Many people love Corelle dinnerware for its durability and classic designs.
However, there are so many dos and don’ts when it comes to different types of kitchen crockery, it can be impossible to remember what dishes are safe for the microwave.
So, can Corelle go in the microwave? Corelle dinnerware can go in the microwave and is heat resistant up to 350°F. Corelle heated above this temperature may shatter and break, and empty Corelle dishes should never be microwaved. It is advisable to use a lower power setting when reheating food in Corelle dishes in the microwave.
Keep reading to find out the safest way to use Corelle dinnerware in the microwave, without shattering your precious dishes!
What Is Corelle?
It is hard to believe, but Corelle dinnerware has been around for over 50 years!
There can’t be many people who haven’t come across a beautiful and functional Corelle dinner set at some point, and these beautiful plates and dishes are now beginning to be passed down from one generation to another.
When Corelle dinnerware first arrived on the market in 1970, homeowners flocked to buy this innovative and stylish kitchen addition.
And although the basic formula has been tweaked over time, the basic principle and formula for Corelle have changed little over the last 50 years.
The designers of Corelle adhere to several ideals when they create new dinnerware. The dinnerware designs must be stylish, although the patterns have changed over time as new trends develop.
Luckily, the most popular Corelle patterns tend to stay in production for many years, and some are available to buy long after they have officially been ‘retired’ from production.
This means you can add to your collection of matching dinnerware over time, and replace any that get broken.
Corelle plates and bowls are also designed to be stackable, saving precious cupboard space.
They take up half the space of ceramic dishes and are lighter to handle. They are also incredibly easy to clean, and less likely to suffer from breakages.
It is no surprise to see how Corelle has remained a market leader in dinnerware for so long!
But before we consider the pros and cons of using Corelle dinnerware in the microwave, firstly we need to delve a little deeper and investigate what it is made from.
What Is Corelle Made Of?
Firstly, we’re going to take a look at modern-day Corelle dinnerware. If you’ve got a vintage set, there are certain precautions you need to take, so we’ll get onto this later.
So, what do we mean by modern-day? Well, not as modern as you might think – we’re talking about anything manufactured after 2005.
Corelle plates, bowls, and serving dishes are made from Vitrelle, a three-layered tempered glass.
This clever design consists of a thick core of opaque glass, covered on the top and bottom with a thinner glaze of glass. The result is a lightweight material that is highly resistant to breakage.
The process to achieve this is highly complex and involves heating glass to extreme temperatures to alter the tension.
The core of the plate crystallizes as it cools, giving the classic light-diffusing opaque appearance. This is covered with a thin skin of clear glass, on which the pattern is fused using glassy ink.
If you have Corelle mugs and cups, you might notice that they are slightly different from your plates, bowls, and serving dishes.
This is because they are made from stoneware, not Vitrelle toughened glass. This material is not quite as durable as Vitrelle and can be more prone to chips and cracks.
A Word Of Caution About Vintage Corelle Dinnerware
But what if you’ve got a pre-2005 Corelle dinnerware set? These are classed as vintage Corelle, and the manufacturers advise that people do not use these plates for consuming food.
The reason for this is that they were manufactured with a process that included the use of lead, and the plates can contain traces of this harmful metal.
So, unfortunately, your pre-2005 Corelle plates are only fit to be used as decoration, and should not come into direct contact with food!
If you’ve got your heart set on using your vintage Corelle dishes, you can test them for lead using a special lead test kit for dinnerware.
Can Corelle Go In The Microwave?
The beauty of Corelle dishware is that it is microwave safe. So, as well as being great for serving and eating food at the table, it can also be used to reheat food in the microwave.
The toughened glass in Corelle plates, bowls, and serving dishes is sturdier and stronger than most types of dinnerware and is heat resistant.
This is because Vitrelle tempered glass is designed to withstand heat, and can be microwaved without any issues.
However, if you’re considering putting your precious Corelle plates in the microwave, there are a few important things to remember:
- Use the smallest dish possible for the quantity of food you are microwaving. Heating a tiny amount of food in a large dish risks breakage of the dish.
- Never microwave empty Corelle plates, dishes, or bowls. The dishes will absorb too much heat, and potentially break or crack.
- If you have Corelle dishes with plastic lids (the ‘Serve ‘n’ Store’ range), they should be unlocked and loosened to allow steam to escape in the microwave.
- Never attempt to heat Corelle dishes under the broiler or the browning element of your microwave oven.
From this advice, it seems that Corelle toughened glassware is microwave safe, but not completely invincible!
Treat your dishes with care and they should last for many, many years – perhaps enough to pass on to the next generation of culinary fanatics in your family!
Are All Corelle Products Microwave Safe?
All of the Vitrelle toughened glassware in the Corelle range is microwave safe, so this will include the vast majority of plates, bowls, and serving dishes. These normally come with a three-year warranty against cracks, chips, and breakages.
The manufacturers also state that Corelle stoneware is microwave safe, so you can reheat liquids in Corelle mugs using the microwave.
However, these do not come with a warranty, as they are much easier to break than toughened glassware.
Bearing this in mind, we would suggest that you could gently heat a liquid to warm it in the microwave using a Corelle stoneware mug, but it would be a bad idea to use it to heat liquids to boiling point.
After all, there are many other things you can use for this purpose, so why take the risk with your beautiful Corelle mugs!
How Durable Is Corelle Compared To Other Types Of Dinnerware?
On the durability scale, Corelle ranks pretty highly. We’d describe it as break-resistant, rather than unbreakable.
So, how does this compare to other types of dinnerware?
Corelle is much more resistant to damage and breakage than both stoneware and porcelain. However, stoneware is less susceptible to scratches than both Corelle and porcelain.
Corelle is also more durable than earthenware, and less like to become stained and discolored.
If you’re looking for a truly unbreakable plate, then the only material that beats Corelle is melamine! These lightweight plates are almost impossible to break but are susceptible to damage from heat if used in the microwave or oven.
When it comes to serving dishes, one option that is more durable than Corelle is Pyrex.
Made by the same company, Pyrex is also made from toughened glass but it is safe to use in the oven, giving the option of one-pot cooking from the kitchen straight to the dinner table.
So now we’ve figured out everything you need to know about putting Corelle in the microwave, let’s take a look at some other common questions about this topic!
Can Pyrex go in the microwave?
Pyrex dishes can go in the microwave, but certain precautions must be taken when using them in this way.
Pyrex is designed to withstand high heat but will be damaged by sudden temperature changes. If Pyrex dishes go from cold to hot very suddenly, they can shatter and break.
To avoid damage, the Pyrex dish and its contents should be at room temperature when they go into the microwave, not chilled or frozen.
You should never put hot liquid directly into a cold Pyrex dish either, as this will potentially cause it to shatter.
When microwaving Pyrex, select the correct temperature setting to cook or reheat the food gradually.
Microwaves do not heat food evenly and can create pockets of scalding hot food. It is a good idea to start on a low power setting, stirring the food frequently to distribute the heat.
Can Corelle go in the dishwasher?
The great thing about Corelle dinnerware is that it is completely safe to put in the dishwasher! These tempered glass plates will come out of the dishwasher sparkling clean, without any residue or scummy marks.
The surface of Corelle dishware is non-porous and incredibly hygienic, making it far easier to clean than ceramic dishes.
And if you don’t have a dishwasher, rest assured that you can wash Corelle dinnerware by hand with ease. Freshly used dishes will rinse clean in seconds, and any dried-on food will need to be soaked for just a couple of minutes.
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