Safety is a priority if you choose to reheat your food in the microwave.
‘Can you microwave plastic wrap without harming yourself, your food, and your oven?’ is a trending question on Hotpoint appliances’ website.
We tested the reaction of plastic wrap when heated in the microwave and this is what we found out.
Can You Microwave Plastic Wrap?
Yes. Superior quality, microwave-safe plastic wraps (such as kirk and vinyl plastic wraps) are used to reheat food in the microwave, provided it is microwave-safe and medium temperatures are maintained.
Covering your food with a plastic film while in the microwave traps its moisture, thus preventing it from drying. It also prevents food from splashing all over while being heated.
The clear aspect of cling film enables you to track the quality of your food as you reheat it in the microwave.
Besides, food wrapped in plastic film stays fresh for a long.
Plastic wrap is a special paper that allows microwaves to penetrate through it to reach food.
Plastic wrap, cling film, and saran wrap are all retail names for plastic wrap, depending on the region of use.
Microwave-safe plastic wraps in the market include:
- Kirkland and vinyl paper wraps.
- AEP zip-safe wraps
- Glad press n seal
- Bee’s reusable wrap
Such can be found in top marketing sites that sell quality items to safeguard their brand name and leading supermarket stores that comply with stipulated government standards for safe plastic films.
Related: Can you microwave saran wrap?
Is It Safe To Microwave Plastic Wrap?
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it is safe to microwave plastic wrap provided it has a microwave-safe label. However, the plastic wrap must not come into contact with food; a safe space must be left between food and plastic wrap.
It would be best to use a deep bowl with tall walls instead of a flat-bottomed plate to ensure enough space between the food and its plastic wrapper.
The melting point of plastic wrap is between 220℉and 250℉but it starts to warp at 150℉. Make sure your oven temperature is below the 150℉ mark.
People question the microwave safety of plastic wraps since plastics are believed to be microwave-unsafe. Most plastics contain different amounts of BPA (cancer-causing compound).
However, no study has gathered sufficient evidence to ascertain that cling film causes cancer.
Plastic wraps are not completely BPA-free, but the traces of BPA contained are not enough to cause cancer. Microwave-safe plastic wraps are dioxin free and have a microwave-safe label (3 bold wavy lines).
Saran wrap is made from low-density Polyethylene (LDPE), which is safe for the human body.
If there is sufficient air gap after wrapping your food, go ahead and place it in the microwave but monitor the process.
If, by any chance, plastic melts and leaks into your food, do not consume it. Plastic is indigestible.
Never rush to buy plastic wraps because you’ve seen crazy offers online; take time to confirm that it’s made of a quality BPA-safe material.
How Do You Microwave Plastic Wrap?
Microwaving plastic wrap is as easy as follows:
- Put your food in a deep microwave-safe bowl. Check for a microwave-safe label.
- Cover the food using a microwave-safe plastic film. Ensure to leave a safe air gap and create a vent on the plastic wrap.
- Set your oven timer to 2 minutes and the heat button to 150℉.
- Put the bowl in the oven and let it run for the set period. Monitor the process to ensure that your food and cling film are of good quality.
- Open the oven door once the microwave stops, and use microwave-safe oven gloves to remove your food.
- Remove the saran wrap and discard it safely in the bin. A piece of saran wrap is meant for single use only.
How Long Can You Microwave Plastic Wrap?
The time a microwave runs influences the amount of temperature it accumulates.
The recommended temperature for heating plastic wraps is 150℉. You must not exceed this temperature; otherwise, the cover will melt.
You are therefore advised to set your microwave timer to 2 minutes. You can heat your wrapped food for up to 5 minutes, but stop the microwave every 2 minutes to maintain a safe temperature.
Safety Precautions For Microwaving Plastic Wrap
The following tips will guarantee your safety as you reheat food wrapped in a plastic film:
- Use high-quality microwave-safe plastic wrap. Microwave plastic films have a microwave-safe label (3 wavy lines), meaning they can’t leach harmful chemical compounds into your food.
- Put your food in a deep microwave-safe bowl to ensure enough space between your food and your chosen plastic wrap. The space is occupied by steam/ vapor from hot food.
- You can also create a vent on the plastic cover to let out excess steam, which could otherwise burn it.
- Maintain medium-level temperatures to keep your food moist. Quality plastic wraps from reputable brands can withstand microwave heat without getting burnt.
- The recommended temperature for plastic wraps is 150℉. The plastic material tends to melt if this temperature is exceeded.
- Heat your plastic-wrapped food for two minutes only. Exceeding two minutes raises the microwave heat, further damaging your plastic film.
- You can, however, heat your plastic wrap for up to 20 minutes provided the oven temperature is reasonably safe, below 150℉.
- Nuke your food for at least 2 minutes.
- Don’t wrap and reheat sugary or fatty foods in plastic films. Fats and sugars tend to melt when heated, potentially burning the plastic cover.
- Use oven gloves to remove reheated plastic wraps from the oven, or let it rest for a few minutes when the microwave goes off to avoid severe burns.
- Dispose of microwaved paper wraps immediately after use. It is dangerous to reuse them.
- Alternatively, check the user manual for safer guidelines on microwaving plastic wraps.
- If you are unsure about your safety even after following the safety tips, refrain from putting plastic wraps in the oven.
What Are The Alternatives For Microwaving Plastic Wrap?
You can use several convenient alternative hacks should you run out of cling film.
It would be best if you shopped around for eco-friendly food wrappers because:
- Eco-friendly wrappers are safe for your health. They are chemical-free hence no migration of toxins that contaminate food.
- They are reusable. Unlike single-use non, degradable plastic wraps that add to landfills, reusable materials minimize pollution.
Eco-friendly food wrappers include:
- Reusable bowl covers
- Beeswax wrappers
- Reusable sandwich wraps
- Silicone bowl covers and lids
- Silicone food storage bags
- Reusable cloth bags
- Ceramic dinner plates
- Microwave-safe dinner towels
Can Use of Cling Foil In The Microwave Cause Cancer?
No. It is safe to use high-quality microwave-safe cling foil to reheat your food.
A microwave-safe cling foil has a microwave-safe label meaning FDA has approved it as BPA-free.
BPA is a cancer-causing chemical found in most plastics.
The stereotype of all plastics being microwave unsafe is a myth because there is safe plastic kitchenware in the market though costlier than ordinary plastics.
Can I Use Kirkland Plastic Wrap In The Microwave?
Yes. Kirkland is a high-quality plastic wrap; hence it is safe to cook and reheat your food in the microwave.
It is heat resistant and can withstand high microwave temperatures without melting.
Kirkland plastic wrap traps food moisture when reheating food in the microwave.
It also keeps food intact without splattering in the microwave.
You can use a fork to poke small holes in the Kirkland plastic wrap to vent out hot air.
Ensure you leave a safe air gap between the Kirkland cover and your food.
You can microwave plastic wraps safely, provided they are microwave safe. Ensure you leave enough space between your food and plastic wrap, create a vent to let out hot air, and maintain low or medium heat.
The procedure for microwaving cling foil and the safety precautions are detailed above.
You can use several alternatives to substitute saran wraps, such as beeswax wraps, paper towels, ceramic bowls and lids, and reusable sandwich wraps.