it is not possible to heat or cook food in the right dish:
- faceted glasses with dense walls;
- porcelain plates, saucers, vases with low sides;
- ceramic cups and mugs without patterns, chips and cracks on the enamel;
- bowls and molds made of durable dense glass, without patterns, colored coatings, with a smooth and uniform surface;
- wooden, unlacquered containers can also be used in the microwave, but you need to carefully monitor the cooking process without setting the maximum power on the household appliance.
What to cook in the microwave? (video response)
In order not to get confused in the store, trying to choose the most suitable utensils for using it in a microwave oven, you should watch the video below. The video focuses on the main points that should not be forgotten when choosing the necessary dishes.
Thanks to a large selection of different utensils for microwave ovens, it will not be difficult to choose the most suitable option. But, even without special containers in the kitchen, you can cook in a microwave oven in any container that meets the basic requirements for microwave products.
Consultant in the field of household appliances. I help guests of the SovetExpert.ru project to choose the right product and save money when buying. I have an unbiased opinion. Ready for dialogue.