Can You Warm Plates in a Microwave Oven?

Last Updated on January 1, 2023 by Mosabbir

Serving dishes while hot is common in restaurants, where you serve the food on a plate first then present it. It’s essential to heat the plates first, and failure to do so puts the food at risk of being cold before it arrives at the table.

Serving hot food is also a common practice at home, and using hot plates gives an assurance of serving warm food, as hot plates help keep your dish warm for longer.

In addition, it eliminates panic while serving your family members or guests. However, many people wonder whether it’s possible to heat plates in a microwave oven.

Below is the best way to heat plates using a microwave oven.

Heating Microwave Safe Plates

Plates that are microwave-safe absorb microwaves and heat relatively quickly.

As these plates absorb the microwaves well and uniformly, you can warm them to the temperature you desire without problems as long as you know the duration it will take and adjust to the total number of plates you will be warming.

However, it’s not advisable to heat plates for too long as they may end up burning your fingers.

Also, some plates do not take high temperatures without cracking, popping, or melting. When unglazed ceramics absorb a lot of water, they tend to heat fast because water absorbs microwaves intensely.

Traped water in the pores of these ceramics can change into high-pressure steam, and the outcome will not be safe. You may also get burned spots or hotspots if your plate doesn’t absorb microwaves uniformly.

A plate with metalized decorations will burn up and blacken the plate. The water cracks will overheat, and the thermal stresses developed will further extend the cracks.

Heating Plates That Are Not Microwave Safe

Microwave ovens work by releasing microwave energy into the oven. It agitates water molecules in the drink or food, creating friction between molecules, generating heat that results in hot food.

Unfortunately, plates that aren’t microwave-safe heat slowly, and they barely absorb microwaves. As a result, the electromagnetic fields inside the microwave oven build up to high levels, and it’s as if the microwave oven is operating empty.

Keeping in mind that the plates are reflective of microwaves and the oven has mirror-like walls, it causes the electromagnetic waves coming out of the oven’s magnetron tube to reflect around inside the oven’s cooking chamber endlessly.

The resulting strong fields can cause different types of breakdown on the sides of the cooking chamber hence damaging the surface with burns.

Moreover, the strong microwaves in the cooking chamber bounce back into the magnetron can interfere with the internal oscillations making it not work correctly.

Even though magnetrons are shockingly durable and robust, reabsorbing the microwaves they emit on their own may shorten their lifespan.

Generally, in the process, the heating up of your plates will be slow, and your microwave will not last long.

Before putting your plates in the microwave oven, wetting them speeds up the heating and decreases the wear-and-tear on the magnetron, but this forces you to dry the plates before using them.


Bottom Line

In conclusion, there could be differences in the duration it takes to heat plates, whereby the microwave is a replacement and might be more potent than the former.

Also, it can result from design differences, and the microwave can’t tolerate bouncing back of the microwave energy.

Therefore, it’s advisable to use microwave-safe plates to avoid damaging the microwave and the plates.