Is Porcelain Microwave Safe?

As I become environmentally aware, I have been chucking plastic from my kitchen.

I love using my porcelain dinnerware now. 

It is durable and elegant thanks to its smooth white appearance. However, most of my meals are cooked/heated in the microwave. 

If you’re in the same boat as me and wondering whether it’s safe to use Porcelainware in a microwave, this article is for you.

I will also be sharing a few tips on how to use porcelain safely in the microwave.

Porcelain Cookware – A Quick Overview

Porcelain is a type of ceramic material that is made by heating a mixture of clay, kaolin, and feldspar to high temperatures. 

When you think of porcelain, you might picture delicate teacups or beautiful dishware. It’s known for its non-porous, dense, and durable qualities, making it a popular choice for many household items.

The main difference between porcelain and other ceramics lies in the raw materials used and the way they are processed. 

In porcelain making, the clay is mixed with kaolin and feldspar, while other ceramics primarily use just clay. The addition of these materials gives porcelain its distinct characteristics.

To create porcelain, the mixture is heated to very high temperatures, typically between 1200 and 1400 degrees Celsius. 

This firing process causes the materials to fuse together, forming a strong, non-porous, and dense structure. The result is a durable and long-lasting material that can handle everyday use.

Also read: Can You Microwave Aluminum Takeout Containers?

Is Porcelain Cookware Microwave Safe?

Yes, porcelain is generally microwave safe. This is because it is made from ceramic materials like quartz and feldspar. 

These are fired at very high temperatures to make them hard and brittle without melting. 

This process makes porcelain extremely durable against heat or cold damage, so it can handle being placed in the microwave.

Remember that when using your porcelain in the microwave, you should ensure that it doesn’t have any metallic decorations on its surface. 

Porcelain with gold or silver accents should be reserved for serving food rather than reheating it in the microwave. The metal can spark and cause damage to your microwave or your dish.

Also read: Is Melamine Microwave Safe?

What Happens When You Microwave Porcelain?

When you put porcelain in your microwave, the microwaves mostly pass through the porcelain without affecting it. 

This is because porcelain doesn’t contain water, and microwave radiation targets water molecules. Therefore, the porcelain itself won’t get hot in the microwave. 

However, it can become warm or hot as it absorbs heat from the microwaved food or beverage. So, always be careful while handling hot porcelain items in the microwave.

Also read: Can You Microwave Paper Plates?

How to Use Porcelain Safely in the Microwave ?

Let me now tell you how to use your porcelain safely in the microwave. Just follow the tips below and you are good to go:

Avoid Using Porcelain Ware With Metal Decorations In Microwave 

Golden or silver designs might look fancy, but they are definitely not microwave-friendly. 

They can cause sparks or even damage your microwave. If you have such adorned dishes, it’s best to use them only for serving food.

Check for Cracks or Chipping

Inspect your porcelain dish for cracks or chips before placing it in the microwave. 

These imperfections can cause the dish to break or shatter when heated. Make sure the dish is in good condition to avoid any accidents.

Start with Low Temperatures

When using the microwave, start at a lower temperature setting and gradually increase the heat if needed. 

This will help prevent your porcelain from getting too hot and cracking. 

For instance, if you’re warming up a bowl of soup, start at medium heat for a couple of minutes and then assess if more heat is required.

Stir the Food

To evenly distribute the heat, stir the food in your porcelain dish regularly. This helps to prevent hot spots and ensures your meal warms up uniformly. 

When you’re microwaving pasta, for example, pause the microwave every 30 seconds to stir the contents and ensure an even temperature.

Use Microwave-Safe Covers

Finally, use microwave-safe food covers/lids to prevent spills and splatters that could make your porcelain dish slippery or difficult to handle. 

By doing so, you can easily take the dish out of the microwave without any risks.

Also read: Are Mason Jars Microwave Safe?

Why Does Porcelain Heat Up in the Microwave?

When you use your microwave, it generates electromagnetic waves called microwaves. These waves cause water molecules in the food to vibrate and produce heat, which is what cooks your food. 

Porcelain, being a dense and non-porous material, does not contain water, so microwave radiation can pass through it without causing it to heat up significantly. 

However, there are a few things that can cause porcelain to become hot in the microwave.

Firstly, the presence of any metallic decorations on the porcelain dish can cause it to heat up when microwaved. Metals can absorb and reflect microwaves, which leads to the dish becoming hot. 

Another reason porcelain might heat up in the microwave is due to the glaze used on the surface of some dishes. 

Certain glazes can contain materials, such as minerals and metals, that can cause the dish to heat up when microwaved. 

To avoid this issue, look for porcelain dishes that are labeled as microwave-safe. These products are designed not to heat up when used in a microwave.

One thing to remember is that even microwave-safe porcelain dishes might become hot if microwaved for an extended period. 

This is because the heat from the food can be transferred to the dish over time. 

To safeguard both you and your dishes, always handle heated porcelain with caution and use oven mitts or thick towels to protect your hands when removing items from the microwave.

Also read: Is Pyrex Microwave Safe? Do’s and Don’ts!

Pros and Cons of Using Porcelain in the Microwave

Let us discuss the pros and cons of using Porcelain in Microwave.

These will help you make an informed decision and ensure your safety in the kitchen.


  • Porcelain includes materials like quartz and feldspar, which are fired at high temperatures. This allows porcelain to withstand heat and cold damage better than other types of clay dishes.
  • Porcelain distributes heat evenly. This helps you avoid any cold spots or overcooked areas.
  • One of the advantages of microwaving porcelain is that it doesn’t absorb food’s flavors or odors due to its non-porous nature. This makes porcelain an ideal choice for reheating or cooking various dishes, without worrying about taste transfer.
  • Cleaning porcelain dishes used in the microwave is generally a breeze, as they’re non-stick and easy to wash. Plus, porcelain’s smooth surface prevents food from getting stuck or burnt on, making cleanup a breeze.


  • Some porcelain dishes may have metallic decorations or finishes, rendering them unsuitable for microwaves. Metallic elements can cause sparks and pose a fire risk in the microwave. 
  • Porcelain can be prone to chipping or cracking if it’s not properly cared for. Always handle your porcelain dishes with care and avoid any sudden changes in temperature, as this can weaken the material and lead to cracks.
  • Porcelain dishes can become extremely hot when microwaved for an extended period. Handle heated porcelain with caution and use heat-resistant gloves or a cloth to protect your hands.

Here is a quick summary of the Pros and Cons: 

Smooth and non-stick surfaceMetallic decorations unfit for microwaving
Even distribution of heatCan chip or crack if not handled with care. 
Non poros. Does not absorb flavors or odorsPorcelain dishes can become extremely hot 
Smooth and non stick surface

How to Know If a Dish Is Made From Porcelain

Here are a few ways to help you determine if a dish is made of porcelain. 

By checking its weight, appearance, and other characteristics, you’ll be better equipped to make informed decisions about your dinnerware and its potential microwave safety.

First, examine the dish’s weight and texture. Porcelain is typically lighter and thinner than pottery or stoneware. 

If you can hold a pottery plate in one hand and a porcelain plate in the other, you’ll find that the porcelain plate is colder and lighter.

Next, look at the dish’s opacity. Unlike pottery, porcelain is more translucent. To test this, hold the dish up to a light source. 

If light shines through it, there’s a good chance the dish is made of porcelain. On the other hand, pottery is generally thicker and more opaque.

Another helpful tip is to inspect the dish’s glaze and finish. 

Porcelain glaze is typically smoother and glossier than the glaze on pottery. 

This is because porcelain is fired at a higher temperature, which results in a greater durability and nonporous finish.

Lastly, check for a manufacturer’s mark or stamp. Many porcelain dish manufacturers will place a mark on the bottom of the dish.

The mark will include the name of the company, country of origin, or even the specific method of production. 

Also read: Why Do Glass Plate Break in the Microwave?

How to Care for Porcelain Dishware

Here are some simple steps to take proper care of your porcelain dishes.

When washing your porcelain dishware, opt for hand-washing as it is gentler on delicate materials. 

If you prefer using a dishwasher, make sure to use the gentle cycle and load the dishes securely to avoid any damage from shifting during the washing process.

Avoid using abrasive sponges or scrubbers when cleaning your porcelain dishes. Instead, opt for a soft cloth or sponge to protect the surface from scratches. 

It’s important to rinse your dishes thoroughly with warm water to remove any soap residue.

To store your porcelain dishware, make sure not to stack the plates and bowls too high or tightly together. This could cause them to chip or break. 

Instead, invest in plate separators or felt pads to help protect your porcelain dishes while they’re stored.

When handling your porcelain dishes, handle them with care. Gently hold the items by the rims or edges, avoiding any pressure on delicate areas. 

Remember, porcelain is a delicate material, and dropping a dish or even bumping it against another object could cause it to break or chip.

Also read: Can You Use a Microwave Without the Glass Plate (Turntable)

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions: 

Are IKEA Porcelain Bowls Suitable for Microwave Use?

Most IKEA porcelain bowls are suitable for microwave use. Be sure to check the bottom of the bowl for a microwave-safe symbol or label before using it in the microwave. Avoid using any bowls with metallic decorations or cracks, as they may not be safe in the microwave.

For How Long Can You Microwave Porcelain?

The length of time you can microwave porcelain depends on the food or liquid you’re heating. Start by following the recommended microwave times on the food’s packaging, and always keep an eye on the porcelain. It’s essential to monitor the heating process, as every microwave and porcelain piece may have different heating characteristics.

Can I Put a Porcelain Mug in the Microwave?

Yes, you can put a porcelain mug in the microwave, provided it has a microwave-safe label or symbol and does not have any metallic decorations. Make sure the mug is free of cracks before microwaving to avoid any potential breakage.

Is Porcelain Dishwasher Safe?

Porcelain is dishwasher safe. You can place your porcelain items in the dishwasher for easy cleaning. Just be sure not to overload the dishwasher and avoid placing heavy or sharp items near delicate porcelain to prevent damage.

Can I Use Porcelain in the Oven?

Porcelain cookware is generally oven-safe up to a specific temperature, typically around 350°F (177°C). Always check the manufacturer’s guidelines before placing porcelain in the oven, and be cautious of rapid temperature changes, as they can cause the porcelain to crack.

Can Porcelain Break in the Microwave?

While porcelain is microwave-safe, it can break in the microwave if it has cracks or is poorly made. To minimize the risk of breakage, inspect your porcelain items for cracks or faults before microwaving. Avoid using any porcelain that is cracked or seems fragile.


In conclusion, porcelain is a microwave-safe material that can withstand high temperatures without cracking or chipping. 

Using porcelain in your microwave adds an elegant touch to your dining experience. It’s easy to wash, relatively affordable, and mostly reusable.

Remember to check your porcelain dishes for any metallic decorations, as those are not safe to use in the microwave. 

When you use porcelain in your microwave, be aware that it can get hot from the food, so handle it carefully when removing it.

You don’t have to worry about porcelain absorbing the food’s flavors or odors, as it is non-porous. 

Go through the right way of using and caring for the porcelain mentioned above. Enjoy the benefits of using this elegant material in your daily routine!

Other articles you may also like:

I’m Jueria and I am a regular contributor on In my articles, I share time-saving techniques, appliance wizardry, and health-friendly recipes to bring taste and wellness to your table. So raise a glass (or a spatula) with me, to good health and good food, made easy!