Is Corelle Microwave Safe? (Find Out Now!)

Matthew Mountain
by Matthew Mountain

If you’ve been to a holiday meal recently, you may have seen some Corelle dishes. These are sold throughout the world, and one recent study estimated that Corelle dishes can be found in more than 50 percent of American households these days.

Corelle dishes are uniquely designed and featuring recognizable patterns, and they’re also quite durable; if you drop a Corelle dish, even from a decent height, it’s quite likely the dish won’t break.

Corelle dishes certainly have a lot of good qualities, but are they microwave-safe? Such is the question this article answers. Additional questions relating to Corelle dishes will be answered as well.

Yes, Corelle dishes are microwave-safe, but you need to be careful when you’re putting Corelle in the microwave. They can withstand heat of 375°F, but if they’re cold when they go in the microwave, breakage may be the result. Corelle dishes are durable, but this doesn’t mean they’re impervious. In most cases, heat is what destroys a Corelle dish.

Corelle Dishes Background

The main component in Corelle is Vitrelle, a glass laminate that’s comprised of three glass layers that are thermally bonded. According to Corelle Corner, a forum where Corelle enthusiasts share their ideas, it says:

“The two kinds of glass possess different coefficients of thermal expansion. This mismatch means that the outer two layers are in compression (pushing) and the core layer is in a state of tension (pulling), with the stresses delicately balanced with each other. This enables a glass-laminate to resist damage from impacts that might break ordinary glass of a similar thickness.”

No wonder Corelle dishes are so damage-resistant. But is putting a Corelle dish in the microwave safe? Let’s get into this, shall we?

Putting Corelle Dishes in the Microwave

Generally speaking, Corelle dishes can go in the microwave. They can withstand heat up to 350°F, but if you’re going to be heating food on a Corelle dish, you should heat for as little time as possible. You shouldn’t heat an empty Corelle dish in the microwave, and you should avoid heating things that may stain the dish permanently.

There’s more to consider before putting a piece of Corelle in the microwave, as you’ll need to be extra careful when doing this; damaging Corelle will likely warrant a costly replacement. Below, some specific Corelle items will be discussed in the context of microwave usage.

Corelle Mugs

Most Corelle mugs are constructed using stoneware and porcelain. Generally speaking, these mugs are microwave-safe, but again microwaving an empty mug should be avoided.

You should also be careful when leaving a Corelle mug in the dishwasher or sink. These mugs are made of porous materials, so they’ll become brittle if they’re exposed to too much water or excessive humidity. You should also avoid putting wet stoneware in the microwave, as doing so may not only damage the mug but the microwave as well.

Corelle Plates & Bowls

It’s normal for any dish to get hot in the microwave—after all this device’s sole purpose is heating. But Corelle dishes may heat quicker than other dishes, and this is especially true when it comes to empty plates and bowls.

If your dishes heat too quickly, they can shatter. For this reason, if you want to warm a plate before serving a meal, you should stick to using the oven (if this is available to you). Otherwise, if you have to rely on the microwave, you just have to be careful.

And it’s not just empty dishes that you have to keep an eye out for. If you’re putting a Corelle plate or bowl in the microwave—and it doesn’t have a lot of food or liquid—then the same negative result can happen. For this reason, you should only use Corelle when it’s full or half-full.

You can also heat in small increments to be careful. Do so on low-power as an extra measure to avoid overheating. Moreover, you can use a small tea or bread plate if you need to heat appetizers or desserts.

From Refrigerator to Microwave: Can Corelle Handle the Transition?

If you take a Corelle dish out of the refrigerator, you shouldn’t put it in the microwave immediately. You should only put the dish in the microwave when it’s no longer cold. Since Corelle is sensitive to extreme temperature change, cracking and even shattering can occur when a dish goes from cold to hot too quickly.

To avoid this situation, you could get Corelle dishes that are made of pyrex, as these handle temperature changes better. Corelle makes some of its bowls out of this material, and this means you can take a Corelle bowl out of the freezer and microwave it immediately; just make sure the bowl is not empty!

Microwaving Old Corelle Dishes

Corelle dishes have been around since the 70s, and these days you’ll still find these in a lot of American homes. For the most part, the old dishes use the same materials that the new dishes use, so you don’t have to worry about microwaving something old; it’ll abide by the same rules that go for microwaving a new piece of dinnerware.

The materials that have changed are what they used for printing the designs. For this reason, you may not want to use old Corelle, as it may only be for decoration. Corelle says that all of its products, regardless of age, are microwave-safe.

There have, however, been concerns about paint deterioration over the years. This is why companies are now moving away from using led in cookware; they stopped using it in dinnerware and silverware decades ago. While Corelle still insists that its products didn’t contain a high amount of led, there was concern in the mid-2000s about led exposure being linked to Corelle.

Is Corelle Oven-Safe?

Corelle can go in the oven, but here again, the limit is 350°F. You should also avoid putting Corelle on a broiler or stovetop. Additionally, Corelle should stay out of the toaster oven, unless the toaster is one that can be accurately set digitally.

Warming up Corelle in the oven should be preferred over using the microwave. That’s because an oven will take longer to heat, and this way there won’t be an extreme temperature change.

If you wish to bake something at a higher temperature, then you should use CorningWare instead of Corelle. This is similar, but there are some ceramic components, and these make the CorningWare more resistant to high heat. Corelle, on the other hand, is all-glass.

Cleaning Corelle Dishes

While this point isn’t related to microwaves, it’s an important one to consider when you have Corelle dishes to keep track of. Cleaning these by hand can be somewhat difficult, especially when you have to clean in between the ridges these plates often feature.

The ridges are a part of the plate’s design, and usually one needs a toothbrush to remove food particles and other things that have gotten wedged in between the ridges. Cleaning in this way can be tedious, and such often discourages individuals from purchasing Corelle dishes.

And even though hand-washing can be a pain, you need to refrain from using the dishwasher to wash Corelle dishes. The dishwasher could become too hot and damage the Corelle dishes. The paint will definitely get affected in this instance.

Matthew Mountain
Matthew Mountain

Matt loves everything DIY. He has been learning and practicing different trades since he was a kid, and he's often the first one called when a friend or family member needs a helping hand at home. Matt loves to work with wood and stone, and landscaping is by far his most favorite pastime.

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