IKEA is mostly known for its DIY furniture you’re supposed to assemble yourself. Otherwise, you’ll have to hire someone to do it for you. However, what about the bowls they sell? Are they microwave-safe or not?
Let’s say your office is looking for affordable bowls, plates, and cutlery with reusable items. You check out IKEA because of their reputation for selling such things along with delicious Swedish meatballs and assemble-yourself furniture.
They have undoubtedly appealing prices but can you microwave a bowl bought from the IKEA store or not?
Are IKEA Bowls Microwave-Safe?
IKEA claims their bowls mostly have properties of being microwave-safe and dishwasher-safe, particularly those made of ceramic. However, some of them might not be as microwave-safe. They might easily heat up inside such an oven.
You should test them to make sure they feature microwave-safeness. Some lines, such as the SYNTES line can get quite hot after microwaving. Test the bowl and dishes such as MOTTO in order to see how microwave save a given IKEA bowl set is.
Watch Out for Thermal Shock
If your IKEA bowl, like the MOTTO or FÄRGRIK pieces and the like, heats up to uncomfortable or unsafe temperatures when microwaved, then they’re microwave-unsafe even if they’re made of ceramic instead of plastic (which could leach off toxic chemicals like BPA).
Thermal shock happens when a super-hot ceramic bowl suddenly turns cold, which then induces cracks or breakage from the surface. A microwave-unsafe bowl is more susceptible to thermal shock after microwaving.
Take Note of the Bowl’s Purpose
A glass or Pyrex ovenware or microwave-safe ceramic will most likely not succumb to thermal shock or heat up faster than your food. Most bowls that come part of an IKEA dinnerware set tend to not be as microwave-safe as, for example, a coordinated bakeware set or a specifically microwave-safe set.
IKEA makes bowls or ceramic sets in accordance to a singular purpose. To make sure you end up with a microwave-safe bowl, check the label on the packaging or the specs when ordering online. The bowl or plate should have an indicator of microwave-safeness.
Why are Some IKEA Bowls Microwave-Safe and Others Not?
Just because an item is made of ceramic, it doesn’t mean it’s microwave-safe. Some ceramic bowls have terrible thermal resistance, which means they can easily go hot or go cold depending on the temperature of the food they’re housing.
Most people believe that if something is ceramic it’s automatically oven-safe or microwave-safe. This doesn’t follow, especially if there’s no “microwave-safe” label at the bottom. It’s just less likely to melt or leach off BPA compared to plastic containers.
Which Bowls Tend to Get Hot Easily?
You may risk breaking such dishes after heating them up in the microwave and suddenly putting them in the sink for washing. Even IKEA bowls might vary in terms of microwave-safeness even though in general the company promises microwave-safe bowls across the board.
It mostly depends on bowl thickness, the grade of ceramic used, and whether or not it’s porous stoneware with moisture inside—water that the microwave can heat up rather rapidly.
The Earmarks of a Microwave-Unsafe Bowl
The worst and most unsafe bowls absorb microwave energy more than the food would, thus they can get really hot while the food itself remains stone cold. It depends on the IKEA product.
We’ve seen that the ones IKEA recommends for microwave oven use tend to work best. Just don’t conclude that because a bowl is composed of ceramic, this means that you can microwave it safely. It doesn’t necessarily follow.
Not All-Ceramic Bowls are Made for Microwaves
Some ceramic bowls of certain thickness or quality of material work well enough for their purpose. IKEA soup bowls at lunch or cereal glass bowls for breakfast work for their intended use. They might not necessarily work when it comes to heating or reheating food though.
Look for ceramic bowls with the microwave-safe label or IKEA reassurance of microwave-safeness in the packaging instead of concluding that all of them can take a microwaving session or two.
You may also like: So, Does Ceramic Get Hot in the Microwave or Not?
The Stoneware Ones Can Get Really Hot
IKEA stoneware could absorb moisture after washing, which doesn’t easily evaporate. This could lead to it heating up faster than even your food when microwaved, thus you should use IKEA bowls made of microwave-safe and thick ceramic.
The hot plate couldn’t cook your cold food as fast as a microwave-safe plate that allows all the radiation to go into the food rather than itself.
How to Tell If an IKEA Bowl is Microwave-Safe?
Do the following to be absolutely sure of the microwave-safeness of your bowl bought from IKEA.
Examine the Dish
Turn the dish over and check the label, Mommy or Daddy. That is your best bet. Some might not have the microwave-safe label and still end up usable with a microwave, but the truly microwave-safe ones have both no ability to absorb the radiation and can resist the hotness of the food at the same time.
Turn Up the Head
Do the microwave test. Set your oven at its highest power setting—usually 1 kilowatt—and then put a glass of water on the bowl. You can even add ice cubes on the water. Usually, the default setting has the highest power level.
Some remove the cubes and just leave the ice water while others let the ice water have the cubes. Long story short, microwave the glass of water with your IKEA bowl until the cold water starts boiling.
Just Add Water
You glass of water could be a mug of water, a cup of water, or a measuring cup of water to be as exact as possible. Regardless, you’re testing whether the bowl or the cup of water gets hot first. You can microwave to boiling or just microwave for two minutes then check the temperature of both.
The worst result is a cold cup of water and a super hot bowl. The best result involves a cold bowl and a hot cup of water, thus proving the microwave ray transparency of the bowl.
Expectations and Realities
IKEA sells multiple types of bowls. Most of them are microwave-safe and dishwasher-safe. They don’t have any lead or cadmium inside them. It depends on the material used to make the bowls. Most of them are made of ceramic. Others are made of glass.
If you’re talking about IKEA plastic bowls, look for a microwave-safe label on it. Otherwise, it might not be BPA-free and it could leach off unto whatever food or soup you’re microwaving.
- Faith Durand, “Good Question: Are IKEA’s MOTTO Dishes Safe For Use In the Microwave?“, TheKitchn.com, June 10, 2008
- “Guide: How to Tell if Something is Microwave Safe“, CBS7.com, November 18, 2015
- “How to Tell If Something Is Microwave Safe“, Overstock.com, Retrieved December 7, 2021