Can You Microwave Saran Wraps?

Most of us find ourselves using saran wraps to cover food.

Apart from refrigerating purposes, these wraps serve to wrap food items and are also used for storage purposes.

However, much debate arises on whether or not you can microwave saran wraps. Can you microwave saran wraps?

In this article, I will teach you everything you need to know about microwaving saran wraps, including whether or not it is safe and if it has any health impacts.

What Are Saran Wraps and How Are They Used?

Saran resins and films, often called polyvinylidene chloride or PVDC, have been used to wrap products for more than 50 years.

Saran works by polymerizing vinylidene chloride with monomers that form long chains of vinylidene chloride.

The result is an effective barrier against oxygen, moisture, chemicals, and heat that protects food, consumer products, and industrial products.

They are used for:

  • Wrapping food to store in a fridge.
  • Used to wrap fruits to avoid contamination.
  • Covers food and soup to avoid spillage.

Is it Safe To Microwave Saran Wraps?

In most cases, YES. However, to be entirely sure that your saran wrap is safe to put in a microwave, check the packaging for a microwave-safe label.

Make sure that the plastic does not directly come in contact with the food in the microwave.

How Long Can You Microwave Saran Wraps?

When microwaving at low power levels, you can keep in the microwave oven for 20 minutes or so.

At high-temperature levels, use plastic wraps for less than 2 minutes.

As long as you are using microwave-proof plastic wrap, it is fine to use in the microwave while minimizing heating time and temperature.

Steps Used in Microwaving Saran Wraps

If you are using plastic wrap in a microwave then you will have to follow the following basic steps:

Use a dish or bowl with high sides.

Maintain a gap between the food surface and plastic wrap.

Set the heating temperature of the microwave to a low or medium power level.

Do not heat the plastic wrap for more than 2 minutes.

Can Saran Wrap Touch Food in a Microwave?

FDA recommends that plastic wraps should not touch the actual food.

You will have to put a gap between the top surface of the food items and the plastic wrap.

To reduce this risk, you need to use a wide or a deep bowl for cooking and heating when using plastic wraps over the top.

Does Microwaving Saran Wrap Cause Cancer?

You will be happy to know that plastic wraps that are labeled as microwave-safe are very safe to microwave.

Moreover, the FDA recommends that the wrap does not come in contact with food while microwaving.

Dioxin is known as a cancer-causing chemical, but plastic wraps do not have dioxin in them.

It is safe to use in a microwave for heating and cooking purposes, however, dioxins may form while you are going to burn and melt the plastic wrap.

So, plastic films cannot cause cancer unless they are burned or melted in the microwave, also consider wraps that are labeled BPA-free.

Therefore, you will have to check the heating temperature and timing as well when using plastic wraps in the microwave.

Tips to Microwave Plastic Wrap

When it comes to microwaving plastic wrap, there are a couple of basic tips to improve safety and reduce concerns:

At first, you will have to check the quality of the plastic wrap while buying it.

Do not reuse the wrap after it has already been microwaved.

Keep a gap between the plastic wrap and the surface of the food.

Place plastic wrap loosely over the bowl so it can vent steam at the time of heating.

Is Saran Wrap Toxic When Heated?

Saran wraps become toxic or potentially harmful if the plastic is heated to a point where it melts.

Is Saran Wrap Carcinogenic?

Saran wraps are PVDC and do not contain carcinogenic dioxin, but to be safe make sure the wrap is labeled microwave-safe.

The difference between saran wraps and other plastic wraps?

The easiest difference to spot is the texture and feel of both materials.

Plastic wraps –like the sheer cover used to preserve leftovers are clingy and feel more like a film.

Saran wraps, on the other hand, are thicker and markedly stiffer with no clingy abilities.

How Hot is Too Hot for Saran Wrap?

The plastic prevents steam from escaping, and the wrap in turn gets wet. 

That moisture keeps it from getting any hotter than 212 degrees. And most wraps won’t melt until they get to 220 to 250 degrees.

Does saran wrap leach chemicals into the food?

Yes, they can leach, but it depends on the kind of food that is being microwaved.

Foods, particularly those with a lot of fat, oil, or sugars are prone to this effect.

Can Saran Wraps Melt in a Microwave?

Yes, saran wraps can melt in the microwave.

In fact, when you microwave them at very high temperatures that exceed 220 degrees the wrap will melt into your food.

If you must use high temperatures ensure you do not exceed 2 minutes in the microwave.

What Happens When You Heat Saran Wraps?

The saran wrap brand website states the wrap can be microwaved, but not heated in an oven.

Unless the stated product is safe for the oven or microwave, food plastic wrap is not recommended to be heated.

Untreated plastic wrap can release chemicals and melt when heated.

Can Saran Wrap Contaminate Food?

Not as long as you follow the basic rules.

The rules are:

Do not let the wrap come into contact with the food.

Do not overheat the wrap, preferably not over 220 degrees.

Bottom Line

Saran wraps are branded microwave-safe, but just to be safe ensure you check the label for microwave safety.

Ensure the wrap does not come into contact with the food and the heat is not over 220 degrees.

Even after removing the food from the microwave make sure you do not touch the wrap, as it is still plastic and can burn you.

Remove with a fork or wait for the wrap to cool.    

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