Have you ever been in a rush to get your coffee fix before work and thought, can you microwave a thermos? Well, before you hit that start button, let’s talk about whether or not it’s a good idea. When it comes to thermoses, there are a few different materials they can be made from, like stainless steel, aluminum, glass or plastic, and not all of them are microwave-friendly. I mean, I wouldn’t want to be responsible for anyone setting their kitchen on fire.
When it comes to microwaving thermoses, it’s best to know which ones are microwave safe and which ones are not.
- Stainless steel thermos– Do not microwave
- Aluminum thermos– Do not microwave
- Plastic thermos– Microwave with caution
- Glass thermos– Microwave Safe depending on the glass
Many thermoses are designed to keep your beverages hot for long periods of time without the need to reheat using the microwave. You just have to heat it in a microwave safe cup prior to pouring into the thermos.
So, let’s dive into this and figure out the best way to keep your beverage toasty without risking any explosions.
4 Materials Thermoses Are Made From
Thermoses are commonly made of four materials: stainless steel, aluminum, plastic, and borosilicate glass.
Stainless steel is the most popular material used in thermoses due to its durability and ability to keep liquids hot or cold for extended periods of time.
Stainless steel reflects the microwaves and can lead to sparks because the waves are not absorbed.
We do not recommend microwaving a stainless steel thermos.
Aluminum is also a popular choice as it is lightweight and can be used to create sleek designs. Metal containers should never be used in a microwave as they can cause sparks and fires.
We do not recommend microwaving an aluminum thermos.
Plastic is often used as an outer layer for thermoses because it is inexpensive and provides additional insulation in stainless steel thermoses. There are several 100% plastic thermoses on the market, usually containing Tritan, but the manufacturer advises against using with hot liquids.
Therefore, we recommend not microwaving plastic thermoses. However, we will provide instructions on how to heat one up safely. But take note, a plastic thermos can heat up quickly so you need a covering for it. It will also not retain heat.
A glass thermos is a container made of double-walled glass that is designed to keep beverages hot or cold for extended periods of time. Glass thermoses are typically used to store coffee, tea, and other hot or cold drinks.
Typically, glass thermos’s are made from borosilicate glass. This type of glass is designed specifically to withstand extreme temperature changes. We find this type of thermos safe for microwave use!
Is it Safe to Put a Stainless Steel Thermos in the Microwave?
Stainless steel is a common material used in thermoses due to it’s ability to insulate beverages. Chances are you have a stainless steel thermos. The issue is, metal can interfere with the cooking process. The microwaves generated by the appliance will reflect off of the metal, which can cause uneven heating and even sparks.
Stainless steel thermoses are designed to keep beverages hot for extended periods of time, not be used in the microwave to heat up your beverage.
How to Heat Up a Thermos
If you have a thermos that is not suitable for microwave use, you can preheat your thermos by following the below directions!
The best way to heat up a thermos is by preheating it with boiling water. This will heat up the metal in the thermos before you put your hot liquid into it. After pouring in the boiling water, wait 5-10 minutes for the thermos to warm up.
It’s also important to clean out any greasy residue from your thermos after each use, as this can affect the temperature of your food or drink. Warm water and soap should do the trick!
Overall, preheating a thermos with boiling water is the safest and most effective way to keep your hot liquids warm for longer periods of time.
How Long Will a Thermos Keep Liquid Hot?
Depending on the material your thermos is made from will indicate how long a beverage will stay hot.
Stainless steel thermoses are great for keeping liquids hot for extended periods of time. Depending on the size and insulation quality, a stainless steel thermos can keep liquids hot for up to 12 hours. The double-wall vacuum insulation helps to keep the heat in, while the stainless steel body prevents heat from escaping. Additionally, preheating your thermos with hot water before filling it with your desired liquid will help to keep it hotter for longer.
An aluminum thermos is an excellent way to keep liquids hot for extended periods of time up to 8 hours. But I have found that the liquid doesn’t stay quite as hot. Instead, it’s lukewarm.
Plastic travel mugs can only maintain the temperature of a hot beverage for an hour or two, while high-quality travel mugs are vacuum insulated and can keep drinks hot up to 12 hours depending on usage and ambient temperatures. Coffee can stay hot in a plastic thermos for several hours, making it an ideal way to keep your drink warm while outdoors.
Glass is an excellent material for keeping liquids hot. Double-walled glasses are especially effective at keeping liquids warm because there is an air gap between the two layers that helps insulate heat. However, it is important to make sure that the glass you use is rated for use with hot beverages before pouring a hot liquid in it, as some types of glass may crack when exposed to high temperatures.
Glass thermoses will not do as well as stainless steel in terms of retaining heat for long periods of time. You can count on at least an hour. But you can easily put your glass thermos in the microwave to heat it up.
4 Reason Why You Can’t Put a Stainless Steel Thermos in the Microwave
Stainless steel is a popular material for kitchen appliances, but it’s not suitable for microwaving. Here are four reasons why you should avoid putting stainless steel in the microwave:
Poor Conductor of Heat
Stainless steel is a poor conductor of heat. Since microwaves work by heating up food through radiation, stainless steel won’t absorb the energy from the microwaves and won’t heat up. This means that your food won’t cook properly and could even remain cold in some spots.
Can Cause Arcing
Stainless steel can cause arcing in the microwave. Arcing occurs when sparks form between two metal objects inside the microwave due to an electric current passing through them. This can damage both the appliance and your food, and could even be dangerous if it causes a fire or explosion.
Reflects Waves Instead of Absorbs Them
Stainless steel can reflect microwaves instead of absorbing them, which can cause uneven cooking and potentially damage your appliance over time.
Can Contain Iron
Some stainless steel containers may contain small amounts of iron, which can react with microwaves to create sparks or even start a fire in extreme cases.
How to Microwave a Glass Thermos (or Plastic)
It is not recommended to put a thermos in the microwave, as most thermoses are made with stainless steel. However, if you have a glass thermos, it is possible to heat it up in the microwave. Here are five steps for microwaving a glass thermos:
- Make sure your thermos is microwave safe. Check the bottom of the container for a symbol that looks like a wave or an arrow pointing into a bowl. This indicates that it can be used in the microwave.
- Remove any lids or covers from the container before microwaving it. This will prevent any steam from building up and potentially causing damage to your appliance or container.
- Place your thermos on a plate or other heat-resistant surface before putting it in the microwave. This will help protect both your appliance and your container from overheating and potential damage due to heat transfer.
- Heat your thermos on high power for 30 seconds at a time until it reaches the desired temperature. Make sure to check on it frequently so you don’t overheat it and cause damage to either the container or appliance.
- Once heated, remove your thermos carefully using oven mitts or other protective gear and enjoy!
Can You Put a Thermos in the Fridge?
It is safe to put a thermos flask in the refrigerator. Thermoses are designed to handle both cold and hot temperatures, so putting it in the fridge will not affect the insulation or vacuum seal. It may take some time for the contents of the thermos to reach the temperature of the fridge, however, if you put cold water in the bottle, it will stay cold for longer.
When storing food in your thermos, make sure not to keep it there for more than 72 hours as dangerous bacteria can grow if left too long.
Overall, thermoses are a great way to store food and drinks at any temperature!
Can You Put a Thermos in the Dishwasher?
Are you wondering if it’s safe to put your thermos in the dishwasher? The answer is yes, but with a few caveats.
Most thermoses are dishwasher-safe, but should be placed on the top rack of the dishwasher to avoid damage to the vacuum seal. If your thermos has been dropped or subjected to a lot of wear and tear, you should inspect it carefully before putting it in the dishwasher. Glassware vacuum insulated thermoses are never dishwasher safe and should always be washed by hand.
When in doubt, always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific thermos model.
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