To speak plainly, Tupperware products are safe to be used inside the microwave to heat foods. But there are several safety cautions that one needs to follow while doing so.
Tupperware is a household name famous for making high-quality containers that store and preserve food, so naturally, consumers began to wonder if these containers could survive the heat from a microwave oven.
To address those same queries, this article will try to answer some frequently asked questions about using plastic Tupperware containers to heat/cook food in a microwave.
Can You Microwave Tupperware?
Yes you can microwave plastic Tupperware.
Earlier when microwave ovens were just starting to hit the markets, they were considered parts of a modular kitchen but these days it is almost a necessity in every household kitchen. Naturally, the presence of microwaves logically means that there need to be containers that will hold the food.
This is where Tupperware containers come in. Tupperware is a known brand and has consistently made products using high-quality plastic for various purposes. But more than just the kind of container decides if it is safe or not to be put inside the microwave.
Tupperware has a separate line of products to be used for heating or cooking food inside the microwave and it is marked on the body of those containers using a label. Anything apart from these specially designed containers should not be used inside the microwave because not all types of plastic are suitable for the purpose and can expose the food to toxic chemicals.
Even when using microwaveable plastic Tupperware, one should keep in mind certain things such as the state of the food being heated or the amount of time that the plastic will be used for.
It is a known rule that you should not heat any food immediately after taking it out of the fridge as it exerts unnecessary pressure on the microwave oven compressor.
Another thing to follow while safely using the Tupperware is to make sure to not use it for a long-term cooking purpose, which means that you can use a plastic Tupperware to cook some 10 mins nachos and cheese but it will not be ideal to cook or bake a 40 min lasagna with it. Excessive heat for any plastic, no matter how safe, is risky.
What Happens If You Microwave Tupperware?
Two things can happen when you microwave plastic Tupperware. In the first scenario, it will melt, distort and get crooked destroying all the food and itself. In the second scenario, the Tupperware will safely warm your food and emerge out of the oven unscathed.
The only difference between the two scenarios is the kind of Tupperware you are using. Unfortunately, if you use the ordinary type then the first scenario is likely to happen and this is not good news for the microwave oven either because it can catch fire and cause a mini-explosion inside your kitchen.
However, if you are using plastic Tupperware with the label that indicates its microwave ability then you are safe and won’t experience any accidents. That said, some people have complained of using the labeled Tupperware and yet gotten themselves a disaster such as molten Tupperware at the worst or undercooked /unevenly heated food.
These occurrences are quite common despite the presence of the microwave-safe label and are likely because of external factors such as a cracked container surface, or a tightly fastened microwave lid etc.
Is Tupperware Microwave-Safe?
Yes, the specific line of microwavable products that Tupperware makes are safe to be put inside a microwave.
But more important than that is the question: what exactly does it mean when one says that a container is microwave-safe? There are numerous types of plastics and the sure way to check that is to check the resin identification code and additionally, the process for making different types of plastic containers varies depending on it’s purpose and usage.
Some additives also have to be added to the plastic container making and unfortunately one of them is BPA or Bisphenol A. While it makes the product sturdy and flexible, it has been known to cause health concerns in humans- including reproductive issues.
What makes Tupperware microwave-safe is that the manufacturers have switched from using polycarbonate plastic that contains high amounts of BPA to using polypropylene which is free of BPA . This is not just a baseless fact but has to be verified and mandated by the FDA before it can be sold in the market.
When you microwave your food in a plastic container that contains this chemical BPA, it enters your food as fumes with the heat and can also cause hormonal disruption, diabetes and obesity.
How Can You Tell If A Tupperware Is Microwave Safe?
The surest way to check if a plastic Tupperware is microwave-safe is to look for the symbol or the label that says the same. You should absolutely never heat your food inside a container that does not have that label.
That said, Tupperwares is after all plastics and is bound to contain additives. How much of it is safe is determined in the product-making process. The process is rigorous as the concerned professionals check how much of the chemicals entering the food will pose serious risks to human health.
Tupperware cannot sell a product if it is not deemed safe by those professionals and if not approved by the FDA. They are required to disclose their toxicology and sustainability reports online for this very same reason.
Any consumer can perform a simple web search and gain access to these reports that list the additives and chemicals that go into the making of each product and its effects on human health.
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Safety Tips: Things To Know Before Microwaving Tupperware
A microwave oven is an electrical appliance and thus, there are some things that you need to keep in mind while using a plastic Tupperware in the microwave:
Properly using the container lid inside the oven
You may not think it important but the lid plays an important role while heating food inside a Tupperware container. The presence of the lid traps the heat inside and cooks the food faster and more evenly. But the petty mistake many make is to shut the lid too lightly. The trapped heat inside the container can generate pressure and cause an explosion.
The best thing to do is to cover the mouth with a lid but leave it on only light to keep some gaps from where the hot air can leave.
Type of food being heated
Certain food types such as fats and sugar get heat up very fast and generate more heat than the Tupperware can handle. This leads the plastic to melt if exposed to heat for a long time.
Lastly, the time duration for which the Tupperware is being used also determines whether or not it will act up or not. You should not microwave plastic Tupperware for more than 3 mins at a time. If you do feel like your food needs more time in the oven then, run it for 3 mins, take it out and let things cool down and run for 3 mins again.
Other things that determine the performance of plastic Tupperware is whether or not the container has any cracks and such, in which case it can explode.
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The Bottom Line
Thus, it is perfectly safe to use plastic Tupperware inside a microwave as long as you are using the correct microwave-safe product and following the safety precautions as mentioned above.
The thing is, a microwave uses high amounts of heat and therefore not every material can be used inside it. The best thing to do is to always read up the instruction manual and exercise safety while handling a microwave oven.