Can You Microwave Paper Plates? The Answer Is Here!

Cooking and warming certain dishes is considerably more straightforward with the help of a microwave. However, the plate wares you use for reheating or cooking meals in your microwave also play a vital role.

Paper plates, for example, are handy for gatherings, excursions, and other significant events. You simply take and bring them anywhere and then toss them out when the party ends.

Can you microwave paper plates? They are pretty much safe to microwave as long as you follow safety guidelines when reheating your dishes.

Whether you utilize these products for quick lunches or daily use, you should understand the basics of how to use them effectively.

Otherwise, you can ruin your food yourself if you accidentally cause them to melt, warp, or even catch fire.

If you need a detailed explanation, let’s click on this article to discover more! Let’s get started!

What Are Paper Plates?

Before solving the question: “Can you put paper plates in the microwave?” it’s best to understand these dinner wares.


Who invented paper plates? Martin Keyes is a guy from New Hampshire who is the father of this invention in the early 1900s.

In 1903, he founded the Keyes Fibre Company and came up with the idea of creating pastry plates from molded pulp.

He was successful in developing a machine to produce these plates. And he achieved the patent for his invention.

Keyes began shipping these plates in 1904 but ran into significant difficulties due to the plates’ high cost of production.

Nevertheless, he found a cheaper way to create them, and the market grew in popularity some few years afterward.

He then moved on to create other disposable paper goods. His firm is currently famous for the Chinet biodegradable tableware line found in stores.


The dinnerwares are now available in various shapes and sizes from well-known brands such as Dixie, Hefty, Solo, and other famous store brands.

Generally, they may come with the following types:

Platter-sized products: They’re oblong-shaped and suitable for buffets.

Standard dinner-sized kinds: They are ideal for lunches and typical snacks.

Small dessert plates: They are a common choice for appetizers, snacks, and treats.

Plates with built-in separate compartments: They make it easier to segregate meals and calculate servings

You can also see these products with different characteristics, including biodegradability, chemical-free status, or durability.


The following are some of the benefits that can make utilizing these items an appealing option for your events:

  • Convenient

You don’t need to wash or dry these plates after using them. All you have to do is throw away used dishes in the trash after parties.

  • Safe

These plate wares are much safer than ceramic or glass plates. You don’t have to worry about accidentally breaking them or cleaning sharp remnants.

  • Hygienic

Most of them are disposable, so bacteria will have less chance of growing or disease spreading.

  • Transportable

They are incredibly compact and thin so that you can transport a big stack without any difficulty. They also require less space for storage.

  • Affordable

They are a more cost-effective alternative to purchasing more luxury dinnerware for a single-use.

  • Biodegradable

They contain recycled materials, which means they quickly biodegrade than other plates and have fewer adverse effects on the environment.

  • Microwavable

This characteristic explains why you can use paper plates in your microwave.

While there are a variety of microwave-safe plates available, these goods, combined with their other benefits, may make them the most reasonable pick for special occasions.

can you put paper plates in the microwave

They have several benefits.

Can You Microwave Paper Plates?

Can paper plates go in the microwave? This seemingly innocuous dinnerware has sparked a lot of debate.

So, can you microwave paper plates? The short answer is yes, but it also depends on the types of paper plates you intend to use when microwaving.

They’re perfectly safe to use in microwaves, just like any other paper goods. So you can cook or reheat your meals on these plates using this kitchen utensil.

Sadly, you can’t use paper plate in microwave. That’s because some types may come with a plastic, waxed, or printed coating, which makes them more sturdy or attractive.

If the coating is microwave safe, you can feel free to use these goods in your microwave. Otherwise, they can cause some unwanted accidents.

For instance, chemicals or inks may seep into your food being cooked. Worse, some plastic coating may melt and become poisonous to your food.

Besides, some with metal or foil ornamentations are prone to spontaneous combustion, which may cause sparks when exposed to high temperatures.

It’s best to avoid these above types during heating. Before purchasing these dinnerwares, you should perform some due diligence on the packaging information.

The advice is to use the products from famous brands such as Dixie, Solo, or Hefty as they are rigorously tested before being put on the market.

To avoid unexpected incidents, always double-check that whatever you put on these dishes is microwavable.

When you can reheat oily or greasy food like a slice of pepperoni pizza, utilize a stack of two or three plates if they are flimsy.

The overlapping layers help absorb grease and keep the plate from spoiling and prevent your food from falling when you take it out of your microwave.

Now you know the answer to the question, “Are paper plates microwave-safe?”

can paper plates go in the microwave

It’s ok to use paper plates inside a microwave.

Can You Microwave Paper Plates? Pros And Cons

Again, can I microwave paper plates? Definitely, yes!

That said, everything has two sides, and so does it when you heat food on the paper plate in your microwave.


Microwaving food is simple, and utilizing these dishes has numerous advantages.

Microwaves are incompatible with ceramic or metal dinnerware.

If you want to warm your dish on any other kind of plate, you may make your container worthless in your microwave.

They are safe when used in your microwave, so you may reheat leftovers on them.

Disposable ones make cleanup much easier after meals. Therefore, after dinner, all you need to do is throw them in the trash.

These goods are also recyclable; therefore, they contribute to waste reduction.


While it’s ok to microwave your paper plates, you should consider the limitations of these goods.

As shared earlier, some types may come with printed, plastic, or waxed coating so that they may melt and chemicals may seep into your food. Thus, check the product description carefully before buying.

Microwaves function by warming food from the inside out. The plastic coating, on the other hand, assists in keeping heat trapped inside the plates. Hence, microwaving paper plates might lead to disastrous burns.

That’s why most manufacturers advise consumers only to utilize low-heat temperatures with these dinnerwares, but even still, tread carefully.

paper plate in microwave

Chemicals might seep into food when the plate melts.

How Do You Microwave Paper Plates?

When microwaving these plates, you should keep in mind the following:


These items are not ideal for cooking, which means you should use them to warm your food.

The reason is they can’t suffer from extreme heat for long periods. Food might saturate them, making them harder to grip while also compromising their structural integrity.

Arranging The Paper Plates In A Stack

When partially reheating grease foods, cooking vegetables, and potatoes, it’s better to pile the plates thickly to offer support and stability.

Depending on the food and the condition of the paper plates, you may need two or more. To minimize food from slipping off, layer the thin dishes higher.

are paper plates microwave safe

A stack of dishes


  • Warm the food for around 1-2 minutes.
  • Keep a close eye on the paper plate and stir your food after 30 seconds to maintain safety.
  • Never overheat your dish! Overheating the food will cause it to leak too much moisture, which will cause the plate to warp.

Reducing Spatter By Covering Foods

  • When food has a higher moisture level, it splatters when microwaved. As a result, use a paper towel to cover it.
  • Avoid a plastic plate or plastic wrap when warming food if it is not marked microwavable.
  • To avoid an explosion, hold a small opening to expel steam.

Staying Away From Flammable Materials

Metallic strips like silverware or foil may heat up and even catch fire, igniting the paper plates. Thus, avoid using these materials.

Avoid flammable objects

What To Consider When Microwaving Paper Plates?

Now you got the answer for your headache question “Can you microwave paper plate?”, right?

As you can see, microwaving paper plates is a relatively simple process. However, it’s critical to follow all safety precautions.

Following are some guidelines for adequately reheating paper plates:

  • It’s not a good idea to reheat leftovers in brown paper bags on paper plates since they could catch fire.
  • Make sure the paper plates lies completely flat on the platter.
  • Avoid using aluminum foil coverings. Sparks may fly as a result of this.
  • It would be best if you avoided twist ties at any cost.
  • Don’t heat paper plates that have nothing in it. The heat might damage both the microwave magnetron and the container.
  • Using paper plates to warm wet foods is a terrible idea. The water might boil the food, causing extreme pressure to build up within your microwave again and again.
  • Toss the reheated paper plates in the garbage and wash your hands after they have cooled down.
  • Don’t ever let your microwave be unsupervised during the heating process.

Considerations when using the dinnerwares

How Long Can You Put Paper Plates In Your Microwave?

Can you microwave paper plates? Yes, but how long?

There aren’t any specific rules or regulations about how long to use paper plates in your microwave.

However, it’s better to microwave your food on these plates within two minutes.

For instance, set the microwave to reheat, layer these plates when necessary, use the paper towel for covering and reheating.

This traps moisture inside the food, preventing it from dehydrating out and heating it evenly.

What’s more, you shouldn’t use them to heat your meals at an extreme temperature like cooking raw meat.

Instead, it would be best to microwave foods that require low or medium heat and can be edible right after removing from the kitchen utensil.

It decreases the chances of your plates getting too hot to handle.

These plates get hot very quickly, so this should be the first choice if you are looking for a quick and straightforward method of reheating food.

This cooking method is excellent for leftovers because it’s quick, easy, and doesn’t require any cleanup.

You can eat your meals directly from disposable containers!

Reasonable time for heating food on these dinnerwares

How To Test A Plate For Microwave Safety?

Is it possible for you to check a plate in your microwave to see if it’s safe? The good news is yes!

When the plate package is ambiguous or does not specify whether they are microwavable or not, you can apply the following tips to check.

  • Pour water into a small bowl.
  • Place this bowl and the plate you want to test in your microwave.
  • Set the microwave on maximum heat and a one-minute timer.
  • When the timer goes off, cautiously touch the tested plate.
  • Do not grab it straight away because it’s hot!
  • If it’s hot when you touch it, it has absorbed and produced heat. It indicates it is not safe when used in your microwave.

It is a simple technique to see if something is microwavable or not.

Nevertheless, the longer you use the kitchen appliance and the higher the heat, the more likely something will go wrong with the tested plate.

If this test is not very convincing to you, it’s best not to try putting paper plate in microwave.

Though the paper plate does not get hot when touched, it may contain dangerous components to your foods and is unsafe for eating.

In particular, if the plate has BPA or a polyfluoroalkyl substance, it is not suitable to use in this utensil.

That’s because these chemicals may cause your food to be toxic.

The simple method to test a microwavable dish

What Can And Can’t Go In A Microwave?

Before you cook or reheat food using a microwave, it’s best to check whether the plate wares are safe to use in this appliance.

Below are some items that you can and can’t use in a microwave.

Microwavable Things

  1. Glasswares

You can warm glassware in your microwave in a short time and at low temperatures. They are best for warming beverages.

Glass bottles

  1. Paper Towels

You may cover foods using a paper towel to cover some foods so they won’t spit during reheating or cooking.

  1. Parchment Paper

If you wonder: Are parchment paper microwavable, the answer is this question is similar to “Are paper plates microwave safe?”. The good news for both is yes!

Yet, it is critical for managing the goods while microwaving parchment paper.

For instance, when subjected to microwave waves, flowing lipids can distort paper and alter the taste of the goods.

Parchment paper

  1. Silicone Molds

They can tolerate both high and low temperatures. When using silicone molds in your microwave, it is vital first to eliminate any extra moisture.

Silicone molds

Non-microwavable Things

  1. Plastic Bags

It would be beneficial if you avoided using the microwave for any plastic bags. Plastic may release BPA, which is harmful to your health.

Instead of using plastics bags, it’s best to use a glass plate to heat your meal.

Plastic bag

  1. Aluminum Foil

The interior of a microwave contains metal, allowing it to work as a mirror.

Rather than casting a mirror on your face, the metal reflects electromagnetic radiation or microwave ovens. The electromagnetic energy emitted by radio waves warms your stuff.

When you put this item in a microwave, the vibrations reverberate off the object, which causes your aluminum foil to ignite and burn quickly.

Aluminum foil

  1. Travel Mugs

Steel cups will prevent your drink from being reheated due to the metal in your microwave design and may produce friction from the radiation released.

Travel mug

  1. Styrofoam

Products from styrofoam are not suitable for microwaving. They are hard to biodegrade and may melt when exposed to extreme heat. So, toxic chemicals may absorb into your food.

What’s more, your meal may melt via the package once the contents are hot enough.


  1. Lidless Containers

Your uncovered dishes may simmer, hop about, or even detonate due to the heat generated while heating up.

It’s a great idea to use a microwave-safe material to keep food covered in your microwave.

Which Paper Plates Are Microwave-Safe?

If you are looking for microwave-safe paper plates, the following recommendations may be helpful. Check it out!

Dixie Plates

Dixie plates are made to withstand soaking to be suitable for almost any dish. They’re also thick enough to bend and won’t splatter your food everywhere.

They come with five layers to be more robust and sturdy. Thanks to water-based coating, they are cut-resistant and safe to microwave.

These dishes are available in various prints and sizes, which may change periodically. They are great for snacks or meals.

If you want to learn more about goods from this brand, you can watch this video:

Glad Plates

Glad’s goods are suitable for any event. They are available in various prints and shapes like circles or squares.

Due to soak-proof characteristics, they are perfect for daily use or any food you want.

They are highly durable and sturdy, so they won’t bend or slide food off when you hold them with only one hand.

Most importantly, they don’t contain harmful chemicals, so you can feel free when using them in your microwave.

Comfy Plates

They are among the most outstanding options for any occasion as they are simple, durable, and practical. They’re a simple off-white coloring with no noticeable patterns.

These, on the other hand, are manufactured from 100% compostable materials and eco-friendly components. They’re rugged and water-resistant.

Their components include sugarcane fibers. Despite the lack of any lining, they are solid and long-lasting.

Like the two types above, these dinner wares are microwavable and ideal for hot or cold dishes.

Dixie products


What Symbol Means Microwave-Safe?

Generally, microwave-safe products come with a “squiggly lines” symbol on the label. These lines indicate that you can quickly microwave that item.

That said, this symbol may vary considerably. Sometimes, it might illustrate a microwave or sometimes a dish put beneath radiation waves.

When checking the label of the goods, you can’t see any above symbols, it’s best not to put paper plate in microwave in all circumstances.

Are Microwaved Paper Plates Toxic?

All in all, these dinner wares are safe when microwaving.

You should reheat food for no more than 1-2 minutes. Otherwise, it will seep into the dish.

Beyond this time, this can gradually destroy the paper plate’s structural framework, making it harder to keep flat.

Moreover, a microwave works by emitting electromagnetic waves at a specific wavelength.

It causes the water molecules inside the material to vibrate, causing the heat reaction due to friction.

If you reheat food on the paper plate in microwave in a reasonable time, there is nothing wrong with happening or toxic chemicals to release.

Are Dixie Paper Plates Microwave Safe?

The answer is yes! They won’t release toxins like polystyrene or plastic while heating.

Nonetheless, it would be best not to use plastic wraps to cover the Dixie plates because the wraps might melt and seep into food, which causes health issues.

Can Paper Plates Catch Fire In Your Microwave?

The short answer is no! That’s because the paper is an electrical non-conductor; these items will not catch fire until exposed to extreme temperatures.

However, it’s also important to consider food on the plate. Some items may catch fire, such as a knife, fork, or foil cover.

Why Does An Empty Paper Plate Not Heat Up In Your Microwave?

Because an empty plate is dry and contains little water, it does not become hot.

Microwaves function via the excitation of water molecules in food, which causes them to vibrate fast. It boosts the food’s heat.

It also explains why your food is heated with this kitchen gadget from the inside.

Microwave-safe symbol

Read more: Can You Microwave A Solo Cup? – Is It safe?

The Bottom Line: Can You Microwave Paper Plate?

This article has ultimately got to the bottom of a commonly asked question: Can you microwave paper plates?

To sum up, these dinner wares are safe when microwaving as long as you follow and apply the precautions and safety guidelines.

Hopefully, this article will be helpful for you. Thanks for taking the time to read, and see you in the next post!

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