Whether it’s for food prep or cooking, stainless steel bowls find immense use in the kitchen. Now, wouldn’t it be very convenient if you could use stainless steel bowls in ovens? So, can stainless steel bowls go in the oven?
Yes, some stainless steel bowls can go in the oven, but not all. Bowls made of thick stainless steel and those with an oven-safe mark are suitable for ovens. You can use these bowls in ovens up to 500°F. However, thin stainless steel bowls are prone to warping and discoloration at high temperatures.
Let’s talk about this in more detail now. But first…
- Why Use Stainless Steel Bowls In The Oven?
- How To Recognize If A Stainless Steel Bowl Is Safe For Oven Use?
- Things To Remember When Using Stainless Steel Bowls In Ovens
- Can Stainless Steel Bowls Go In The Microwave?
- What Other Bowls Are Safe For Oven Use?
Why Use Stainless Steel Bowls In The Oven?
It’s a common misconception that baking needs specially designed cookware.
You can easily bake most recipes in cookware that you already have and avoid investing in expensive bakeware.
The only condition is that the construction material should be inert and stable at high temperatures.
Now, stainless steel bowls are present in almost every kitchen.
If you have sturdy and strong stainless steel bowls, you can use them for your baking experiments.
Stainless steel can withstand high heat. So it finds use in various high-temperature applications.
However, its ability to tolerate heat depends on various factors like the grade of the alloy, exposure time, and temperature.
Nevertheless, most stainless steel bowls are suitable for oven use.
You can use them for baking pies, cakes, vegetables, or desserts.
The main benefit of using stainless steel for baking is that it’s readily available and relatively inexpensive.
It’s also easy to clean.
Another benefit is that you can use the same bowl for mixing the ingredients and baking.
Since most stainless steel bowls are dishwasher-friendly, you will also find it easy to clean them after use.
However, thin stainless steel bowls are not suitable for such use.
Stainless steel expands when heated and contracts when cooled.
In bowls with thick walls, this change is barely noticeable.
But such expansion and contraction will adversely affect bowls with thin walls.
This activity will weaken the metal surface and cause it to crack. The metal can warp, and the bowl can lose its shape.
Another factor to remember is that stainless steel becomes discolored at high temperatures.
This is because the chromium in the alloy oxidizes at high heat and acquires a rainbow tint.
You can reverse this discoloration using vinegar, baking soda, or cleaning liquids with oxalic acid.
Recommended Further Reading:
- Dishwashing Stainless Steel Bowls: Is it Possible?
- Is Pressure Cooking a Tool of the Trade for Chefs?
- What Pans Are Necessary for Professional Chefs?
How To Recognize If A Stainless Steel Bowl Is Safe For Oven Use?
Although stainless steel is generally stable at high temperatures, not all stainless steel bowls hold up in an oven.
So, how do you identify if a stainless steel bowl is safe for oven use?
The best way to find out is to look for the oven-safe symbol on the bowl.
If a stainless steel bowl is meant for baking, the manufacturer will display this symbol on the bowl.
It consists of a box or square containing a bowl. There will be wavy curves representing heat above the bowl.
The oven-safe symbol is usually present at the base of a bowl.
You can also check the packaging that comes with the bowl.
The packaging will usually indicate whether it can tolerate high temperatures.
Now, sometimes bowls that don’t carry this symbol may also be suitable for oven use.
In this case, you can decide by assessing the quality of the stainless steel.
If a bowl is made of heavy-duty stainless steel and has sturdy, thick walls, it should do fine in an oven.
Nevertheless, it’s always safe to avoid temperatures above 500°F to avoid discoloration or warping.
Things To Remember When Using Stainless Steel Bowls In Ovens
Before using a stainless steel bowl for baking, you should first check if it’s safe for oven use.
If it’s safe to use the bowl, take care of the following factors when baking in it.
- Grease the bowl properly: Stainless steel is not a non-stick material. So you should carefully grease the sides with butter and dust it with flour before adding the baking ingredients into the bowl.
- Cooking time may be longer: When baking in stainless steel bowls, you may have to allow a few minutes more than the recipe states to ensure that the center cooks thoroughly.
- Discoloration can occur: Stainless steel tends to lose its original shine and luster when exposed to high temperatures. So if you continuously use it in your oven, it can end up getting discolored.
Related Further Reading:
- Grilling with Pans: Is it Possible?
- Keeping Pans Smoke-Free: Strategies
- What Can You Use Instead Of A Double Boiler? [3 Substitutes]
Can Stainless Steel Bowls Go In The Microwave?
While you can use your stainless steel bowls in conventional ovens, they will usually be unsuitable for microwave ovens.
Metal containers are generally unsuitable for microwave use because microwaves have a different principle of operation.
These devices use high-energy microwave radiations to excite the free molecules in foods and liquids, thus producing enough heat to cook them.
Metals contain free electrons. So when you place a metal bowl in a microwave, these electrons get excited.
As a result, the metal heats up rapidly. Metals will also reflect the radiations leading to arcing inside the compartment.
This arcing can damage the stainless steel bowl and your microwave.
So it’s not wise to use metal containers in microwave ovens.
What Other Bowls Are Safe For Oven Use?
Most stainless steel bowls are suitable for oven use.
The only exception is if it’s made of thin metal and the sides are susceptible to warping at high heat.
Nevertheless, stainless steel is rarely the first choice for baking. Many other materials are better suited for baking.
Let’s look at the most popular choices and why they are suitable for oven use.
Glass is an inert material, and it doesn’t react with food. Varieties of glass, like Pyrex, can withstand high temperatures.
Such bowls also look good. So you can directly serve the dish after taking it out of the oven.
Most glass bowls are also refrigerator and freezer-safe, making them easy to store for future use.
Hence, it’s commonly used in baking.
Nevertheless, we recommend checking for the oven-safe symbol to confirm if a glass vessel is built to withstand high temperatures.
Ceramic bakeware has an enamel coating which allows it to tolerate high heat.
This coating also prevents it from reacting with food.
Most ceramic bakeware can be directly transferred from the fridge to the oven without any consequences.
Ceramic utensils built for ovens will usually have the oven-safe marking on the base.
Interesting Further Reading:
Stoneware is one of the oldest materials used for baking and was used centuries ago in brick kilns and ovens.
It’s a natural material that can tolerate extremely high temperatures. So it’s a reliable choice for baking.
It’s also inert and doesn’t react with food. However, stoneware is heavy.
Cleaning is also tricky as you can’t use soap or harsh cleaning agents to wash stoneware.
Silicone is a new type of oven-safe material. It’s light, inexpensive, and easier to store than other types of bakeware.
Silicone bowls are usually flexible and don’t stain easily. They are also non-toxic and dishwasher safe.