Can You Microwave Cold Ceramic? What You Need to Know

You’re up for a long day today! Good thing you’ve prepared and frozen your meal beforehand. You pre-cooked them and even used your favorite ceramic bowl so you can just pop them into the microwave. But wait! Are you sure you can microwave cold ceramic?

If you’re having doubts about microwaving your favorite ceramics when they’re cold, don’t fret!

This article will tell you everything you need to know about microwaving cold ceramics. It’s going to discuss if you can do it and what might happen if you do it.

You’ll also get some friendly reminders and safety tips on proper handling of your ceramics especially when you just got them out of cold storage (a.k.a. freezer).

So, what are we waiting for? Let’s start!

Can you microwave cold ceramic?

Yes, you can microwave cold ceramic. HOWEVER, you should NOT microwave it when it is cold IF you haven’t observed the safety measures to make sure it won’t break.

Most dishes and containers made of ceramics are microwave-safe. But you can easily damage them if you use or handle them the wrong way.

You should NOT microwave your ceramic dishes, especially if they are cold. Your cold ceramics might crack when you take them out straight from the freezer and put them directly into a hot microwave.

Luckily, there is a way for you to safely and adequately microwave your cold ceramics. We’ll be talking about this later, so do keep reading.

Is it safe to microwave cold ceramic?

Yes, it is safe to microwave your cold ceramics. But, as I said earlier, you need to make sure that you’re doing it the proper way (which we’ll be talking about later on) so that you don’t end up with a shattered ceramic dish.

Of course, you need to double-check the quality of your ceramic dish. It’s better if you use high-quality ceramics so that it doesn’t get damaged easily.

Moreover, you also need to make sure that your ceramic dish is labeled as microwave-safe (yes, there are some ceramic dishes and containers that may not be okay to microwave).

Ultimately, you can safely microwave your cold ceramics if you heat them first. You’ll find out how to do this one in a little while (patience, patience).

What happens if you microwave cold ceramic?

If you microwave them, your cold ceramic dishes and containers will likely shatter, crack, or break.

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Ceramics are exposed to intense heat when they are being made. They can also withstand the heat given off by microwaves, ovens, and even stovetops.

However, sudden temperature changes will possibly damage them.

When a ceramic dish placed that is freshly taken out of the freezer will be put in a very hot microwave, its temperature will rise very suddenly.

The intense heat will then cause your cold ceramic dish to break since it is not designed to withstand such sudden temperature shifts.

How to test if your ceramic is microwave-safe?

You have to make sure that your ceramic dish is microwave-safe first before you even try properly microwaving it while it’s cold.

Here are some steps that you can follow to test if your ceramic is microwave-safe:

  1. Take your ceramic dish and put it in your microwave.
  2. Heat your ceramic dish in the microwave for about 20 seconds.
  3. After the given time, take your ceramic dish out of the microwave.
  4. Touch your ceramic dish and feel its temperature.

If your ceramic dish is cool, then it is safe to use in the microwave. But if it is hot, then you may assume that it could be NOT safe for microwave use.

You have to note that your ceramic dish may crack while you’re heating it if it has low quality.

With this, make sure that you use high-quality ceramics so that you can still use them several times and for longer periods. 

How do you heat ceramic to avoid breakage?

I usually use my oven when heating ceramic dishes that I just bought. But don’t worry if you don’t have an oven at home. You can still safely microwave your ceramic dishes.

If you’re fortunate enough to have an oven, then you may do the following steps before microwaving your ceramic dishes to make sure that your ceramics can withstand extreme temperatures:

  1. Preheat your oven to 93 to 149 degrees Celsius or 200 to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Get your ceramic dish and put it in your preheated oven.
  3. Let your ceramic dish heat in the oven for some time.

On the other hand, if you don’t have an oven at home and you need or want to use your ceramic dish in the microwave, then you can follow these safety tips and steps so that you don’t damage it while heating:

  1. Use your ceramic dish as specified or needed.
  2. Make sure your microwave is at the lowest heat setting first when you put your ceramic dish in.
  3. Let your ceramic dish heat on low heat first for a few minutes.
  4. Gradually increase the heat setting of your microwave after some time (do NOT set it too high too quickly).
  5. Turn off the microwave after reaching the high heat setting and take your ceramic dish out.
  6. Set your ceramic dish aside and let it rest for a while before putting using it in intense heat.

What to do when microwaving cold ceramic?

There are various safety measures that you can keep in mind so that you don’t damage your ceramic when using it in the microwave.

Here are some of the things you may want to remember to make sure you don’t break your favorite ceramic dish while heating it.

Room temperature is the key.

If you’re using a cold ceramic dish, make sure that you first bring it to room temperature before microwaving it.

When ceramics are at room temperature, it is less likely to break and be damaged because there is no intense temperature change.

If you don’t have that much time to wait for it to reach room temperature, you may still use the microwave to warm it up (check out what we just talked about regarding heating your ceramics).

Bear in mind: Increase the temperature SLOWLY.

If your cold ceramic dish has already reached room temperature, then there’s no need for you to worry or think about this tip.

However, if you’re still working on cold ceramics, ensure that you don’t put them into intense heat. Increase the temperature of your microwave SLOWLY, so it doesn’t break (again, check out the steps on how to heat your ceramics properly).

Remember, patience is a virtue.

High-quality ceramics as much as possible.

If you do have a choice, choose ceramic dishes that have a high quality so that it doesn’t get damaged easily.

Ceramics with low quality may be unsafe to use in the microwave. Moreover, they may also easily break even with the slightest change in their temperature.

No metals, please!!!

When microwaving your ceramics, make sure that you use microwave-safe plastic or wooden utensils when stirring or mixing food.

Metals heat up very easily. When you use them while mixing food in ceramics, they might cause your dish to heat up too quickly.

When your ceramics heat up too fast, they are likely to break as they might not withstand the intense heat.

Conclusion

Phew! Was that a lot to think of? Well, all you need to remember is that you CAN microwave cold ceramics. But you need to be very careful when doing so.

You have read the safety tips as well as some steps on how to make sure you don’t break your cold ceramics when microwaving them. They may sound a bit too much. But trust me, it’s better safe than sorry.

So, now that you know them, go get microwaving!