I often use casserole dishes for a number of foods and they also make great storage containers for the fridge. What I used to struggle with the most was whether or not we could put a casserole dish in the microwave. I always wondered if it would damage the dish or the microwave itself.
Casserole dishes are often made from ceramic or glass, glass is easier to use within a microwave but some ceramic dishes may be unsuitable to use in a microwave. If in doubt look for a symbol on the base of the dish to clarify microwave compatibility.
In this article, we are going to talk about whether or not you can use casserole dishes within a microwave, what material of casserole dishes are safe to use and what you need to know before doing so.
Can You Put A Casserole Dish In The Microwave?
Yes, casserole dishes can be used in the oven. Microwave-safe casserole dishes are usually made of ceramic or glass. Even then, it’s better to search for a “Microwave Safe” seal on the dish or check through the actual packaging to ensure it’s safe microwave use.
The majority of bakeware packages will instruct you how to handle it and what temperatures it can tolerate. Metal pans should not be microwaved, this is a very terrible idea.
Non-stick metal or ceramic casseroles, on the other hand, are very unique and less expensive. It is also necessary to point out that cast iron casserole dishes can’t be placed in the microwave.
Is It Safe To Put A Casserole Dish In The Microwave?
Yes, Casserole dishes are microwave safe but this would still mostly depend on whether it’s stated somewhere on the body. Symbols or representation on the body of bakeware tend to indicate how the dish should be used. Look out for these images to see if your casserole dish is oven and microwave safe.
If you’re finding it difficult to know whether your dish is microwave ready, then you can pick up the box and check for inscriptions there. Do not use the dish if you are unable to determine its protection for the intended use. It may not be microwave safe.
Overall, this is what determines if a casserole dish is “microwave safe” the clear indication on the body is the general pointer.
What Happens To The Casserole Dish?
You really shouldn’t put just any casserole dish in your microwave, things could go wrong if they aren’t specifically “microwave safe”. Let’s go over how a microwave works and what happens when you place a metal inside.
A microwave oven is a type of cooking appliance that applies microwave electromagnetic radiation to heat and cook food. Electromagnetic radiation includes microwaves. They have a shorter wavelength than radio waves and a longer wavelength than infrared waves.
Microwave ovens use the heat from this electromagnetic radiation to heat only the food and not the whole interior room. Microwaves are generated using a special component known as a ‘magnetron,’ which agitates electrons with a heated filament. This produces the microwaves needed to cook the food.
Since microwaves cause electric currents to pass through metal, a current will flow through both the pot and the cover. With high enough voltage, if the pot and its lid are separated from one another the current will attempt to jump leading to sparks. This would result in some sparks and likely damage to the surface enamel.
Since the spark is extremely hot, it can vapourize some of the enamel, causing it to smell. This could potentially damage both your microwave and casserole dish. Thermal shock could also occur, this is common to glass casserole.
Pyrex dishes are usually oven safe; but, as with all glass bakeware, some precautions must be taken. Thermal shock is a risk for all glass bakeware. Thermal shock happens when a substance expands or contracts as a result of being exposed to high temperatures.
If the dish is taken straight from the fridge or freezer and placed in an oven, it is likely to shatter and destroy your bakeware, oven, and food. When you take something out of the oven and place it in the fridge or on the table, it may injure people in the kitchen. Let the glassware reach room temperature before putting it into the oven.
The cookware should be allowed to cool prior to removal from the oven when food is served in it. Thermal shock may also happen in the microwave. Even if the dish states that it is microwave protected, you should remember the temperature of the dish before microwaving it.
How To Use A Casserole Dish In The Microwave?
If you have a casserole dish at home and you’d like to use in a microwave but it’s been impossible to know if its “microwave ready” you can try these steps:
- Add ½ cup tap water into a bowl, measure cup or drinking glass.
- Place this dish or container containing your water besides or above the one you wish to test.
- Place in the microwave and set on high for 1 minute.
- If your water changes temperature and the container you wish to test doesn’t change temperature, then it is safe for microwave.
- If the ceramic, on the other hand, becomes hot, the dish absorbs microwave energy, lengthening the total cooking time.
The dish can also crack over time if it is heated and cooled too quickly.
Here are some beneficial tips for using casserole dish in your microwave:
- Always clean up after use, this is very necessary to help keep your casserole in good condition and ready for use next time.
- Avoid metal completely.
You should never microwave something metallic or crockery with a metal trim.
Metal reflects microwaves and quickly makes sparks and catches fire; it is a common cause of kitchen fires, which rapidly intensify into house fires.
If you’re not sure whether your casserole dish is made of metal, just leave it out.
- If you are removing the glass dish from the fridge or freezer, it might be better to put it on a room temperature, microwave-safe plate rather than microwaving the bakeware.
Remember this before washing the dish; putting a cold glass dish in hot dishwater will cause it to break.