Can You Microwave Ceramic?

It is natural for us to try using different utensils to microwave food. I know that because I tried this too. And I must admit that wanting to microwave ceramic can lead you to research more seriously than the FBI. Now, can you microwave ceramic?

You can microwave ceramics as long as its label says”microwave-safe”.Most ceramics are suitable for microwaves. However, you need to watch out for metal rims or details. Moreover, cold ceramics are not safe to microwave as the heat can crack or shatter the ceramic.

Can You Microwave Ceramic

I understand that it is confusing when you can’t tell which ceramic will heat your food and which one will blow up your house. The good news is my overthinking brain found out everything there is to know regarding this issue. So, let’s microwave ceramics!

But it would be best if you read the article first.

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Can You Microwave Ceramic?

Ceramics are known for being robust and durable materials. Carelessness can shatter this material, and it still has more strength than glass. This is why nowadays ceramics are more popular for household use. And most ceramics are microwave-safe.

I said most ceramics because some of them are not suitable for microwaves at all. Instead of heating the food effectively, these unsuitable ceramics can create hazardous situations after exposing them to heat.

Also, be careful with the ones that come with metal rims or decorations. Metal is not microwave-safe and can lead to various hazards.

You can do a few things to avoid such hazards.  To find out if the ceramic you want to use is safe, look for a label that says it is microwave-safe. I will discuss how to recognize the suitable ceramic and their uses in the following parts of the article.

Can You Microwave Cold Ceramic?

Don’t we all love getting things done a little faster? I tried heating my food in the microwave after taking the ceramic plate straight out of the fridge. And guess what happened?

I did get warm food, along with my cracked ceramic plate. Thus, I learned that you should never put cold ceramic in the microwave. And that applies to ceramic that are microwave-safe as well.

Ceramics are made by burning the clays in high temperatures. That’s why most ceramics are compatible with heat. However, when you transfer a cold ceramic to a hot microwave, the sudden change of temperature cracks or breaks the ceramic.

Tips To Microwave Cold Ceramic

Using cold ceramic in the microwave is not the safest technique. It is hazardous and ruins the ceramic dish. However, you can still follow some procedures to make it work.

  • The sudden shift of temperature is one of the main reasons why ceramic breaks. So, before you place it in the microwave, bring the ceramic container to room temperature.
  • The same goes for the ceramic container that you take out from the fridge. Wait for some time and let the container come to room temperature before you heat it.
  • Another way to do it is to defrost both the ceramic and the food. You can also start with a low microwave temperature.
  • Take a microwaving break after a while. I’m not sure if many people like this tip, but I found it helpful. After a short time, you can take out the food and stir it a little bit to let the heat distribute evenly.
  • You can heat food that requires less heating time. In this way, the ceramic doesn’t have to be in the microwave for long.

Can You Microwave Ceramic Mug?

It is not uncommon to end up with cold coffee. When it happens, it feels frustrating and irritating. But you should know that you can reheat the tea or coffee in your ceramic mug.

I know that most of us hesitate to put our favorite ceramic mug in the microwave just in case it gets damaged. Other than reheating my coffee, I often bake small instant cakes in mugs. That’s why microwave-safe ceramic comes in handy to me.

And if you do that too, you can follow the tips from the previous sections to know how to microwave a ceramic mug. And if the mug is cold or just taken out of the fridge, you need to ensure it comes to room temperature first.

Can You Microwave Ceramic Bowls?

Yes, you can microwave ceramic bowls as long as it is microwave-safe and does not contain anything metallic.  And if the ceramic bowl has thick layers, the rise and fall of the microwave temperature will not affect it.

Be sure that the ceramic bowl is free from minerals because minerals do not react well when in heat. Moreover, if the bowl has a glaze or dark color, the ceramic will become hot and can crack at some points.

Can You Microwave Ceramic Plates?

Just like most other ceramic wares, ceramic plates are suitable for the oven. But do not use ceramic plates if it has metal edges or glazes. They are not oven safe and can break easily.

You can use plates that are not porous as such plates trap water or liquid and trap them in their cavities. And as the microwave heats up, the water cannot escape and ends up heating the ceramic plates.

How To Test If The Ceramic Is Microwave Safe?

Now that you know whether or not you can microwave ceramic dishes or mugs let’s move on to the next part. Here is a guideline to check if the ceramic is microwave-safe so that you can heat your food in ceramic plates, bowls, or mugs safely.

Step 1: Look For Label

Most ceramic dishes have a label at the bottom that says whether it is microwave-safe or not. Look for labels, such as Microwave Safe or Do Not Microwave, or something like that. But if the dish does not contain such labels, move to the next step.

Step 2: Turn Up The Microwave Heat

Set your microwave to a high temperature. The settings are always different, based on the type of microwave you are using. Of course, you must know how to do that. But if you don’t, look for the buttons or settings that say Power or Menu.

Step 3: Place The Testing Dish

Take out the ceramic dish you wanted to test. But do not put it in the microwave immediately. Before that, you need to follow the next step.

Step 4: Fill A Cup/Mug With Water

First, you need to take a cup or mug that you know is microwave-safe. You need that mug to test if your ceramic dish is suitable for microwaves.

Fill at least half or three-quarters of the mug. Then place the ceramic plate in the microwave and put the water mug on top of it. Do not spill water on the dish or plate.

Step 5: Test The Dish

Take out both the dish and the mug after a minute. You don’t have to do much to learn if the ceramic is microwave-safe. Touch the ceramic dish to find the answer.

  • If the dish is hot and the water in the mug is cold, it is unsafe for microwaving.
  • If the dish is cool, but the water is warm, the ceramic is safe.
  • Even if the dish remains cool and its center feels warm, it could be because of the warm water mug. Such ceramics are safe to use.

Step 6: Label The Dish

No matter how energetic you are, you will never want to try the same testing every time you use a ceramic dish. So what should you do?

Label it, my friend! You can mark the dishes in any way you like, but it is essential to remember which ceramic passed the tests. I used a marker and marked them with the letter M. You can try that or use double checks.

What Types Of Ceramic Should You Avoid?

Ceramics have various types, and some of them are not suitable for microwaving. But how do you know which type you should avoid?

It is best to avoid two types of ceramics: too porous and the ones that absorb water. Both such ceramics attract radiation in the microwave, and it heats the ceramic so badly that it cracks or shatters. You can end up getting a nasty burn if you touch them.

But how does it heat the ceramic? Well, if the ceramic absorbs water, which absorbs radiation, it makes the ceramic too hot. And as the dish heats up, the water in its cavities starts to become hot and cannot escape. Thus, it leads to hot ceramic and causes disasters.

Things To Watch Out For When Microwaving Ceramic

Now I am confident that you know what type of ceramic you can heat in a microwave. But sometimes, even the safe ones can create some issues. So let’s walk you through a few more things that you need to watch out for.


Some ceramic mugs and plates have metal outlines, especially around the edges. It is a lovely decoration on the piece. However, metal is not microwave-safe, and you cannot use a ceramic that has metal decorations.


Ceramic items with glaze look incredible. Unfortunately, such ceramic pieces are not safe to use in microwaves.

Glazes often give off radiation, which is hazardous. Keeping your food in such ceramic will not contaminate your food. But once you put it in the microwave, it releases toxic chemicals in the hair, and that can contaminate your food.

Lead Content

Having lead content in ceramic does not sound threatening, do they? Of course, it wouldn’t because, well, most of us don’t even know what it is.

Lead contents work much like glaze because some glazes contain lead in them. It also throws off radiation and chemicals in the air once the microwave starts heating the ceramic. So make sure to check if the ceramic contains any of these harmful things.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Are All Ceramic Microwaves Safe?

Ceramics are more robust than plastics or glasses. Unfortunately, not all ceramics are microwave-safe. Some of them are less safe and more hazardous.

You can use ceramics that come with a label that says it is safe to use in microwaves or do your own test. Besides, you need to avoid using the ones that contain metal or glazes.

Q. Can You Microwave Painted Ceramic?

There is a debate regarding whether or not you can microwave painted ceramic. Many ceramic wares, especially earthenware and China, are suitable for microwaves. But as I have mentioned a few times throughout the article, you can use a painted ceramic or any other ceramic as long as the manufacturers say you can.

Q. Why Are Some Mugs Not Microwave Safe?

Ceramic mugs with paint and glaze often cause radiation, which can break the ceramic mug. Though many ceramic mugs are suitable for microwaving, the ones that contain glazes or metal are not safe.

Q. Why Do Ceramic Get Hot In Microwaves?

When a ceramic piece gets hot in the microwave, you have to realize that it is not microwave-safe. Also, even if the ceramic is microwave-safe, it can get hot because of glaze and lead content.

So the best thing to do is to use safer ceramic that does not contain glaze. You can also purchase the ones with light-color glazes.

Q. Why Did My Ceramic Plate Crack In Microwave?

Ceramic plates crack if it becomes too hot, which means it is not suitable for microwaves. Ceramics with glaze can also break when you put them in the microwave.

Another reason why ceramic plates crack is when you microwave cold ceramic. Use high-quality and microwave-safe ceramic to avoid such problems, or make sure to bring the cold ceramic to room temperature before heating it.


Ceramic is a mix of earthenware, stoneware, porcelain, etc. All these materials make ceramic robust and suitable for use in microwaves. But can you microwave ceramic?

Ceramics are heat-resistant buy there are exceptions as well. Make sure you avoid microwaving ceramics that contain metals or glazing, and you will be good to go.

The best way to have microwave-safe ceramics is to check for labels or tags while purchasing them. And if your ceramic wares do not have the tag, you can test them using the method I have mentioned.

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