Glass vs Ceramic for Microwaves

Coby McKinley Profile image

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Updated June 27, 2022

Even if you have the best microwave oven, you need baking dishes to withstand the firing temperatures of your appliance. So, if your dish in question is glass or ceramic bakeware, which should you choose? The wrong dish might spoil an otherwise excellent meal in the battle of glass vs ceramic for a microwave. Read on to learn if a glass or ceramic dish is the best choice for your microwave.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Ceramic cookware is microwave-safe and ideal for its durability and versatility in the kitchen.
  • Glass cookware is made of tempered glass and is an excellent choice in the microwave.
  • Ceramics are better for multi-step recipes, while glass is ideal for heating or storing food.

Comparing Ceramic Vs Glass for Microwave Meals

Much like comparing porcelain and ceramic cookware for a microwave, glass vs. ceramic microwave-safe dishes are not too different from each other. That said, some key differences may sway your decision-making process.

Insider Tip

Check your larger dishes for imperfections like chips and hairline fractures. Also, imperfect hot glass can shatter after a sudden temperature change.

Most glass dishes are microwave-safe and made from tempered glass that holds a consistent temperature. In addition, manufacturers treat tempered-glass bakeware, so it has a higher breaking capacity than, for example, a common glass coffee cup. Suppose you do suffer a spontaneous breakage, tempered-glass pieces break in chunks rather than shattered bits of glass.

Ceramic is a general term for dishes shaped from clay and hardened in a kiln at high temperatures up to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. They are great as bakeware and coffee cup material because they are porous. So, ceramic coffee mugs and cookware do not absorb the taste or smell of your food. In addition, ceramic is a great candidate for bakeware due to its ability to withstand extreme temperatures from a microwave or standard oven.

That said, ceramic vs glass for microwave-safe dishes is the least of your concerns if your unit won’t reach your desired temperature threshold. Consider reaching out to your microwave manufacturer or read our guide on repairing or replacing your microwave oven.

Durability

Glass and ceramic cookware are durable under your standard microwave power setting. In addition, unlike plastic containers, they are heat resistant. Therefore, they can go from your microwave to the oven if a recipe calls for it. In addition, neither glass nor ceramic are prone to shattering into small pieces due to how they are manufactured. So, while neither are as lightweight as borosilicate bakeware, they are more durable.

Cooking Speed

Ceramic cookware will heat faster in your microwave than a glass dish. While a glass bowl will still allow your food to cook, glass takes longer to absorb and lose heat than ceramic. So, while ceramic plates will get hotter faster, the glass will enable you to see your food and monitor it as it cooks.

Safety

Both ceramic and glass are safe to use in the microwave. That said, painted cheap dishes may contain toxic chemicals that can seep into your food as it heats. If your ceramic cookware is painted, check your manufacturer’s care instructions to see if it is microwave-safe and what type of paint was used on your dish.

Warning

Non-microwave safe containers aren’t always obviously unsafe to use. Ensure you check that your dish in question isn’t a foil-lined container. The metal may spark in the extreme temperature of your microwave oven.

F.A.Q.S

IIs glass good for a coffee mug?

While glass is fantastic for heat distribution while cooking, a glass coffee cup will not keep your drink hot for very long.


Is plastic microwave safe?

Plastic wrap and plastic containers are usually microwave-safe. That said, look for the microwave-safe symbol on the product’s box or the bottom of the container for confirmation.


Is Styrofoam microwave safe?

Most styrofoam is microwave safe. That said, most experts do not recommend reheating your leftovers in the takeaway dishes provided by the restaurant.



STAT: According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, by 1986, 25% of all American households owned a microwave oven. (source)

Coby McKinley Profile image