Are paper bowls microwave-safe?
In this article, you will learn：
What types of paper bowls can go in the microwave
How long can a paper bowl be in the microwave?
How can you tell if a paper bowl is microwave safe?
So if you are looking for an answer to” Can You Microwave a Paper Bowl ?” this guide is for you.
Let’s dive in
The maximum temperature microwave can achieve while using is around 100o C or 212o.F.
In general, you can microwave Glass, ceramics, plastic, Ziploc bags, and so on
Actually, It is 100% safe to microwave paper-type products such as Paper towels, wax paper, and parchment paper.
But, How about the paper bowl or paper plate?
Can it stand reheat temperature without the risk
In fact, it depends.
We can find two different kinds of the paper bowl in the market right now.
Let’s look at them
The paper bowl without a plastic layer is called a plain paper plate in the market.
It is 100% safe to microwave plain paper plates without any plastic coating on their surface.
It doesn’t contain any ink and plastic can release toxic during reheating
They are ideal for your everyday dry foods like sandwiches, cake, pizza, vegetables, etc
Pro tips: The surface of a plain paper plate is rough and not smooth
In fact, PE coating has its limitations in melting temperature
For example, PE coating can withstand temperatures from 80-100 Centigrade with different thicknesses
This low melting temperature will make a paper bowl with pe lining unsafe for use in a microwave.
If you set the maximum microwave temperature(100+ centigrade) for a long time, The pe coating will melt and release toxic chemicals into your food.
It is not safe and perfect for reheating unless you just microwave at a medium temperature for 1-2 minutes
PP lamination is much safer than pe coating in the microwave
For example, pp coating can stand up to 120 centigrade. But microwave max temperature only reaches 100 centigrade
Because of its high heat tolerance, pp coating paper takeout containers can be considered safe to serve hot or cold food
Pro tips: It is hard to tell pp coating from appearance, please confirm with the seller if you need to microwave the container
PET coating paper bowl is a safe option for microwave
In fact, the PET coating on paper can tolerate temperatures up to 220 centigrade
This is more than twice the highest temperature of a microwave working.
For example, paper Baking trays or paper baking cups can be even used for microwave ovens
Pro tips: When you microwave a paper bowl, you have to remove the lid before you start the microwave. A fitting lid can create pressure which makes the paper bowl rupture
Depending on the type of paper bowl,the temperature you set,it is safe to microwave food for 2 minute-4 minutes.
That means whatever kind of paper bowl, you should not put it in the microwave for more than 4-5 minutes at high temperature.
Let’s review the best time to microwave different types of food items following:
The best time to reheat the drink is 45 seconds to 60 seconds
You can set the microwave to low or medium-level heat.
If you don’t get the warmth you need, you can another 30 seconds of heat
Soup is perfect for reheating in Microwave.
Normally, You can heat the soup for around 3 minutes.
Please note: take off the cover for the paper bowl. Or, make sure the lid has steam holes
Actually, sometimes we will have leftovers from lunch or dinner like rice, meat, vegetables, and so on.
In general, we will put the meal in the freezer to cool thoroughly.
When you need to reheat the food, make sure the temperature is above 70 centigrade and last more than 2 minutes
It is very important to know if a paper plate is microwave or not
Here is two way work well
The easiest way to tell if your paper plate/bowl is microwave safe or not is by checking the label on the paper bowl or its packaging bag and carton.
The labels can indicate if the paper containers can be microwaved or not .
If you don’t find any markings or symbols, there are few chances the paper container is not safe for microwave
You can perform a very simple test at home if you want to test the microwave safety of a paper food container.
Here is how you do it:
Step 1:Fill water in a microwave-safe cup and place it inside your microwave.
Step 2:Place the paper food container that you are trying to test inside the microwave too.
Step 3:Turn on the microwave at maximum heat for one minute
Step 4: Carefully take out both containers from your microwave
If you notice that the paper food container you were testing is hot and the water inside the cup is cold, the container is not microwave-safe
If the container is room temperature and the water in the cup is hot, the paper food container is safe to microwave.
There are four potential risks if you microwave a paper bowl that is not microwaveable
let’s find them out
Some paper food containers use fluorescent agents in the paper to make them look whiter.
However, there are regulations that ban the use of fluorescent agents on food-grade paper.
These agents can contaminate your food if microwaved and cause you to get sick.
If your food packaging has any printed ink on it, microwaving will most probably cause that ink to melt and mix with your food.
This is the reason you should never microwave food inside a newspaper because they notoriously leak ink when heated.
The PE coating can’t stand high-temperature heat for a long time. Or it can release toxins
After reheating in the microwave, the plastic chemical ends up in your food.
This may do harm to your health.
Glue is often used in the paper lid of paper bowls.
The manufacturing process of the paper lids will include using glue to stick the top paper rim.
Although the glue is food grade, it is still potentially risky if glue melts in food.
Especially, when you heat the paper bowl with paper lid together
The best way for you to microwave food in a paper bowl is to always take it out of your paper takeaway container.
You can transfer food to a microwave-safe glass or ceramic container and reheat it
This process will ensure that your food is safe from any unwanted taste or smell that might be carried from the heated container.
You would also be able to safely enjoy your food without any of the risks mentioned above.
Now I would like to hear from you
What is the brand of paper bowl you are using now?
Have you microwaved them before?
Where did you get them?
Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now.