Home Life Can you Microwave Paper Towels?

Can you Microwave Paper Towels?

by Stephanie

I microwave paper towels with my cooking all the time. It’s extremely common and pretty safe to use a paper towel to cover food to prevent splatters or to lay food on top of a paper towel.

Can you microwave paper towels? 

The short answer is Yes, for the most part, it’s safe to microwave paper towels, but you need to be careful doing it. Almost all brands are safe to use in the microwave.

But, anything made of paper doesn’t have very much moisture, so they can possibly scorch or burn around the edges when overheated in the microwave. 

Is it safe to microwave paper towels?

Yes, it is perfectly safe to use paper towels in the microwave, just be cautious when doing so.

When is it NOT SAFE to microwave paper towels?

DO NOT MICROWAVE Recycled Paper Towels. Because their exact composition is less consistent and more likely to contain materials that are unsafe to microwave such as tiny bits of plastic, metal, or something else. So, there’s more possibility for melting, sparking, and ultimately fire.

Most paper towel brands are safe to use in the microwave. You should definitely check the packaging and the manufacturer just to make sure your brand of paper towels is safe to microwave.

Bacon cooked in the  microwave on paper towels.

Can a paper towel in microwave catch fire?

There is a chance your paper towel could catch fire in the microwave. It’s recommended when using a dry paper towel in the microwave, to heat in 2-minute increments, checking after each time.

Paper catches fire at around 480ºF and microwaves can make paper towels hotter than that.

Paper towels can catch fire when scrunched up or folded, whereas paper towels laying flat are less likely to catch fire. This is because the microwaves vibrate the water molecules in the food and drink to heat it up, and a folded paper towel can trap that heat, which can lead to fire. But when a paper towel is flat, it loses heat quickly.

Are Bounty paper towels microwave safe?

Bounty paper towels are safe for use in microwaves, but they definitely recommend to not use them in the microwave for an extended amount of heating. 

Why should you put a paper towel over food in microwave?

There are a couple of reasons why putting a paper towel over food make sense.

  • Paper towels are a good way to prevent splatters by preventing the food from bubbling up and splattering all over the inside of the microwave.
  • Keeping a paper towel above the food also is efficient because it can trap the steam and provide an even heating temperature for the food.

Can you use wet paper towels in the microwave?

Using a wet paper towel might be the best choice because it’s far less likely to catch fire. But, it also is a good choice for other reasons.

  • It can stop the paper towel from falling off or blowing off your food due to the pressure from steam.
  • It can help keep your food moist and stop it from drying out.
  • It’s a great way to steam food in the microwave.

How do you steam food in the microwave using paper towels?

I do this all the time with tortillas, tamales, hot dogs, dumplings, veggies, and more food that I can steam.

Wet a paper towel with water and wring it out. Wrap the food in the paper towel and place it in the microwave and heat for the desired amount of time.

This is one of my favorite ways to heat up corn or flour tortillas for enchiladas. It makes steaming so easy and quick to do.

Rolls of paper towels, one on it's side unrolled and two standing up

Tips for Microwaving Paper Towels

  • Not all paper towels are safe to be used in the microwave. Check the manufacturer recommendations in the packaging before using just any paper towel.
  • Always use a flat and unfolded paper towel above the food. Folded paper towels can trap heat and catch fire.
  • Do not use recycled paper towels. Recycled paper products may contain tiny elements of metal or plastic that can melt or cause a fire inside the microwave.
  • Keep the printed side of a paper towel away from the food. This prevents the ink used in the printed paper towel from coming in contact with the food.
  • Wet paper towels are less likely to catch fire and can also steam food in the microwave. Wet a paper towel and wring it out before wrapping it around food such as tortillas, tamales, veggies, and more to steam food in the microwave quickly.

Recipes using Paper Towels in the Microwave

Loved this post? Follow along for more recipes at Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram!

Check out our other blogs:

You may also like

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More