When you have leftover portions of your Chipotle bowl that you don’t want to throw away, it’s common to pop the whole container into the refrigerator to have a quick snack later on.
These bowls come loaded with beans, rice, grilled vegetables, protein, and a scoop of guacamole, and this makes it a fulfilling, tasty, and nutritious meal.
This can be far too much to eat in one sitting, especially if you purchase one of those healthy bowls from Chipotle.
Chipotle bowls feature compostable plant materials with an aluminum lid, and these materials lessen the environmental impact of the bowls.
However, not all plant fibers are safe to reheat, and there can be a wax lining on the inside of the bowl that shouldn’t go in the microwave.
Are chipotle bowls microwave safe?
You shouldn’t microwave your Chipotle bowl in the original packaging. Instead, you should put it on a microwave-safe plate.
You also want to always check on the bottom of the packaging to see if it has a microwave-safe label on it. If there isn’t one, you don’t want to microwave it.
We’re going to go in-depth on this topic so you get a good understanding of whether or not you should heat it up in the original packaging or swap it to another dish.
Important Factors to Know About Microwaving a Chipotle Bowl
These bowls feature compostable plant material in the design, but this doesn’t give you a pass to put the container in the microwave.
You want to avoid contaminating your food with the wax and plastic-based lining on the inside of the bowl.
So, it’s highly recommended that you transfer your leftovers to a microwave-safe dish before you reheat them.
If you’re going to put your leftovers in a microwave-safe dish to reheat it, you should know:
- Avoid leaving your food out at room temperature for more than two hours. You should put it into the refrigerator before the two hours are up to keep it safe to eat later.
- Always research the container before you try to microwave it.
- Remove the lid before you microwave anything as Chipotle usually uses an aluminum foil lid.
- Cover the bowl to prevent splatters in the microwave. The cover could be a paper towel, microwave cover, or microwave-safe wax paper.
- Remove any toppings or fresh vegetables before you heat them up. You can add it back once you finish heating your food.
Reheating Your Chipotle Bowl in the Microwave
You want to follow the USDA temperature danger zone guidelines and store any leftovers in the refrigerator to keep it fresh and avoid any concerns about unsafe handling of the food.
There are many ways you can heat up your food, but the microwave method is easy and quick when you’re hungry and don’t want to wait any longer.
Start by taking the sour cream, lettuce, and guacamole off the food, as these ingredients can heat up too quickly, release moisture, and cause everything else to get soggy.
Transfer your remaining food out of the original container and into a microwave-safe plate with a cover or lid on it, and you want to start heating it up in 20-second increments slowly.
After a minute or two, give everything a quick stir to make sure everything is heating evenly before microwaving it for another 20 seconds.
Test your food to make sure it’s warm enough, and you can continue to heat it up in 15 to 20-second increments until it’s hot enough for your tastes. Add back any ingredients and enjoy your food once it reaches your desired temperature.
The goal is to get all of the ingredients up to 165-degrees Fahrenheit before you eat it.
This is the USDA’s official recommendation to ensure you kill any bacteria and make your food safe to eat.
Reheating Your Chipotle Bowl in Your Oven
The oven is also a nice way to reheat your food if you have more time to use it. The oven will take a little more time because you have to preheat it before you add your food, and the cooking time is slightly longer.
But, you can heat your food up to the perfect temperature by doing the following:
- Remove the fresh toppings.
- Preheat your oven to 350-degrees Fahrenheit.
- Put your leftovers into a microwave-safe container or bowl.
- Cover the dish with a layer of aluminum foil.
- Allow the food to reheat for 10 to 15 minutes or until your ingredients are warm enough for you.
- Remove the container from the oven and transfer your food to a plate or bowl.
- Add your toppings back.
Are Chipotle Bowls Safe?
The Food and Drug Administration says that Chipotle bowls use fibers in the material that is compliant with the rules and that is safe to use.
These bowls do get a coating of plastic or wax on the lining that does contain levels of fluorine.
CDC explains that the PFAS compounds, poly-fluoroalkyl substances, are non-biodegradable and work to keep the greasy, hot food from breaking down the other parts of the bowl.
According to CDC, Exposure to PFAS does have links to a decent range of health problems, including hormone disruption, cancer, and development issues. You can also find PFAS in microwave popcorn bags and fast-food wrappers.
Why Microwaving Your Chipotle Bowl Isn’t Safe
The packaging isn’t labeled as being safe for reheating in the microwave because some chemicals in the disposable bowl get into the food and cause chemical contamination.
The amount of food you want to reheat, reheating time in the microwave, and whether or not you want to reheat the food in the container will affect reheating takeout container safety levels.
So, simply putting your bowl into the microwave may be one of the easiest ways to reheat your leftovers, but it’s not 100% safe.
Instead, make a point to transfer your food into a microwave-safe container to help improve your safety and health concerns.
How to Tell if a Container is Safe for the Microwave
We’ve talked a lot about having a container that is safe for the microwave, but how do you know?
Luckily, most bowls or containers that are safe for the microwave will have a stamp right on the bottom of it that claims you can microwave it without anything leaching into your food.
Glass, plastic, ceramic, and mixed materials are all popular, and some come with lids that are also safe for the microwave, so you don’t get any splattered food.
According to Healthline, Just make sure you’re careful when you take the cover off because it’ll release steam that can cause significant burns if you’re not careful.
You should also be careful when you remove your container from the microwave because it can heat up right along with your food, and this can burn you when you pull it out of the microwave too.
Beans, rice, fresh vegetables, protein, and sauces make Chipotle bowls a healthy and popular option that virtually anyone can enjoy.
The packaging is designed to hold hot food and keep it warm, and the bowls are grease-resistant and grease-proof.
But, it has compounds that can leach into your food, and this is why it’s a good idea to transfer the food to another bowl to reheat it.