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What Does “Microwave-Safe Reheat Only” Mean?

Woman About To Warm Food Using Microwave Oven

If you are craving the leftover food from last night, there is no better way to reheat it than using a microwave oven. It is a much more convenient option than a stove.

But before you start reheating, knowing the suitable container for the job is a must.

Microwave ovens use waves to heat your food, and only some utensils are designed for them.

You must understand the symbols and instructions to get a better idea.

Have you ever seen a “Microwave-safe reheat only” written under a bowl or a sign of squiggly lines?

What does that mean?


Microwave-safe reheat only means your container is only designed to reheat the food, and you must not use it for cooking.

It is advisable to use the reheat mode as it lowers the intensity of microwaves by 50%.

If you do not have a reheat option, decrease the intensity level for warming the food.

Are you confused? Don’t fret and read further to know all about reheat-only containers and how to use them for optimal performance.

Microwave-Safe Reheat Only Code

Microwave-Safe Plastic Container

A microwave oven seems a true blessing when craving pizza late at night.

However, you must educate yourself about microwave-friendly utensils and their proper usage.

Before we dig into the container codes, we must know the difference between cooking and reheating.

Cooking requires a temperature of around 165°F and must be thorough for 15–20 minutes.

On the other hand, reheating requires a relatively lower temperature, only for 1–3 minutes.

Mostly, plasticware and ziplock bags have reheat-only codes.

If you notice a reheat-only code on your container, you must know that the utensil is explicitly designed for reheating.

You cannot use it for cooking as the hot temperature might cause the BPA and Phthalates in plastic to leech to your food.

Useful Tip

Reheating your food repeatedly will only degrade its taste and nutritional value.

It is advisable to warm the desired amount of food only and leave the rest in the fridge. It will help preserve your food’s texture and taste for longer.


A microwave is excellent for reheating leftover food and enjoying a delicious meal.

However, it is essential to use appropriate containers. If you see a reheat-only code on a utensil, only use it for heating your food.

Cooking or placing such containers for a long time in the microwave can damage them and add toxins to your food.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Difference Between Microwave-Safe and Microwave-Safe Reheat Codes?

There are several containers in the market with microwave-safe labels.

They indicate that these utensils are safe for cooking and can endure high temperatures in the microwave oven.

On the contrary, containers with reheat-only codes are only designed for reheating and cannot withstand the high temperature of cooking.

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