Tupperware made its first touch in the kitchen in the early 90s. The idea was conceived and executed by Earl Tupper. During the same period, microwaves were also on their evolving tracks.
Microwave cooking saves energy and time. And with these innovative and modern microwavable bowls, contains, pots and plates heat leftovers and reduce waste without falling short on food taste.
Today, Tupperware and microwaves are extensively used from homes to parties, but is Tupperware microwave safe?
Yes, you can microwave Tupperware. In general ,most plastics are microwave safe. Per their website, all Tupperware items sold in Canada and the US are BPA free, hence safe for microwave cooking.
Let us dine on this topic and find out the hidden truth and relationship between microwaves and Tupperware.
Is Tupperware Microwavable? Is it Safe?
The making of Tupperware
Generally, Tupperware is made of plastic, and mounting concerns over the use of plastics in microwaves has led me into a rabbit hole research.
Scientists have more than once proven that plastic is indeed a health hazard. These containers are made of synthetic polymers which, when ingested, induce certain illnesses like cancer.
The two main culprits in Tupperware plastics are Phthalates and Bisphenol (BPAs) chemicals. These chemicals stabilize the Tupperware; however, they are a thorn in the health system.
Scientists dub them ‘endocrine disruptors’ because they cause hormonal imbalance across the entire age board. According to Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units, Tupperware plastics are harmful to minors since they negatively affect their development.
Everybody seems to be attracted to vintage stuff but is the saying ‘old is gold’ applicable to Tupperware? Or, in this case, old is deadly?
For those who we grew up in the ’80s and ’90s, microwaves and Tupperware were common kitchen fixtures; little did we know, they were a lethal combination if used together. From earlier researches, it was clear that vintage Tupperware contains;
- Other chemicals
When warming your food using these utensils, the heat effects on the plastic cause lead compounds to leak into the food. Exposure to lead poisoning causes anemia and kidney failure. Unfortunately, all the above complications are a highway to death.
Arsenic is another element found in vintage Tupperware; it too dissolves to the food when the plastic is heated. This process is initiated when you place your food in a microwave.
Both arsenic and lead are deadly elements that become ingestible when you heat the Tupperware in an oven. So with this in your mind, the choice of convenience over health when using Tupperware is on you.
The bottom line is, vintage Tupperware is usable in the microwave. However, each time you are using them, don’t forget that you are exposing yourself to slow poisoning.
Should We Use Tupperware in the Oven, or Should We Avoid it?
With every ingredient in Tupperware on the pan right now, the question is; is Tupperware microwave safe? Well, this is not a yes or no question, but it requires some kitchen understanding backed by scientific research.
When microwaving Tupperware, the heating effect destabilizes the compounds in plastic, transferring some of them to the food. Eating this food for a certain period will definitely cause a barrage of health problems, cancer being the top on the list.
Microwaving accelerates the release of Tupperware chemicals into the food. This not only affects the nutritional value of the food but also poisons the food. So you can microwave Tupperware but be cautious about the health risks you are unlocking.
Second Thought on Tupperware Containers
As stated above, Tupperware and microwaves evolved almost at the same time. And as such, they have become the best apprentices to compliment your kitchen with.
During the early years, Tupperware was exclusively made of BPAs but as time went by, manufacturers changed their mode of production. Is there hope risk-free Tupperware was ever made?
Can we rely on warming food in Tupperware inside an oven without the thought of risking our health?
As the word goes by, with science, everything is possible! To curb the concerns of Tupperware plastic melting, leaching its chemicals into the food, a new variant of plastics was introduced.
These new plastics have reduced levels of BPA. On top of that, a resin code is used for identification purposes. What is a resin code, and what does it have to do with microwaves and Tupperware?
Resin code is a form of plastic identification used by manufacturers to show the main components in their products. This manufactured nomenclature helps consumers differentiate plastics as well their uses as applicable in Tupperware.
Plastic code or resin codes 4 and 7 represent most Tupperware products. They are robust plastics mainly composed of Low-density polyethylene or better known as LDPE.
If your Tupperware is identified with the above code, it is relatively safe to use it in the oven.
Also, you may find other Tupperware with different plastic codes; yes, they are nice containers only for storage purposes. Using them in an oven may not only distort their shape but also destroy your health.
What You Should Know Before Buying Any Microwaveable Tupperware?
Tupperware is a member of a large extended family identified as plastics. Like any other plastic container you are buying, it is important you understand what Tupperware is made off and how it can be used. Here, you should know the following;
Note the microwave signs on Tupperware
Before shoving a Tupperware full of delicious mussel in an oven, confirm if it was designed to hit a ride on the rotary. Different companies designed their stuff to meet different purposes as well as to conquer the market.
For Tupperware manufacturers, there is nothing short of safety and consumer protection manifests in their product reviews. But how do you know if you are dealing with the right utensil?
Microwaveable Tupperware is different from all others since it takes in tough material during its manufacturing. It not only resists heat but is also designed to dispense fewer chemicals into food.
Identifying this Tupperware is easy. You have to look for a microwave symbol on the Tupperware.
The symbol is either painted or engraved in the product, and it is represented by three squiggly lines.
Sometimes the symbols vary a lot; some may show a dish below microwave radiations while others show the image of a microwave. Nonetheless, the squiggly lines are constant irrespective of the Tupperware brand.
More information on Tupperware
After diving in and out of the oven on Tupperware plastics, we found out the following;
- There are better alternatives to Tupperware plastics
- Some precautions must be adhered to when microwaving Tupperware
Alternative for Tupperware
Cotton rappers, cotton muslin bags, and glass jars are few alternatives to Tupperware you might be interested in. They are used in an oven, and most of them are friendly to nature.
Precautions When Microwaving Tupperware
As Tupperware continues to release new and better products, it essentially you know what to avoid when using these products in an oven;
- Heat for less than 3 minutes
- Do not set your oven on high heat
- Fill the food up to fill-line
- Do not cut the plastic
- Don’t cook food using Tupperware; instead, use it to reheat
One golden tip on microwaveable Tupperware:
Always cover your food when microwaving. It quickly dispenses heat, thus speeds up the cooking process.
Every plastic reacts differently when heated in a microwave. Some reduce the food’s nutritional value, while others season your dish with deadly chemicals.
Before shelving your Tupperware in an oven, understand the health risks associated with your choices. Moreover, almost all Tupperware are microwavable; the decision to use them is solely yours.