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What Causes Plates To Break in the Microwave?

Woman Using Microwave Oven

Are you constantly finding yourself replacing broken plates in your microwave?

We all know how annoying and inconvenient it can be to replace broken items, so it pays to understand what causes plates to break in the microwave.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the most common reasons why plates break in the microwave, the types of plates that are safe for microwaves, and which ones should be avoided.


You can safely use a dish or plate in the microwave and avoid any potential risks by following the guidelines below:

  • Ceramic and glass plates are the best options for microwaving.
  • Metal dishes should never be used in the microwave, as they can spark and cause a fire.
  • Always ensure that your plate is “microwave-safe” before using it.
  • Discard any cracked plates and use ones that are intact and heat-safe.
  • If you have doubts about a particular dish, it’s best to err on the side of caution and choose one that is microwave-safe.

With this guide, you’ll be able to make your microwaving experience much more enjoyable. So, let’s get started!

Why Do Plates Break in the Microwave?

Broken Plate

Plates can break in the microwave for several reasons.

One of the most common causes is exposure to high temperatures. Plates microwaved for too long or at a too high temperature can begin to warp and eventually break.

Another common cause is sudden temperature changes when adding cold food to a hot plate. It can cause the plate to expand and contract quickly, leading to cracks or even complete breakage.

Using plates with thin edges or poor quality can also lead to breakage.

Meanwhile, using metal plates in the microwave can cause sparks and eventually break the plate.

Plates that are not microwave-safe, such as those made of plastic, can also melt and break in the microwave.

Types of Plates That Are Safe for Microwaves and Those That Are Not

A Couple Checking Plates At The Supermarket

Safety should be your top priority when choosing plates for microwave use.

You can choose from many different types of plates, but not all are safe for microwaves.

Here’s what you need to know about the different types of plates that are microwave-safe and those that are not:

Plates That Are Safe for Microwaves

1. Ceramic Plates

Ceramic Plate

Ceramic plates are one of the most popular options for microwaving because they can withstand extreme temperatures without breaking or melting.

However, you should make sure that the plates you choose are oven-safe and made of heat-tolerant materials.

2. Glassware

Glass Plate

Glass is also a popular option for microwaving because it heats up quickly.

However, use tempered glassware and not just any type of glass. That’s because some types of glass can shatter when exposed to extreme temperatures.

3. Plastic Plates

Plastic Plates

Plastic plates are excellent options for microwaving as long as they are labeled microwave-safe.

If they are not labeled as such, you should avoid using them in the microwave because they may start to melt.

4. Stoneware

Stoneware Plate

Stoneware is another type of plate that can be used in the microwave, but only for a short period.

Plates That Are Not Safe for Microwaves

Metal Dishes

Silver Plate

Using metal dishes in the microwave is a big no-no. That’s because they will start sparking and may even cause a fire.

Now that you know the different types of plates that are safe for microwaves and those that are not, you can make an informed decision when choosing dishes to use in the microwave.

For How Long Can a Plate Stay in the Microwave?

Woman Reheating Food Using Microwave Oven

The answer to this question depends on the type of plate you are using and how powerful your microwave is.

Generally speaking, you should not leave any ceramic, plastic, or glass plate in a microwave for more than two minutes at a time.

Note that each microwave is different. You should always check the manufacturer’s instructions to use it correctly.

Some plates may get too hot in your microwave, while others may not be able to withstand the heat.

Can I Use a Cracked Plate in the Microwave?

Plate With A Crack

No, you should not use a cracked plate in the microwave. That’s because the heat can cause the cracks to widen and may even shatter the plate.

Additionally, using a cracked plate in the microwave can be dangerous, as it could release small particles into your food.

It’s best to discard any cracked plate and replace it with a new one that is heat-safe and microwave-safe.

Why Do Some Plates Get Too Hot in Microwaves?

Fire Caused By Improper Use Of Microwave

The heat in the microwave can cause certain dishes to become too hot. It is because some materials, like plastic or glass, do not retain heat evenly.

The material may become hot in some areas and remain cool in others, resulting in uneven temperature distribution.

If a plate is too hot, it could cause injury or even fire. To avoid this, always check the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure the plate you use is microwave-safe.

  • If you ever notice a plate getting too hot in the microwave, turn off the appliance and wait for it to cool down before removing it.
  • Never leave a plate in the microwave for more than two minutes at a time.
  • Discard any cracked plates, as they can be dangerous to use in the microwave.


The right plate makes all the difference when it comes to microwaving.

Ceramic, tempered glassware, and plastic plates are great choices for heating food in the microwave.

But you should always check the label to ensure they are oven-safe and have heat-tolerant materials.

We hope this article has shed some light regarding which plates are safe to use in the microwave and why your plates may break in the microwave.

Now that you know the basics, you can make an informed decision when choosing dishes for your next microwaving session.

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