What Does Microwave Safe Reheat Only Mean?

Have you ever wondered what the phrase microwave-safe reheat only means? There you are left with a lot of leftovers from last night’s dinner. You just want to eat it again so you transfer them to a microwavable container to heat them.

Then you read that your container is labeled as microwave-safe reheat only. So, now questions start forming in your head about it.

Well, worry not because you’ve come to the right place (I meant website or web article, but you get the point).

This article will tackle questions that are commonly asked about what microwave-safe reheat only actually means.

Without further ado, let’s go and find out the answers to your questions!

What does microwave-safe reheat only mean?

Microwave-safe reheat only literally means that you should use containers labeled as such only for reheating. It does not mean that you can use these containers for cooking food in the microwave

Typically, when you use a reheat only container, you will only heat it for a short period of time and at a lower power level. This time duration and temperature is short enough that it doesn’t melt or damage the container.

So don’t use them for cooking, only for reheating food. Usually, microwave-safe reheat only containers have a symbol of a microwave or wavy lines on them. You should check your plastic containers to make sure you are using them properly.

What does microwave safe mean?

Microwave safe means that the product or containers won’t melt or warp when exposed to microwave heat. It also means that the container won’t leach any harmful chemicals onto your food when put in a microwave.

Plastic containers that are microwave-safe will usually have the microwave-safe symbol on them. You may look for the symbol at the bottom of the said container.

If your plastic container does not have the safety symbol, you may try looking at the product’s website to check if the manufacturers indicated it there.

However, it would be better and safer if you just assumed that it is not safe if the symbol is not there (as they say, it’s better safe than sorry).

But don’t worry because there are a lot of materials that are considered microwave-safe (which we’ll be talking about right after this).

So, if you don’t trust microwaving your food in plastic containers, then there still are other things that you can try out.

What things are microwave safe?

Ceramics, glassware, and BPA-free plastic containers are some of the most common things that are considered microwave-safe. Porcelain and some china wares may also be considered microwave-safe unless they are labeled otherwise.

It is important to know the different types of labels for plastic containers. If your plastic container is labeled with the numbers 1, 2, 4, and 5 then they surely are microwave-safe.

On another note, if your container is made of microwave friendly material but has metal on it (even just a little bit), then you should not use it when microwaving (we’ll be discussing this more in a while).

What should you NOT put in the microwave?

Any kind of metal like stainless steel, brass, aluminum foil, and even copper should NOT be used when microwaving. Moreover, you should NOT use disposable plastic utensils and containers if you’re microwaving your food.

It is very dangerous to heat metal in a microwave. Metals heat very easily and too much heat can cause them to explode in the microwave (we don’t want – or expect – any form of fireworks in the kitchen, do we?).

Test out heating metal in the microwave and you’ll end up with a damaged microwave, a warped or shattered metal, and probably even an injury (so, please just don’t even think of trying it out).

Moreover, you should never microwave plastics apart from pp 5, and the others listed above. Any container labeled with the numbers 3, 6, and 7 is not microwave-safe. Styrofoam (polystyrene) and other plastic cups and dishes are examples these of non-microwavable plastics.

You risk contaminating your food with microplastics that come from non-microwavable plastics leaching into your food.

So, if you want to save yourself from injury and other health issues, check your containers if they are microwave-safe.

How to know if something is microwave-safe?

Microwave safe reheat only containers will usually have the microwave-safe symbol on them commonly located at the bottom.

The microwave-safe symbol may look like a double P (PP) along with a triangle that has the number 5 inside it.

Other numbers that indicate microwave safety (which we talked about earlier) may also be indicated inside the triangle.

You need to note that NOT ALL microwave safe containers can be used at intense heat temperatures.

As said earlier, those labeled as microwave-safe reheat only can withstand only a specific level of heat.

So, to make sure that you don’t damage your containers, check their labels carefully before using them (seriously, you just need to flip them over to see the labels).

If you do find yourself with non-microwavable containers or food packaging containers, don’t dispose of them just yet!

Of course, you can use your non-microwavable containers for serving and even storing food. Just make sure that you don’t put food or beverages that are too hot. Remember that these containers easily melt.

How to test if your container is microwave-safe?

what does microwave safe reheat only mean

If you can’t find any kind of label around the container you want to use then you can just put it to the test.

I usually test my plastic food containers just to make sure if they are microwave-safe (yes, even if they have the label – because why not?).

Here’s what I do to check if I can microwave my containers:

  1. Take your food container in question and fill it with about 1 cup of water (the amount of water depends on how big the food container is, so you need to make sure to just adjust it accordingly).
  2. Put your container in the microwave and make sure that you don’t cover it with the container’s lid so that it won’t explode.
  3. Set your microwave’s power to the highest heat setting.
  4. Microwave your container with water for 1 minute.
  5. After the given time, remove your container from the microwave (be careful, and please don’t burn yourself with the hot water).
  6. Touch your container and feel its temperature. If your container is cool while the water inside it is hot then it is microwave-safe. On the other hand, if your container is hot or even warm then that means it is not microwave-safe.

How to properly use and handle things labeled as microwave-safe reheat only?

Even if your container is labeled as microwave safe reheat only, you may still damage it if you put it in too much heat.

If what you’re using is also labeled as a reheat-only product, ensure that you observe proper measures to ensure it retains its quality.

When it comes to safe reheat only containers, there are certain things that you should remember when handling them.

I have listed down some of the things you need to remember when using your reheat only containers:

  1. Defrost your leftovers first before reheating them in a microwave safe container. You should not expose your containers too long to heat so that they won’t overheat and slowly melt.
  2. Don’t forget to stop and stir your food when reheating them in your reheat only containers every 1 to 2 minutes. The faster you reheat your food, the better. So, you need to make sure the heat is evenly distributed quickly so that you can remove your container from the heat as soon as possible.


Does microwave safe mean oven safe?

Many people believe that if something is microwave safe, it can also be used in the oven. However, this is not the case. Microwave safe simply means that the material will not release harmful chemicals into food when heated in a microwave. Oven safe, on the other hand, indicates that the material can withstand high temperatures without warping or melting. As a result, something that is microwave safe would not be oven safe. When in doubt, it is always best to check the manufacturer’s instructions before using any type of dish in the oven.

Is plastic microwave safe?

Some plastics are indeed microwave-safe, while the majority of others are not. The safest option is to avoid microwaving any kind of plastic altogether, as even those that are advertised as being safe may still release harmful chemicals into your food when microwaved.

Does microwave safe also mean dishwasher safe?

You might be surprised to learn that microwave safe can also mean dishwasher-safe. That’s right – if you have a microwave-safe dish, there’s a good chance it can also go in the dishwasher. However, it’s always best to check the manufacturer’s instructions to be sure. When it comes to putting microwave-safe dishes in the dishwasher, it’s best to use the top rack. This will help to prevent damage to the dish and ensure that it comes out clean and looking like new. So next time you’re wondering whether something is microwave safe or not, don’t forget to check the dishwasher-safe symbol as well.

What happens if you microwave a non-microwavable bowl?

If you’ve ever mistakenly put a non-microwavable food container in the microwave, you know that it can be a costly mistake. Non-microwavable bowls or plastic dishes will often melt, crack and become ruined if microwaved, leaving you with an expensive mess to clean up or replace. However, the risks of heating a non-microwave safe plate in the microwave will vary based on the material of the dish. If the dish is made of thin plastic, it is more likely to melt and become distorted. On the other hand, if the dish is made of thicker plastic, it may not melt, but it could become warped or misshapen. In either case, it’s best to avoid heating non microwave safe containers in the microwave to prevent damage to your dishes.

Can a microwave-safe reheat-only container be used for boiling water?

Yes, microwave safe reheat only containers can be used for boiling water. The material will not break down or leach chemicals into the water when heated to boiling point. Reheat-only containers are made of tempered glass or polypropylene plastic. They are designed to withstand most temperatures capable of being reached in a microwave without issues. However, it is important to note that these containers are not meant to be used on the stovetop or in the oven. They should only be used in the microwave. As such, boiling water in a reheat-only container is a safe and easy way to make hot beverages or instant soups.

What is the difference between reheat and microwave cooking?

Reheating isn’t the same as microwaving, even though they sound like they are doing the same thing. When you reheat a container or food in the microwave, you typically use a different setting or “power level” than when you cook something. So while the heating time doesn’t change, the power levels do, which can make a big difference when reheating many food containers.

What happens if you put a non microwave safe mug in the microwave?

It depends on the type of mug that you plan to use. Most ceramic mugs or tempered glass mugs are made with materials that are safe for use in the microwave. However, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, don’t use a mug with any metal trim. The metal can cause sparks and potentially damage your microwave. Second, avoid using mugs made with aluminum or stainless steel. These materials can also cause sparks and damage your appliance. If you’re not sure whether your mug is microwave safe, check the manufacturer’s instructions to be sure.


And there you have the answers to the questions you’ve been wondering about when it comes to your microwave safe reheat only containers. Now, you don’t have to worry if you’re using and handling them properly.

Just go back to this article and check all the tips and information here, and you’ll be just fine.