No, Never. How can you put plastic in the oven? Plastics start melting at as low a temperature of 76°C, which is the lowest temperature of an oven. If you do, you will have a mess of melty plastic or your oven will catch fire. Be careful!. They do not make plastics of the oven or fireproof materials. You can do a lot with plastics but not cook in plastic containers.
However, there are some plastic containers, safe in the microwave oven but not safe in an oven. These do not tolerate high heat. If we explore the reason what plastics are, you will know why not to use plastics in the oven.
What Are Plastics Made of?
In our everyday life, we use plastic in many forms. Plastic materials are in home utensils, in cookware, plates spoons, dishes, preserving bowls, and even in cars, appliances, and anything. Many glass and ceramic items have been a replacement by plastic. However, did you ever try to find out what they use, to make plastic?
Plastics are man-made, the material is a derivative from cellulose, natural gas, coal, and crude oil. The process of polymerization and condensation. Plastics are therefore organic polymers of high molecular weight comprising many elements such as hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, chlorine sulfur, and silicone.
With the use of chemicals and molds, the plastic is shaped into different products. In modern days, plastics are also derivative of fossil fuel-based chemicals such as natural gas or petroleum. More recently, renewable materials such as the application of cotton derivatives for making plastics for industrial application.
Types of Plastics
Based on the composition and the manufacturing process, there are 7 types of plastic
- Polyethylene Terephthalate (PETE or PET)
- Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
- High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
- Polystyrene or Styrofoam (PS)
- Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE)
- Polypropylene (PP)
- Miscellaneous plastics (includes: acrylic, polycarbonate, polyacrylamide, styrene, acrylonitrile butadiene, nylon, and fiberglass).
At What Temperature do Plastics Melt?
Of the 7 types of plastics, four of them can tolerate a temperature of 100°C or above. The melting point of plastic is 170°C. The melting point, however, differs with the type of plastic. Some sturdy plastic may not melt up to 300°C. Most ovens have a bottom temperature of 1700. Anything you cook and bake in an oven takes time and would not be safe to use plastic in an oven even at the lowest temperature.
Most plastic kitchenware/dinnerware are made of polyvinyl whose letting point is 175°C. For melamine it is 160°C. Therefore, they are not safe to use in the oven.
What Happens if You Place Plastic in the Oven?
As soon as plastic melts in an oven, there is a huge fume as plastic is flammable. There is a high risk of catching fire.
Removing the mess of melted plastic and the food is a horrendous job. Anyway, you need to cool down the oven and use a brush and detergent. Of course, you need to follow the instructions on the cleaning method.
Can You Use Melamine in an Oven?
Melamine is a kind of plastic that results from organic product melamine and formaldehyde with pressure and heat. The two plastics that make up melamine products are polypropylene and melamine resin. Melamine is a toxic product.
According to the FDA, melamine is safe to have food. However, neither conventional oven nor microwave is safe. There is no way that an electric oven is safe, as the high temperature will melt the melamine dish and damage the oven.
Can You Put Tupperware Inside an Oven?
Tupperware is a product of low-density polyethylene (LDP), a sturdy plastic. Tupperware is safe for food storage.
Tupperware is not all good for cooking in the oven. The heat of the oven results in leakage and melting of the container. Tupperware is also not tolerant to microwaves unless the special kind has a label on it. It can tolerate a temperature of the only 80°C.
What Kind of Plastic is Safe in the Oven?
Research and development have led to the invention of varied kinds of plastic. Although, plastic production is not encouraging to use because most are not biodegradable and some are partly. The convenience is using has led to the inventions.
The Crystallized Polyethylene Terephthalate (CPET) has been developed with crystallization to become resistant to a higher temperature. It does not melt at a temperature of up to 204°C. However, you need to watch that the temperature does not go beyond 200°C, as the CPET material melts and releases a toxin.
It is safer to CPET plastics in microwaves.
It should be clear that plastics are a no, no for ovens. Most plastics are not compatible with the high temperature of the oven. Further, plastics are a combination of synthetic products made through heat and pressure.
The synthetics by themselves are poisonous, which on heating melts out the toxic materials. Some low-grade plastic products are also not safe to expose to low heat when it contains food. Plastic also poses damage to the environment, as most plastics materials are not biodegradable.
Knowing that plastics are you cannot put plastic in the oven, it is better to find alternatives. For oven cooking or baking in an oven. Steel, ceramic, unbreakable glass, or corning ware are excellent in tolerating high temperatures. You may also use a microwave oven with less heat tolerant containers. However, microwave-proof materials do not mean it is oven-safe.
Hope it had been a useful reading.