Can You Microwave Wooden Bowls?

Can You Microwave Wooden Bowls? A Quick Guide

Trying to figure out if you can microwave wooden bowls or not?

We not only answer that question, but also highlight important information as it relates to using this plateware in the microwave.

Can You Microwave Wooden Bowls?

Wooden Bowl with fruit and nuts

The answer is no; you cannot microwave wooden bowls.

While you may purchase wood bowls for their aesthetically pleasing handcrafted look and design, many of these bowls are suited for foods that are generally not served hot.

Heat and wood bowls do not go hand in hand. If you do plan on microwaving them, then you can expect them to be destroyed after a couple of uses.

Why You Should Not Microwave Wood Bowls?

There are two main reasons why you should not microwave wooden bowls and essentially they do not stand up to heat very well and there is also the possibility of them igniting and burning in the microwave.

Heat Will Destroy Them

Microwave ovens work by heating water in food and since there is water in wood, the reaction is going to be the same.

Wood contains moisture and when heated, the fibers in the wood will expand, causing tiny steam pockets to form. This has the potential to destroy the bowl as well as drying it out, making it more vulnerable to cracking, warping and splintering.  (Source)

It is for this reason, manufacturers such as New Hampshire Bowl and Board recommend to not microwave your wood bowl or putting it in a conventional oven.


Another reason not to put wooden bowls in the microwave is the possibility that it can catch fire.

If left in the microwave too long, the wood will dry out and begin to ignite. While you would have to leave it in for a long time, it is still possible for it to catch on fire.

Combined with the fact that extreme heat destroys the bowls, the microwave is really not a good idea for wooden bowls.

Can Bamboo Bowls be Microwaved?

Can You Microwave Bamboo Bowls?

While bamboo bowls are not exactly wood, we decided to answer the question, since they are similar to wood bowls.

No; you should not microwave bamboo bowls.

Heat will damage your bamboo bowl and in the end, shorten its usable life.

Ideally, if you do want to enjoy warm food in your bamboo bowl, the guys at have a recommendation.

On their website, they state “Don’t use a bamboo bowl in the microwave; instead, heat food in a microwave-safe container and transfer it to the bamboo for serving.”

You should really use them for slightly warm foods, not ones that are steaming hot like soups or stews. With extreme heat, these bowls are prone to cracking and will become unusable.

So What’s the Verdict?

You should not microwave your wooden bowl as, they can crack/break/warp and at worst catch on fire. The same can be said for bamboo bowls.

It is best to heat up the food in another microwave safe container and then transfer it to the bowl. Ensure that the food is slightly warm, not steaming hot as this will cause damage to the bowls, whether wood or bamboo.

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