Can coffee mugs go in the oven? Find out if your favorite coffee mug is safe to put in the oven, and learn how to keep it from cracking when you take it out.
Mug cakes are all the rage, but I don't like to bake things in the microwave. Still, I've been unable to resist the temptation of a single-serving dessert. So after looking up a few recipes, I dug through my dishes to see if any of my coffee mugs were oven safe.
Can you put coffee mugs in the oven? Stoneware mugs can go in the oven, and so can any mugs that are marked as “oven-safe” by the manufacturer. Don't put normal porcelain, earthenware, or china mugs in the oven; they'll crack either in the oven or when you pull them out to cool.
Some of my dishes just say “oven-safe” on the bottom, but most of them have no markings. I really wanted to make that cake, so I did the research – and now I'll show you exactly how to tell if your coffee mug can go in the oven.
Can Coffee Mugs Go In The Oven? How To Tell If Your Coffee Mug Is Oven Safe
Coffee mugs that are oven-safe are usually advertised and sold for that feature. But if you've had a mug sitting in your cabinet for years, you can decide whether it's oven-safe by checking the material and the manufacturer recommendations.
What Material Is Your Coffee Mug Made From?
Pottery is categorized based on the clay that was used and the temperature that the dish was fired at. Dishes fired at hotter temperatures are more likely to be heat-resistant and oven safe. If you can't identify the material, assume that you can't put the mug in the oven.
- Stoneware: Stoneware mugs and dishes are heat-resistant and safe to put in the oven. Most stoneware mugs are thick and opaque; they either have a rough surface texture or a shiny, baked-on glaze.
- Porcelain: Although some porcelain is oven-safe, most porcelain coffee mugs cannot be put in the oven. This is because porcelain is usually thin and susceptible to thermal shock. Porcelain dishes have a uniform color and may or may not be glazed.
- Earthenware: Earthenware is thick and heavy like stoneware, but it's not safe to put in the oven. Earthenware mugs are usually painted and are prone to chipping; you'll be able to see the plain white clay under the paint or on the bottom of the cup.
- Bone china: Delicate bone china should never be put in the oven. These coffee mugs are thin and dainty. Many bone china cups are painted or inlaid with intricate designs.
- Metal: A pure metal cup, like a camping mug, should be safe to put in the oven. Make sure there are no plastic elements on the cup; nonstick finishes will also react poorly to heat.
- Plastic: All plastic cups and mugs will melt if put in the oven. A mug with a plastic handle or grip will have the same problem.
- Glass: Although most glass is not oven-safe, some varieties have been designed to withstand the heat of the oven. Check the manufacturer's recommendations before baking a glass mug.
- Decorated: Any coffee mug with textured decorations is probably not safe to put in the oven. These decorations are often added after the firing process and will crack or break when exposed to heat.
Check Your Coffee Mug's Manufacturer Recommendations
Most coffee mug manufacturers print the material type and any care recommendations on the bottom of the mug. Expect to see text that says “dishwasher, microwave, and oven safe” on any mug that you can put in the oven.
If the cup doesn't have any text printed on it, check the box that it came in. Many coffee mug sets come with a small book of care instructions.
Most mugs and dishes have a maker's mark that identifies the manufacturer. You may be able to see if your mug is oven-safe by checking the manufacturer's website.
Stoneware: It's Perfect For Baking!
Stoneware is a type of pottery that has been fired at temperatures between 2,010 and 2,370 degrees. The result is a dish that's dense, durable, and oven friendly.
Some types of porcelain can withstand oven temperatures up to 350 degrees. True stoneware can withstand any oven temperature without chipping or cracking.
Stoneware is also beloved by bakers because it retains and distributes heat evenly across the dish. This means that every part of your cake or casserole will cook at the same temperature and in the same amount of time.
Another reason that stoneware is so popular for baking is that it has a natural nonstick surface. This is because stoneware is nonporous, so there's nowhere for the food to stick in the dish.
This nonstick surface makes stoneware easy to clean and maintain. I love baking with my stoneware mugs; they're perfect for making a single-serving dessert.
Why Coffee Mugs Crack After Baking
Pottery that has been fired at hot enough temperatures should be safe to put in the oven. However, many bakers have noticed that their favorite stoneware or porcelain mug didn't crack in the oven – it shattered while they were serving food.
So what's going on? Pottery cracks when it's exposed to sudden changes in temperature. If a cold mug gets hot, or if a hot mug gets cold, it could suddenly break apart.
This cracking process is known as thermal shock. Pottery, like most solid materials, will expand when exposed to heat and contract when exposed to cold. If this happens too quickly, the molecular bonds that hold the dish together will snap.
All types of pottery are susceptible to thermal shock. The stronger that the dish is, the greater the difference in temperature will need to be.
How To Avoid Thermal Shock When Putting a Coffee Mug In the Oven
Porcelain, stoneware, and glass dishes can all crack when subjected to thermal shop. If you're going to bake with your coffee mugs, you should know how to protect them.
- Know the maximum temperature for your dish. Some types of porcelain simply can't get too hot or too cold. Delicate ceramics will shatter as soon as they're heated.
- Let dishes rest on the counter. Whether you're taking the dish out of the oven or out of the freezer, wait at least 10-20 minutes before you move it to the next environment. This will let the dish normalize to room temperature and prevent cracking.
- Don't run hot cups under cold water. Even stoneware will crack if you take it out of the oven and drop it in the sink.
- Don't move cups from the freezer to the oven. If your recipe calls for freezing, try wrapping the dough in oven-safe wax paper. When it's time to bake, take it out of the freezer and put it in a room-temperature coffee mug.
- Don't expose normal dishes to direct heat. An oven is a closed environment that heats its contents evenly. If you take an oven-safe cup and place it on the stove or over a fire, only one part of the cup will heat. The difference in temperature will cause a crack between the hot and cold areas.
Can Coffee Mugs Go In The Oven? The Final Word
You need the right cup to put it in the oven without cracking. Basically, use either stoneware or anything marked with the label “oven-safe” when baking your next dessert inside of a coffee cup.
However, if you want to keep your cup of joe warm, don't worry about the oven and don't ruin your coffee by microwaving it either! Instead, considering buying a good coffee mug warmer or thermos for coffee.
How hot does coffee get?
Water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit. Coffee is usually brewed between 195 and 215 degrees, and it's best served anywhere between 120 and 175 degrees.
Can you reheat coffee in the oven?
Even if your mug is oven safe, you probably shouldn't reheat your coffee in the oven. Your cup will heat up before the coffee and become too hot to touch. Try reheating your coffee in a pan on the stove over low heat; pull it off as soon as it starts to simmer. Alternatively, use a coffee mug warmer or thermos and avoid the problem altogether.