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Can I Microwave Paper Plates, or Will I Burn Down My House?

Should I get life insurance before heating up these pizza rolls?

When all your dishes are dirty and you have a hankering for Totino’s Pizza Rolls, drastic measures (read: using a paper plate) must be taken. But, can you microwave paper plates, or will your favorite kitchen appliance detonate with the fury of a thousand suns? It should be okay so long as you do your due diligence. And by due diligence, I mean checking that your paper plates are microwave-safe.

The simplest way to know whether microwaving your paper plates will result in a house fire is to check if they say “microwave-safe” anywhere on them. If they don’t, it’s possible that they’re coated in a thin layer of plastic, which could melt and/or leach problematic chemicals into your food. If ingested enough, those chemicals could then result in metabolic disorders like obesity, and even reduced fertility.

The other big concern when microwaving paper plates is whether they’re decorated with foils or metal trims, which are great conductors of electricity and can multiply the electromagnetic radiation your microwave creates. That’s why you’ll see a small lightning bolt in your microwave if you put foil in there (which I’ve totally never done, I promise, kinda), and it could start a fire.

That said, the vast majority of paper plates are indeed microwave-safe, so you and your pizza rolls should be just fine. In fact, your biggest concern should be making sure you don’t drop them when you take them out, since paper plates can absorb moisture in the microwave, making them extra rickety afterward.  

But if you’re anxious about it, just keep an eye on your paper plates whenever you’re microwaving, and don’t heat them up for more than a few minutes at a time.

Now try not to burn your tongue on those pizza rolls. I hear they can get pretty hot.