By Fred Decker

Popping foods into your microwave to reheat quickly is a great convenience, but you need to be careful about the plate or container that you use. One of the most convenient options is a paper plate. Dry foods can be heated directly on the plate, and placing a paper plate under your store-bought microwaveable meals can make them easier and safer to handle once they're heated.

Paper plates in wicker baskets at an evening picnic
credit: ErikaMitchell/iStock/Getty Images
Paper plates on woven plate holders

The Joys of Paper

In many ways, paper is a nearly-ideal material for use in the microwave. It won't become painfully hot, as glass and many ceramics will, and it won't melt as plastic sometimes can. It also won't cause the alarming pyrotechnics that can result from your absent-mindedly putting metal in the microwave. Choose plain paper plates for microwave use, rather than dyed or patterned versions. Although the plates themselves are microwave-safe, that isn't always true of the dyes and inks used on printed plates.