Even though they’re known to be fragile, bone china is actually the most durable and strongest ceramic dinnerware of its kind. On top of being dishwasher-safe (unless it includes metal on it like metallic banding), it can go several rounds inside the microwave while remaining cool all the way.
So does bone china get hot in the microwave? The simple answer is no. Stoneware, porcelain, and bone chinaware don’t heat up inside the microwave oven. They instead heat up due to the conduction from the food cooked on or inside them.
Want to know more? Keep on reading.
Is Bone Chinaware Safe for Microwave Usage?
Bone china, like porcelain, can be used daily for microwave usage. It lasts a lot longer than even microwaveable plastic, which has a certain amount of microwaving before it cannot be used for that purpose any longer.
This is also the reason why they’re used for both formal dining occasions on an occasional basis as well as daily for everyday eating of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They’re quite the versatile dinnerware that makes them all microwave-safe as well as dishwasher-safe.
The exception to this rule of thumb is bone chinaware with metallic bands or handles. You can’t use this china type because metal causes arcing and sparks to happen inside your microwave when they make contact with micro radio waves.
Aside from that, pure white bone china patterns are microwave-safe and oven-safe.
Can China Go Inside the Microwave Safely or Can They Get Damaged by the Appliance?
Bone china doesn’t heat up easily inside the microwave oven or even a conventional oven. However, it should still be taken care of. Obviously, you shouldn’t go accidentally dropping it. Even hairline cracks on its surface can turn into big cracks when heat and pressure is applied to it.
Furthermore, the food it holds can make it heat up even though microwave radio waves won’t. To increase the durability and longevity of these plates and bowls, avoid sudden changes in temperature. Don’t superheat your food then take it out immediately to room temperature.
The stress from sudden temperature changes will take its toll on your chinaware for sure. Allow your china to cool down gradually inside the oven before taking it out from the inside.
Further reading: What Can You Put in a Microwave?
How Safe is Bone China When Used with a Microwave?
Make sure the tableware or dinnerware patterns on your brand of bone china don’t contain metal so that they can be safely used with your oven. This includes any decoration made from platinum, silver, or gold. Those should absolutely not be placed in your microwave.
It’s the same way you shouldn’t place silverware utensils like knives, forks, and spoons into your microwave oven for safety purposes. Even tiny amounts of metal can absorb intense heat that will damage the precious metal.
It could also cause arcing, sparks, and fire from the food you’re microwaving. There are ways to microwave metals like aluminum or packages with metal trim, but it’s best to err on the side of caution and simply avoid metal microwaving as much as possible.
When Is Bone China Considered Non-Microwaveable?
Some bone china shouldn’t be used with microwaves, ovens, or freezers. These are typically the ones with thin material that break easily. Another way to make sure your bone china is safe for microwaving is to make sure the back stamp indicates as such.
Therefore, bone china is typically considered non-microwaveable if its back stamp doesn’t say it’s microwaveable and if its patterns or decorations contain any percentage of metal on it, be it gold, silver, or platinum.
The non-fragile, microwaveable bone china with back stamps ensuring it can be microwaved also tends to be quite durable as dinnerware and dishwasher-safe to boot. They represent perfectly why bone china is considered the strongest ceramic out there.
Can You Wash Bone China in the Dishwasher?
If your bone chinaware indicates it is dishwasher-safe then you can rest assured you can wash it in an automatic dishwasher. However, don’t forget to do the following guidelines.
First, load the dishwasher so that the pieces don’t come into contact with one another. This avoids scratching risk. Moreover, don’t overload your dishwasher with plates. Use only “China Crystal”, “Short Wash”, or “Gentle” cycle wash as well.
Metallic banding on chinaware also means they’re not dishwasher-safe as well as not microwave-safe. In turn, a microwave-safe bone china is likely dishwasher-safe as well.
What Can’t You Put Inside the Microwave?
There are more than a few things linked to food and dishes that should never be put inside the microwave oven. They include the following.
- Paper bags
- Travel mugs
- Hot peppers
- Aluminum foil
- Hardboiled eggs
- Your favorite shirt
- Styrofoam containers
- Plastic bags and containers
- Silverware utensils like knives, forks, and spoons
The safe way to microwave with metal like aluminum foil (as found in hot pockets) is to prevent the foil from touching the metal walls of the microwave. There should be a distance of about 2 centimeters or an inch away from metal to metal contact.
Is Stainless Steel Microwave-Safe? How About Plastic?
If your mug or utensil is stainless steel, don’t microwave it. The steel blocks the radiowaves from warming your coffee or tea. The deflected microwaves can damage your microwave oven for good measure.
Expect sparks to fly and your reheated food to become a fire hazard when nuking metal. Additionally, if you have a fire inside your microwave oven, you risk destroying the inside of the oven itself. Superheated metal is bad news.
Regarding plastic, as a rule of thumb, all plastic shouldn’t be microwaved unless they’re stated to be microwave-safe. Furthermore, even microwave-safe plastic has limits to how long you can microwave them. If they’re damaged or cracked, they’re no longer microwave-safe regardless of labels.
At the End of the Day
Most china, glass, porcelain, and ceramic dinnerware proves to be safe for use with the microwave oven. They’re only considered non-microwaveable if the manufacturer himself says as much. These include dishware that has gold or silver trim on them as well as metal paint.
For the most part, chinaware is microwaveable and can take radiowave bombardments without unnecessarily getting superheated. It will still get hot depending on how hot you get the dish or beverage it contains. Regardless, when all is said and done, it’s confirmed microwave-safe.
- “Quick Answer: Do Porcelain Dishes Get Hot In The Microwave?” ExpandUSCeramics.com, Retrieved March 26, 2021
- “Quick Answer: Can You Microwave Bone China?” ExpandUSCeramics.com, Retrieved March 26, 2021