Though you may think that just about any kind of paper is safe to use in the microwave, there are some paper products you should not use while others are considered safe. Not all paper is made up of the same materials, so it is important to read labels and avoid certain products.
Types of Paper You Should Not Put in a Microwave Oven
Paper that is made from synthetic fibers or nylon should not be used in the microwave. They have the potential to ignite, causing a fire and damage to the unit. Newspapers and brown grocery bags also should be avoided due to the ink and chemicals. Any paper that is lined with foil can spark in the oven. Recycled paper, unless otherwise marked, should not be used as it may contain metal that can cause an electrical spark or catch fire. Wax paper is coated with wax on both sides and has the potential to melt if temperatures get too high.
Types of Paper You Can Use in a Microwave Oven
Because paper products are manufactured with different chemicals, some that seem safe may not be. They may all look the same, but there are important differences. Paper cups, bowls, and plates should be safe to use if they are marked as microwave safe. Check packaging to see if bowls and cups are coated with insulating foam before attempting to use them. If they are, don’t use them as the foam will melt. White paper towels are safe to put over food, but avoid the printed ones.
Paper and Your Food
You should always use microwave-safe paper products when covering or holding food as it’s cooking. Using paper products that are not approved for use in the microwave can mean allowing chemicals from the paper to leach into your food. Paper products lined with foam or wax, as noted above, can melt, causing a spill in your microwave and possible damage. Paper containing plastic can melt, releasing toxins in your food.
Cooking Safely in the Microwave