Can Ceramics be Microwaved?

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Most plates and bowls are deemed safe for use in the microwave. However, using the incorrect dish can ruin the dinner as well as the dinnerware. Microwaves are very convenient to heat up your food, but when using ceramics, you might have to practice some caution. Although ceramics such as porcelain and stoneware are considered safe for use in the microwave, it is better to avoid the use of ceramics that have metallic finishes or edges.

Before you understand where ceramics stand in terms of being microwaved, you need to first understand more about this pottery variant.

Ceramic Pottery: What is it?

Ceramic is a hard, heat-resistant, brittle, & corrosion-resistant material that is shaped up & then fired at high temperatures. Common examples of ceramic pieces are porcelain, earthenware, & stoneware. Whether or not your ceramic piece would be safe for use in the microwave depends on the glaze used.

Types of Ceramic Pottery Firing Temperature Water-Proof
Earthenware1000 to 1150oCNo (Glazing can make it waterproof)
Porcelain1200 to 1450oCYes
Stoneware1200oCYes (It doesn’t require glazing)

Ceramics include a range of options, as mentioned above. However, keep in mind that most dishwares are traditionally ceramic. Generally, ceramic dishes at your home or the ones you bought from the local market are safe for use in the microwave. In addition, most of these dishwares come stamped, proclaiming their safety.

All variants of ceramic dishes and bowls might not be able to tackle sudden exposure to extremely high temperatures inside the microwave oven. The glaze used in the ceramic must be completely waterproof and not just water-resistant. If your ceramic isn’t waterproof, the clay layer beneath would be left unprotected & might not resist the heat being directed from the microwave.

If there is a high level of moisture inside this hardened surface, the microwave heat exposure shall cause the moisture within to boil and then steam up to escape from the ceramic. This will eventually lead to the development of cracks in the ceramic surface.

Something similar occurs when the cold ceramic pieces are microwaved. The ceramic’s hardened particles are particularly sensitive to any rapid temperature changes. So, even if your ceramic is stamped microwave-safe, it might not actually be safe in the truest sense.

Can you safely microwave the cold ceramics?

Ceramic items designed as dishwares are microwavable and can handle high temperatures with ease. However, if you plan on microwaving the cold ceramic utensils right out of your freezer or fridge, it could be a disaster waiting to happen.

Ceramic pottery is crafted with clay which is cold in its raw form. Even it is deemed safe doesn’t mean you should actually heat up cold ceramics in your microwave. When you don’t transition the cold ceramic from its low temperature to the high one in the microwave in a proper way, it can break or even shatter into pieces. The sudden shift in temperature is detrimental to the integrity of the ceramic pottery. In order to use cold ceramics in a microwave, you need to increase the microwave’s temperature in a gradual manner. Additionally, you need to verify whether the ceramic piece is safe for use in the microwave and doesn’t contain any metallic rim or high moisture levels.

How can you test your ceramic’s safety in the microwave?

In order to test the safety of your ceramic, you can perform the 20-second test. The right way to perform this test is to place your ceramic in the microwave for a minimum of 20 minutes. Now, shut down the microwave and try to gently touch the surface. If it is too hot to touch, it isn’t safe for use in a microwave. When removing the ceramics from your microwave, you can choose the Arcliber Oven Mitts & Potholders. This heat-resistant glove is created from a non-slip material that is ideal for holding your ceramics.

However, if your dish remains cool, it is most definitely safe for continued heating inside the microwave. Plus, you can also determine the product’s authenticity by checking whether the glaze has cracked due to exposure to high heat inside the microwave. Most ceramics won’t break when heated in a microwave. However, it is safer to mitigate any potential risk using this texting mechanism.

Tips to Heat Up Cold Ceramic Safely in a Microwave

When using ceramic-based cookware and dishes, it is important that you follow the right procedures along with certain precautions to heat up the utensil. This helps reduce any damage risk and avoids the meal getting ruined.

Here are some tips for you to follow the next time you heat up cold ceramic in your microwave:

  • Cold ceramic cookware should be left out to warm up to room temperature slowly before being popped into the microwave. This ensures it doesn’t break when exposed to extreme heat. When you place the ceramic piece inside the oven, enhance the temperature gradually and not directly.
  • Flatten your food or spread it evenly on your cookware to ensure perfect and even cooking.
  • Pause and stir your food after every few minutes. The stirring action promotes thorough and even heating of the food.
  • After heating, you need to be patient & wait for the food to stay in its place as it is. This helps disperse all the heat in an even fashion while ensuring it doesn’t break due to sudden cooling action.
  • Try not to use a lot of heat for reheating the food items. It is recommended that you use medium-range temperatures to avoid any cracking or breaking issues with your ceramics.
  • Avoid ceramics that contain any type of metallic rim, a lot of moisture within the glaze, or any kind of decorations that fail to withstand high temperatures.


When selecting ceramics for food purposes, it is important that you use the ones that are lighter in color. Dark-colored glazes tend to have higher manganese levels. Now, this doesn’t necessarily make it unsafe for use in the microwave. Rather it makes your cookware become hotter and more prone to cracking issues. Always practice caution before you remove your ceramic from the microwave. Wear oven mitts to ensure your hands do not burn during the process of removing the ceramic piece.

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