If there’s anything that life as an adult will teach you, it’s that not everything is oven or microwave-safe.
Talk to your close family members and friends, and you’ll find they have all probably put something in the oven or microwave that was not suitable for that level of heat.
Most items purchased for food will specify if they are microwave or oven safe, ranging from ceramic casserole dishes to Tupperware.
However, it’s important to note that the latter is never okay to put in the oven. So, if you’ve ever asked your parents or friends, can you put plastic in the oven, then you’ll greatly appreciate this advice!
Can You Put Plastic in the Oven?
You cannot put plastic in the oven. It does not matter what kind of plastic you’re using or how durable it is, do not put it in the oven. There are certain types of disposable food containers manufactured by restaurant suppliers that contain plastic and can go in the range up to 400 degrees. Still, in general, there is no such thing as oven-safe plastic.
Avoid Combining Plastic and the Oven
It’s always good practice to avoid combining your oven and plastic. Whether your oven is electric or gas, it’s crucial to keep plastic out of it.
Plastic that melts in the oven will cause a horrendous mess inside of it, and it’s super difficult to clean up.
Also, the smell of melting plastic is hard to get rid of, and your home could smell for days.
Even if your plastic doesn’t melt all the way, which is unlikely, it’s definitely leaching chemicals into your food.
At the very worst, the melting plastic in your oven could start a fire.
It doesn’t take long for melted plastic to ignite, and depending on the type of plastic you’ve placed in your oven, you could have a fast-moving fire on your hands rather quickly.
These types of fires are tragic, and they happen in the blink of an eye, so avoid a hazard by avoiding putting plastic and the oven together!
There is no such thing as oven-safe plastic. However, there are oven-safe disposable food containers.
Typically utilized by restaurants and catering companies, these containers come in various sizes and are made of Crystallized Polyethylene Terephthalate.
CPET is a thermoplastic polymer used primarily in food and liquid containers.
CEPT does contain plastics, but it’s also considered half crystalline, which means it can withstand high temperatures and has an entirely different makeup than the plastic containers in which we typically store our food.
So, when you hear the term “oven-safe plastic,” you should know that while it’s oven safe, it’s not all plastic.
If you regularly cook food for crowds, and you’re looking for a disposable container that can withstand the heat of your oven, CPET containers are perfect for you!
Utilizing Low Oven Settings
Even at the lowest heat setting possible, plastic should not be placed in the oven.
Plastic cannot hold up to heat, and while your oven might be on its lowest or warm setting, plastic will still melt.
The only difference is that it will probably melt slower when the oven is on a lower setting.
Many plastics soften at even the lowest temperature.
Putting plastic in the oven due to convenience, such as wanting to forgo moving your leftovers from one food container to another, is never worth the hassle.
By putting plastic in the oven, you risk a colossal mess, rotten smell, and the potential for a fire.
Safely Heating Food in Plastic Containers
The good news is, most plastic containers can go into the microwave. You’ll want to check the manufacturer guidelines to make sure that plastic, especially food storage containers, is microwave safe.
Some people don’t like the taste of food that has been heated in the microwave, and for this, I suggest taking an oven-safe glass or ceramic container and moving your food to reheat it.
In any situation, if you have to reheat food in a plastic container, put it in the microwave, but only after you’ve checked to ensure that it’s safe to do so.
Frequently Asked Questions About Can You Put Plastic in the Oven
Safety is the most critical aspect of spending time in the kitchen when cooking, baking, and prepping food.
Since so many people store their leftovers in plastic containers, it’s only natural to want to know if they can go straight from fridge to oven, and they cannot.
What plastic can I put in the oven?
There aren’t any plastics that are safe to put in the oven. Avoid combining the two altogether unless you have a manufacturer-approved plastic blend that will work in the oven.
What will happen if I put plastic in the oven?
Even on the lowest setting, plastic in the oven will melt. While it might take longer when the heat settings are lower, it will soften faster than you might realize and begin to leach chemicals into your food. Melted plastic makes a mess, smells terrible, and will likely start a fire if left unattended.
Plastic and Your Oven
In short, don’t put plastic in your oven for any reason. If you can’t use the microwave, transfer your food to a microwave-safe container to reheat it.
You can also reheat food on the stove by moving it into a pot or pan. No matter what you do, remember, no plastic in the oven.