Bamboo bowls and plates make for a wonderful, environmentally conscious alternative to paper and styrofoam plates and bowls, and they have a natural look that is hard to beat. However, many people wonder whether bamboo dishes can be safely used in a microwave.
Bamboo bowls and plates are not microwave safe. Plates that are made from bamboo fiber contains a glue which becomes unstable in the microwave.
This article will explore this question further, as well as provide alternatives to bamboo dishes. Read on to learn about whether bamboo plates and bowls are microwave-safe.
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Are Bamboo Dishes Microwave-Safe?
It turns out that bamboo dishes are not microwave-safe. The binding agent used to hold the bamboo together, called melamine-formaldehyde resin, can leach into your food when it is subjected to high temperatures, such as when microwaved.
However, this is no reason to give up using bamboo dishes, as their use is much better for the environment than plastic and paper plates and bowls are.
One way to get around having to microwave your bamboo dishes is to use a separate, microwave-safe dish to heat your food, and then transfer the food to your bamboo dish. Below are some types of dishes that can be utilized for microwaving your food prior to moving the meal to your bamboo plate or bowl.
Bamboo Dish Alternatives
If you must use a microwave to heat up your food, you can easily utilize a microwave-safe dish and add the food to your bamboo plates and bowls after it is heated. Below are some dishes that you can use to do this.
Many glass dishes are safe to use in the microwave, making them great for heating up your food. Not every glass dish is microwave-safe so make sure that you examine the dish to check if it is marked as microwave safe.
If you cannot find a label in regards to this, you can do a simple test to find out if the plate or bowl is microwavable by heating up the dish containing some water in your microwave for around a minute. If the water is hot but the dish is still cool to the touch, it is okay to use it in the microwave.
Keep in mind that if there is a metal rim on the outside of the plate, you should not microwave it. As most people know, metal cannot go in a microwave or sparks will start flying.
Although this is not the most environmentally responsible option, if you do not want to make more dishes to wash or you have no other options, you could use paper plates or bowls for microwaving your food prior to transferring it to your bamboo dishes.
Paper is safe to microwave . This is one way to cut down on producing additional waste if you decide to go this route.
There are many earthenware dishes that can be used in both the microwave and oven, but you need to check for a label that addresses this prior to utilizing these dishes to heat up food. Earthenware is much more porous than its stoneware counterpart, making the dishes less durable.
If you cannot find a label on the dish stating whether it is safe to use in a microwave, you can carry out the same test as what was described for glass dishes.
Microwave your dish containing water for around a minute, and check to see if the dish is hot. If it is still cool, it is okay to use it for heating up food in the microwave.
Pyrex is a type of glass that was designed specifically for creating kitchen and laboratory glassware. Thus, it is most certainly safe to use in your microwave.
Dishes made from silicone are very versatile as they can be used in a dishwasher, oven, and microwave. Thus, these make for a great alternative for heating up your meals prior to transferring the food to your bamboo dishes.
Look for silicone plates that are free of BPAs, which stands for bisphenol A. These are toxic chemicals that are used for hardening plastics, and they can result in various health issues.
Another alternative for heating up your food in a microwave is a porcelain dish. Porcelain is able to be used in a microwave, so you can simply heat your meal up with a porcelain plate or bowl and move the food to your bamboo dishes afterward.
Stoneware dishes are molded from clay before being fired at extremely high temperatures, which makes them very durable. As a result, you can use stoneware plates and bowls in both microwaves and dishwashers.
However, you should avoid microwaving your stoneware dish if it was just removed from the freezer. Move it to your fridge 24 hours before you want to microwave the food, as a drastic temperature change can damage these dishes.
8. Wax Paper
You can use wax paper for heating up your food in a microwave prior to transferring it to your bamboo dishes. Simply rip off a piece of wax paper that is large enough to hold your food without making a mess, and place it in your microwave.
Carefully add the food you need to heat up to the wax paper in the microwave. Once the food is warmed sufficiently, you can either try to slowly lift the paper up with the food and place it on your counter, or transfer the food little by little to your bamboo dish.
Although this is a slightly wasteful option, it eliminates you having to wash extra dishes. Keep in mind that you can reuse the same piece of wax paper for heating up as many meals as you need.
Can You Microwave Bamboo Bowls and Plates? | Summary
Bamboo dishes have a look that is natural and attractive, which makes their popularity well understood. You should not let the fact that they cannot be microwaved turn you off to using these dishes, as they can add such a beautiful touch to your dinner table.
Instead, utilize one of the types of dishes mentioned above, and transfer the food to your bamboo dishes. This might mean extra work for you, but it will all be worth it when your guests arrive and compliment your gorgeous bamboo plates and bowls.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.