Tupperware is a household name for food storage containers. But not all Tupperware is created equal. In fact, there are several brands with their own line of Tupperware containers. And some are produced with better quality materials than others!
Have you ever wondered, can you microwave Tupperware? Well, as mentioned above, it’s going to depend on the brand and materials they use to make it! Before you go microwaving the lunch you brought to work in your Tupperware container, there are a few things you need to know about how to microwave Tupperware safely.
In this post, we’ll cover:
- what Tupperware is
- how it can make your life easier in the kitchen
- how to safely microwave Tupperware so that you can enjoy its convenience without any safety concerns
- how to determine if your Tupperware is microwave-safe.
So, read on if you’d like to learn more!
What is Tupperware?
Tupperware is a generic brand name for a type of glass or plastic food storage container. Tupperware can be made with an assortment of different materials.
Tupperware was invented in 1946 by Earl Tupper, who developed a method of injection molding plastic that allowed him to create airtight seals. The first actual Tupperware parties were held in the 1950s, and the brand quickly became popular thanks to its sleek design and innovative sealing system. Today, there are many different brands of Tupperware on the market, all of which are made from PET or similar plastics.
Can You Microwave Tupperware?
You can microwave Tupperware IF:
- There is a microwave-safe symbol on the bottom consisting of 3 to 5 wavy lines
- The FDA has deemed the material microwave-safe
- The Tupperware is made with #2, #4, or #5 plastics. They are considered to be the safest in the world.
Plastics in Tupperware
Because there many brands that make their own Tupperware lines, it’s impossible to say that all Tupperware is microwave-safe. It’s important to know what material goes into their products!
Here is a basic guide that goes through common plastic numbers:
- #1 PET/PETE– Thin and clear plastic. Used to make single-use only bottles for water, soda, cooking oils, etc. DO NOT EXPOSE TO HEAT!
- #2 HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene)- A thicker thermoplastic polymer. A versatile plastic and most commonly used. Used in milk jugs and some Ziploc bags. Lower risk of chemicals leaching when exposed to heat. Limit how often you use. Generally considered safe.
- #3 V or PVC– Rigid and flexible. A Polyvinyl plastic often used in construction. Has been used in sandwich bags due to low cost. Avoid using in microwave.
- #4 LDPE (Low-Density Polyethylene)- A soft and flexible plastic. Commonly used in grocery store bags, plastic wrap, garbage bags, and sandwich and storage bags. Lower risk of chemicals leaching when exposed to heat. Generally considered safe.
- #5 PP (Polypropylene)- Hard yet flexible plastic. Used in Ziploc Tupperware containers, baby bottles, and other food containers. Generally considered safe to use in the microwave.
- #6 PS (Polystyrene)- Used to make styrofoam containers, egg cartons, etc. Can leach styrene and is a known toxin. DO NOT EXPOSE TO HEAT!
- #7 Other and varies. Avoid using unless you are aware of the specific plastic used.
Numbers 2, 4, and 5 plastics are the safest. When in doubt, do not microwave your Tupperware unless made with one of these plastics.
In general, any Tupperware that is made from polypropylene (PP) or high-density polyethylene (HDPE) can be microwaved without issue. However, Tupperware made from low-density polyethylene (LDPE) microwave with caution, as it can melt and release harmful chemicals into your food.
To be safe, always check the bottom of your Tupperware container for a symbol that indicates whether or not it is microwave-safe. If you see a symbol that has 3 to 5 wavy lines , then it’s safe to put in the microwave. If you do not see this symbol, there is a way you can test for yourself to see if it’s microwave safe.
How to Determine if Your Tupperware is Microwave-Safe
Whenever you are in doubt about whether your Tupperware is microwave-safe, try the below test.
- Check the bottom of your Tupperware for the microwave symbol.
- If your Tupperware doesn’t have the microwave symbol, place a cup of water in a container you know is microwave-safe, and place both in the microwave. Leave the Tupperware empty.
- Use the highest setting and microwave for one minute.
- After a minute, feel the Tupperware. If it feels warm, it’s not microwave-safe. If it feels cool, it is generally considered microwave-safe and can be used to heat up your food.
Related Post: Can You Microwave Ziploc Tupperware?
Can You Microwave Tupperware Lids?
If you are using microwave-safe Tupperware and the original lid, you can safely microwave it too. If you are using the original lid, do not microwave it unless you know what material it’s made with.
When microwaving Tupperware lids, it’s important to properly vent the food. Open up one corner of the lid when heating it up. Venting allows steam to exit the container and prevent build up of pressure inside the Tupperware.
How to Safely Microwave Tupperware
Even if your Tupperware is microwave-safe, you should only use Tupperware to reheat or defrost food only. Never use Tupperware to cook food in the microwave.
Using Tupperware for Defrosting in Microwave
Step 1: Place the Tupperware directly from the freezer to the microwave.
Step 2: Enter the approximate weight of food using the defrost setting.
Step 3: Slightly vent the container by pulling up one of the corners. This helps to prevent buildup of steam inside the container.
Step 4: In one-minute intervals, check the Tupperware to make sure it hasn’t overheated. Check to see how much food as thawed as well.
Step 5: Once your food has thawed slightly, choose your cooking method on the stove! Remember, you don’t want to cook with Tupperware in the microwave.
Using Tupperware for Reheating in Microwave
If you’re just needing to heat up lunch on the go, use the below step-by-step guide for microwaving your Tupperware!
Step1: Place the Ziploc Tupperware in the microwave.
Step 2: Using a low to medium setting, set the timer for 5 minutes.
Step 3: Slightly vent the container. Open lid about one inch. This will help prevent the buildup of steam inside.
Step 4: In one-minute intervals, check the Tupperware to make sure it hasn’t overheated.
Step 5: Once the food is warmed, take out and enjoy!
Final Answer for Can You Microwave Tupperware?
As you can see it’s not a simple yes or no answer! The important thing to remember is when in doubt, seek out the guidance of the manufacturer. Look for the microwave-safe symbol on the bottom of the container. Use the plastic guide we provided above to determine if the Tupperware is microwave-safe based on the material it’s used with. Then use your best judgment while following the step-by-step guides above on microwaving Tupperware safely!
FAQS for Can You Microwave Tupperware?
Can You Put Tupperware in the Freezer?
Tupperware is a safe option to store food in the freezer! Tupperware is made from thicker, hard, and rigid plastics that allow food to safely be frozen. They also have tight fitting lids that make it airtight. This prevents freezer-burn, which is something we all look for when freezing food!
For best results, look for the snowflake symbol on your Tupperware. That will tell you exactly if that brand is freezer safe or not!
Is Rubbermaid Tupperware Microwave Safe?
You can safely microwave Rubbermaid Tupperware IF the manufacturer says so! On the Rubbermaid site, the company lists all their products and Use and Care Instructions.
One thing most Rubbermaid Tupperware has in common, is that they are to be used in the microwave for reheating food only. Do NOT use Rubbermaid Tupperware in the microwave for the purpose of cooking food. Only reheat your food and defrost it.
Can You Put Tupperware in the Dishwasher?
You can safely put Tupperware in the Dishwasher! Tupperware is generally made with material that can withstand high temperatures. It is recommended that all Tupperware be placed on the top rack to avoid touching the heating element on the bottom. In that case, it has potential to melt.
Unless the manufacturer specifically says not to put their Tupperware in the dishwasher, it’s generally safe on the top rack.
Can You Microwave Compostable Containers?
Compostable containers are made from recycled materials and are gaining in popularity!
It will specifically depend on the manufacturer. Not all compostable containers should be microwaved because they are made with raw materials that cannot withstand high heat.
If compostable containers are microwave-safe, it will have a label on the bottom stating so. If there is no label, do not microwave!