Microwave is one of the most used appliances in a kitchen. However, despite its massive use, most of us still do not know what utensils are best to use with a microwave.
Some commonly used utensils are plastic, oven grade paper, Styrofoam, oven grade ceramics, metallic containers, silicon, etc. But out of these, Silicon utensils are one of the most frequently used in kitchens.
Therefore, it is not irrational to ask the question, “Is silicone safe to use in the microwave?” This question would arise in the mind of every person who uses silicone utensils in the kitchen.
And of course, the answer is yes; it’s always been yes. But now that it is known that silicon is safe in the microwave, another question takes birth here, which is “Why is silicon safe to use in the microwave.”
Don’t worry; we have the answer to this question. So please keep reading, and we assure you that you won’t lament.
Things to Know Before Using Silicon In Microwave:
Silicon is one of the most valued and valuable elements to humankind. Mainly it is used to make alloys. These are used to make dynamo and transformer plates, engine blocks, cylinder heads and machine tools, transistors, solar cells, rectifiers, microchips, and deoxidize steel.
Silicon forms other valuable compounds. For example, silicon carbide (SIC) is nearly as hard as diamond and is used as a polishing agent.
Silicon is used considerably as a semiconductor in solid-state devices in the computer and microelectronics industries. For this purpose, hyper-pure silicon is needed.
The fundamental properties of silicon are also quite fascinating. The specific heat capacity of silicon is 712 J kg−1 K−1. Its melting point (MP) is 2577°F, and its boiling point is 5909 °F.
Silicon has low thermal conductivity, which means it doesn’t transmit heat as quickly as other materials. This high thermal (heat) resistance can also be regarded as low thermal conductivity.
It has thermal stability, or the ability to keep its properties and structure throughout a broad range of temperatures, in addition to just resisting heat. This heat resistance is primarily due to silicon’s chemical structure, which is highly stable.
It has a spine composed of strongly bonded repeating units of siloxane bonds (alternating silicon and oxygen atoms).
The heat-resisting property of silicon is partly due to its highly stable structure. In addition, the spiral shape of silicon molecules, along with low amounts of tension between molecules, provides excellent cold and heat temperature resilience.
Several of the other qualities of silicon are due to these characteristics of the chemical structure. Silicone products may safely work in temperatures ranging from well below freezing to well over 200°C due to these qualities.
Given this and its other attributes, it’s no surprise that silicon is utilized for so many different things.
It is Good to be Cautious While Using Silicon in Microwave:
You can see that these features that we discussed above make silicone ( a polymer of silicon) very safe for use inside a microwave. But still, it is essential to take some precautions.
As it is evident throughout the era of research that everything has a dark side. And if certain conditions are not met, then it could cause problems. For example, a swimming pool is a perfect place for swimming exercises, but if somebody doesn’t know how to swim, it’s deadly for them.
In the same way, people should know that the high-temperature limit for silicone (a polymer of silicon) is between 400° F to 450° F (about 204 to 232 degrees).
Therefore, it’s essential to make sure that the temperature of the microwave doesn’t exceed 200 degrees.
If you are using a conventional microwave, you do not need to worry because its temperature reaches only 212°F (100°C) when set on high.
Nonetheless, you should think carefully about using silicone in microwaves with a heating element, such as a microwave with a grilling element. Some microwaves allow you to set the highest temperature between 225 and 450 degrees.
You’ll need to refer to the user manual for a specific temperature range, and you shouldn’t overheat silicone. Secondly, make sure the silicone bowl or plate you’re using is made correctly and is food-safe. If not, then there’s no way to know if it’ll endure the heat and won’t leach dangerous compounds.
Therefore, when you’re on the market selecting silicone molds, plates, or bowls, always look for the “microwave-safe” label.
Long story short, silicon is safe to use in the microwave because of its elemental stability, high thermal resistivity, toughness, and high melting point. It can resist the high temperature of a microwave. Therefore, it is a very popular utensil to use inside a microwave.