Several people have asked how they can heat dinner plates in a microwave as suggest in my recipes. So here is the why and how.
When I started cooking my meals were always a bit cold. This was partially due to my inability to get every component completed at the same time but also because the plates were very cold when taken out of the cupboard.
One day I noticed that underneath my dinner plate it said microwave safe. (I later learnt that this message should perhaps have added “with food or liquid on”). Anyway, I just heated the plate in the microwave without any food or liquid and it worked. I kept it to 2 minutes on full heat. This makes the plate slightly too hot to hold but not scalding hot which worked for me. I do this for nearly every dinner that I cook. I subsequently discovered that several of my friends also use this technique and so do a couple of restaurants. Apparently this is the only thing that John ever uses his microwave for. Hmmm…
I also saw that Lakeland sell microwave plate warmers to spread the heat more evenly between several plates which retains heat longer when moved onto a table mat.
What do the experts say?
There are some negative views on Google and from microwave manufacturers that heating a dinner plate without food or liquid in the microwave will shorten the life of the microwave but I couldn’t find any evidence. One suggested compromise was to put a “microwave safe” lidded plastic cup of water on top of the plate in the microwave. The downside is that the plate will not get as hot and you need to be careful with the resulting boiling hot water. It didn’t seem to be a good option to me.
The inevitable – However
If a plate does not say microwave safe on the bottom you need to be a bit more careful. Any plates with metal decoration, unglazed ceramics or damaged plates must not be used in a microwave. Fortunately the majority of everyday dinner plates that I’ve looked at in stores state that they are microwave safe so I stick with using them and I have never had a problem when I heat dinner plates in a microwave.
Please let me know about your experiences.