Rubbermaid is a common household name that offers food storage containers that are inexpensive, lightweight, and super convenient.
Whether or not these containers can be microwaved has been a topic of controversy with some believing they can and some believing it would ruin the container in doing so.
So, can you microwave Rubbermaid? Yes, Rubbermaid containers made after 2009 are microwave-safe up to 212°F. They come with a microwave-safe base and lid that allow you to easily heat and defrost your food. We recommend that you always check the manufacturer’s label on how long you can safely use your Rubbermaid containers.
Read on to find out whether it is safe to microwave Rubbermaid, whether all Rubbermaid containers are microwave-safe, what you should and shouldn’t microwave in Rubbermaid, and much more.
Is It Safe To Microwave Rubbermaid?
Rubbermaid makes storage containers for your food that you can use whenever you wish to reheat or defrost your meals in the microwave.
According to the manufacturer, the unique materials used to make Rubbermaid containers are able to withstand normal home use including using them in the microwave.
Microwaves produce electromagnetic radiation to heat food, making it extremely important for storage containers and cookware to not repel the radiation.
Rubbermaid containers are microwave-safe and are manufactured in such a way that they allow the radiation to pass through and heat the food inside. They are also not likely to get too hot.
The containers are also labeled as microwave-safe and you can find a safety logo to corroborate. You should be able to locate this label on the container itself or the packaging for it.
It is important to note that the microwave symbol may vary depending on where the product has been manufactured — it could be a microwave with waves inside it, a box with waves inside it, or a #5 inside a triangle.
These microwave-safe symbols can be used alongside other symbols such as the ones for dishwashing.
Other than the microwave-safe symbol, another thing you need to check is whether the containers contain BPA or not. You can look for a BPA-free sign on the container to verify.
BPA (Bisphenol-A) is an industrial chemical compound used to make hard, clear plastic such as the one used in storage containers. If it contains BPA, it will melt every time it is heated and will leach into the food inside the container.
This is extremely dangerous as eating foods heated in containers with BPA will cause plastic and chemicals to enter our bodies.
Can You Microwave Plastic Rubbermaid?
Plastic is an inexpensive material that is moldable, durable, and recyclable. Rubbermaid plastic products use two main types of plastic: ABS and HDPE, both of which are food-safe.
Thankfully, Rubbermaid products are BPA-free and all of them are labeled as such. Simply look for the BPA-free sticker to see for yourself!
Rubbermaid now uses a special formulation of high-quality plastics that meet FDA standards and are free of BPA and other harmful chemicals.
The manufacturers also make sure that the plastic doesn’t leak or transfer any chemicals into your food.
Keeping in mind how harmful these chemicals can be, if you don’t find a BPA-free label on a plastic container, it is better to treat it as non-microwavable.
Are All Rubbermaid Containers Microwave-Safe?
No, not all Rubbermaid containers are microwave-safe, particularly those manufactured in and before 2009 as they contain BPA.
No need to panic though — Rubbermaid storage containers manufactured after 2009 are BPA-free and also microwave-safe.
If you have a very old Rubbermaid container that you still use, do not use it in the microwave. Plastic starts to deteriorate over time, so it is best to check the manufacturer’s label on how long you can safely use your Rubbermaid containers.
Rubbermaid now makes products using several different materials. Most of them are made using plastic, crystal, and glass.
Rubbermaid Brilliance glass containers are microwave-safe and made with tempered glass that is able to withstand high temperatures. They are also stackable, making them ideal for storage as well.
They are also oven-safe up to 450°F. You can heat or defrost your meals in the oven with or without the lid.
If you use the Mylar Foil lids that come with most Rubbermaid food storage sets, placing them under the food is ideal for easy clean-up.
Are Rubbermaid Lids Microwave-Safe?
Yes, Rubbermaid lids are also microwave-safe, although you need to make sure they aren’t tightly closed when microwaving your food.
Opening them a little bit will allow proper ventilation and prevent excess moisture from building up inside the container, which will from too much pressure and force the lid to pop open.
This may increase the possibility of food spills inside the microwave which can be a hassle to clean up. To save yourself from this trouble, make sure to leave the lid slightly opened or lifted.
You can even ditch the lid entirely, but since keeping it on may heat your food faster, we suggest keeping it on but slightly ajar.
What’s great about Rubbermaid is that the 3-, 5-, and 7-cup containers come with vented lids that release steam and prevent microwave splatter.
Can You Microwave Rubbermaid At High Temperatures?
No, you cannot microwave Rubbermaid at high temperatures. While they are microwave-safe, you need to be careful to not exceed a certain level as there is a temperature limit that they can withstand.
Rubbermaid products can withstand 212°F (100°C), which is the boiling point of water. Any higher than that will damage the container and may even result in the plastic deforming and melting.
Higher temperatures may be dangerous because of potential leaching which is why Rubbermaid must only be used for reheating and never for cooking.
It is recommended to go through the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines about the limitations of the product and how to best use it before putting it in the microwave.
What Should You Never Microwave In Rubbermaid?
The manufacturers of Rubbermaid explicitly warn against microwaving certain foods as they will begin to cook too quickly and result in a fire risk.
These include fatty and oily foods and sugar-based syrups and sauces. You can microwave them in short bursts and under close supervision, but it’s risky and we don’t recommend it.
Even for Rubbermaid products that are labeled as microwave-safe, it is not advised to reheat these foods as they might heat up too much and damage the container.
Watery foods like soup and items such as leftover meatloaf and vegetables will not rise above the safe temperature and can easily be heated in the microwave using Rubbermaid containers without worry.
Be careful when heating tomatoes (or anything that contains tomatoes) as they will stain the plastic and ruin the look and quality of the container.
Tips For Microwaving Rubbermaid
Here are a few tips and tricks to remember to make sure you are safely using and microwaving your Rubbermaid containers:
- Remove all the labels and packaging materials before placing your Rubbermaid container in the microwave.
- Read the manufacturer’s instructions and safety guidelines on what to and what not to do to avoid damaging your Rubbermaid container.
- Use the container only for reheating and defrosting. Never use it for cooking directly or steaming as it can’t withstand the temperature and will warp, melt, and leach.
- Use the low to medium settings on the microwave as high temperatures may damage the Rubbermaid container.
- Heat your food at short intervals, around 1 minute or less, to avoid high temperatures.
- Do not let your food overheat. For higher temperatures, use a glass or ceramic container.
- Avoid filling the container too much as it may increase the likelihood of spilling. It may also result in uneven heating and you wanting to leave the container in there for longer.
- Do not tightly shut the lid on your Rubbermaid container when microwaving. If it has a vent, make sure to open it to allow the steam to escape.
- Take the container out of the microwave using a kitchen towel or heat-resistant gloves since the plastic may get hot.
- Be careful of steam when removing the lid as the reheated food can get very hot.
- Never microwave empty Rubbermaid plastic containers as the heat will become concentrated and cause the container to deform and become unusable.
Now that you know all about Rubbermaid containers and whether you can use them in the microwave, here are a few additional questions we thought you might have.
Are Rubbermaid containers freezer-safe?
Yes, Rubbermaid containers are freezer-safe. They are made from durable material and can withstand the freezer’s temperature.
You can use them to keep your food frozen; however, avoid using them for long-term storage as vacuum-sealing is the preferred method.
Are Rubbermaid containers dishwasher-safe?
Yes, you can wash your Rubbermaid containers in the dishwasher. When washing by hand, use non-abrasive cleansers. For tougher stains, soak and clean the containers with a non-scratch nylon scouring pad.
The lids are also top-rack dishwasher-safe.
Can you microwave Tupperware?
The containers have a microwave-safe sign on them, which is a box with waves inside it. They are also generally dishwasher- and freezer-safe.