Expect to come across mason jars in many different kitchens. This is because of their convenience, ease of use, and they often make storage easy. With such information in mind, is it safe to microwave mason jars? People might not be sure about this because of the material used to make such types of jars.
The short answer is YES. It is safe to microwave mason jars only if the material is labeled microwave-safe. This is a very critical part of the answer to focus on. This is because not all mason jar materials can stand up to the high temperatures in a microwave.
Potential Risks of Microwaving Mason Jars
We have already mentioned you can microwave such types of jars, but we cannot forget to talk about the potential risks that come with using such a method. Here is a quick review of the potential risks you should know.
Mason jars are mainly made of glass material. This material is susceptible to thermal shock. This means that glass can expand rapidly when exposed to high temperatures. The additional stress on the material may lead to cracks, scratches, and so potentially, the glass shatters. You would now end up with glass fragments and hot contents being released all over.
You may end up with increased steam or pressure inside the jar because of heating the content. Since there is nowhere for the steam to escape, it can leave you with a jar that is fully pressurized.
Too much pressure buildup may lead to an explosion. The last thing anyone needs is for the jar’s content to spill and also harm someone who might be around it. It is then best to empty the contents first into a separate container to avoid pressure buildup.
We can also not forget that mason jars come with metal lids or closures. Microwaving metal lids is not something you want to try. This is because metal can reflect microwaves, leading to chances of sparks or arcing. This would make the jar lids a fire hazard and damage the microwave.
Those who have tried microwaving such jars claim they are not the best because of uneven heating. This is because the glass tends to heat up more than the food inside. You may also get some hot spots around the jar while others are cold. So, always be careful when lifting the heated jar from the microwave as it may lead to burns if you are not careful.
It is best to follow the safety of using a microwave by ensuring you only use microwave-safe jars to prevent potential accidents.
How to Identify Microwave Safe Mason Jars
We have already mentioned how using such types of jars in a microwave is possible. But it should be microwave-safe. So, what makes the jar microwave safe?
The first thing is to inspect the label or packaging of the jar. The labels or symbols on the jar can help a person know if it is safe for microwave use. Most manufacturers can explicitly say whether the jar is safe for microwave use. Look for phrases such as “safe for microwave use” or “microwave-safe.”
We also recommend looking at the temperature-resistant label on the jars. Most of the time, the mason jars would be made of tempered or borosilicate glass. These glasses are generally good for handling high temperatures. However, they may still have limitations. That is something the manufacturer would state on the product label.
What kind of closures or lids do the Mason jars have? You should first inspect to see if they are metal lids. In the case of metal lids, it is best to remove them first before placing the jar in the microwave to reduce the chances of an electrical fire.
Still, if you are unsure of the safety of using the jars in the microwave, it does not hurt to ask for clarification from the manufacturer. They should easily provide the right information you need.
Alternative to Using Mason Jars in Microwaves
Microwave Safe Glass Bowls
Considering that mason jars tend to heat the food unevenly, there is the option of emptying the jars’ contents into another glass bowl and heat in a microwave. This should leave you with evenly heated food and less risk of cracking. Just make sure the glass is microwave-safe.
Microwave-safe Plastic Containers
You may also consider using plastic, but it should be safe in the microwave. The containers would have the microwave-safe symbol. Expect them to be made of BPA-free materials. These are materials designed to withstand microwave heat without releasing harmful chemicals or warping.
However, double-check to ensure the plastic containers can work in the microwave to avoid health issues.
You could still use ceramic or stoneware containers for heating food in the microwave. This is a top choice because ceramic material is generally microwave safe. The containers also come in different sizes and designs. As such, you could use them for heating or reheating the food without a problem. They also can have lids that allow for later convenient food storage.
Silicone containers are flexible, heat-resistant, and can be microwave safe. This part should, however, be indicated by the manufacturer. You may also get them in different shapes and sizes to suit your needs. Expect to get such contains with silicone lids, which are also safe for the microwave.
Mason jars can be microwave safe, mostly depending on the material used to make them. Manufacturers often recommend if the containers are safe for the microwave under the product label. As such, you would easily know if the jar is good for microwave use. We have also highlighted some of the alternatives you can consider. This ensures you always choose the right microwave-safe container for heating the food.
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