What Bowls to Use When In Everyday Cooking?

Bowl in use

In the culinary world, bowls are trusty vessels for meal preparation. This kitchen essential is a round or hemispherical vessel that can be used to toss, mix, and blend ingredients.

They are indispensable because of their versatility and scope of use.

Read on to find out about the different ways to use your trustworthy bowls.

Different Types of Bowls and Their Uses

The term bowl is very generic, and we use it for a variety of kitchen vessels. There are many ways to divide bowls into different groups.

One way is to divide them based on the material used for construction, like metal, ceramic, terracotta, wood, and plastic.

The other way is to divide them based on how they are used.

Let’s look at this in closer detail.

1. Soup Bowls

Soup bowls are large enough to hold a serving of soup for one person. They may or may not have handles.

When handles are present, they may be on one side only or both sides.

Soup bowls can be made of different materials, like ceramic, metal, or plastic.

2. Salad Bowls

Salad bowls either mean bowls used to prepare a salad or those used to serve them.

The ones used for making salad are large. They can hold all the ingredients for a salad and still have enough space to toss and mix the contents of the bowl.

Meanwhile, salad serving bowls are much smaller. They are just large enough to hold a portion of salad.

Salad bowls can be made from wood or bamboo, apart from metal, ceramic, and plastic.

3. Cereal Bowls

Cereal bowls are common in most kitchens. They are deep enough to hold cereal and milk.

Apart from using them to serve cereal, you can also use them to hold snacks or serve small portions of lunch.

4. Pasta Bowls

Pasta bowls are plates with a deep pit in the center. These bowls are wider than most bowls but not as deep.

This helps to hold pasta and sauce comfortably within the bowl. You will need a wide spoon to scoop the pasta out of these bowls.

5. Rice Bowls

Rice bowls are an essential serving utensil in Asian cuisines. They are small bowls to hold sticky rice.

Placing rice in these bowls makes it easy to retrieve using chopsticks.

These bowls are usually smaller than salad and soup bowls because rice is tightly packed inside these bowls.

6. Mixing Bowls

Mixing bowls are generally used to combine and toss ingredients. They can also be used to knead batter or dough.

These bowls are usually wide and deep. So, they can hold ingredients in large quantities.

You can either knead or mix these ingredients with your fingers or use a manual or stand mixer.

Mixing bowls may be made of metal, plastic, ceramic, China, or wood.

7. Dip Bowls

Dip bowls are small bowls to hold dips that go with snacks like French fries and nachos. They hold a few portions of sauces and condiments.

You can easily retrieve them using a food item or a spoon. These bowls are small and not too deep.

8. Bouillon Bowl

A bouillon bowl is used to serve soup or bouillon, and it’s usually accompanied by a saucer.

These bowls will usually have open-loop handles on either side that you can use to hold and drink.

The contents of a bouillon bowl are usually served with a spoon. But it’s used only for tasting.

The common way of enjoying soup from bouillon bowls is to drink from it by sipping from the side.

9. Ramekin

Ramekins are tiny desert bowls used for baking and serving dishes like custard and souffle.

These dishes have straight sides and a flat circular base. They are very small, just big enough to hold a single serving of dessert.

Ramekins are usually made of ceramic or glassware, so they can go in the oven and be used for baking.

Different Ways to Use Bowls Around the Home

Bowl with soup

There is no set rule about using a particular bowl. You can use it in multiple ways for cooking, serving, displaying, or even other needs.

Here are some of the most common ways in which these bowls are used.

1. Mixing

One of the main uses of bowls in a kitchen is to mix ingredients.

If you bake regularly, you will need at least one mixing bowl for the convenience it offers to mix ingredients.

Large mixing bowls are good for tossing salad ingredients like lettuce, kale, and greens with salad dressing, herbs, spices, and nuts.

Bowls of large sizes are also used to knead dough or mix batter for cakes, donuts, bread, roti, and other dishes.

Stainless steel bowls and thick plastic bowls can be used to hold ingredients while a stand mixer kneads or mixes them to make batter or dough.

You can use bowls of other materials also to mix ingredients by hand or with a hand mixer.

2. For Cooking

Bowls with legs were traditionally used for cooking on open flames.

Though pots and pans are preferred for this purpose today, they are still used in some places.

Bowls with a flat base will sit comfortably on flat gas and electric stovetops. You can use them for boiling and steaming ingredients.

3. For Reheating

You can use bowls to reheat food on the stovetop or in a microwave oven.

When choosing bowls for the microwave oven, choose those made of microwave-safe material like ceramic.

4. For Cooling Down Food

Bowls provide a wide surface area for food to slowly cool down. To use a bowl for cooling food, transfer the hot food into a wide bowl.

To cool the food faster, you can immerse the base of the bowl inside a tray or dish containing water.

The water will help the excess heat dissipate faster and make the food cool down quickly.

5. For Serving

One of the most common intended uses of bowls is for serving food on the table.

Food that is cooked in a pot or pan can be transferred to a serving bowl and placed on the table.

Not only does this usually make the food look more appealing, but it also makes it easier to handle.

Food can also be served in smaller portions using bowls of suitable size.

6. For Displaying Items

Beautiful bowls can be used throughout the house to display items like fruits and vegetables.

These enhance the aesthetic appeal of the space, while also serving as functional décor accessories.

Ceramic, wood, bamboo, and glass bowls are usually used for display purposes.

Apart from displaying food, you can also use them as catchalls for different things in the house, like keys and loose change.

7. For Refrigeration

You may want to refrigerate excess dough made for cookies.

Alternatively, you may also want to prepare a salad in advance and chill it until needed.

In these cases, you can use a bowl for refrigeration. It’s convenient if the bowl has an airtight lid, in which case you can directly close the bowl and put it in the refrigerator.

However, if the bowl doesn’t come with a lid, you can use plastic wrap or foil paper to secure the contents and prevent them from drying out.

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