Quick Answer: Yes, you can microwave Saran Wrap. Heavy-duty plastic wraps are approved for microwave use by the United States Department of Agriculture. There are just a few safety tips to be aware of, which we're going to go over in detail.
Let's get started...
What Is Saran Wrap?
Saran Wrap is a patented plastic food wrap invented by Dow Chemical in 1949. Formerly made from polyvinylidene chloride, Saran Wrap is currently made from polyethylene, and the name is now owned by S.C. Johnson & Son.
This plastic wrap is well known for its ability to cling to a container, making it super easy to cover leftovers.
In common usage, the name Saran Wrap tends to be a catch-all term for plastic food wrap, regardless of brand. Some plastic wraps are more clingy than others, but the differences can be pretty negligible.
Generally speaking, Saran Wrap and heavy-duty plastic wraps for food are safe to put in the microwave.
According to the manufacturer, Saran Cling Plus Wrap and Saran Premium Wrap are microwavable. Other heavy plastic food wraps are considered microwave-safe by the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, though it's recommended that you don't allow the plastic to come in direct contact with your food.
You'll also want to make sure that there's enough space between the cling wrap and the container so that steam can be released.
There's one more thing to be aware of—don't defrost foods with the aid of plastic wrap. Apparently, too high of a temperature in the microwave can actually melt the plastic and transfer chemical toxins.
But don't worry. If you follow these steps, you can definitely microwave your food with a plastic wrap cover.
Want more tips on microwave cooking? Read 5 Best Microwave Toaster Oven Combo Options to Buy.
Different Types of Plastic Wrap
As mentioned earlier, Saran is a brand of plastic wrap, but there are others.
Here are a few:
- Glad Cling Wrap
- Reynolds Kitchens Quick Cut Plastic Wrap
- Kirkland Signature Stretch-Tite Plastic Food Wrap
These are easy to find in the supermarket, and they should all be microwavable. Perhaps the better question is: Are there any non-microwavable plastic wraps?
You're probably not going to find one in the grocery store that isn't microwave-friendly, but you could potentially come across one online (especially if it's not specifically advertised for food purposes).
But if you're buying from the supermarket, you should be fine. These plastic wraps have passed government scrutiny to ensure that they won't melt or break down with proper usage. In case you're worried about plastic chemical leaching, they also pass government safety standards.
Here's the key takeaway: If you're buying standard plastic food wrap from the supermarket, it should be safely microwavable.
How Do You Know If Plastic Wrap Is Microwave Safe or Not?
If it's a heavy plastic food wrap, it should be alright in the microwave per the USDA's recommendations.
But the way to know for sure is to check on the plastic wrap box. It should say something about microwave safety and also provide instructions.
If for some reason you don't see microwave information on the package, check the company website. Calling or emailing the manufacturer can be your last resort as it's the best way to get accurate information.
Labels on Plastic Wrap to Be Aware Of
Look for the "microwave safe" label on Saran Wrap and any other brand of cling wrap.
It should be located right on the box. Check on the back, bottom and sides for this label, though it should be fairly obvious.
Bonus Safety Tips
- Keep microwave power levels lower when reheating something covered with plastic wrap.
- Try to limit microwave times with plastics in general.
- Always follow the instructions on the plastic wrap box as the manufacturer will have tested for the safest microwave methods.