The issue of microwaving zip-loc bags has been a heated debate for years. The answer to this question is not as black and white as people may think. One thing that everyone agrees on, however, is that there are some safety precautions you should take before putting your food in the microwave with a plastic bag in it.
Is it safe to microwave Ziploc bags?
Generally speaking yes Ziploc bags are relatively safe for microwaving.
According to the SCJohnson company, Ziploc bags are constructed using low-density polyethylene plastic (LDPE) and linear low-density poly-ethyl. LDPE and LLDPE plastics are relatively safe for cooking. However, BPA is in plastics called Polycarbonate, not in LDPE.
These Ziploc bags don’t contain BPA because the plastic containing them is free of BPA. The FDA has voted to certify the safety of polyethylene after chemical and thermal testing. It can withstand high temperatures in a typical microwave oven without the danger of melting.
Other plastics may be unsafe because they do not have federal approval for this. If you would like to know more about the safety of Ziploc bags, a good place to start is always the manufacturer’s site or refer to scientific studies on the subject.
Are Ziploc containers microwave safe?
Ziploc bags and containers are made of another plastic that was previously known as polypropylene. Polypropylene has a far higher melting point than polyethylene. If you microwave everything quickly it can change between 175 and 300ºC in minutes.
Never use microwave containers with recycling codes of 3. Only the surfaces outside the boxes are permitted to enter contact with foods. If you alter their surface chemical they could leak into what you eat and make you sick.
The same holds true for containers whose interior has had scratches. Look at the bottom for the wavy line of a microwave-safe sticker.
What does Ziploc say about microwaving their bags?
All Ziploc® brand Containers and microwavable Ziploc® brand Bags meet the safety requirements of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for temperatures associated with defrosting and reheating food in microwave ovens, as well as room, refrigerator and freezer temperatures. – Ziploc
Ziploc bags are free from dioxin and BPA. The Ziploc® brand contains microwavable bags and containers that conform to the health requirements for temperature management used at the defrosting and heating of food.
What are Ziploc bags made of?
Ziplocs and other similar bags made of plastic are usually constructed of two particular types of plastic in a thin clear film. Both kinds have been tested and certified for direct food interaction and drinks use. Those products can withstand cold and reheating periods.
We strongly advise you not to microwave Ziploc or other bags made with polyvinyl chloride. You need to check manufacturers’ websites about the use of plastic bags when using off-brand bags.
Reheating food in Ziploc bag:
Most are labeled microwave safe and they have the FDA approval. Freezing frozen food is perfectly safe. No chemicals will be released into your food. Steam can build up as it’s heated and lead to leakage.
To maintain pressure in the package clean the zipper one inch before opening. If you reheat foods with a high fat or sugar content such as bacon, cheese, and pastries, you’ll need to be very careful. It may cause an explosion.
Cooking in a Ziploc bag over their boiling point temperature can be hazardous to your health, but you can store food safely and more efficiently with them.
A Ziploc bag that has been used to store raw meat needs to be washed very carefully. You can microwave food in Ziploc bags and cook the same way you do in a dish or pan.
When cooking in bags, you have to cut a small hole in the corner and let steam escape. That’s to prevent harmful gases from building up and causing an explosion when it fills with steam.
Things to know before you microwave Ziploc bags:
Ziploc’s patented sealing polymer bags are labeled microwave safe. The company recommends keeping the contents inside the case safe from overheating. Items high in fat or sugar should be microwaved with care because they can heat too much hotter temperatures than a water molecule.
A manufacturer’s instructions say that the dishes must only be reheated or frozen. Cooking is not recommended as plastic tubes can’t withstand the heat required to cook food. Unlock the bag to prevent steam buildup inside. Use care to examine the bag to ensure it doesn’t overheat.
If you open the seal, let the steam escape and then re-close it. Check via a window in a microwave after each minute to see if the food is hot enough before removing it from the microwave “Luke Warm.”
You can use a Ziploc bag to reheat food but only up to a certain temperature. The more you overdo it, the harder it will be for your plastic bag and microwave food container to maintain that substance around molecules. Always reheat foods in their original containers or as directed by the manufacturer’s instructions.
Recommended Reusable Ziploc Bags:
Microwaving Ziploc Bags & Containers FAQ:
Can you microwave Ziploc bags and containers?
Ziplocs are labeled with a seal “microwave-safe”. This Label indicates that the containers have been given FDA safety compliance for temperature settings of reheating food in a microwave oven. This plastic type does not contain BPA.
Research suggests that BPA promotes the formation of cancer cells. The plastic is free from dioxin. Dioxin is often used for many plastic products such as food container fillings and food storage containers.
FDA officials have confirmed that the containers cannot swell under microwave heat a high-speed microwave can handle. These materials are thoroughly evaluated for safety and toxicology.
Don’t have a microwave yet? You can check out our Best Microwave Toaster Combo article to find the perfect microwave for your needs.
How long can you microwave Ziploc bags?
No time is guaranteed by Ziploc Manufacturer to prepare food in Ziploc bags using a microwave. It’s important to keep your food not in boiling heat when it’s in the food. Other containers like bowls and sealing containers are safer for microwave use.
They’re made from different thicker plastic having a higher melting point than bags. To avoid over-heating foods, keep them in another container like a bowl or a sealable plastic container.
How hot can a Ziploc bag get?
Polyethylene is generally softened when heated about 195 degrees Celsius and 90 °C. At this point, a plastic softening signifies the product will begin to melt at the point water boils. Keep food under softening temperature to avoid any problem.
Over its temperature, it can cause the bag of food to fail and cause contamination with plastic, ink, and many chemicals. When warming food in the water close to its melting temperatures, combine two Ziploc bags because heat allows for opening the bag at the seams and water into the food.
Is boiling a Ziploc bag safe?
The boiling of a Ziploc bag is dangerous. The pressure in water is 212 Fahrenheit. This is above the boiling point of the bag and results in it melting.
Alternately if you have a vacuum sealer and the proper bags you can try a technique referred to as “sous-vide” which means under vacuum. It is used to cook food by immersing it in a hot water bath. The temperature of the cooking process does not exceed 100 degrees Celsius due to the vacuum seal applied.
Are Ziploc bags BPA free?
Bisphenol A is believed to promote the growth of different types of prostate cancer cells. BPA can be found in the manufacture of many plastic products such as food can liners milk boxes packaging food containers and water supply tubes. SC Johnson Ziploc bags and containers contain no BPA
Are Ziploc bags Dioxin free?
Only when extremely high temperatures occur (such as about 2000 F) do dioxins form. The best microwaves have never reached this temperature. Even under a temperature of 1500 F (theoretically), Ziploc products are 100% dioxin-free.
Even though it is safe to microwave Ziploc bags they have some useful instructions on their label. Covered food is reheating much more efficiently because in a microwave cooking or drying method using a food cover is easier by spreading the hot heat around the food uniformly.
If you want to ask yourself whether or not heat plastic is safe to use switch the materials to glass or ceramic. There are materials that are better lasting like ceramics or glass which generally have better protection.