Q. I have decided that I will start making my lunch for work and heat it there to save some money
and be a little healthier. Today I made a huge batch of soup that I would like to take in a big
container to last me a few days. There’s a refrigerator at the office too so that’s not a problem. So
far I have been taking food in a small microwavable plastic tub and heating it directly but would
prefer just to take it in one larger one and heat one meal’s worth at a time. This means fewer dishes
to wash at home- the office has a dishwasher but at home, I am the dishwasher!
I probably should have asked a colleague but I am new there and feel like I am always pestering
them with work related questions so hoping you can help. Can I microwave ceramic dishes?
A. Almost all ceramics can be used in the microwave. However, some can be prone to cracking or the
glaze can become cracked. It is best to check any items you wish to use in a microwave for a
microwave safe symbol first. Microwaves pass safely through ceramics but very high temperatures
so the glaze cracking issue isn’t specific to microwaves only, very high temperatures delivered by any
means can cause glaze to crack. If you are unsure, you can try a little test first. Place the dry, empty
dish in the microwave for 20 seconds. If it is hot after this time, the material may have a high water
content. The water inside the dish can begin to boil rapidly. This can lead to the dish itself cracking.
Do not be tempted to use ceramics that have any metallic decoration as this can cause issues. Even a
little metallic decoration can cause electrical arcs, sparks and the untimely death of your microwave.
Even more worrying is that these sparks can also start a fire.
As with any household appliance and cookware, always follow the manufacturer’s directions to
ensure the safety of the products themselves and also yourself.