Why Do Some Plates Get Hot in the Microwave?

So you’ve started reheating food in the microwave, and then you notice your plate is getting hot. Why do some plates get hot in the microwave?

Let’s find out in this short article whether it’s normal for plates to get hot in the microwave. We’ll also uncover more tips on heating and reheating plates in the microwave. 

Why Does My Microwave-Safe Plate Get Hot?

Have you noticed that your microwave-safe plate gets hot when warming food in the microwave? Although that’s unlikely, it can happen for a couple of reasons.

But trace materials in a ceramic dish, stoneware, plastics, or other materials not manufactured for microwave heating are the most common causes for plates to get too hot in the microwave.

Although many types of dish and plate materials will not overheat during use in the microwave, it’s best to be on the safe side and only use items certified to be microwave-safe.

Microwave-safe certification is marked in “microwave-safe” or #5 signs on various kitchenware.

But you may still find that your glassware, like Corelle dishes, heats up in the microwave despite being microwave-safe.

Why so?

Microwaving food for too long and at high temperatures causes containers to heat up in the microwave. Uneven temperatures during cooking can potentially cause cracks or shattering in microwave-safe containers.

How Can You Prevent Your Microwave-Safe Plate From Getting Hot in Microwave?

Ensuring flows evenly when heating food is the only way to prevent your microwave-safe plate from getting hot.

There are several sure ways to implement this, including:

  • Heating food at short time intervals
  • Heating food at minimum temperatures
  • Avoiding dry heating food

Why Do Some Plates and Dishes Get Too Hot in The Microwave?

The main reason why some plates get too hot in the microwave is that they’re not made for microwave use.

You may notice that some kitchen ceramics and stoneware miss the label “microwave-safe.” Such a feature signifies that they may contain trace heavy metals in their glazes that reflect heat, meaning they could crack or explode when heated in the microwave. 

On the other hand, plastics and paper containers may contain elements that can quickly melt or burn at low microwave-temperature settings.

That’s why it’s imperative to confirm that your dish, tray, or plate has the “microwave-safe” label before tossing it into the microwave. If you don’t check, you’re putting the container, food, and your microwave at risk.

But there are a few exceptions to these facts. Some microwave-safe earthenware dishes, plates, or plastic containers still get far hotter during heating than others.

Microwave-safe containers that get hot in the microwave contain trace reflective or absorbing elements but are safe for microwaving food.

It’s not necessarily a bad thing if, for instance, a ceramic plate gets very hot in the microwave as long as it contains the “microwave-safe” label. It should be fine to use but handle it with care like you would handle a hot glass of water or a cup of coffee.

Why Does My Microwave Heat up the Plate but Not the Food?

The plate you’re using to microwave your food is not microwave-safe. Instead of heating the water molecules in your food, the microwaves are vibrating the molecules in the glaze.

In simple terms, your container is absorbing the heat from the microwave, hindering it from getting to your food.

The absolute solution to this issue is getting a plate labeled “microwave-safe.” 

Failure to do that can put you at some risk. Using a non-microwave-safe container to heat food could lead to:

  • Chemical leaching into your food
  • Burning
  • Explosion
  • Damage to your microwave

If you’re using a plastic container, it can easily melt in your hands when getting it out of the microwave. 

Even worse, chemical leaching may cause severe health complications like cancer.

What if your food explodes, spreading all over your container? You don’t want to imagine how hectic it is to clean up such a mess.

You could even have to buy another microwave or get it repaired because it is likely to get damaged by such a mess.

To be on the safe side, always check for the “microwave-safe” label before placing your plate or dish into the microwave.

Why Does Stoneware Get Hot in the Microwave?

Stoneware is a type of earthenware that is fired at a high temperature, making it more durable. It is also chipping resistant and can withstand heat incredibly. 

Those features make it a popular choice for dinnerware and decorative items.

It’s safe to microwave stoneware. But you must understand the makeup to do this right without overheating the container.

Be aware that some stoneware may contain high amounts of lead and arsenic that can leach into your food when microwaving. Also, some stoneware can retain a lot of heat and cause burns.

Lead and arsenic are toxic metals that can cause severe health complications upon ingestion.

Carcinogen is another name used to refer to Arsenic, meaning it can cause cancer. Besides cancer, arsenic can cause:

  • Heart diseases
  • Diabetes

Lead is a toxic metal that can cause severe health problems in children. It can damage the brain and nervous system and trigger all sorts of behavioral problems and retard physical growth. 

With these health risks at hand, it is only wise to avoid overheating stoneware.

If you must, please do it at monitored short durations. Heat your food in small chunks to allow heat to distribute evenly.

But be warned to use any stoneware container in the microwave. Stick to those stoneware plates and dishes with the “microwave-safe” label.

If none of a microwavable stoneware plate or dish is available, transfer your food into a ceramic or glass container with a “microwave-safe” label.

Do Porcelain Plates Get Hot in the Microwave?

Porcelain itself is microwavable, but some plates and dishes of this material get hot in the microwave. In general, a porcelain decoration determines if it’ll get hot or not in the microwave.

Its glassy finish comes from the firing process, in which it is baked at high temperatures.

Porcelain gets heated to 2,650 degrees Fahrenheit during its manufacturing. This temperature surpasses the highest temperature any microwave oven can attain.

This means that porcelain can easily withstand the heat of the microwave without getting damaged. Most porcelain containers have a “microwave-safe” label from their manufacturers. 

But despite porcelain itself being safe to microwave, not all porcelain plates are safe to heat in the microwave. 

Some porcelain plates bear decorations that can get damaged if heated in a microwave. If your porcelain plate has any metallic decoration, you should not use it in a microwave. 

Avoid tossing porcelain containers that have gold and silver decorations because they’ll also get destroyed instantly.

While gold and silver decorations wear out in the microwave, metallic decorations can cause sparks that can trigger a fire.

Is the Glass Plate in the Microwave Supposed to Get Hot? 

A glass plate in the microwave should not get hot. If it does, that means it is not safe to use in the microwave.

There’s a quick test to find out if your glass container is microwavable. Follow this microwave test to confirm whether your glass container is safe to use in the microwave or not:

  1. Fill your glass container with a cup of cold water

After topping it up, place it in the microwave for one to two minutes.

  1. Check its temperature

If the glass is hot to the touch, it’s not safe to use in the microwave. 

But if it’s only slightly warm, or even cool, but the water inside is heated, your dish is likely microwave-safe. 

Please avoid the glass in this test because it can easily crack. Take time to judge the thickness before moving on with the test.

Wrapping Up

A microwave-safe plate or dish should be able to heat food or liquid without necessarily getting much heat.

Always check if your container is microwavable by looking for the “microwave-safe” symbol or conducting the test outlined in this article.

Leave a Comment