The idea of using a plastic dish or container in a microwave is unnerving, to say the least. Most people are sure that doing this would only end up one way, with the plastic melting.
However, with advancements in technology, you can confidently use plastic dishes and containers in the oven, without the risk of them melting.
Is Rubbermaid microwave safe? Yes, Rubbermaid is perfectly safe for use in the microwave, this is according to the manufacturer, who also claims that all of the food storage containers they produce do not contain any BPA or dioxins.
How to Microwave Rubbermaid safely
Despite being labelled as microwave safe, and also BPA free, there are actions that may lead to the Rubbermaid melting, or worse, risk having plastic compounds in your food.
Here is how to microwave Rubbermaid safely:
Step 1: Check for the microwave-safe label or symbol
This may be in the form of a phrase, “microwave safe”, or even a couple of wavy lines inside or above a microwave symbol.
Step 2: Remove any sticker labels on the Rubbermaid container
Some of these stickers may melt, or even leach into the food being warmed up.
Step 3: Fill the Rubbermaid container at least past the half mark level
By doing this, you’ll ensure heat is evenly distributed in the food.
Step 4: Put the Rubbermaid in the microwave oven
Do not under any circumstances use a conventional oven. Microwave safe Rubbermaid containers are to be used only in a microwave oven
Step 5: Set the appropriate heat setting, and timer
Step 6: Stir intermittently
This is to allow for proper heating of the food. Also, the manufacturer recommends setting the lid on a tilt when covering the food in the microwave, to allow for any steam to escape. Some Rubbermaid containers or dishes may have the automatic vent option, in which case, you can microwave with the lid sealed tight.
Step7: Use an oven mitt or a dry cloth when removing the container from the oven
This is to avoid any scalding on your hands.
The manufacturer cautions against microwaving excessively fatty foods, or substances with a lot of sugar. This is because they tend to absorb some of the plastic compounds.
Things to know before microwaving Rubbermaid containers
BPA free? What does it mean- and is it important?
BPA free is a term coined by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)to mean substances that do not contain bisphenol A.
So why BPA free?
According to the FDA, bispenol A may act as, or imitate oestrogen in the body, disrupting the body’s hormonal structure. BPA is released from a plastic or metal container when exposed to heat or acidic conditions, and may leak into whatever is in the container.
Therefore, to avoid any hormonal imbalances, or some other currently unknown effects to the human body, stick to BPA free products.
How to know if a Rubbermaid Container is microwave safe
It is a common misconception that containers labelled as BPA free can be used in the microwave, this isn’t a fact, and it may be dangerous.
The FDA advises that you should also check for the manufacturer’s label indicating a container is microwave safe, regardless of whether the container has been labelled as BPA free by the manufacturer. Whereas a container may be BPA free, it may not have increased tolerance to heat, and may melt in the microwave.
Step 1: Check for the microwave safe symbol
Most manufacturers indicate whether a container is microwave safe or not.
To check this, flip the container over, and look for a “Microwave safe” phrase at the bottom. You can also check for a symbol showing wavy lines, or wavy lines on top of a microwave kind of symbol. These are the most common symbols to indicate a container is microwave safe.
If the container has any of the above mentioned on it, you can use the container in the microwave. If you do not see any of the above mentioned anywhere on the container, do not use it in the microwave. However, you can still confirm whether a container is microwave safe even without labels as I’ll discuss below.
Step 2: Crosscheck with the recycling guide
This step is unnecessary, but according to the FDA, some manufacturers may claim their products are BPA and dioxin free which may not be true in certain cases. Which is why you should also cross reference labels on the container with the recycling guide, just to be sure.
The recycling guide has a numbering system from #1 to #7.
Generally, numbers #1, #2, #4, and #5 are considered BPA free and safe to use for food storage.
The best plastic to use in a microwave is the one designated #5, which is Poly Propylene. If your microwave safe container has this number on it, you should definitely use it. Containers with the numbers #1, #2, #4 can also be used in the microwave provided the manufacturer has labelled them as microwave safe.
Although #1 is a symbol for Polyethylene Terephthalate (PETE), mostly used in the production of single use plastics, if the manufacturer has labelled such a container as microwave safe, you can use it in the microwave. Containers with recycling designation numbers #3, #6 and #7 should never be used in the microwave, since they produce detectable amounts of hormone and endocrine system disruptors and possibly, carcinogenic plastic compounds when subjected to heat.
What if the container doesn’t have labels on?
Some containers do not have labels on them, and here is how you can check whether they are microwave safe:
Here is how to know if a container is microwave safe even without labels on it:
Step 1: Fill a measuring glass with water.
Step 2: Place the glass full of water in the container being tested. The water should be in the glass, and not in the container.
Step 3: Place the container with the glass of water in the microwave.
Step 4: Set your microwave to the highest heat setting, and set the timer for about 1 minute.
Step 5: Once the timer gets to zero, remove the container with glass of water in it from the microwave.
Step 6: Take note of the container’s temperature. Neglect the area around where the glass of water was on.
If the container is warm, even slightly, it means the container is not microwave safe; and if it is cool, the container is microwave safe.
Here’s the logic.
A microwave works by increasing the vibration of water molecules in food. This causes the food to heat up as a result of the increased vibration of the water molecules in it. Therefore, it’s only food that heats up, but in the process it may transfer some of the heat to the container.
Similarly, in the above test, only water was meant to heat up, and by extension the glass containing the water via heat transfer. The container that became warm or hot is not microwave safe because it contains molecules which can be heated up by the microwaves, and thus have the risk of either melting, or even leaching plastic compounds to the food, or whatever is being heated up in it.
Rubbermaid microwave safe symbol
The approved FDA symbol to show an appliance is microwave safe is the one with wavy lines on top of a symbolic microwave, wavy lines inside a microwave, or just a couple of wavy lines.
Some containers also have the phrase “Microwave safe” written on them. The most common microwave safe symbol found on Rubbermaid appliances is the one of a couple of wavy lines inside a microwave.
Faqs About Can You Microwave Rubbermaid
Can you microwave Rubbermaid meal prep containers?
Yes, you can microwave Rubbermaid meal prep containers, provided they are labelled as microwave safe and BPA free by the manufacturer.
Rubbermaid appliances labelled as microwave safe and BPA free containers can be used in the microwave. This is because they have increased heat tolerance and are also BPA and dioxin free. So you don’t have to worry whether the plastic will melt, or have carcinogenic plastic toxins in your food.
Are Rubbermaid plastic lids microwave safe?
Yes, Rubbermaid plastic lids are microwave safe.
Since 2009 all food storage containers produced by Rubbermaid are BPA-free, and are specifically manufactured with increased heat tolerance factored into the design.
How safe are Rubbermaid containers?
Rubbermaid containers are safe enough, and the manufacturer guarantees that.
All plastic, food storage containers produced by Rubbermaid are BPA and dioxin free. So you don’t have to worry about any toxic compounds leaching in your food from the Rubbermaid container.
Is Rubbermaid Stain Shield microwave safe?
Yes, Rubbermaid Stain Shield is microwave safe. According to the manufacturer, Rubbermaid Stain Shield is BPA free and microwave safe, and thus can be safely used in the microwave.
What containers are safe to use in microwave?
Containers that are safe to use in the microwave are those that have been labelled by the manufacturer as microwave safe. This includes microwave safe ceramics, glass as well as plastic.
This is because containers labelled microwave safe have been specially designed to have increased heat tolerance to prevent the container from melting when in the microwave.
Additionally, confirm that a container is BPA and dioxin free before using it for food storage or even before using it in a microwave. When heated, BPA and dioxins are more likely to leach into the food.
What plastic does Rubbermaid use?
Rubbermaid does not disclose the type of plastic they use when manufacturing containers.
However, they do claim that all their food storage containers manufactured since 2009 are BPA and dioxin free, meaning they may use plastics such as Polyethylene Terephthalate (PETE), High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE), Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE), Polypropylene (PP) when manufacturing food storage containers.
You should note that Rubbermaid plastic appliances not used as food storage containers may contain BPA, and may or may not be made of other plastics such as Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), Polystyrene (PS), and Polycarbonate.
Rubbermaid is microwave safe, and you can use it to reheat or warm your food without fear of any BPA or dioxin toxins getting in your food. Just remember to always check for the microwave safe and BPA free label on any Rubbermaid dish or container before using it in a microwave, this is because Rubbermaid started producing BPA free appliances as from 2009 onwards.
Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and under no circumstances use Rubbermaid dishes or containers directly on the stove or in the conventional oven.
Check out this video for more