Food is a necessity for human beings. But what happens when you are too tired from work and cannot make a meal for yourself? Well, you can pass by a fast food joint and buy some takeaway food. When you get home, warm the food in a microwave and enjoy.
Now warming food in a microwave is as easy as ABC. However, you need to be cautious about the type of kitchenware you are using in the microwave. Is it made from microwave-safe material? Is it likely to cause a fire?
Will it shutter in the microwave? For that reason, you need to research the microwave-safe dishes in your house.
Today, our article will focus on stoneware utensils. We will find out if stoneware is microwave safe and how to handle it in a microwave. But before we discuss this, let us first define what stoneware is.
What Is Stoneware?
Stoneware is a sturdy clay body that looks like a stone. It is more opaque and thicker than Porcelain due to its material composition. The material is called stoneware due to the stone-like structure appearance it takes after being subjected to high temperature.
To make stoneware objects, you need to adhere to two major steps. First, mix the clay. Then second, fire the clay in high temperatures ranging from 2000 to 2300 degrees F.
Stoneware is not a new product in the market. The ancient Chinese were the first people to create stoneware. However, in the 18th century, the early explorers transported the stoneware to Europe.
In the 19th century, companies in Europe, for example, Josiah Wedgwood and co-started making kitchen utensils with stoneware. It is during this period that kettles and cups became very popular.
Over time, stoneware has evolved and is very popular in our homesteads. Stoneware is commonly used to make stoneware dishes, stoneware dinnerware, stoneware cookware, stoneware bakeware, sewer pipes, toilets, and basins.
Aside from its multipurpose role, stoneware also has other features, for example:
- It is highly resistant to chemicals
- It is resistant to atmospheric conditions
- It is resistant to water
- It is opaque
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Is Stoneware Microwave Safe?
First of all, let’s define what the term microwave safe means. Microwave safe utensils don’t break, deform or release chemicals when put in the microwave.
Now, when you are dealing with stoneware utensils, this question doesn’t have a direct answer. See, we have two types of stoneware. The first type of stoneware is referred to as the mid-fire stoneware.
It appears a bit hard and is porous. However, you can easily identify it because it comes in dark colors such as grey and brown.
The second type of stoneware is referred to as high-fire stoneware and is very sturdy and less porous than the mid-fire stoneware. It comes in limited colors and has a conspicuous glaze.
Now, this is the most important part of this question. Therefore we expect you to be keen. When stoneware is subjected to higher temperatures during manufacturing, it becomes sturdy. It can therefore withstand high temperatures without breaking.
On the other hand, the result of the less fired stoneware is very delicate and highly porous. Hence, you cannot subject it to high temperatures in the microwave.
Now, when the stoneware is too porous, it quickly absorbs radiation from the microwave and becomes too hot. You will even require a towel to carry it. If you continue subjecting it to additional heat, it will wither crack or explode.
The bottom line is: you can only use high-fire stoneware in the microwave. Don’t use mid-fire stoneware in the microwave.
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Can You Microwave Stoneware Pottery?
Yes, you can microwave stoneware pottery. However, you can only use the high-fire stoneware pottery in a microwave. The best thing about high-fire stoneware is that you can use it in ovens with high temperatures up to (176° C).
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On the contrary, the mid-fire stoneware cannot withstand high microwave temperatures. The stoneware is too porous and is likely to explode in the microwave. See porous utensils can easily absorb radiation in the microwave, causing it to break into pieces after some time.
Now the question arises, how do you differentiate high-fire stoneware from mid-fire stoneware? Well, high-fire stoneware looks very dense. The colors are similar to the mid-fire stoneware, but the glaze appears to leach into the clay, unlike the mid-fire stoneware glaze.
On the other hand, the mid-fire stoneware is a bit light compared to the high-fire stoneware. In addition, it is less glassy than the high-fire stoneware. Finally, its glaze doesn’t mix with clay. It remains separate.
After you set the high-fire stoneware aside, ensure that you pre-heat the microwave. Yes, high-fire stoneware is microwave safe, but you should not subject it to high-temperature changes, or else it will explode.
Does Stoneware Get Hot In Microwave?
Yes, stoneware gets hot in the microwave. If you are not careful, you may end up in a burns unit at your nearest hospital.
Before you handle any stoneware from a microwave, you need to understand several things. First, you need to understand that some stoneware utensils are manufactured from clay and other substances that are radiation absorbers.
Therefore, when you put it in a microwave, it absorbs too much radiation and becomes hot.
Second, you need to understand that opaque materials easily absorb heat. This statement is not new, and we are sure you covered it somewhere in your physics class.
Stoneware is opaque, and therefore when you place it in a microwave for some time, it automatically becomes hot.
Thirdly, stoneware utensils trap water inside. Therefore, the utensils are likely to overheat. If you are not careful, breakage is even likely to occur.
Finally, as we mentioned earlier, mid-fire stoneware is porous. Therefore, once you place it in the microwave, it absorbs all the heat and becomes hot.
We, however, recommend that you avoid using mid-fire stoneware in the microwave. Instead, always use high fire stoneware in the microwave.
Can Porcelain Explode In The Microwave?
Yes, Porcelain can explode in the microwave. However, don’t panic yet. An explosion can only happen due to some careless mistakes.
Most porcelain utensils are manufactured in China – a country that has an unregulated market. Therefore, if you are not careful, you might purchase substandard porcelain. Once the substandard kitchenware is exposed to heat, it will explode.
If you must purchase porcelain from China, make sure you buy it from recognized companies.
In addition, most porcelain utensils are trimmed with metal accents such as gold bands and platinum. Even though the metallic trim adds a spark of elegance to the porcelain, it is very dangerous.
Metals consist of elements that can quickly spark a fire. Therefore, before placing your porcelain utensils in a microwave, ensure that you read the message at the bottom to affirm that the kitchenware is microwave safe.
Lastly, porcelain is prone to thermal shock. Therefore, do not subject the kitchenware to extreme temperature changes. If you plan to warm some leftovers stored in the freezer, ensure that you first pre-heat your microwave.
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As we mentioned earlier, stoneware is not a new product in the market. It has existed since ancient times. Over time, due to technological advancements, the product has developed gradually.
Today, you can subject stoneware to high temperatures in the microwave without breaking it. This was impossible in the past.
However, as you put the stoneware in the microwave, ensure that it was manufactured by a well-known company and doesn’t contain metal trimming. Further, you can only put high-fire stoneware in the microwave.
Mid-fire stoneware is porous and can explode in the microwave. It would be best if you didn’t end up in a hospital.
Thanks for reading the article; we hope you gained some great knowledge. Now, enjoy using your stoneware dishes!