When it comes to heating and re-heating our leftover foods, sometimes we consumers use glass containers or pans as places to keep our products enclosed in the refrigerator or freezer. When it comes time to eat or use those leftover foods, we have to decide whether or not we can use the microwave with our glass containers. Would the results be favorable to our foods after we heat up the glass in the microwave? Is it safe for the food to be contained within a glass pan or dish? Could the microwaving process negatively affect the glass dish? How about the food? Would it still taste delicious or would the glass container affect the food’s outcome? Would the glass dish crack, break, or even explode in the microwave? The ultimate question remains for the consumers out there; can you microwave glass?
Before we talk about the answer to this question, it’s important for consumers to get some information about glass and what it’s made up from and what its’ purposes are. First and foremost, glass is a non-crystalline solid that is transparent in its appearance and has many different uses such as being used to make windowpanes, tables, doors, and bottles, among other many purposes.
Many types of glass are made out of ‘silica’ material or which is more popularly known as quartz. Glass is mainly made up of silicon dioxide but also contains sodium oxide and sodium carbonate too. When it comes to the physical appearance of glass, it is perhaps most notable that it can transmit, reflect, and refract light. Glass is also more durable and reliable than plastic and is much more sturdy when it comes to holding or containing different kinds of products. Glass is easy to produce and can be made into any type of household item which makes it very versatile.
Glass is an interesting material because you have to heat the silica, which is similar to ordinary sand, until it melts into a liquid. You have to heat the silica at very high temperatures and after it cools, it forms a crystalline kind of structure that hardens over time and forms a transparent appearance. Glass is not considered to be a true solid but rather a frozen liquid that has been hardened. As anyone who has dealt with glass before will say, glass is very fragile so it must be handled with care given the fact that it can break easily.
As stated before, glass has a number of uses around the household and in many buildings. Glass is used around the world in many different countries especially for the outsides and interiors of massive structures like skyscrapers and airport terminals. Glass has a number of physical properties that makes it easy to use for many different functions. Glass is transparent, easy to heat and make, does not react chemically to most outside elements, and is heat resistant to a certain degree. Perhaps most important for its’ utility, glass can be used and re-used multiple times.
Glass can be recycled so if you see a recycling bin that accepts glass bottles or containers, you should utilize it because you may be able to get some money in return for letting the glass to be re-used. Glass is much better for the environment than plastic products as it can decompose and liquidate if necessary. Plastic is harmful in that it takes hundreds of years to decompose and cannot change form unlike glass. While glass is less prominent than plastic, it’s simply a much better option when it comes to protecting the environment.
Can You Microwave Glass?
After talking about the physical principles and properties of glass, we can conclude that glass can indeed be microwaved without any problems. It is safe to put your food products into a glass pan, container, or dish when you want to heat and re-heat your leftovers. Compared to microwaving plastics which can cause a problem of chemicals mixing in with your food during the re-heating process, glass is less pliable and much more sturdy when it comes to resisting the spread of chemicals to the food that is heated up by the material.
Look For The Logo
However, it’s still important to look in the supermarket for glass dishes that have a notice or a sticker on them that indicate that they are indeed safe to be microwaved or put into the oven. The logo should be easy to spot and will put the consumer’s worries to rest about something happening to the glass dish or the food that is being heated up.
Glass dishes or containers, which do not have this ‘microwave-safe’ logo, may still be safe to use and put into the microwave. However, while you can still microwave those kind of glass dishes and expose them to heat, there is still the risk that once the glass dish cools, it may fracture or break apart due to the inability to handle the extreme change in temperatures.
That’s why its’ necessary to find a glass dish or container in stores that is ‘microwave-safe.’ Usually, these kinds of glass containers are very popular and easy to find. You just have to use common sense and choose wisely as some kinds of glass won’t be able to handle the extreme hot or cool temperatures that you will be exposing the product to.
What Type Of Glass Should Not Go In The Microwave
You should never put glass that is rimmed with metal in a microwave along with glass that has lead material in it as well.
If the glass you have appears to be extremely fragile as well, it would not be a good idea to put it in the microwave to heat up your food. Metal and lead mixed with glass could damage both the dish / container as well as the food that you’re heating up.
Glasses used for drinking are likely to be very fragile compared to glass dishes or containers so you should be very careful if you decide to heat up a glass of milk or another liquid. You have to make sure that the glass can withstand extremely hot temperatures without fracturing or breaking. Other than that, microwaving glass should be safe and you can do it successfully. It’s a good alternative to microwaving food products with plastic, which may affect the taste and texture of your breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Coming back to the initial question, yes you can microwave glass. Just make sure it has a logo that indicates it’s microwave safe. Also, avoid anything with metal rim. Good luck!