At the end of a long day, you may find yourself staring into your refrigerator, looking at leftovers you stored in plastic Tupperware containers wondering, “Is Tupperware microwave safe?”
It would undoubtedly reduce the prep time and the number of dishes you have to wash if you could take that container out of the fridge and pop it right in the microwave. In this article, we will answer the question so that you can feel confident in how to reheat food safely.
The short answer to the question about Tupperware being microwave-safe is that it depends. Tupperware thoroughly tests each product to determine which can safely be put in the microwave.
If a product has the microwave symbol on the bottom, it is safe to reheat food in it. If not, you should remove the food and place it in a microwave-safe container first. The microwave-safe symbol is easy to identify as it has three wavy lines.
There are two major concerns related to microwaving plastics. The first main concern is that the temperature can be too high, melting the plastic. This will create quite a mess to clean up. It can result in a lingering foul odor.
The second is that the plastic container will leach harmful chemicals into the food. This can cause health issues over time and is a significant concern associated with microwaving plastics.
Tupperware has been around since the 1940s and is well known for its limited lifetime warranty. The plastic containers come in a wide array of sizes and colors, making them excellent food storage containers.
A Tupperware container can handle the job if you need to store food in the cabinet, refrigerator, or counter. They are designed to save time and add an element of convenience to our lives.
The company has been making microwave-safe food containers since the microwave became popular in the 1980s. Unfortunately, while many of the containers are safe to use in the microwave, not all of them are. So, you must check the bottom of the container to see if the company has tested this product and deemed it safe for warming up food in the microwave.
How Tupperware was sold really set it apart. When the product first came out, the company tried to sell it in stores. However, customers needed help understanding how to use it. In response to this, the Tupperware party idea was invented. Even today, some people still sell Tupperware through parties as representatives.
Over time, the product line has expanded. As a result, they sell many more options today than they did in the 1940s and 1950s. However, the goal is still the same. The company aims to make products that make people’s lives more enjoyable and easier. They are also helping the environmental impact by selling reusable products instead of those discarded after a single use.
Common Tupperware uses
Tupperware is a household name synonymous with food storage. The containers are durable, built to last, and designed to store various foods in many different sizes and shapes. If you are meal-prepping or storing leftovers, you might reach for a Tupperware container to keep the food fresh.
Microwave safe symbols
It is convenient to warm food up in the same container it was stored in. That means fewer dishes to clean which is undoubtedly a bonus. However, not all Tupperware containers are safe to use in the microwave. You must flip the container over and look for the microwave symbol. If it is stamped on the bottom, the container is safe for use in the microwave.
There are several ways the symbol can look. It can be a series of squiggly lines, three lines inside of a box that looks like a microwave, or squiggly lines with a box underneath it. The squiggly lines are the universal symbol that indicates a product is safe to use in the microwave.
The other option to look for is the number 5 stamped inside a triangle. The number 5 refers to the type of plastic used to make the container and lets you know it is safe for microwave use. This type of plastic container is very sturdy and heat resistant, which means using it in the microwave is okay.
In addition to the symbols, another way a container may indicate that it is microwave safe is with the words “Microwave-safe” on the bottom.
If you see squiggly lines with a diagonal line going across it, similar to the “do not” part of a no-smoking sign, that lets you know that the container is unsafe for microwave cooking (1).
Microwaving Tupperware with a lid
There are numerous benefits associated with reheating food with a lid on the container. For one, it prevents the food from splattering and making a mess in your microwave. This cuts down on the clean-up time significantly.
In addition, keeping a lid on the container will also trap steam inside. This allows the food to warm up quicker and more evenly. In addition, food is less likely to dry out if the steam is trapped inside, as the steam keeps the food moist.
However, while there are benefits of reheating food with a lid on the container, it is essential to note that you should not seal the lid too tightly. If it is airtight, the food container is at risk of exploding as it heats up, making a big mess of food inside your microwave.
Sealing the lid tightly also exposes you to intense steam that can burn your skin when you try to reopen the container.
Many of Tupperware’s microwave-safe containers have custom-designed lids with seals and feature a steam vent. This allows you to open the steam vent while microwaving food in the Tupperware container so that steam can escape.
Consider the food
In addition to the type of food storage container being used, you also need to consider the type of food you are reheating. If you are microwaving food that is high in fat or sugar content, there is a risk that the food will become too hot and damage the container. For these types of food, glass containers are safer options.
Best practices for reheating food in the microwave
According to Tupperware’s microwaving instructions, you should reheat food in the microwave for no longer than three minutes at a time. If the food is not warm at that point, you should remove the lid, stir the food so you can avoid hot spots that sometimes form when heating food, and then restart the microwave for another three minutes or less.
Also, check the food for cool spots not heating up enough and rotate or reposition the dish if needed. You should also set the microwave oven to medium heat.
How to use microwave safe Tupperware in the microwave
Many of Tupperware’s products are microwave safe. It is essential to follow these guidelines to ensure the safety and longevity of the product.
First, ensure that you do not cut or scratch the plastic container. This can cause harmful chemicals to seep into your food when storing food or reheating food in the microwave.
Secondly, pop the vent on the lid so steam can escape. Not only does this help the food to cook better, but it also reduces the risk of the container and food exploding or steam burning you when you take the container out of the microwave.
It is also important to follow the reheating process outlined above. Only use medium heat if you are microwaving Tupperware and keep the microwave on for three minutes or less at a time.
Many Tupperware microwave containers have a fill line inside. If yours does, be sure to follow that guideline for how much food should be in the container.
If you have old or damaged Tupperware containers, they should not be used in the microwave. They may have surpassed the microwave ability, and the reheating process could damage them further or expose you to harmful chemicals.
Tupperware made since 2010 is BPA-free. However, many people have Tupperware that is older than that. If so, be advised that it likely contains BPA in the plastic compound.
Deep cleaning your Tupperware
What should you do if you notice your Tupperware container looks dirty, even after you have washed it? Microwaving food in the container can cause stains and food residue to keep the Tupperware from looking clean over time.
Following these steps and letting the container soak overnight can restore your container to a nice, fresh, clean look. Not only will it help the Tupperware containers look better, but it will also help them last for many years.
Step 1: Rinse
First, rinse out the containers. Be sure to remove any stuck-on food particles.
Step 2: Baking Soda
Next, coat the container with baking soda by sprinkling it on enough to cover the surface.
Step 3: Scrub
Now you are ready to scrub the container. First, use a coarse sponge to scrub the entire surface.
Step 4: Vinegar
After scrubbing, you should add a little bit of vinegar to the container. This will cause a fizzing or bubbling reaction to occur when mixed with the baking suds.
Step 5: Scrub
Scrub the container again with a coarse sponge. You want to ensure that the entire Tupperware container is covered in the baking soda and vinegar mixture.
Step 6: Hot Water
Fill the container with hot water and put the lid on the container. This will help the water stay hotter longer. Then, allow the Tupperware to sit overnight with the water inside.
Step 7: Empty the container
The next day, pour out the water to empty the container. Add more hot water to the container and some dish soap. Scrub the container again, then thoroughly rinse it out. Use a towel or paper towel to pat it dry. The result should be a revitalized plastic container that looks like new.
Is Tupperware microwave safe FAQ
Is all Tupperware microwave safe?
No, before you microwave Tupperware products, you need to check for the Tupperware microwave safe symbol on the bottom.
I’m concerned about microwaving plastic containers. What other options are available?
If you want to limit your direct exposure to microwaved plastic and the risk of chemical exposure, opt to reheat food in a glass or ceramic dish instead.