April 3, 2012 in Taking Care of Your Glass
Photo Courtesy of aavaas.
Glass plates can be beautiful decorations for a special evening. They come in a variety of colors and sizes, with or without decorations.
Here are some guidelines on using them for serving food.
Cooking and Serving Food
1. Microwaving Glass Plates
Glassware that is made entirely of glass is safe to put in the microwave. However, unusually thin glass can break not because of the microwave, but because of any boiling liquid inside it.
Overstock has a good guide on “How to Tell If Something Is Microwave-Safe.”
To summarize that guide, you can test whether a dish is microwave safe or not by
- adding water to the glassware
- microwaving it for 1 minute
- checking if it is warm or hot after heating. If it is warm or hot, it isn’t microwave safe.
Usually, common sense that applies to other types of materials (metal, styrofoam, plastic) also applies to glass. Overheating anything in microwaves is dangerous!
2. Other Types of Heat
Extreme heat can break glass because it is a poor conductor of heat. (i.e. heat is not transferred easily through glass, so that one specific area will be heated and expand, while the rest will stay the same, causing it to break.)
Even if the glassware does not break, it can be weakened by heat.
By avoiding quick heating or cooling, you can use glass plates with food safely.
i.e. Don’t boil food in a glass pot – but glass plates will be fine with any food that is at an edible temperature.
3. Safety with Food
Glass in general is seen to be safer to use with food than plastic or metal. (Plastic can melt and metal has rust.)
For example, lead free crystal is safe to use with all types of food, because it does not react to slightly acidic substances, such as wine and vinegar. A lot of sauces are wine-based or contain vinegar, so it’s good to know that you are eating just your food – instead of food and whatever that reacted with it!
Photos from Mirakkul Glassware Glass Plates.
1. Using the Dishwasher
Glass itself is safe to wash with dishwasher, but be sure that it is securely placed in the dishwasher so that it does not break. Running the dishwasher in the most gentle cycle will help.
If the glass plates are painted or otherwise decorated, it’s not a good idea to use the dishwasher. Hand wash them with gentle dish soap.
2. Other Methods
Dust with soft, lint-free cloth dampened in a mild solution of ammonia and water. Do not use chemical cleaners like Windex.
Avoid contact with metal utensils so that the glassware doesn’t get scratched. Obviously, this can be hard to do when you are eating. But keeping it in mind can lengthen the beauty of your glassware. (It’s like not trying to scratch the bottom of your pot, even though inevitably, it will retain some scratches while cooking.)
Hand wash with non-abrasive cleaner (mild soap, dish washing liquid) in warm water. Stains can be rubbed off with lemon and vinegar solutions. Glassware can be air-dried or dried with soft lint-free cloth.
Store your glassware right side up. If space permits, do not stack vessels.
Use soft cloth or bubble wrap rather than newpaper packings, which are too moisture-absorbing.
Sometimes it can be hard to stick to all these rules, but these are the most detailed guidelines that you can stick to, so don’t feel overwhelmed. Maybe the particular glassware you have isn’t that expensive or valuable and you don’t want to put so much care. Maybe it is sturdier than most glassware so that you don’t have to be so careful. And that’s fine too.
At any rate, following the guidelines above will ensure that you can use the most delicately decorated, valuable glass plates for a long time.
The place where every glass is handmade.