Freshly cooked food not only tastes better but is also healthier.
However, making food fresh just before each meal may not be possible due to your hectic lifestyle.
In such situations, the sensible option is to invest in bowls that keep food hot for a few hours when you prepare your meals in advance.
Here are some bowls that are suitable for this task.
Which Bowls Can Keep Food Hot?
The most important factor to look for when choosing bowls to keep food hot is the material used to construct the bowl.
The better insulated a bowl is, the better it can retain warmth.
Let us look at some bowls that satisfy this requirement.
1. Thick Glass Casseroles
Glass casseroles are versatile and useful bowls for serving food.
They’re made of thick, heat-resistant glass that is usually microwave-safe.
So, you can not only prepare food in these bowls but also store it in the same bowl.
Thick glass is a good insulator. It traps heat and prevents it from escaping into the environment.
Hence, glass casseroles keep food warm compared to metal and plastic containers.
You can further improve their insulation properties by wrapping the glass bowls in thick cloth or foil paper.
Glass casseroles with airtight lids prevent the heat from escaping into the environment.
Some of them will also have an insulated rubber or plastic gasket in the lid that forms an airtight seal.
The downside to these bowls is that they’re heavy.
You should also handle them carefully because they can break and crack if you drop them accidentally.
2. Double Wall Stainless Steel Bowls
Stainless steel is an attractive material for cooking and serving because of its many useful properties.
It can withstand high temperatures, is food-safe, and is easy to clean.
Additionally, stainless steel is also lightweight and durable.
However, ordinary stainless steel bowls aren’t great at keeping food warm for a long time.
Insulated stainless steel bowls are more suited for this task.
Insulated stainless steel bowls have an inner and outer layer of stainless steel.
This double-wall insulated design helps food stay warm for much longer.
Such double-walled stainless steel bowls are usually heavier than regular stainless steel bowls.
They’re also dishwasher-friendly and hence very easy to handle and clean.
3. Stainless Steel Casseroles
A stainless steel casserole can keep food warm for several hours because of how it’s built.
These bowls are specifically constructed to keep food fresh and hot.
So they’re widely used for making casseroles and other baked items.
These bowls are heavy and sturdy because they must withstand high and prolonged cooking temperatures and time.
The thick metallic layer heats up well and retains heat for much longer.
Hence, it’s a good option to store food for several hours.
Another benefit of using stainless steel casseroles for food storage is that they prevent the food from drying out.
While most casseroles come with lids, you can also use plastic food wrap or foil paper to seal the food and keep it warm for much longer in these bowls.
Stainless steel isn’t microwave-safe. Hence, you can’t use these bowls in the microwave.
It can lead to sparking and fire. However, these bowls can be used in the oven and on the stovetop.
4. Enameled Metal Bowls
Enameled metal bowls have a base layer of metal and an enamel coating on the surface.
Different metals like aluminum, copper, steel, or copper can be used as the base.
The coating used for the surface is vitreous enamel which is made by firing silica at high temperatures and applying it to the surface of the metal.
The enamel coating protects the underlying metal. It’s also chemically inert and food-safe.
Enamel doesn’t react with acidic ingredients or other food components.
So it’s safe to store food for a long time in these bowls.
The smooth surface is also resistant to scratches and rough handling. It’s easy to clean and maintain.
The presence of a base metal layer and a top enamel layer creates an insulator effect.
Hence, these bowls can keep food warm for a long time.
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5. Glazed Earthen Bowls
Glazed earthen bowls are very popular because of the health benefits they provide.
These bowls are made of clay which creates an earthy, rustic look.
The clay used for construction is first shaped. It’s then baked in a kiln and glazed to make it heat resistant.
Apart from the attractive and unique visual appeal, these bowls also help the food retain the original flavor of the primary ingredients, making it taste better and fresher.
Most glazed earthen bowls are microwave-safe.
Not only do they withstand high temperatures they don’t release harmful chemicals when used at high temperatures.
These pots have very thick sides making them heat resistant.
Hence, glazed earthen bowls are a good choice for keeping food warm for several hours.
Glazed earthen pots are seldom dishwasher-safe.
It’s not advisable to wash them with harsh soaps because they’re slightly porous.
They’re also more prone to damage and cracks than metal and plastic bowls.
So you should handle them with care.
6. Stoneware Bowls
Stoneware is a special type of clay that has been treated at high heat. It’s durable and food-safe.
Stoneware bowls are typically thicker and heavier than other types of bowls, including earthenware.
They have very thick walls and look very good.
These bowls come in all colors, with various decorative details or embellishments, including clear glaze.
Stoneware bowls are also made by shaping clay and then baking it in a kiln at a high temperature.
The bowl may be colored or decorated before the baking process.
Since they’re treated at very high temperatures, these bowls are heat-resistant and good for serving hot food.
They don’t react with the food.
Thick walls make these bowls naturally heat-proof.
Not only are they easy to handle but also better-suited for keeping food fresh and warm.
Stoneware bowls are susceptible to cracks and damage. Hence, it’s important to handle them carefully.
7. Insulated Plastic Bowls
Insulated plastic bowls are one of the most easily available and widely-used bowls to keep food hot.
These bowls will usually have an inner metal compartment housed in an insulated layer with a food-grade plastic covering on the outside.
The inner metallic layer is often made of stainless steel, which is inert.
These bowls are built to keep food warm for a long time.
They will usually have a thick PUR insulation layer between the metal container and the outer plastic wall.
This layer of insulation prevents heat loss from the food to the surroundings.
Insulated plastic bowls always come with an airtight lid that sits flush against the inner compartment, preventing further loss of heat to the surroundings.
The main benefit of these bowls is that they’re relatively inexpensive. However, they’re not dishwasher-safe.
The plastic covering will fade and discolor with continuous use and frequent washing.
Though you can still use the bowls after they lose their color, they may look ugly.
So it’s not uncommon to replace these bowls faster than clay-based bowls.