Can You Microwave Paper Plates? A Kitchen Guide for Safety

Can you put paper plates in the microwave? Should you be doing that?

Paper plates are fast becoming a preferred option, especially when it’s just you and family or friends. They save energy, time, and water that you would naturally spend doing dishes. Thinking about the flexibility of paper plates, I believe you’ve considered putting them in the microwave.

It is established that what goes into a microwave and what shouldn’t are equally important. So, you should get the right facts about your paper plates.

What Is a Paper Plate?

Paper plates are disposable plates made from wood pulp. They are very convenient to use and aren’t meant for recycling or washing after use. Most paper plates are 100% paper while some have a plastic coating that seems to make them more durable.

It is common to see families use paper plates for quick meals and every use and leave the nice ceramic and glasswares for special occasions or when they have guests. This is because they are easy to manage and they make clearing up after a meal easier.

SEE: Can You Put Aluminum Foil in the Microwave?

Can You Microwave Paper Plates?

Yes, you can microwave paper plates. However, you still need to be sure that your paper plate is 100% paper. Also, you should look underneath the plate to check for a microwave-safe sign.  

However, you should keep in mind that paper plates are not as resilient or durable as standard microwave-safe plates. Therefore, you should use microwave them carefully without going overboard.

SEE: Differences Between Microwave and Oven You Don’t Know

Can You Microwave Food on Paper Plates?

It is okay to microwave paper plates with food in it. But there are things to note when microwaving your food with a paper plate or bowl.

  • Do not microwave runny food or food with excess liquid on a paper plate
  • When you want to microwave oily or greasy foods, stack two to three plates to avoid creating a mess. Also, it’ll help to absorb the oil and prevent your food from falling off the soiled plate
  • Do not use paper plates to microwave foods that will melt while heating
  • Additionally, make sure you’re using the paper plate to reheat already cooked food

Can You Microwave Coated Paper Plates?

You shouldn’t be microwaving paper plates that are coated with plastic or ink decorations. These materials that coat the plates can absorb heat and eventually catch fire.

Moreover, some of these materials release toxic chemicals into your food while it heats. These chemicals can affect the composition of your food and make it harmful. And this is not something large enough for the eyes to see.

SEE: Can You Microwave Ziploc Bags?

Can You Microwave Foam Paper Plates?

Not all foam paper plates are microwavable. You should always check for the sign that says your paper plate is microwave-safe before you put it in the microwave.

Foam paper plates are made of a compound called polystyrene foam. Some of these foam plates are microwave-safe and may come with an instruction to not microwave them more than once.

On the other hand, some of these foam plates contain materials that microwaves easily break down. Consequently, it can make your food harmful and in turn harm your health after consuming such food.

Can You Microwave Chinet Paper Plate?

Chinet is the brand name for a paper plate manufacturing company. Chinet paper plates are microwave-safe. They are made from 100% recycled materials.

Moreover, they do not have a plastic coating or ink decorations that make paper plates melt while microwaving.

SEE: A Stafy Measure Guide to Microwaving Mason Jars

Can You Microwave Dixie Paper Plate?

Dixie paper plates are microwave-safe. Some dixie paper plates have a plastic wrap over them but these plastic wraps are also verified by the FDA as microwave-safe.

Additionally, Dixie paper plates are made of five layers and this makes them much stronger and sturdier. However, these paper plates are strictly meant for reheating food. You shouldn’t use Dixie paper plates to cook in a microwave.

How Long Can You Microwave Paper Plate?

It is not advisable to microwave food on a paper plate for more than five minutes. However, your food shouldn’t take more than two minutes to heat on a paper plate. Most importantly, make sure you put your microwave in a 50% reheat setting first.

Following this limit helps to keep your plate safe while you take it out of the microwave. Most importantly, it keeps your food and health safe too.

SEE: Can You Put Pizza Box In Oven?

How Do You Know Your Paper Plate Is Microwave-Safe?

The first way to identify a microwavable paper plate is to look under or on the packaging paper for a sign that labels it microwave-safe.

If you aren’t sure, you can carry out this quick experiment.

  • Fill a small bowl with water
  • Place the bowl of water and the paper plate in the microwave and close the door
  • Then, put the microwave on a high power setting and set the timer to one minute
  • When the time is up, turn off the microwave and gently bring out the paper plate and bowl of water
  • If the plate is too hot to the touch, it’s not microwave-safe. You shouldn’t use it to reheat your food

SEE: How to Get Free Food or Amazing Discount at Church’s Chicken


Why did your paper plate catch fire in the microwave?

Paper plates may catch fire in the microwave if:

  • You left the plate in for too long
  • You used a paper plate with plastic coating or ink decorations
  • Also, if you put the food in a brown paper bag, it can make the plate catch fire

Why are some plates not microwave-safe?

Some plates are not microwave-safe because they have materials that heat up after absorbing the microwaves. This can ruin the plate or cause skin burns when you touch the plate.

Also, these plates may contain toxic chemicals that alter food composition after heating up in the microwave. And this is not safe for your health.

Can you put hot food on a paper plate?

You can put hot food on a microwave-safe paper plate. But you should be sure it doesn’t have a plastic coating that can affect the composition of your food.


When you talk about convenience in the kitchen and around the house, paper plates make the list of items. It’s no surprise to see families stock up on them. They are not only disposable, but they are also microwaveable- so much convenience in one item.

While you enjoy this convenience, make sure you’re using a microwave-safe paper plate to avoid creating a mess or getting toxic chemicals in your food.

Thanks for reading.

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