Everyone loves silicone containers just as much as their plastic counterparts. Accessible and easy to clean, you’ll find silicone containers in almost every kitchen. However, with their popularity, are these silicone containers microwave safe?
Food-grade silicone containers are indeed microwave safe. Silicone is a relatively stable compound, having a high melting point, and is generally durable. Because of this, silicone containers last long and can withstand being used inside a microwave.
Food-grade silicone rubber is an FDA-approved material that is versatile, flexible, and durable. It’s an extremely durable material that can easily last long. Although it is still a man-made material, it is environmentally friendly and free of harmful chemicals like BPA and BPS, compared to plastic.
To give you an idea of how durable silicone is, you can actually place silicone containers fresh from the oven straight into the freezer and it will be fine and dandy. You’ll know later on how silicone is able to do this if you read on!
Why It’s Safe to Use Silicone in the Microwave
Silicone is a man-made polymer with many properties that make it great for cookware and bakeware. Perhaps the most important trait is the fact that silicone can withstand extreme temperatures. Silicone can handle temperatures as low as -80°F and as high as 450°F without suffering any major damage.
Microwaves work by stimulating the particles inside your food to heat up, oftentimes water, so the maximum temperatures inside your microwave are only around 212°F, the boiling point of water. This is way below the maximum for silicone, so you don’t have to worry about it melting.
Food-grade silicone is also specifically developed so that it will not have any odor, discoloration, or other changes that will affect the food that it will hold. Silicone being a stable compound helps a lot in this department.
How to Tell if My Silicone Containers are Microwave-Safe
Most high-quality silicone containers are microwave-safe. The important thing here is to be able to guarantee that your silicone containers are 100% silicone. Some manufacturers might mix other filler chemicals in silicone containers, so you might need to check.
The best way to tell if your silicone containers are microwave-safe is to look at the bottom part of the container. Usually, manufacturers would leave a symbol there that indicates if it is microwave-safe. The symbol for microwave-safe containers often has a symbol for microwave and some wavy lines.
Silicone vs. Plastic
There are a lot of things that silicone has going for it, especially when pitting it against plastic. One of the best advantages that silicone containers have against plastics is that they are resistant to extreme temperatures, both cold and hot.
Silicone can withstand up to 450°F, while various plastics start to melt or deform beyond 350°F. Silicone is also made up of inert materials, which means that while silicone is being heated up, its component materials don’t leach into the food. Food-grade plastic may also have that guarantee, but silicone is still the safer option.
The most important distinction between silicone and plastic, especially regarding food safety, is that silicone is free from harmful filler chemicals like BPS and BPA. BPA and BPS are chemicals used to make hard plastic, so most plastic containers will have them.
Although there are BPA-free plastic containers, it usually just means that they are being replaced by safer alternatives, or carry a lower risk. Silicone containers just don’t have that problem since they’re made up of non-toxic silica.
Are silicone containers microwave safe? Yes, they are, and in fact, they are preferred over plastic containers. They are flexible, durable, and can withstand high temperatures without ever leaching into your food. As long as you use high-quality silicone containers, you will not have to worry about any concerns over microwaved food.