Can You Put a Plastic Cutting Board in the Oven?

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If you’re wondering whether you can put a plastic cutting board in the oven, the answer is definitely “no!”.

Plastic materials in general are highly sensitive to heat. So, it’s best to keep them away from heat, including ovens and microwaves.

Plastic cutting boards can melt or get damaged if exposed to inadequate temperatures for prolonged periods of time. When using plastic cutting boards as trivets, you need to make sure the food isn’t very hot.

For example, putting a cup of coffee onto it or a bowl of soup won’t probably cause any problem. The heat isn’t strong enough to damage plastic’s surface and texture.

But, to keep your plastic cutting boards in one piece, avoid putting them in the oven or microwave.

Slices of red-yellow bell pepper and knife on plastic cutting board

Can You Put Plastic Cutting Board in the Oven?

Plastic cutting boards aren’t designed to be used in the oven, particularly if the temperature is more than the board is made to withstand.

The most common type of plastic used for plastic cutting boards is HDPE (high-density polyethylene). It has a melting point of around 248-284 degrees F; yet, it’s not high enough for the oven.

Considering ovens can heat up to 500 degrees F (and some models even higher), the heat may be too much for the plastic cutting board.

The extreme heat may cause the board to melt and warp.

This also increases the risk of dangerous accidents in the kitchen. Also, the smell being released from melting plastic is very unpleasant and you don’t want this smell to spread in your home!

The plastic may melt all over the oven and it will be hard to remove it once it cools down. You will need to reheat the oven enough to make the plastic softens and you can scrape it off with a scraper.

To cut the risk of this unpleasant situation, it’s best to keep your plastic cutting boards away from the oven.

Can You Put Plastic Cutting Board in the Microwave?

The WHO notes that microwaving food is generally safe. But, using plastic containers and plastic cutting boards in the microwave contributes to leaching. This causes the chemicals from the plastic to travel into the food.

Even if you come across plastic containers that are “microwave safe”, this only means that they won’t melt, not that they won’t leak.

The internet is full of information that plastic cutting boards can be disinfected by being microwaved for short spurts. But, scientists note that this isn’t something that the board benefits from.

The study concluded that plastic is inert to microwave energy and it doesn’t kill a significant amount of bacteria on it.

But, the effect of microwaving on wooden cutting boards was different. Namely, the higher moisture seemed to strengthen the wood’s efficiency to destroy bacteria.

The scientists say that brief spurts of the wooden board on a high setting may be a cheap, simple, and useful way to reduce cross-contamination.

Still, wooden cutting boards aren’t designed for the microwave. With this in mind, users should keep them away from the microwave. The reasons for this are many, including your safety and the risk of damaging the board.

Will the Dishwasher Heat Damage my Plastic Cutting Board?

No, it won’t.

The maximum temperature of a dishwasher is 171 degrees F, which is lower than the amount of heat that plastic can withstand.

Most plastic cutting boards are dishwasher-safe. This method is also recommendable for sanitization.

Despite being safe for the dishwasher, avoid cleaning them on the highest temperature setting, especially if they’re thinner. If you do this, you’re risking the board melting and warping from the heat.

To be sure your plastic cutting boards are safe in the dishwasher, lower the temperature to make it below the plastic’s melting point. If a board melts in the dishwasher, it may ruin other dishes inside or develop warps.

Thicker plastic cutting boards usually do just fine in the dishwasher.

Plastic cutting boards are commonly used for raw meat preparation. So, sanitizing them is important to prevent cross-contamination and food-borne illnesses.

Can You Serve Hot Food on Plastic Cutting Boards?

Placing hot cups, pots, pans, or bowls on cutting boards (instead of on trivets) is possible. But, for optimal safety, the board, in this case, the plastic one, needs to be heat-resistant.

Some materials are exceptional at resisting heat; yet, others aren’t.

Plastic cutting boards aren’t able to withstand heat as much as wood does; however, they can withstand a certain amount of it.

Serving warmed-up food or a bowl of heated soup won’t cause damage. if the board is made from HDPE or polypropylene, the most common material used for these boards.

For example, a cup of hot coffee has a temperature between 180- and 185 degrees F.

The melting point of HDPE is between 248 degrees F and 284 degrees F. Polypropylene can withstand a temperature of around 320 degrees F.

Final Thoughts

Plastic cutting boards aren’t designed to be used in the oven or microwave. This is because ovens and microwaves may heat up more than the plastic is able to resist.

This may cause the board to melt or develop warps.

Despite not being the best in contact with extreme heat, plastic cutting boards can be used as occasional trivets.

They also make a great serving board for warm foods.

This heat isn’t enough to cause problems, especially if the board is of thicker, more quality plastic.

Plastic cutting boards also perform well in the dishwasher, as long as the temperature isn’t very high and the board is thicker.

In fact, this is a preferred method of sanitizing plastic cutting boards easily, especially if they’re used with raw meat.

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