Microwave - Dish and Utensil Guidelines

Be careful when selecting microwave utensils. Metal reflects microwaves while glass, paper, plastics and most ceramics allow them to pass through to the food.


Utensil guidelines:

  • Newly purchased dishes or utensils should be tested for safe use in a microwave oven.

  • Oven-proof glass utensils are recommended; however, these should be tested before using for the first time.

  • Paper plates can be used for warming food items (but not in convection mode). It is best to use white or unprinted types. Recycled plates can contain foreign materials and should be monitored during cooking.

  • China, ceramics, pottery and heat-resistant plastics marked "microwave-safe" can be used. Ordinary dinner plates and cookware should not have metal in their composition or decoration. Dishes with gold, silver or platinum bands will reflect microwave energy and could cause arcing.

  • Metal cookware should not be used in a microwave. Metal will not allow microwaves to penetrate and properly cook the food. When convection cooking in a microwave convection oven, metal and foil can be safely used.

  • Boilable plastic pouches should be split and placed on the oven floor or inside a serving dish.

  • If specialty utensils such as popcorn poppers, micro-fryers, micro-pressure cookers, etcetera are used in a microwave, you should follow the manufacturers' directions for use of the product carefully.

  • Be careful when using Styrofoam containers. These will melt with heat from butter, oils, etcetera. It is better not to use Styrofoam at all.

  • Note: It is important when heating food in a microwave to always keep at least a 1" clearance on all sides and at the top of the dish or utensil.


If there is any question about whether cookware or a dish is safe for use in the microwave, perform the test below:

  1. Fill a cup with water.

  2. Place the cup in the oven on or beside the utensil in question.

  3. Microwave for one minute on high.


If the water becomes hot and the dish remains cool, the dish is microwave safe. If the dish heats up, it should not be used for microwaving.