Warming up leftovers should be a fairly straightforward process. Pop the container in the microwave and voilà. But since certain materials (looking at you, plastic) have gotten a bad rap in recent years for possibly leaching chemicals into food when heated, it's hard to know what's safe and what's not. Thebest microwave-safe dishes all have the telltale squiggly lines symbol on the bottom, indicating they've been tested and approved for microwave use. But is that enough? Here's what you need to know.
First things first, let's talk materials. Dishes made from glass, ceramic, plastic, even Styrofoam, can safely be used in the microwave, as long as they've earned the all-important microwave-safe labelfrom the FDA. However, if you're scratching your head trying to figure out how plastic containers can have that label when some scientists have gone on record warning against their use, well, you're not alone. That's where things get tricky, because, to the FDA, it's not a matter of "does it" or "does it not" leach chemicals, but rather whether it's happening at an acceptably small enough level for humans.
In order to get a microwave-safe label, scientists measure the amount of chemicals leached into food, and the maximum allowable amount is indeed infinitesimally small: "100-1,000 times less per pound of body weight than the amount shown to harm laboratory animals over a lifetime of use," according to the same Harvard Health article.
So, with that in mind, many people will opt to keep using plastic. It's lightweight and unbreakable, not to mention budget-friendly. However, if you want to play it extra, extra safe, your best bet is to use dishes made from glass or ceramic, like stoneware or porcelain. Once you decide where your preferences lie, it's time to find the dish of your dreams.
Below you'll find everything from complete dinnerware sets, to plates, to a singular lidded container available in a variety of sizes — all have the critical microwave-safe symbol and tons of positive Amazon reviews.