March 19

Can you Microwave Ziploc Bags? Stick to the Brand-Name

Written by: Jane Sofia

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The microwave; a marvel of modern engineering. In just a few minutes, it will reheat your leftovers, or pop a bag of delicious buttery popcorn to perfection. 

But is it safe to microwave food that's in a plastic Ziploc bag?

We are here to give you the answers for all your microwaving questions, including if it is safe to throw those baggie leftovers in for a quick reheat. 

Let's take a look. 

Are Ziploc bags microwave safe?

small-microwave-in-kitchen

Here's the short answer: yes. For at least the two scenarios mentioned – reheating food and defrosting. For these simple and common uses, Ziploc guarantees that its products are up to snuff.


Is it safe to reheat food in a Ziploc bag?

Yes. As stated, this is one of the approved uses of Ziploc in the microwave.


Are Ziploc Freezer bags Microwave-Safe?

ziploc-freezer-bag

Yes, Ziploc freezer bags are safe, as are all Ziploc products, for the uses specified.


Are 'Great Value Bags' Microwave Safe?

"Great Value," the Walmart brand, makes its own plastic bags. Are these, and other non-Ziploc bags, safe in the microwave?

The unfortunate answer is that it completely depends on the brand. Only those plastics which have been approved by the FDA should be used in the microwave.

All other plastics – possibly including some take-out containers – have the potential to release toxic chemicals when heated.

Here are some tips for telling if a plastic is safe. But as for "Great Value"... given the brand's history...maybe stick with Ziploc.


How Long Can You Microwave A Ziploc Bag?

clock

In general, you should microwave a Ziploc bag no longer than one minute at full power.


Temperature Limits of Ziploc Bags

Ziploc bags will actually melt at a temperature of around 428°F. Fortunately, however, most microwaves don't heat food above 500 degrees.

So, as long as you're not cooking something for an extended period of time in a Ziploc bag, it should be safe.


Do's and Don't of Microwaving Ziplocs

ziploc-hotdogs

As stated, Ziploc brand bags are safe for defrosting or reheating food. However, they should not be used to actually cook food for the first time.

Likewise, it's not a good idea to try to bring something to a boil inside of a Ziplock bag.


Are Ziploc Bags BPA Free?

While not all Ziploc bags are BPA free, there are options that are. For those who are especially safety-conscious, Ziploc offers BPA-free products – from plastic bags and beyond.

What's the big deal about BPA anyway? BPA is a controversial chemical which has been linked to a number of health concerns, from cancer to obesity.

It's found in a lot of common plastics, so it's worth looking for BPA-free alternatives when possible.


Are plastic bags (in general) microwave-safe?

plastic-bags

In general, it's a good idea to be aware of the potential dangers that come with microwaving plastics. Not all plastics are equal.

But as long as you're using a microwavable baggie from a reputable company like Ziploc, you should be safe.


What are Ziploc bags made of?

The chemical composition of Ziploc bags is polyethylene terephthalate, or PET. This is a type of plastic that is often used in food packaging because it doesn't leach chemicals into food.

PET bags keep consumers safer when storing or reheating food.


Are Ziploc Containers Microwave Safe?

ziplock-tupperware

Ziploc ensures that all of its products are microwave-safe. This includes Ziplock containers. However, make sure that the container is labelled as microwave-safe – which it should be.


Tips for using a Ziploc in the Microwave

bag-with-veggies

The best way to reheat food in a Ziploc bag in the microwave is to place the food in the baggie, then pierce a few holes in it. This will help to vent the steam and prevent the bag from bursting.

Alternatively, you can remove as much air from the bag as possible before microwaving.

When microwaving something in a plastic bag, you may want to use a power level setting less than full power. This will ensure that food reheats more gradually and evenly.

However, as long as you're using the microwave just to reheat and not cook your food, safely shouldn't be a concern.


Conclusion

Of course, what started as a simple question – "Can I microwave plastic bags?" – got very complicated. However, don't despair.

A lot of plastic bag manufacturers know that one of the principal uses of their products is to reheat or defrost food. So if that's your goal, and you're using a reputable brand, you're most likely good to go.

Just don't try to boil water in them.

Let us know if you have any further questions or concerns...we are here to help.

Jane Sofia


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About the author

Jane Sofia Struthers is a self-taught vegan chef who’s always terrorizing kitchens of one continent or another. When she’s not culturing her own soy milk yogurts in the oven, she’s either cooking plant-based goodies for her Couch-surfing hosts or on the lookout for more delectable, animal-free goodies.

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