There is something to be said about enjoying a good casserole or just being able to enjoy some freshly oven-heated fries. When you're low on space, it makes sense to use an oven-safe bowl to heat smaller dishes in the oven.
The problem is that it can be hard to figure out whether a bowl is oven-safe. Are you having a hard time figuring out if your bowl is oven-safe? It shouldn't have to be that big of a problem.
The easiest way to determine if a bowl is oven-safe is to look at the packaging or to look for the "Oven-Safe" symbol on the bottom of the bowl. You can also reliably assume that bowls made from specific materials, such as cast iron or stainless steel, are also oven-safe.
Using the wrong bowl can easily become a fire hazard or a ruined meal. Before you end up with an unappetizing disaster, check out our guide on ensuring the bowl you have is oven-safe.
How To Tell If Your Bowl Is Oven Safe
Now that you know that you need to check for oven safety, it's time to discuss how to figure out if you can use that bowl for a mini casserole.
These methods are the most reliable:
Check The Packaging
Almost all culinary manufacturers now advertise a bowl as oven-safe if you can place it in an oven. So, if the bowl in question is new, check the bowl's packaging.
It will say it's oven-safe on the box if you can use it in an oven. Professional-grade boxes may also mention if a bowl is oven-safe to 500 or even broiler-safe.
On a similar note, if you have a cookware set that involves trays, bowls, and pots, check the box that the entire set came in. Sometimes, the box will tell you if the whole set is oven-safe right on the front.
Check The Bottom Of The Bowl
If the bowl in question didn't come with packaging, check the bottom of the bowl.
Manufacturers now have a symbol for oven-safe cookware that you can search for. If the bowl doesn't have that symbol on its bottom or has "oven-safe" stamped, it shouldn't go in the oven.
Check The Material
Sometimes, figuring out if a bowl is ceramic deals more with the material that your bowl is made out of than the stamp on the bottom. Here's a quick guideline to use:
- Cast iron is generally oven-safe. This is why Dutch ovens are usually cast iron with an enamel glaze.
- Metals like stainless steel are generally oven-safe. This means you can usually use a stainless steel bowl in a pinch.
- Glass can be, but you should use it with care. This is one of those materials you should check for oven safety. If there are bubbles in the glassware, it could cause the bowl to shatter when you remove it from the heat or expose it to too much heat.
- Stoneware is oven-safe, but you should be careful not to cause rapid temperature changes. This can also shatter if it gets too cold or fast after being in the oven. It's generally oven-safe up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Wood is not oven-safe. People owned wood-burning stoves for a reason.
- Porcelain can be oven-safe. Surprised? So are we. Check the bottom of the bowl before you assume it's good to go.
- Plastic is not oven-safe. Worse, putting plastic in the oven can actually melt the plastic, start a fire, and permanently damage it. Do not put plastic in the oven!
- You should never put melamine in the oven. This increasingly popular material is not oven-safe and can become a fire hazard if put in high heat.
- Ceramics must be marked as oven-safe if you want to use them inside the oven. Using the wrong ceramic can result in destroyed cookware and a call to your local takeout place.
If The Majority Of A Bowl Is Made From Oven-Safe Material, Is It Oven Safe?
It's important to remember that the entire bowl, handles included, needs to be oven-safe. If you have a bowl made of oven-safe steel but plastic handles, your bowl is not oven-safe.
Like with all things involving culinary work, it's best to err on the side of caution.
Can Metal Break In The Oven?
While it is not common, metal can succumb to thermal shock in extreme circumstances. In the vast majority of cases, though, you shouldn't worry about this.
Most metal bowls are graded for high temperatures simply because modern quality makes it possible to make great bowls cheaply.
What Is Thermal Shock, And Why Is It A Risk?
Thermal shock is a reaction that occurs when you heat the material and then try to cool it very quickly. The heat will expand the material, but the cold can make it contract so quickly that it will shatter.
Thermal shock is what causes most failures in ceramic cookware, glass cookware, and stoneware.
The best way to avoid thermal shock is to buy high-quality cookware and prevent rapid temperature fluctuations.
The best way to do this is to turn off the heat in the oven and let the cookware sit there for five to 10 minutes after you open the door. This gives your bowl time to readjust to a lower temperature.
Are All Ceramic Bowls Oven-Safe?
Tons of ceramic bowls are specifically made to be oven safe. However, assuming that your bowl will be fine inside an oven is never safe.
Not all ceramic bowls are oven-safe, especially when you're discussing antiques. It's possible to have a bowl shatter or melt if exposed to a temperature that's too high, which can turn into a fire hazard.
How Should You Pick An Oven-Safe Ceramic Bowl?
If you are a fan of ceramic cookware, you might worry about being unable to find reliable ceramic cookware. Don't worry. Your pay doesn't always reflect how good a bowl you have.
The best ceramic bowls for oven use all note being oven-safe.
How much heat they can tolerate, though, can change. 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 Does The Oven-Safe Symbol Look Like?
It looks like an oven that's heating food. If you are worried about microwave ovens, look for a symbol that looks like a microwave heating a small food tray.
In some packaging styles, you will find numbers inside the oven window. Those numbers are there to indicate the maximum temperature that the bowl is oven-proofed for. If there are no numbers, it's often safe to assume that the bowls are oven-safe to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Are Pyrex Bowls Oven-Safe?
Pyrex is a famous brand for having oven-safe glassware, meaning their glass bowls are oven-safe. However, you should not put all Pyrex products in the oven.
You should not put plastic lids and non-glass items in the oven as they are not made of oven-safe materials.
Can Foil Containers Go Into The Oven?
As long as the foil container doesn't have paper lining it or plastic ends, it should be oven-safe. Foil pans and bowls have been used in casseroles and baking projects for over 50 years.
They are reliable, which is why they tend to be the most popular affordable product when reheating food.
Are All Oven-Safe Bowls Microwave Safe?
No, not all bowls are going to be both oven-safe and microwave-safe. It's not safe to assume that an oven-safe bowl is microwave-safe simply because microwaves don't heat food evenly.
This leads to a higher risk of thermal shock. Moreover, many oven-safe bowls are made of materials that will start a fire if placed in a microwave: such as metal.
Putting a bowl in the oven can be doable, provided it's the right bowl for the job. You should be fine if you keep an eye out for the correct symbols and materials.
Of course, the best way to ensure that you keep safe while heating stuff up is to use broiler-friendly bakeware. Happy baking!
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