A lot of people use microwaves to cook their food because of their ease and convenience. But when it comes time to clean up, that task can become a chore.
One of the common problems when using a microwave is food splatters, creating a mess that takes time and effort to clean.
This is where microwave splatter covers come in. You may start to wonder though if they are safe for your food.
For the most part, they are safe but there are a few things you should consider before you buy one.
Understanding Microwave Splatter Covers
Microwave covers are used for covering food to keep it from splattering in the microwave and caking the inside with food gunk.
They are usually made of glass or microwave-safe BPA-free plastic. Some are even made of food-safe silicone that is heat resistant. The purpose of these covers is to contain the heat and moisture of the food creating a steamy environment that enhances the cooking process. A microwave cover also helps with even heat distribution.
Pro tip: Always be sure to check that your plastic microwave covers specifically say they are microwave-safe and BPA-free!
Different Types of Microwave Splatter Covers: Materials and Designs
Microwave covers come in different materials and designs, giving users flexibility in finding one that fits their preferences and budget.
Common materials include:
There are a variety of different designs and styles available for a microwave cover and some of the more popular ones have magnets on top to store them on the inside ceiling of the microwave.
Our favorite design is the collapsible silicone with a glass top as it is more stylish than plastic covers and has less risk of chemicals leaching into your food.
The Safety of Microwave-Safe Plastics: BPA, Phthalates, and Other Concerns
One of the concerns with most microwave covers is the safety of the materials used. Many people are really concerned about plastic specifically, and the most common question we get asked is "Are plastic microwave covers safe?"
BPA and phthalates are examples of chemicals commonly found in plastics that have raised concerns about their risks to your health. Most microwave-safe plastics used are free from these chemicals or have them in limited amounts, making them safe for use.
A plastic cover will be much safer for you than using a plastic wrap as the wrap may touch the food and cause leaching. The plastic wrap will also hold in more steam increasing your risk of burns when you unwrap it as well.
If either the plastic microwave cover or the wrap says it is microwave safe they have to follow express guidelines from the FDA to ensure your food in the microwave is safe.
Health Implications: Can Microwave Food Covers Affect Your Food?
Microwave covers have been tested thoroughly and so long as they are labeled safe for the microwave shouldn't be cause for any health concern. Research indicates that microwave covers do not significantly affect food quality or safety, provided they are used and maintained properly.
If you are still concerned about their use, you can try using a paper towel or a glass cover for your food. There is no better feeling than having peace of mind about food safety, so do what is best for your situation and comfort level.
Cleaning and Maintenance: Ensuring Your Splatter Cover Remains Safe to Use
The best way to make sure your food cover is safe to use is to ensure it is clean and sanitized.
- Clean it after each use
- Keep it away from open flames and excessive heat
- Check it for any cracks or warping
- Always read the instructions for safe usage
- Check if it is dishwasher safe, if not hand wash it
By following these tips you will be sure your microwave will be safe to heat food in the microwave.
Proper Usage Guidelines: Tips for Safely Using Microwave Splatter Covers
To ensure the safety and functionality of your microwave splatter covers, follow these simple guidelines:
- Avoid using covers that are damaged or have cracks.
- Ensure that the food is covered entirely, leaving no gaps where steam can escape.
- Place the cover adequately atop the container, leaving a small gap at one corner to let steam escape if it doesn't have venting.
- Avoid using metal splatter covers, as they can cause arcing and fires inside the microwave.
Alternatives to Microwave Splatter Covers: Weighing the Pros and Cons
If you're not comfortable using microwave splatter covers, some alternatives you can consider include:
- Microwavable dishes with built-in lids
- Paper towels
- Wax paper
- Coffee filters flipped upside down
However, these alternatives may not be as effective as microwave covers in containing splatters and steam.
Expert Opinions: What Health and Safety Authorities Say About Microwave Splatter Covers
Major health and safety authorities, including the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has approved the use of microwave-safe plastics in food containers and splatter covers. Provided they meet specific safety standards.
To learn more about FDA guidelines and safety recommendations feel free to preview their website.
So long as you cover your food with an item that has met rigorous safety standards you shouldn't have anything to worry about. (Well, you still have to worry about the food tasting good but that's all on you!)
Choosing the Right Microwave Splatter Cover for Your Home
Now that you understand more about microwave splatter covers' safety and functionality, you can make an informed decision when choosing the right one for your home. Ensure that you choose one that's microwave-safe, made of food-grade materials, and has adequate coverage for your plates or bowls.
If you want to check out the best microwave cover read our article on the best microwave covers to keep your microwave clean. And of course, if you have a dirty microwave because you haven't made your purchase yet, check out our guide on properly cleaning microwave ovens!
Microwave covers are an excellent addition to any home. They provide a convenient solution to food spraying during heating. While there may be concerns over the safety of materials used in making them, most microwave-safe plastics are free from harmful chemicals and are safe for use. Remember to follow the guidelines provided when using and maintaining your microwave splatter covers to ensure their longevity. Happy cooking!