A microwave food cover is a re-usable device used to cover dishes of food being heated or cooked in a microwave oven.
It serves several purposes.
- It eliminates the splattering of food around the inside of a microwave oven, which is hard to clean, unsightly and unsanitary.
- It prevents keeps food from drying out by keeping moisture contained.
- And it eliminates the cost and wastage of using other disposable items such as cling film to act as a cover.
Some covers are clear plastic, some are transparent, some are solid colours. In shape, they may be flat or domed. Dome-shaped ones are better for covering dishes such as bowls, etc, which the flat ones would otherwise have to perch on, touching the food being heated (and getting that food baked onto them.) Some flat ones are stackable inside the microwave, so that you have heat up more than one plate of food at a time. Some are adjustable in height.
All have vents in them to allow excess steam to escape, preventing food from going soggy. All are stackable for storage.
Once used, they should be considered “dirty” and washed before re-use. (That being said, most people don’t seem to.) Most are top rack dishwasher safe (many North American dishwashers have exposed heating elements in the bottom of them.)
For the restaurant industry, there are microwave food covers made out of poly glass or clear polycarbonate, designed for use in a microwave as well as on heated food carts and under heat lamps. These replace metal food covers, which couldn’t be used in a microwave, and didn’t allow servers to easily see what food is under them.
Outside the microwave, a microwave food cover can be used as a plate cover to keep plated food on a counter warm, as as an improptu pie and cake saver, etc. The domed ones can be put over fruit in a bowl to speed ripening (they don’t deter fruit flies owing to the vent holes.)