Can You Use a Ceramic Bowl as a Double Boiler? – Family Guide Central (2023)

Have you ever wondered if a ceramic bowl is suitable to be used as a double boiler?

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If so, then this article is for you. There are several benefits to using one, such as it being oven-safe and resistant to scratches that can occur during the boiling process.

A quick glance

Can you use a ceramic bowl as a double boiler?

A ceramic bowl can be used as a makeshift double boiler. The best way to use a ceramic bowl as a double boiler is to place it in a pot of boiling water and then let it simmer. Keep in mind that it is not safe to handle the hot contents of the bowl directly.

Indeed, ceramic bowls can be used as double boilers. They are oven and stovetop-safe, so they can be placed on these appliances to heat up liquids or foods.

Ceramic bowls are ideal for this as they are heat-proof and can withstand high temperatures without breaking or cracking.

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What’s a double boiler?

A double boiler is a two-pot cooking device that uses a glass bowl as the heat-retaining vessel. The lower pot holds water, which is brought to a boil, and the upper pot rests on top of the lower pot and contains the ingredients that are being cooked. This set-up allows for gentle and even heat distribution, which is ideal for delicate tasks like melting chocolate or preparing custards.

In short, a double boiler is a pot with two sections. One section is filled with water and the other section has the food or ingredients that you want to cook. The heat from the simmering water will cook the food in the upper section without direct contact, preventing it from burning or becoming overcooked. As for using ceramic bowls as double boilers, you can, but be careful not to let the bowl touch the simmering water or it will become very hot.

Why do you double boil?

Double boiling is a cooking technique that is used to prevent food from sticking to the pan. When you double boil, you cook the food in another pot that is placed inside a pot of boiling water. This technique prevents the formation of a film on the bottom of the pot, which can cause food to stick and become difficult to remove.

It’s also a technique used to cook delicate foods or heat up liquids without fear of them scorching.

Double boiling is a way to cook delicate foods like custards and cream sauces, which can be ruined if cooked at too high of a temperature. By using a double boiler, you are able to cook the food slowly and evenly without it getting burnt or overcooked.

Double boiling is a cooking technique that’s used to heat delicate ingredients or melt chocolate without burning them. In addition, you can use double boiling with any type of pot or pan, including non-stick pots and pans.

Can you boil water in a ceramic bowl?

Ceramic is very strong and durable. It can be used in the oven in some cases if it is tempered, it can be used as a chilled vessel, and you can putboiling waterin some ceramics without them cracking, as well as boil water in a ceramic vessel if it is rated for that heat point.

You do need to check that it is oven-safe before you expose it to very high heat to avoid chipping, cracking, or other damage to the vessel. Most ceramic bowls can withstand heat from 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit to 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Can you put a ceramic bowl over boiling water?

If you are thinking of using a ceramic bowl as a double boiler to melt chocolate or gently cook foods, the answer is yes. You can put a ceramic bowl over boiling water.

There are some safety considerations that you do need to make, however. If you are using your ceramic bowl in a double boiler situation, you need to first make sure it is heat-safe ceramic. You then need to keep in mind that it is not safe to use a ceramic bowl as thebase of a double boiler,as they are not meant for direct heat. You can use a ceramic bowl as the top part of your double boiler.

You do need to be careful, however, as ceramic bowls do get very hot. So you either need to use an oven mitt to protect your hand or some other type of protection to ensure you do not burn yourself while the bowl is heating.

How to safely set up a double boiler with ceramic bowls

To use a ceramic bowl as a double boiler, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure your ceramic bowl is heat-safe.
  2. Make sure your bowl fits snugly into the metal pan that you are using and that no steam can escape.
  3. Make sure the ceramic bowl does not touch the water.
  4. Ceramic takes longer to heat than metal, so remember this when you are cooking.
  5. Ceramic also holds onto heat longer, which means food will keep cooking even when the bowl is removed from the heat.
  6. Make sure to use protection to keep your hands safe during use.
  7. When done cooking, place the ceramic bowl on a surface that is heat-safe and allow the bowl to cool down or transfer the food to a cool vessel after cooking.

How to prevent a ceramic bowl from cracking during a double boil

The best way to prevent a ceramic bowl from cracking while you are using it as a double boiler is to make sure that it is not touching the boiling water below.

As previously discussed, ceramic, while it can withstand the indirect heat of the oven, is not meant for direct heat in most cases. This means that you do need to make sure that your heating element, the boiling water, does not touch the bottom of the bowl when you are using it.

You also need to make sure your bowl fits snugly into your metal pan. This is going to keep the bowl from moving around and help make sure it makes it through the process safely.

What alternative materials can you use for a double boiler?

If you do not want to use a ceramic bowl for your double boiler, you can always buy an actual double boiler. This is a two-piece pot that has two metal pans. You put water in the bottom pot and put the metal insert into it to cook.

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If you do not use a double boiler enough for it to be beneficial for you to purchase one, you can also use a ceramic bowl as we have discussed. If you are unsure if you want to use a ceramic bowl, you can also use aheatproof mixing bowl.

There is a great benefit to using a clear, heatproof mixing bowl. You can see through the bowl and therefore see if the water is getting too close to the bottom of the bowl. You can also see the water to make sure you have enough and so on.

Can I use a ceramic pan on a gas or electric stove?

You can use ceramic pans and pots on the stovetop to cook. You do, however, need to take the time to read up on the pan that you are using to make sure it is safe. If you have a fully ceramic pan that is meant to be used in the oven, you may need a metal induction ring to help direct the heat to the pan when using it on the stove.

Most ceramic-coated pans are metal, so they are going to conduct heat well. Ceramic pans and pots that are labeled as “bakeware only” should not be used on the stove top. For recipes that need very high heat, a ceramic pan is not going to be ideal, as they are not meant for very high, direct heat.

Are ceramic bowls microwave safe?

Ceramic bowls are generally safe to use in the microwave. However, it is always best to check the bowl’s label or consult with the manufacturer to be sure. Be careful not to put too much food in the bowl, as this could cause it to heat up unevenly and pose a safety hazard.

While most ceramics are microwave safe, there are some exceptions. If a ceramic is labeled “microwave safe,” it can be used in the microwave without any problems. However, if a ceramic isn’t labeled as such, it’s best to avoid putting it in the microwave. Crystal, for example, should not be microwaved because it can shatter.

On another note, even if you find a microwave-safe ceramic bowl, microwaving it may cause the ceramic bowl to expand if it gets too hot, so it’s important to be careful not to overheat it.

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FAQs

Can I use a bowl for a double boiler? ›

All you need to make a double boiler is a mixing bowl (preferably glass/pyrex or metal) and a saucepan that the bowl will fit on top of. The two should fit tightly together; you don't want a gap between the bowl and the saucepan, nor do you want a bowl that sits precariously on a tiny saucepan.

What kind of bowls can I use for a double boiler? ›

To simulate the function of a double boiler, the most popular method is using two pots, or a small pot/saucepan, and a large heat-resistant bowl. You should use food-grade metal bowls or glass/ceramic bowls. If you use two pots, one for the top and one for the bottom, and they should be of the same size.

Can I use ceramic bowl for steaming? ›

Like heavy cast iron pots, glass and ceramic don't conduct heat fast enough to be reliable for quickly steamed foods like vegetables or fish. They are ok to use for steamed dishes which have a long cooking time, such as steamed puddings, braises and stocks.

Can I use a ceramic bowl for a bain marie? ›

Stainless steel, heat-proof glass, and ceramic are best if you are cooking acidic ingredients, since they are non-reactive. They conduct heat more slowly, so be sure to stir frequently to avoid hot spots. Glass also makes it easy to check on the water level.

Can I use ceramic for double boiler? ›

If you are making your own double boiler, consider using a glass or ceramic bowl instead of a metal one. Glass and ceramic bowls don't transfer heat as much as metal ones do, which means that they heat slower and more evenly, thus giving you more control.

Can I put ceramic bowl in boiling water? ›

If container of water is big enough you can even put an elephant in boiling water. That's sort of the point of ceramic materials. They are able to deal with high temperatures and large temperature extremes. So, “yes.”

Can I use a Pyrex glass bowl as a double boiler? ›

In my experience, a Pyrex bowl works well as a double boiler. However, Pyrex bowls are not designed for stove top use so proceed at your own risk. Despite the name, when using a double boiler the heat should not actually bring the water to a boil.

Can you use a mug as a double boiler? ›

If you don't have a double boiler, using a glass measuring cup and saucepan to make a double boiler is a quick and easy option. This is useful for small amounts of salve and lip balm and very easy to clean up.

Is it safe to use Pyrex as a double boiler? ›

European pyrex would undoubtedly be fine (you can put a cold dish in a hot oven), while American pyrex is less heat-proof. Having said that, a proper double boiler, in which only steam heats the upper container, would be absolutely fine with any pyrex.

Can ceramic bowls withstand heat? ›

The best choice for oven-safe bowls is high-fired ceramics. These can typically withstand temperatures as high as 3000 degrees when appropriately used. With that said, you can usually find out how much heat they can withstand by reading the label.

What temperature does ceramic crack? ›

Dunting is a special type of crack which occurs from stresses caused during firing and cooling. These stresses primarily occur during two critical points of firing called silica inversions which occur at 1063 degrees F (573 degrees C), and 439 degrees F (226 degrees C).

Can I use a ceramic bowl for fire? ›

Almost any ceramic bowl is usable as a fire pit as long as the bowl is entirely glazed and thus cannot absorb any moisture. Ceramic fire pit bowls have many advantages: they come in many sizes, shapes and colors, they are clean burning, have no odor smoke or fumes, no vent is needed and they can go indoors or outdoors.

What can I use if I don't have a bain marie? ›

All you need is a small saucepan with high sides, and a large heat proof bowl to put into it that covers the top of the saucepan. My favorite for this is a large clear Pyrex bowl. Place your saucepan on the stove over a medium heat, followed by about 4 inches of water. Then, add in your heat proof bowl.

Can you use a ceramic bowl to temper chocolate? ›

Cut the chocolate into similar-sized pieces and place in a clean, dry microwave-safe glass or ceramic bowl. Don't use a plastic bowl, as it can retain moisture and make the chocolate seize.

Can you put hot soup in ceramic bowl? ›

Another properties bowl must have to keep the heat are material of bowl and color of the bowl. Material like ceramic hard to conduct heat so it will keep soup hot.

How high a heat can ceramic withstand? ›

Heat Resistance to Withstand Extreme Temperatures

1,220℉), alumina Fine Ceramics only begin to melt or decompose at temperatures above 2,000℃ (approx. 3,632℉).

Can ceramic be Ovened? ›

Most types of ceramic will be suitable for oven use at reasonable temperatures (around 200C/400F), as pottery is fired to much higher temperatures during production.

Can ceramic crack with hot water? ›

The ceramic's Achilles heel is its resistance to fracturing, however, which plummets by almost 90 per cent when the material experiences sudden changes in temperature, such as being heated above 400 °C and then dunked in room-temperature water.

Will ceramic crack from cold to hot? ›

A ceramic surface with a “brush” of nanoscale pillars can tolerate a sudden change in temperature without cracking, which might be useful for high temperature industrial processes. A piece of hot ceramic will crack if it cools down too quickly.

Can ceramic hold hot liquid? ›

Ceramics transfer heat slowly and can be made to hold the liquid inside (instead of seeping through).

Can I use my Kitchenaid glass bowl in double boiler? ›

This is a quality product but DO NOT USE IT OVER HEAT OR AS A MIXING BOWL ON TOP A DOUBLE BOILER.

Will Pyrex crack from boiling water? ›

Even heat-resistant glasses like Pyrex can shatter when poured with boiling water incorrectly. To prevent the glass from cracking when exposed to boiling water, you should avoid extreme and abrupt changes in temperature.

Can a glass bowl handle boiling water? ›

Most cheap glass bowls have impurities which mean they can shatter when they get hot, spraying broken glass and boiling water everywhere. So it is not advisable. However, it is no different from boiling water in a beaker… or a glass saucepan. You can buy high quality glass bowls (ie pyrex) that are safe for this.

What can you substitute for a double boiler? ›

One of the most common double boiler substitutes is to use a heatproof mixing bowl on top of a pot of simmering water. When using this method, you want to be sure that there is space between the mixing bowl and the simmering water. The bowl shouldn't be touching the water.

Can you use a silicone bowl for a double boiler? ›

Silicone will transfer the heat, but it will do so much more slowly than other materials. This could be a benefit if you don't want to stand over your double boiler and stir your tempered chocolate (or other mixture) while it cooks, but the whole process is going to take much longer than it otherwise would.

Can Mason jars be used as a double boiler? ›

1. DIY Mason Jar Double Boiler (Water Bath) This DIY version of a double boiler is actually considered a hot water bath because the top container sits in the water instead of on top of the water. However, it works great as a double boiler for herbal infusions and in candle making.

Can I use a stainless steel bowl as a double boiler? ›

Anyone can create a make-shift double boiler using two items in the kitchen. All you need is a pot or large saucepan and a stainless steel or glass bowl that rests on the rim.

How much heat can a Pyrex dish withstand? ›

A: Pyrex is suitable for use from -192°C to +500°C. This makes it an ideal choice for lab glassware which will be directly heated. Pyrex is borosilicate glass which makes it highly temperature resistant. Soda-Lime glass is less suitable for direct heating, so choose Pyrex where possible if you will be applying heat.

How do I know if a bowl is heat proof? ›

If you want to be sure, get a bowl that is labeled as “heat-proof” or similar (terms may vary). It's still a good idea to avoid sudden temperature swings, just to be sure although some manufacturers claim that their products can withstand temperature swings of 150K.

Can ceramic bowls go under the broiler? ›

Glass cookware can shatter or crack under the broiler's high heat, and that even includes heavy-duty Pyrex dishes. If you plan to place your casserole under the broiler to achieve a crispy top, skip the glass and opt for enameled cast iron, ceramic, or porcelain casserole dishes instead.

What is considered a heat proof bowl? ›

Stainless steel bowls are our favorite. They are heat-proof (perfect for placing over a saucepan to create a bain marie or double-boiler), lightweight and best of all completely unbreakable. They should form the core of your kitchen bowl collection.

What happens if you overheat ceramic? ›

During Cooking

Ceramic can hold heat more efficiently than traditional pans, so use pans on low to medium heat when cooking. Overheating can wear away the non-stick coating.

Will ceramic break if it falls? ›

While ceramic is extremely durable and can resist scratches and common damages, due to the molecular structure it is not resistant to shattering. If a ceramic case falls onto a hard surface from a few feet or more, there is a good chance that it may shatter.

How hot can ceramic tile get before it breaks? ›

For example, a ceramic tile has the ability to withstand temperatures of up to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit before it begins to crack. However, stone tiles can withstand temperatures of up to 2,300 degrees Fahrenheit before they begin to break down.

Are ceramic pots fireproof? ›

Cook on Clay ceramic pottery is made with a high-fire “flameproof” clay body formulated to withstand thermal shock when heated.

Are ceramic dishes fireproof? ›

Ceramic pottery was the earliest cookware. It was fireproof, and when coated or glazed, became waterproof.

What happens if you don't fire ceramics? ›

If it remains unfired it will eventually crack and fall apart. Water based clay becomes brittle when dry. I don't have a kiln either but I looked around and found a ceramic studio that does firing for a small fee per piece, depending on the size.

Can you use porcelain for bain-marie? ›

In restaurant kitchens bain-maries may be placed on the edge of the large commercial range, where the heat is least intense, and used as a container to keep sauces warm. While copper and porcelain are good to have, other materials such as less expensive stoneware that retain heat well also work.

Should the bowl touch the water in a bain-marie? ›

Place a bowl over a pot of simmering water. Make sure the bowl is very clean and does not have any moisture in it or else the chocolate will split. Warning – The bowl should not touch the surface of the water at all.

What kind of bowl is best for melting chocolate? ›

The best way to melt chocolate is on the stovetop using a double boiler. A double boiler is simply a heat-proof bowl (think glass, ceramic, or metal) placed on top of a saucepan of simmering water.

What kind of bowl should I use to melt chocolate? ›

Place a glass bowl (metal works too, but use an oven mitt) on top of the pot so it rests above the simmering water, but doesn't touch it. Place chocolate chips in the bowl and allow the steam to heat the bowl and melt the chocolate.

Can you use a ceramic bowl to melt chocolate on the stove? ›

Stovetop. For the stovetop, if you have a double boiler, you can use that for melting chocolate on the stove. If you do not, you can put some water in a normal pot and float a small glass or ceramic bowl in the water in place of a double boiler.

Is ceramic safe for steaming? ›

Like heavy cast iron pots, glass and ceramic don't conduct heat fast enough to be reliable for quickly steamed foods like vegetables or fish. They are ok to use for steamed dishes which have a long cooking time, such as steamed puddings, braises and stocks.

Can you heat porcelain bowls? ›

The answer is both yes and no. There are many types of porcelain, and not all are oven-safe. Basically, porcelain cookware that's made entirely of porcelain is oven-safe and can withstand heat up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. On the other hand, thin, old, and highly decorated porcelain dishes are not oven-safe.

Is ceramic good for hot food? ›

Ceramic dishes are heat friendly. You can cook food on the stove, microwave or oven. Unlike plastic, it can be heated without breaking and melting.

Can I use a stainless steel bowl for a double broiler? ›

Owning an actual double boiler is handy if you do a lot of cooking that requires it. If you only need one occasionally, you can accomplish the same effect by setting a tempered glass or stainless steel mixing bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.

Can I use my Kitchenaid bowl as a double boiler? ›

This is a quality product but DO NOT USE IT OVER HEAT OR AS A MIXING BOWL ON TOP A DOUBLE BOILER.

How can you tell if a bowl is heatproof? ›

If you want to be sure, get a bowl that is labeled as “heat-proof” or similar (terms may vary). It's still a good idea to avoid sudden temperature swings, just to be sure although some manufacturers claim that their products can withstand temperature swings of 150K.

Does Pyrex work as a double boiler? ›

In my experience, a Pyrex bowl works well as a double boiler. However, Pyrex bowls are not designed for stove top use so proceed at your own risk. Despite the name, when using a double boiler the heat should not actually bring the water to a boil.

Can I use a bowl with a rubber bottom for a double boiler? ›

A: Not sure. The bottoms of the bowls have a rubbery/silicone coating. Depending on which it might melt.

Are Kitchen Aid bowls heat proof? ›

The outer beauty of these bowls doesn't put a damper on their utility; they are safe for use in the freezer, microwave or up to 450℉ in the oven.

How much heat can ceramic bowls take? ›

Most types of ceramic will be suitable for oven use at reasonable temperatures (around 200C/400F), as pottery is fired to much higher temperatures during production.

Can ceramic bowl handle heat? ›

The best choice for oven-safe bowls is high-fired ceramics. These can typically withstand temperatures as high as 3000 degrees when appropriately used. With that said, you can usually find out how much heat they can withstand by reading the label.

Does ceramic break under heat? ›

In terms of conductivity, it is an excellent material as an electrical and thermal insulator. After a thermal shock, i.e. the sudden heating that forces the ceramic material to expand, the ceramic can withstand sudden changes in temperature without cracking, breaking or loss of mechanical strength.

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