Can You Microwave Paper Plates? (Answered)

When using a microwave, the plate, container, paper, or bowl that holds your food plays a significant role. It can help you achieve the best cooking results or ruin your meal.

If the plate isn’t microwave-safe, it can melt or cause warping or fire in your microwave. You, therefore, need to exercise caution when selecting plates to use in your appliance.

So, can you microwave paper plates? Yes, you can. Paper plates are microwave safe. However, it would help if you were careful since some are made from materials that absorb microwaves.

Always read the label to ascertain whether the plates are microwave-safe or not.

In this post, we discuss whether it’s safe to microwave paper plates or not. Keep reading.

Are Microwave Paper Plates Toxic?

There’s no proof that microwaving paper plates can be toxic. All you need to know is that you shouldn’t reheat food on a paper plate for more than 2 minutes.

The longer the paper plate stays in the microwave, the higher the chances of your food soaking into the plate. Should this happen, the structure of the paper plate might get damaged, making it difficult to hold flat.

Is it Safe to Microwave Paper Plates?

Can You Microwave Paper Plates

Although it’s quite safe to microwave paper plates, you need to ensure that you use not more than 50% power to reheat your food. Also, keep the microwaving time to less than 2 minutes.

And if possible, use white paper plates instead of color-dyed, decorated, or printed pieces. Colored paper plates are not only flammable but can also leach chemicals to your food.

If heating greasy or oily foods, stack about 2 or 3 plates on top of each other since you don’t want the oil to damage your plate.

And after reheating your food, slide the paper plate out of the microwave carefully and onto a sturdy plate. By so doing, you’ll have reduced the risk of your paper plate bending and dumping your food.

Are Paper Plates Heat-Safe?

Paper plates are heat safe and can’t catch fire unless when exposed to extreme heat sources. And even in such cases, the cause can’t be the plate.

For instance, if you place a knife, metallic trim, foil cover, or other microwave unsafe materials on it, chances of the paper plate catching fire are very high.

Note that paper plates are flammable and must, as such, be kept away from potential ignition sources in the microwave.

Although the paper plate won’t catch fire, the items placed on it can.

How to Microwave Paper Plates

You should microwave paper plates for a short time (at most, 2 minutes) and medium power level. Ensure there are no oils, metals rims, or prints on the paper plate.

Keep the following in mind when microwaving a paper plate:

  • Reheating – Never use a paper plate for cooking, as they can’t stay in the microwave for long. You can only use it for reheating or warming your food. Do not overheat the food as it can release excess moisture and ruin your plate.
  • Timing – You can only microwave a paper plate for a maximum of 2 minutes, during which time you need to keep a close eye on it. Stir your food every 30 seconds.
  • Stack the plates – When reheating oily foods, stack the plate for added support. You might require 2 or more plates depending on the food on the plate and the quality of the plate. If the paper plates are too thick, stack more.
  • Avoid all items that can catch fire – Don’t place silverware, foils, and other metallic strips on the paper plate as they can cause a fire.
  • Avoid running an empty paper plate – Never run an empty paper plate in the microwave as the heat can harm it as well as the microwave magnetron. An empty paper plate has a higher risk of catching fire as there’s no food for the microwave to be absorbed into.

Do Paper Plates Have Chemicals that Can Affect Your Food?

When purchasing paper plates, you have to be extra careful as some have chemicals that could leach into your food. The chemicals in such paper plates include BPA or something similar to BPA.

If the paper plates contain BPA or polyfluoalkyl (PFAS), avoid microwaving them at all costs. But the biggest problem is that they might even have the microwave-safe label.

It’s therefore wise to always check the plates just to be on the safe side. You don’t want to risk leaching chemicals into your food, right?

Tips for Testing Paper Plates for Microwave Safety

If you are unsure about the safety of your paper plates in the microwave, you don’t have to worry. There’s a way to test the plates to be sure.

This is how you do it:

  • Get a small bowl and fill it with water. Place the bowl and the paper plate in the microwave oven next to each other.
  • Microwave for 1 minute on high power.
  • When the time is up, touch the paper plate.
  • If the plate is extremely hot to the touch. It’s not safe to use in the microwave.

Are Dixie Paper Plates Microwave-safe?

Dixie paper plates are labelled as microwave safe hence safe to use in your microwave. They don’t release toxins like polystyrene or plastic products.

For optimal safety, use these paper plates for reheating purposes only.

Dixie paper plates are equipped with a soak-proof shield and are strong enough (5 layers) to provide better resistance to heat than paper plates from other companies.

Never cover your food on a Dixie paper plate with plastic wrap. Note that since the paper will be in direct contact with your food, it leaches chemicals into the food in case it melts.

Are Chinet Paper Plates Microwave Safe?

Chinet paper plates are made in the USA and from 100% biodegradable and compostable materials. The paper plates are microwave safe.

The paper plates are strong, well insulated, and will at no time leak greasy foods, unlike some paper plates from other manufacturers.

Chinet paper plates stay rigid even after using them in the microwave, unlike plastic plates. And unlike foam plates, these paper plates don’t melt when used with hot foods.


After reading through the post, we hope you’ve got the answer (1) to the question: Can you microwave paper plates? We also believe that you now know how to use paper plates in the microwave.

Just ensure that the plates are microwave safe before placing them in the microwave. Microwave them under medium heat and in not more than 2 minutes.

Also, don’t use paper plates for cooking as they can’t survive the high heat. And if your plates are too thin, stack 2 or 3 for excellent results.