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Can You Put Tupperware In The Microwave?

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Microwaving food directly in Tupperware may seem extremely tempting and convenient, but is it safe? 

Glass and plastic Tupperware are used worldwide to store food and people often hesitate when combining these storage boxes with microwaves. 

Today, we will settle this debate once and for all.  

Can you put Tupperware in the microwave? Generally, most Tupperware products are designed to be heatproof and microwave safe. These products will usually have proper labeling at the bottom, so the best way to be sure is to check the safety symbols before using the containers in the microwave. 

Read below to learn more about Tupperware products, how to avoid potential danger from using them, and a definitive way to know whether or not a container is microwave-safe!

Can You Put Plastic Tupperware in The Microwave?

Tupperware is a brand that came about in the 1940s. At the time, the company started with unique storage solutions that fulfilled the needs of millions of households all over the country and eventually, the world. 

The brand is extremely well known around the globe and the name “Tupperware” is synonymous with storage solutions.

But just how microwave safe are these products? 

Before we get into the safety of Tupperware, let’s first talk a bit about the different varieties. 

The company manufactures glass and plastic containers that are available in multiple sizes and are equipped with special lids.

Generally speaking, both glass and plastic can withstand microwaves and Tupperware claims that its products are durable enough to withstand temperatures from -13°F to 320°F.

This means that you can easily use any type of Tupperware in the microwave, but with some consideration.

See, while these products may be microwave safe, they are still bound by the laws of physics. Let us explain how!

Microwaves work by emitting short wavelength electromagnetic radiation which passes through the superficial layers of food and gets absorbed by fat and water molecules along the way.

These waves excite the molecules which vibrate and create friction, and as a result, heat is generated within the food which warms it up equally on every side.

Microwaves are extremely efficient at heating all types of food and are an extremely convenient way of quickly heating a meal from within a container. 

You might have noticed that when heating food on a microwave-safe plate, the food is usually the only thing that gets hot while the plate remains cool to the touch unless there is a lot of steam involved in the heating process.

This is because microwaves pass through these materials without much interaction. However, with food that contains moisture and fat, microwaves can heat organic matter extremely well.

This property is what allows microwaves to heat food within containers!

As the microwaves travel from the magnetron (a device that produces microwaves) to the inner heating chamber, the waves bounce back and forth until they come in contact with the food within the container. 

The food warms up and the container is left seemingly untouched. However, the container needs to be microwave-safe to avoid any interaction in the first place.

To this effect, manufacturers have been using microwave-safe plastic materials for decades and some of these products are as old as microwaves! 

Tupperware has usually always produced microwave-safe products, so much so that the public consensus regarding these products is that all Tupperware is microwave safe.

However, how true is this statement? 

It turns out that most Tupperware is microwave safe and while people generally believe that these products are safe to use in every microwave, you should still look at the bottom of the container for safety information.

Glass Vs. Plastic – What Is Better?

As mentioned, Tupperware is available in both glass and plastic varieties, both of which are extremely durable. However, there is a small catch to this: glass Tupperware is susceptible to thermal shock!

In plain terms, thermal shock is when extreme temperature changes cause stress on the surface of the glass which can make it shatter.

This is an extremely common phenomenon and is usually more apparent with frozen glass containers than with room-temperature containers.

Keep in mind that Tupperware containers are also freezer-safe which means that you can easily keep them directly in the freezer without having them crack or break.

This is why many people find it more convenient to directly heat food by moving the container from the freezer to the microwave. 

While this may not be a huge problem in most cases, under the right conditions, glass Tupperware may shatter! 

Tupperware addresses this issue by using high-quality and tested materials like tempered or borosilicate glass that is rated for both higher and lower temperature ranges.

These products can easily withstand extreme temperature changes and may be safer to use for all types of heating purposes.

Still, you should not try to use frozen Tupperware in microwaves unless there is an immediate use for the food.

The best way to ensure the safety of yourself and your appliance is to first thaw the food in the fridge overnight before heating it in the microwave. 

This method will also greatly increase the effectiveness of the microwave as the container will spend less time being exposed to microwave radiation (heat) and will warm up the food evenly without any cold spots. 

Glass containers are also naturally non-porous, which means that they won’t absorb liquids or stain after multiple uses. 

In comparison, plastic Tupperware is equally durable, light, and convenient but many people have a fear of using plastics with microwaves, even when they are rated to be safe.

Tupperware produces high-grade plastic containers that can withstand both freezing temperatures and scorching heat.

However, like with the glass containers, it would be best if you could follow the same heating and thawing indications for plastic containers as well

How To Tell If Tupperware Is Microwave Safe

All kitchenware manufacturers are required by law to indicate the safety rating of their products and there is a very easy way to tell whether your particular Tupperware is microwave-safe or not.

When you purchase Tupperware, make sure you check the packaging for usage and safety instructions.

Most products will have a clear indication on the package and you can also confirm this by either visiting Tupperware’s official website or by asking a nearby sales representative. 

The other method involves looking for the appropriate symbols for safety indications.

Every plastic or glass container is engraved with safety information at the bottom. Since this information can’t be verbose, manufacturers use symbols to denote the safety indications for their products. 

Tupperware Microwave Safe Symbol

Microwave oven safe symbols

These are some of the symbols commonly used for indicating microwave-safe products.

Usually, microwaves are symbolically shown by multiple layered waves that seem more like sound or radio waves. 

Please keep in mind that while the waves symbol is the most common usage for microwave-safe products, manufacturers may also use other symbols to denote the same

For example, in some cases, you may clearly see “micro-safe” written at the bottom of the container. In other cases, there might also be a symbol of an atom that is similarly used to confirm that the product is microwave safe. 

You might have noticed that the above symbols do not have a cross or tick over them.

A plain symbol without anything drawn over it usually refers to a “safe” product while a cross or “X” over a symbol shows that the product is not compatible with a particular heating method

Remember, you can always refer to the manual or the packaging for more usage information. If you cannot understand or read the symbol at the bottom then a quick search on the internet should clear things up. 

Remember, the microwave symbol is universally used but is expressed in different ways, so the best way to be sure of the safety of the product is to check with the manufacturer or to search online for the symbol that you see. 

Tupperware Lids And Safety

As with all their microwave-safe products, Tupperware also produces a range of equally safe lids that are designed with specialized vents.

This vent design has been featured in many of their glass and plastic products and is a necessary feature that is engineered to allow steam to escape while the food heats.

Remember, since the microwaves pass through the container and get absorbed by the food, there is bound to be an accumulation of steam.

Plus, without the vents in place, the steam won’t be able to exit the container which may become dangerous. 

This is why many of Tupperware’s products are fitted with a Vent n Serve lid.

This type of lid has a splatter-proof shield that saves you from extensive cleaning after the food has been reheated and the vents provide an easy escape for the steam while the food reheats

The bottom of the container also has an interesting design element where each corner has a “raised foot”.

This allows the food container to be slightly elevated from the ground, thereby making it easier for the microwaves to pass through from all sides of the container! 

Again, please keep in mind that only microwave-safe Tupperware products are equipped and paired with microwave-safe lids

While there might not be any clear indication for the safety of the lid on the surface, if there is a microwave-safe symbol at the bottom of the container then that means that all of the contents of the container are microwave safe.

These safety instructions apply to all types of Tupperware containers, be it glass or plastic.

So, the next time you pick a Tupperware container from the market, please make sure that you read all the necessary safety instructions that come with the product to ensure safe usage. 

Important Tips

Here are a few tips that can help you get the most out of your glass and plastic containers:

  • Tupperware products are rated for a maximum of 800W. This means that you should ideally try to use the microwave at the 65% or 75% power setting.
  • Plastic Tupperware containers are durable enough to resist staining but if you want maximum protection then we highly recommend that you shop for the latest Tupperware containers on their website or store. While there is no appropriate symbol for stain resistance, you can check the packaging of the product for a full list of features. 
  • The symbols denoting microwave-safe and oven-safe products are different. Please do not confuse one for the other as both heating methods require different quality certifications. Plasticware is usually not preferred for ovens because of its higher temperature profile.
  • Ideally, even if the product is rated as oven safe, we wouldn’t recommend using any plastic material in the oven as it may melt the container or worse, it could set a fire inside the oven!
  • The best material for ovens is usually either reinforced glass or ceramic! As always, Tupperware sells a variety of different containers for multiple uses so you can browse through and buy a suitable product as per your needs. 

Related Questions 

Tupperware has changed the way we store and reheat food and they continue to pave the way for convenient and modern storage solutions. 

Now that you know how to use Tupperware in microwaves, here are some related questions!

Can a 5-year-old Tupperware be used in the microwave? 

Yes, old Tupperware products that have previously been rated to be microwave-safe can continue to be used in the microwave so long as they are not damaged or have deteriorated in any way.

If there is visible damage to the container then it may be time to replace it with a newer one with better features. 

Can Tupperware be defrosted in the microwave? 

The defrost setting is perhaps the best way to safely bring up the temperature of plastic or glass Tupperware.

In general, most Tupperware containers can be frozen solid and then thawed in the microwave so long as they are rated to be both microwave and freezer safe. 

For more information regarding the safety of your container, please check the bottom of the container for the appropriate symbols. 

Can you use knives or sharp objects with Tupperware?

While glass containers will be able to withstand scratches and knicks, you should avoid using sharp objects with plastic containers as they will chip the surface of the container.

This may result in dislodged plastic pieces that might end up in your food. 

Also, using knives or sharp objects (especially when used carelessly) will likely cause irreversible damage to the container and may also compromise its storage abilities for future use!  

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