A saran wrap is sometimes referred to as plastic wrap or cling film. When reheating food, I always used to go for a saran wrap. And why wouldn’t anyone? It’s the perfect cheap substitute. It ensures that the food is fully covered to keep the moisture in so that the food doesn’t dry and avoid any splatter.
Plastic plays a very crucial role in our kitchens. From serving to storing, there are numerous ways that our food comes in contact with plastic every day. But the question is: are all of these interactions safe when it comes to heating our food in microwaves. Here’s what I found worth sharing,
Can You Put Saran Wrap In The Microwave
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the saran wrap is safe to use as long as it is labeled microwave safe. It all depends on the type of plastics and the type of food being heated, says Dr George.
Different plastic reacts to the microwave in different ways, and, in particular, meat and cheese, reach high temperatures and might cause the plastic to warp or melt. With the potential effects of plastics on meals and health, saran wrap brands ensure that they adhere to the FDA’s safety guidelines and precautions.
How Long Can You Microwave Saran Wrap?
Saran wrap must not be used for more than 5 minutes at one go. Try to turn off your microwave after 5 minutes of use. And if being used for a long time of cooking, you would have to lower the temperature as much as possible.
Saran wrap has a low-temperature limit compared to other items. Saran wrap usually begins to melt around 220-250° Fahrenheit.
Does Saran Wrap In Microwave Cause Cancer
When you heat food in a microwave using a plastic container or a wrap, chemicals may leach out of the wrap or the container and into the food, increasing cancer risk.
THAT IS A TOTAL MYTH!!
According to Dr. Permuth, plastic wraps labeled as microwave-safe by the FDA are safe to use in the microwave and are not known to cause cancer.
But if the plastic saran wrap had contained chemical dioxin, then things would have been different. Dioxin is a cancer-causing agent. But dioxins are created when plastics and other substances burn or melt. As long as you don’t burn your food in the microwave while using dioxin-containing saran wrap, then you’re good to go.
How Do You Know If Saran Wrap Is Microwave Safe Or Not?
If the saran wrap is labeled microwave-safe, you can use it in the microwave.
Look for a microwave-safe label on the product box. To avoid exposure to these chemicals, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends using only wrap and containers marked “microwave-safe”—many manufacturers have recently reformulated their products, which now carry this label.
A relatively new type of sealing plastic or saran wrap was made. It is made of a proprietary formula that only seals when you press it onto a container. It has similar ingredients found in chewing gum, allowing it to stick. The FDA also considers this type of plastic wrap to be safe for use.
What Are Some Alternatives Of Silicon Wrap?
Well, if you still don’t feel strongly about saran wrap, then I found some alternatives for you,
- Silicone Lids
- Paper Towel
- Microwave Cover
1. Silicon Lid:
Silicon Lids make great splatter guards in the microwave. However, you might want to be aware that they don’t have to completely cover the cup or the bowl being reheated. Remember to leave a place for steam and heat to pass through.
Cover the cup, plate, or bowl about 65-85% of the way.
2. Paper Towel:
Paper towels are the perfect weapon to cover the splatter in the microwave. If you do end up using a paper towel while microwaving, use it in shorter intervals so that you can check both the food and the paper more frequently.
Recycled paper towels or paper towels with printing should not be used as they pose a potential safety hazard.
3. Microwave Cover:
Sure this is plastic, but microwave covers do seem like a great idea to reheat food. They are also exceptionally great to cover the food splatters.
You may be thinking that why not use a plastic wrap instead then…. well, firstly, the microwave covers are reusable. Secondly, while you think that the plastic wrap may not touch the food since you have placed it correctly while heating, it can bend and warp with the heat, it results in the plastic touching the food.
Some Safety Tips Using Saran When Microwaving
- Don’t reuse oven bags, wax paper, or plastic wrap.
- The food should not touch the plastic wrap.
- The use of any plastic product with high sugar and fat foods may cause it to melt. This statement can be found on most plastic or saran wraps.
- Packaging materials, like plastic wrap on purchased food from stores, should not be used in a microwave.
- Containers like carryout containers from restaurants should not be used in a microwave. These containers may warp or melt.
- Discard the microwaved containers after using them because they are meant for one-time use unless they are reusable.
- The FDA says that microwave-safe plastic wrap should be loosely placed over food so that steam can escape, and it should not directly touch your food. Some plastic wraps have labels indicating that there should be a one-inch or more space between the plastic wrap and the food during microwave heating.
- Never use plastic storage bags, grocery bags, newspapers, or aluminum foil in the microwave.
- Always read directions on wraps you are going to use in the microwave. Generally, microwave-safe plastic wraps, wax paper, cooking bags, parchment paper, and white microwave-safe paper towels are safe to use.
In the article, asked and answered, can you put Saran Wrap in the microwave? Generally, it is relatively safe to use Saran Wrap in your microwave oven. Most people use saran wrap to preserve and cover their food. While using it in the microwave, do not expose the wrap to extreme heat.
When you use any item in your oven, or you’re dealing with things that come in contact with your food, ensure that you follow all precautions to the letter.