Signature Housewares


Microwaves and Tableware


Most kitchen ceramics are designated "microwave safe" but, increasingly, users of ceramics in microwaves can experience the item heating up. The following is some basic information about microwaves and ceramics that will hopefully shed some light on the issue.

Microwave safe - Microwave safe means it’s safe to use the product in a microwave without hurting the oven or having the product immediately harmed in some way. It does not mean the item will not heat up.

Why do some items get very hot when micro waved? Probably because of moisture trapped in the body of the ceramic and the moisture is being heated by the microwave process. In very rare instances, after extended time in a microwave (multiple minutes), certain ceramic items can actually give off a vapor or steam and become very hot. These items are no longer microwave safe.

Does microwaving hurt ceramics? If you have a ceramic item that noticeably heats up in a microwave, the life of the product is probably being shortened by microwave use. The item has some moisture in the body and the moisture is reacting to the microwave process. This is essentially a heating/cooling cycle (think expansion/contraction) and will eventually lead to "crazing" of the glaze. Crazing is when many fine lines appear in the glaze.

Does all ceramic tableware get hot when micro waved? Eventually yes. We have done extensive testing at our office with a wide range of different items from different manufacturers and they all reacted pretty much the same which is to say they heated up.

In conclusion - since all ceramic tableware reacts to microwaves by heating up, this cannot be considered a defective condition. Common sense handling of potentially very hot dishes after long stints in microwave ovens is the order of the day. Frequent exposure to microwaves may shorten the life of ceramic dishes and cause crazing of the glaze.


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