Are All Plates Oven Safe?

Written by katie jensen
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Are All Plates Oven Safe?
Plate made of white insulating foam melt in the oven. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

All plates are not oven safe. It depends on the material of the plate and the type of oven: microwave, standard or convection oven. If in doubt check the bottom of the plate on the back. When purchasing plates for oven use check the label. Using the wrong plate is a safety hazard and can result in a mess. Plates not made for microwave usage can shatter inside the oven.

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Paper, Foam, Plastic

Use only in a microwave oven. If the plate is plastic coated, check the label. Or test whether the plate is safe by putting it in the microwave oven to see if the plastic coating melts. Most plates are not made of white insulating foam but some cups and bowls are. Insulating foam will melt in a microwave. Do not use paper, foam or plastic in a traditional or convection oven because the paper will catch fire over 232 degrees C. Additionally as moist food sits in a paper plate, the plate absorbs the moisture and may fall apart, letting the food fall to the bottom of the oven. Insulated foam and plastic will melt.

China

Because fine china is fired at high kiln temperatures it is safe to use in the microwave. The exception is china that has metal work, such as silver or gold bands or decorations. Those spark in the microwave. A consideration for using china in the microwave is its price. It makes more economic sense to heat the food on a paper plate and then transfer it to a china plate.

Earthen and Stoneware

Both are fired at lower temperatures and made from material that is inherently more porous than china. Earthen ware is not recommended for microwave ovens. Stoneware is probably safe but check the manufacturer's label. It's better to start off in a cold oven and let the plates heat up gradually to avoid breakage.

Glass

Glass made specifically for bakeware is safe in each type of oven. Glass that isn't marked oven safe or microwave safe shouldn't be used. The problem is that glass contains tiny air bubbles. When the glass is heated the air expands and can shatter the glass. Even oven-safe glass comes with a few warnings. Liquid should never be put in a glass pan that is already hot and does not contain any liquid. The liquid, even if room temperature may shatter the glass.

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