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If you have a microwave oven in your kitchen, then, I’m pretty sure that you must have had cause to question the microwave safety of a dish before. Were you able to resolve it? Or did you simply choose an alternative cooking option to avoid stories? I’m asking this question because I encountered the same issue last week. Apparently, the three dishes of varying sizes that I bought specifically for their microwave safety suddenly grew wings and flew out of the house.

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After a fruitless search for them and some serious interrogations, I discovered that while two were used to package food for some visiting friends, no one seemed to know the whereabouts of the third. Left with no other option, I picked out another bowl from my stash to use, but the microwave safety question arose. I only knew one method of determining a dish’s microwave safety. However, that method didn’t provide the answer I sought and since I don’t embark on risky adventures with electrical appliances, I chose the alternative cooking route. However, the proper methods of determining a dish’s microwave safety remained a nagging puzzle at the back of my mind, particularly since I didn’t want to have a random container melt in my microwave, damage it, at best or scald me, at worst. I decided to do in-depth research on the subject and below are two methods of determining a dish’s microwave safety:

1. Examine the Dish: Some manufacturers provide information on the microwave safety or lack thereof of their product at the bottom of the dish. A simple inspection of the bottom of some dishes may reveal the “Microwave Safe” or the “Not for Use in Microwaves” instruction. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s do it together. Now, turn the dish over so that the bottom is facing you. Next, read what is written there. If the information you seek is not stated there (like it wasn’t in mine), then, try the second method.

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2. Microwave Heat Test: This method reminds me of the saying that fire is the test of gold. In the same vein, the heat of the microwave oven can determine the microwave safety of a dish. If you want your dish to go through the heat test, set your microwave oven to its highest power setting. Please note that the methods of doing this vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. So, consult your microwave oven’s user manual. It will guide you on the procedure. After you’ve learned how to do this and applied it, fill a glass with water. Next, place the glass inside the bowl. Please, do not pour water into the test dish in question. Afterwards, close the microwave oven and heat the dish and the cup for one minute. If the dish is warm or hot at the end of the process, it is not microwaved safely. However, if the dish remains cool while the water in the glass is hot, then, it is microwave safe. Let me mention here that the area around the dish may be warm because you placed a cup of water within it.
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Finally, once you’ve determined the microwave status of a container, you could give it a discernible mark; something as simple as MS for Microwave Safe or NMS for Not Microwave Safe. This will help you to quickly determine their status in future and will save you some stress.



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This article was first published on 18th April 2022 and updated on April 20th, 2022 at 11:14 am


Udevi, Obiamaka Angela holds a Master of Arts degree in History & International Studies. She's a freelance writer with a passion for food and healthy living. She can be contacted through her email address,

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