When it comes to hosting a dinner, a presentation is essential.
It’s also important to serve a warm plate of fresh food. Food can get cold pretty quickly if your plates are not warm enough.
Microwave rays can damage an empty plate without some modification, you have to follow some steps to do it. However, before you place your plates in the microwave to warm them, there must be some source of moisture in them.
The moisture source prevents the plate from heating too much and the machine from being damaged. Are there safer alternatives to this?
Of course! Let’s get into the various methods you can use to warm your serving plates, starting with the microwave.
Warming Plates In The Microwave
Microwaves function by using microwave energy. These energy rays can get the water molecules inside food moving, and then heat it.
So when you microwave a plate, you have to make sure there is a water source or something that the machine can excite. For this, you will need a microwave-safe container along with your plates and some water.
Here are the steps to follow when you are warming your plates in the microwave. Before you start, grab some oven mitts so you can take the plates out safely.
Take your plates and stack them on top of each other. Put a small glass or bowl at the top of the stack and fill it up with enough water so that the microwave can heat it up.
Switch on the microwave with the plates and water inside, and heat them for 30 seconds. If that is not warm enough, try 30 more. Use this on the regular setting of your microwave.
When the minute is over, wear your oven mitts and take the plates out of the microwave. Since glass or ceramic plates retain heat for a while, make sure to place the dishes on a surface that can sustain the heat.
Safety Tips For Warming Plates In The Microwave
If your microwave oven has a grill or convection setting, try using that instead of the regular one.
While regular microwave settings can damage your machine when you warm empty plates, it will not be the same with the convection setting on.
When you use the convection setting, the mechanism will be different. For this reason, it can take up to five minutes for your plates to get warm enough.
Even though it can be bad when you are in a rush, it is better for both your microwave and your dishes.
You can also invest in microwave plate warmers. These plates can go between your stack of plates in the microwave to keep it safe and cool on the exterior.
One last thing, remember to not put any dishes with metal linings on them. This includes chinaware that has a gold or silver lining. It can spark inside the oven and cause an accident.
Why You Shouldn’t Warm Plates In The Microwave?
There are a couple of reasons why microwaves should not be used without food in them.
The machine uses microwave rays to excite water molecules inside it and heats them through rapid movement.
In the absence of molecules, the microwaves can damage the machine as well as anything that is inside it.
Now, if you avoid putting a container of water or something hydrating inside the microwave with plates, it can end badly. Ceramic plates tend to have no water molecules in them.
So, when the oven is on with them inside, the waves need to be absorbed into something. Consequently, other things inside the microwave will get warm.
Any plastic inside the microwave can absorb the heat and melt. In the event of overheating, the plates can absorb too much and break or crack.
In the worst cases, the microwave will get some serious damage that you might end up emptying your pockets for.
Therefore, if you insist on using the microwave to warm your plates, make sure to put some water in there.
Just enough water can save your utensils and your machinery. And if you want to know more about alternative methods, there are many.
How To Warm Your Plates without Using A Microwave?
Microwaves may not be your favorite option when it comes to warming your plates or, you do not want to risk the damage that a microwave can do to your plates as well as to itself by warming them.
So then, how can you warm your plates for serving?
There are a handful of options. And you can choose the one you prefer the most.
Use Your Oven
The oven is a common way for a lot of people to warm serving dishes. Unlike the microwave, the oven does not need to dry out the moisture, and will not cause any damage to the exterior of your dishes.
All you need to do is have your oven and stack of plates ready to warm up.
The ideal temperature range for warming plates is from around 140F to 190F, or from 60C to 90C.
Try to avoid a higher range of temperatures because it can be risky for you to remove the plates once they are warm. At that temperature, heat them for about 15 minutes in the oven.
One thing to make sure of is that you do not put your plates in a preheated oven. Because of the sudden change in temperatures, cold, empty plates can break.
The best way would be to put them in the oven in stacks and then wait for the temperature to rise. Once they are warm, you can put them to use right away.
Hot Water In Sink Or A Bowl
This is a much safer method than both microwaves and ovens. All you need to do is to fill up your sink or a large bowl with water that is almost boiling.
After that, you can take the dishes or plates you want to warm up and place them in the water.
The plates should stay in there for 5 to 10 minutes. Make sure the water does not get cold before you take the plates out.
For safety, drain the water first before taking them out. This warming method is best for plates that can not stay in the heat of an oven or microwave for too long. And you can use it regularly as well.
Plate Warmers & Electric Warmers
You can invest in a plate warmer to keep your dishes warm after you put them through a heating process. Besides those, you can also buy electric warmers that can work for a long time to keep your dishes warm.
Although these tools are useful after your dish is already warm, they are a good investment since they can keep the dishes hot for a while.
Dishwashers – In Certain Cases
If you own a dishwasher, check if it has a dryer setting. The dryer setting can put a blast of hot air on the dishes and warm them up.
So, if you do have that setting available on your dishwasher, you can stack your ceramic plates inside and use it.
Place your plates in the rack and turn on the dryer setting for a few minutes. This will work best if you do it right before you serve the dishes on the plates. Do not forget to sanitize first!