Can you put a ziploc bag in the microwave? You are right to ask this question before attempting to use a Ziploc bag in your microwave oven.
Ziploc bags are made out of plastic and certain plastics are dangerous to use in a microwave. Despite this, the original Ziploc manufacturer specifically states that their bags are safe to be used in a microwave.
Unfortunately, Ziploc bag is generally used as a generic term for resealable bags and hence a generic resealable bag may not be fit for microwave oven use.
In this article we will talk about generic Ziploc / Resealable bags as well as the original.
Though, there have been numerous arguments about the safety of Ziploc bags in microwave ovens, especially due to the potential health hazards plastic can cause.
The original Ziploc Bags are FDA approved. However, the same cannot be said about generic resealable bags.
Even with this, it is recommended that you avoid using Ziploc / resealable bags in your microwave oven unless you’re absolutely sure that it is safe to do so.
In this article, we will be discussing more about Ziploc bags, its major components and if it is safe to use them in microwave ovens.
Can You Put a Ziploc Bag in the Microwave?
Most generic Ziploc or resealable bags are made of oven safe materials, this makes it perfectly safe to use them in your microwave oven.
Microwave ovens have heating levels way below the temperature limit of most Ziploc bags. This makes it relatively safe to use them in most minimal temperature appliances.
On the other hand, not all Ziploc bags are safe to use in the microwave ovens. You should always check the body of your bag or its packaging to ensure that it is microwave safe.
This is because precautions that will ordinarily have been taken with microwave safe containers relating to harmful chemicals and potentially damaging materials might not have been taken with such Ziploc bags and they might not be able to withstand any form of heat.
Heating up such bags will damage your food and possibly your microwave oven
Can I Put Ziploc Freezer Bag from Freezer into the Microwave
It is perfectly safe to take out your microwave-safe Ziploc bag from the freezer and put it in the microwave.
Although the same cannot often be said for your meal. If your microwave oven doesn’t have a defrosting button, your food can begin to cook unevenly without defrosting.
The result can range from uneven cooking to uncooked interior.
Also ensure that when you put your Ziploc bag in the microwave, a corner of the bag is opened to allow the frosted mist to escape from the food. If you don’t take this precaution, your Ziploc bag might overheat in your microwave oven and melt.
One great feature of Ziploc bags is its material, you can keep your food in a Ziploc bag without worrying that some of it might seep through the bag, even if it is liquid based.
Tips to Microwave Food in Microwave-Safe Ziploc / Resealable Bags
If you have made it certain that your particular Ziploc or resealable bag is microwave-safe, you can use the following tips to ensure further safety:
1. Leave a Corner of Your Bag Open Especially for Oily Foods
Air is usually released when foods are heating up. This is especially more pronounced when the food is in a closed space, like a Ziploc bag.
When you want to heat up your food in the microwave, leave a corner of the food open. If it is an oily food, the bag has the potential to become even hotter than the temperature you have set it to because of the oil.
If the hot air doesn’t find an escape, your Ziploc bag can burst or melt from the impact of the heat.
When you want to cook in your microwave oven, leave a corner of the bag opened so the heat can escape through. This will reduce the chances of your bag melting all over the place and your food pouring out.
2. Don’t Expose to Extreme Heat for Long Moments
There hasn’t been any recommendations for maximum heating levels when it comes to melting or leaking.
For harmful chemicals, your microwave oven doesn’t have the capacity to get a ziploc bag the heat levels that it becomes dangerous to your food, so it is perfectly safe when it comes to health safety.
Heat that will melt your ziploc bag is quite different. Plastic containers will usually begin to melt around 212-250°.
Therefore you should generally avoid letting your microwave oven get to this temperature while your ziploc bag is in it to avoid damage to your food.
3. Follow All Cooking Instructions to the Letter
Most times, cooking recipes will usually come with instructions on containers to use in preparing your meal. If the recipe doesn’t say you should use a Ziploc bag to cook your meal then you should consider other alternatives.
Depending on the recipe, some foods might not cook properly when you don’t follow the cooking recommendations for the recipe you’re using.
You should also ensure that you cut all foods into very small bits before cooking in your Ziploc bag.
This will promote even distribution of heat and allow your food cook faster.
4. Add Oil or Oily Ingredients Last
Oil tends to heat up much faster than other ingredients. If you can avoid adding oil until to towards the end of your cooking, you should.
This will reduce the chances of your Ziploc bag melting all over your oven and increase the lifespan of your bag.
Heat tends to damage plastic and constantly exposing your Ziploc bags to extreme heat will damage the bag faster and reduce its durability
Can You Use Silicone Ziploc / Resealable Bags in the Microwave?
Silicone Ziploc bags are a relatively safer alternatives to most of the other Ziploc bags. This is because it is made of silicone.
This material is very safe to use in the kitchen and can withstand even higher temperatures compared to other Ziploc bags.
Its self sealing and reusable feature makes it an economical container to store your food in. It can withstand extreme heat, boiling water and does not deteriorate in quality.
They are usually used to store leftover meals and are perfect for use in the microwave oven
One great feature of silicone is that it cannot leach harmful chemicals into your food. Although most plastic silicone bags have been designed with safety precautions in mind, silicone zioloc bags are much safer and easier to maintain.
You can use it multiple times without waste. You can also pick out your silicon ziploc bag directly from the freezer and drop into boiling water without fear of damage to your meal.
Maximum Heating Temperature for Ziploc Bags
Ziploc manufacturers have over time continued to look for ways to make their product safe for extreme heating conditions and they have been relatively successful.
Plastic Ziploc Bags can withstand about 195 °F or 90.6 °C of heat without releasing harmful chemicals or leaching dangerous matters into your food
On the other hand, it will likely melt in this temperature even if it doesn’t emit harmful substances.
Ziploc bags are made of plastic and despite the various precautionary measures put in place to ensure safety in its use, it will still melt when exposed to extreme heat
In this article we discussed Ziploc or resealable bags and discussed whether can you put a Ziploc bag in the microwave.
Ziploc containers are extremely versatile materials which means that they can be used to perform a lot of functions in the kitchen.
To use it to cook in your microwave oven, it is important that you check and ensure that it is absolutely safe to microwave the type of Ziploc you have.
Otherwise you should consider using other microwave safe containers. It will help reduce the chances of damage to your food as well as keep your food safe to eat.