Picture this. Your microwave is on the fritz. You have a plate of yummy leftovers from your cook-a-thon the previous night, but they’re cold.
You’re starving, but cold food just does not sound appetizing. At all.
What do you do? It’s already on the plate. DEFCON 1 EMERGENCY!
Maybe that’s a little dramatic…
But really, you start to wonder if maybe you can just heat up the oven quick and throw your plate in there for a few minutes. Is that a possibility?
I’m not sure I would, personally, but it really depends on the plate and how hot the oven is.
When Is It Safe to Put a Plate in the Oven?
Well, most new dishware will have a symbol or words on the back of the plate stating that it is oven safe if it is. If not, you’ll have to go based on the type of material that the plate is made of.
1 – Plastic or Melamine
Though it may seem fairly obvious, plastic and melamine plates are an absolute no for putting in the oven. Plastic melts at a fairly low temperature, and you would just have a mess on your hands.
Not only would it cause a mess, but the fumes from melting plastic could definitely irritate your lungs, and you could be releasing harmful chemicals into the air.
2 – Metal
If your plate is metal, whether it’s stainless steel, cast iron, or even coated with enamel, it is safe to go in the oven.
You will want to take great caution when removing it from the oven, as it will be very hot. Treat it as you would a sheet pan, and use hot pads.
3 – Ceramic
Ceramic plates can withstand a low temp oven, but be aware that if there is anything done to it post-firing, such as branding or printing, you will run the risk of things coming off your plate into your food.
You will also want to be careful when taking this out of the oven. It will be very hot, and a plate would be much more difficult to lift out of the oven than a pan or sheet.
4 – Glass
Glass is tricky. While it can be safe up to certain temperatures in the oven, it has the tendency to be highly susceptible to thermal shock.
Thermal shock is when there is an abrupt change in temperature, and different parts of the item expand or contract at different speeds. This can cause the object to crack or break.
Glass can avoid thermal shock to an extent by being tempered. Tempering glass allows it to withstand the change in temperature, though it is not always foolproof. There are definitely still some instances where tempered glass can break.
How Can I Use a Plate in the Oven?
If you are still interested in using a plate in the oven, it would probably be best to keep the temperature fairly low. Trying to cook using a plate at temperatures above 250 degrees is probably a bad idea.
In order to keep your temperature lower, plan on leaving the plate of food in there a fair bit longer than you would in a microwave. It’s going to take longer in the oven than a microwave anyways, simply due to the differences in how the two appliances work.
Should I Really Use a Plate in the Oven?
In all reality, no, you probably shouldn’t. While it may be safe at some temperatures and with some types of plates, there are risks involved, including the plate breaking.
If you are desperate for some warm food, and you don’t have a microwave, you will probably be better off if you transfer the food to a baking dish or the like.
Either way, please be safe when using an oven and items that are not specifically meant to go in the oven. No one likes cleaning up broken dishes!