Can You Use a Plastic Spoon in Boiling Water?

Last Updated on July 18, 2023 by Lauren Beck

As a seasoned cook who has encountered numerous kitchen quandaries, I’ve often wondered about the safety of using a plastic spoon in boiling water. 

Can it withstand the heat without causing any harm? Join me as we delve into the world of utensils and uncover the truth about plastic spoons and boiling water.

Can You Use a Plastic Spoon in Boiling Water?

No, using a plastic spoon in boiling water is not recommended. Plastic utensils have a lower melting point and can deform or release harmful chemicals when exposed to high heat. 

Using materials like stainless steel or silicone specifically designed for high-temperature use is safer.

What Materials Are Safe To Use In Boiling Water?

Certain materials are safe for boiling water and won’t leach harmful chemicals into your food. Here are some common materials that are safe for use in boiling water:

  • Stainless steel: Stainless steel utensils are durable and can withstand high temperatures without leaching toxins into your food.
  • Silicone: Silicone utensils are heat-resistant and won’t melt or deform in boiling water. They are a popular choice for cooking and baking.
  • Bamboo or wooden utensils: These natural materials are generally safe to use in boiling water, but be cautious, as prolonged exposure can cause them to degrade over time.

Why You Shouldn’t Cook With Plastic?

Plastic utensils, including plastic spoons, are generally not recommended for use in boiling water. Here’s why:

  • Melting: Most plastic utensils have a lower melting point than the temperature of boiling water. Exposure to high heat can cause them to melt, warp, or release harmful chemicals into your food.
  • Leaching of toxins: Plastic utensils may contain harmful substances like BPA (bisphenol A) or phthalates. These chemicals can leach into hot liquids or food, posing potential health risks.

How Can You Tell If A Plastic Spoon Is Safe For Boiling Water?

Hand Holding Plastic Spoons

To determine if a plastic spoon is safe for boiling water, look for these indicators:

  • Heat resistance: Check the manufacturer’s labeling or specifications to see if the plastic spoon is explicitly designed for high heat or boiling water use.
  • Food-grade and BPA-free: Look for plastic spoons labeled as food-grade and free from BPA or other harmful chemicals.
  • Certification symbols: Look for certification symbols like the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) or NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) on the packaging, indicating that the spoon has been tested and deemed safe for contact with food and high temperatures.

Do Plastic Cooking Spoons Melt?

Plastic cooking spoons have the potential to melt when exposed to high heat. 

Most plastic spoons are not designed to withstand the temperature of boiling water and may deform, melt, or release toxins into your food.

What Temperature Melts Plastic Spoon?

The exact temperature at which a plastic spoon melts can vary depending on the type of plastic used. 

However, most plastic spoons will start to soften and deform around 150-175°C (300-350°F). 

Since boiling water typically reaches temperatures of 100°C (212°F), it’s best to avoid using plastic spoons in boiling water to prevent melting.

Is Melting Plastic Toxic?

When the plastic melts, toxic chemicals can be released into the surrounding environment, including your food [1]. The extent of toxicity depends on the type of plastic and its composition. 

Avoiding plastic utensils, especially in boiling water or high-temperature cooking, is advisable to avoid potential health risks.


In conclusion, avoiding plastic spoons in boiling water is best. The heat from boiling water can cause plastic utensils to melt, deform, and potentially release harmful chemicals into your food.

To ensure safety and peace of mind, opt for stainless steel or silicone utensils designed to withstand high temperatures. By choosing the right tools for the job, you can confidently navigate the kitchen and maintain the integrity of your cooking without compromising your health.

So, reach for the appropriate utensils and savor your culinary adventures without any plastic spoon concerns.


Lauren Beck
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