You have had a super busy day, and you are famished. There is no time to cook dinner. However, you have some yummy leftovers in the fridge. But cold food is not appealing.
How do you heat the food? Can you heat it in the oven? Can you put a plate in the oven?
You can put a plate in the oven, but there are exceptions. Whether you can put a plate in the oven or not depends on the type of plate, the type of oven, and the temperature of the oven.
So if you have ever wondered whether you can put a plate in the oven or not, this post is for you. Read on to find out.
- Is it Safe to Put a Plate in the Oven?
- What Temperature Can You Put a Plate in the Oven?
- How to Know if a Plate is Oven Safe?
- Types of Plates You Can Put in the Oven
- What Plates Should not be Put in an Oven?
- Are Microwave Safe Plates also Oven Safe?
- What are the Best Oven Safe Plates?
Is it Safe to Put a Plate in the Oven?
Plates have been in use even before there were ovens. Whether you live in a mansion, a rented apartment, or a dorm, you will surely own plates.
We all use plates for eating. But can we use a plate for heating food? Is it okay to put a plate in the oven?
Technology has advanced tremendously in the last few decades. All homes now use plenty of modern appliances, such as ovens, microwave ovens, and dishwashers. In keeping with the times, plate manufacturers now mention whether a plate is oven safe, microwave safe, and dishwasher safe. You can find the information at the bottom of the plate or on the box that the plate came in.
Before putting a plate in the oven, always ensure it is oven safe. However, if you are using vintage plates or imported plates, you may not be able to tell whether it is oven safe or not. How do you then confirm if these plates are oven safe?
What Temperature Can You Put a Plate in the Oven?
Even if you have an oven safe plate, you still need to be cautious when you put it in the oven. Putting a plate in a very hot oven could make it crack due to a phenomenon called thermal shock. Thermal shock refers to the rapid variation in temperature causing tension in material and even breakage.
Rapidly heating a plate or even cooling it could cause thermal shock, making a plate break or crack. This could even happen with plates that have been labeled oven safe or refrigerator safe.
How do you prevent thermal shock? Instead of putting a plate in a very hot oven, put it in when the oven is cooler. Then let the oven heat with the plate inside it.
Likewise, don’t pour cold water over a hot plate that you have just taken out of the oven. Don’t put it directly into the refrigerator either. Let the plate come to room temperature first before you put it inside the refrigerator.
Different plates can withstand different temperatures. For instance, Corelle plates are made of a type of glass. These plates can withstand temperatures up to 350 F. Ceramic plates can withstand very high temperatures. They can easily handle heat levels between 1800 F and 3000 F. However, ceramic plates are quite sensitive to rapid changes in temperature and could crack under thermal shock.
So, the temperature that a plate can withstand depends on the material it is made of. Most oven safe plates can be put in an oven that’s at a temperature of 250 F or less. However, a lot also depends on the material of your oven safe plates. Different materials have different tolerance for heat levels.
How to Know if a Plate is Oven Safe?
Ideally, if you need to put a plate in the oven, it should be labeled as oven safe at the bottom. Most oven safe plates have a stamp at the bottom indicating as such. Some may mention it on the box. If you intend to use a plate for heating, make sure to check the label before purchasing.
What if the information is missing? Here are a few other things to look for.
The thickness of the plate
A plate’s thickness could tell you how much heat it can withstand. For instance, a thicker ceramic plate can withstand much more heat and temperature than a thin one.
Thicker ceramic plates absorb heat slowly when they are in the oven. Also, when you leave them out of the oven, they release heat slowly, thereby cooling down slowly.
In the case of ceramic plates, their thickness protects them from shattering due to varying temperature changes inside the oven.
The material used in the plate
Plates are made of different materials. From metal to glass to wood, you can find different plates in the market.
Most people use ceramic plates, and even these plates are made of different materials. The clay formulas for different ceramic plates are different. As such, their heat tolerance is also different. For instance, porcelain is much more heat resistant than terracotta.
If you must use ceramic plates in the oven, it is best that you use porcelain ones.
Avoid certain materials
Say your porcelain plate has a silver trim around it? Is it safe to put it in the oven?
The answer is No.
If your plates have gold, silver, or other metal trims around them, it is best to keep them away from the oven.
Test your glazed plates first
Is your ceramic plate glazed? If yes, you need to test it out first before, as glazed plates should not be subjected to too much heat.
How do you test out the plate? Use your microwave oven for that. Place a cup of water in one corner of your microwave oven. Now place an empty ceramic plate. Microwave it for about a minute. If the plate remains cold, it is okay to use in the oven. If it gets too hot, you should avoid putting it in the oven at all costs.
Bone China is not for the oven
Do you use bone china or fine china plates? These plates should not be used in an oven unless they are labeled as oven safe.
It is best to perform the above “glaze test” on these plates first before you pop them in the oven. Doing so will prevent the risk of the plates breaking or cracking inside the oven.
Types of Plates You Can Put in the Oven
There are many oven safe plates available in the market. Most of these are microwave safe and dishwasher safe too.
So, what are some of the oven safe plates that you can get for your kitchen?
Ceramic is a very popular material for making plates. Ceramic plates usually weigh more and they can also withstand the high heat of an oven. At what temperature does ceramic crack? If you heat your ceramic plate to 573 Celsius (1063 F) or above, you may cause it to crack.
However, if you have decorated ceramic plates, there is a chance that the heat of the oven could make the paint peel off. Other than that, you should also be mindful that ceramic plates are quite susceptible to thermal shock. So, don’t put a cold plate in a very hot oven. Also, be careful when taking the plate out of the oven because it can be very hot.
Glass is another common material for making plates. Pyrex and Corelle plates are made of different types of glass.
Corelle plates can handle high temperatures up to 350 F. Pyrex is capable of handling thermal shock better even under high temperatures.
If you are only going to use a plate for heating leftovers in the oven, Pyrex plates are a great choice. However, check that your plates are oven safe or microwave safe before you use them to warm food in your oven or microwave oven. Just look for oven safe glass and you are all set.
Metal is not a very popular choice for plates, but they can withstand high temperatures making them ideal for the oven.
Stainless steel plates are a great choice. Also, metal plates such as stainless steel are not prone to thermal shock unless you subject them to very high temperatures. You have to be cautious with thin metal plates, as they can warp when subjected to high temperatures.
Don’t forget to use your oven mitts when taking the metal plate out. It is going to be HOT!
Cast iron is yet another material that does well in the oven. However, cast iron plates can be extremely difficult to come by.
However, if you have cast iron dishes, you don’t have to think twice before sticking them in the oven. Cast iron dishes can be very heavy, so be careful not to drop them. Also, they can hold in a lot of heat compared to other materials. So, if you need to take your cast iron dish out of the oven, ensure that you are using your hot pads.
Like cast iron, it may be very difficult to find silicone plates. However, silicone is one of the best materials for the oven.
People who bake often use a lot of silicone molds for baked goods. Food-grade silicone is perfect for use in the oven because it suffers no harm even in the high heat of the oven.
What Plates Should not be Put in an Oven?
Not all plates are created equal. There are oven safe plates and then there are those that should never ever be put in an oven.
Here are some non-oven-safe plates you should know of.
Plastic melts easily and cannot withstand high oven temperatures. Plastic and melamine plates may be microwave safe, but they are surely not suitable for use in an oven. Using melamine plates or plastic plates to heat your food in the oven is a recipe for disaster. They will melt and only create a mess.
Melting plastic releases dangerous chemicals that could lead to lung problems when inhaled and also cause environmental pollution.
Do wood plates melt like plastic plates? No, they don’t. But they can catch fire in the oven. They are a fire hazard and are definitely not oven safe dinner plates.
Some wood plates may be coated in enamel or treated in some other way. That still does not make them oven safe. When you are looking forward to a hot dinner, the last thing you want is a fire. So keep your wood plates away from the oven.
Paper plates should also never be put in an oven. They can easily catch fire, making them extremely unsafe. Remember that the heating element in your toaster oven is a lot hotter than the rest of the oven.
Paper is an extremely combustible material, even more than wood. It can catch fire even at low temperatures. The only paper item that you should be using in your oven is paper towels to clean the oven, provided your oven is properly turned off.
Just like a paper plate melts in the oven, Styrofoam plates melt too. It is a great material for keeping things cold, but it does not do well under heat.
Styrofoam melts even in low temperatures, so you can imagine what will happen in an extremely hot oven. Plus, they also release dangerous chemicals like plastic dinner plates do when they melt.
You will find a lot of decorative plates in the market. Mostly these are glass plates, wood plates, or porcelain plates.
Decorated plates should not be used to cook or warm food in the oven. They should also not be used for serving food since the glaze and paint could contain lead and potentially contaminate food.
Unlike a thick ceramic plate or a cast iron plate, decorated plates are not made for use in an oven.
Are Microwave Safe Plates also Oven Safe?
Not all plates that are microwave safe are suitable for heating or cooking food in the oven. That is because ovens and microwave ovens create heat in different ways.
Microwave ovens are designed to heat the water molecules in the food to heat or cook the food evenly. That is why you can use a plastic plate, glass plate, or porcelain ceramic plate without it heating up. These materials have a very low water content, which is why they don’t get very hot, although your food is hot.
Ovens work by transferring heat through air. The heating element of your toaster oven creates hot air that eventually cooks your food. Therefore, you need to use items that can withstand high heat such as an aluminum sheet pan, ceramic dish, tempered glass baking dish, and so on.
Different materials have different temperature limits. That is why you cannot always use your microwave safe plates in the oven unless they are also oven safe.
What are the Best Oven Safe Plates?
Glass plates and ceramic plates are heat resistant and perfect for use in an oven. You can also use a cast iron plate if you can get your hands on one. These plates are also food safe.
However, you should be extra careful when putting any plate in the oven. Ensure that the plate is oven safe, first of all. Also, if your ceramic plate is thin, it is best to keep it away from the oven. Use a thicker ceramic dish instead.
You should also not use painted or decorated plates in the oven.
Most plates that have been labeled oven safe are safe to be used in an oven. It is important to pay attention to the label because manufacturers always mention how their plates should be used.
Vintage, antique, handcrafted, or imported plates may not come with such a label. It is best that you keep these plates away from the oven.