What Bowls Are Safe for the Double Boiler?

The double boiler, known as the Brain Marie, is essential for melting and cooking delicate items such as chocolate, soup, cheesecake, cheese sauce, and egg sauce. You must be wondering what bowls you can use to make a double boiler so that you can cook your delicate foods to perfection.

What bowls are safe for the double boiler?

Aluminum, steel, and stainless steel bowls are safe and practical to use as a double boiler because these materials are great heat conductors. It will accelerate the heat distribution by placing these bowls over boiling water, and faster heat up. You can also use the bowls for double boilers designed to have less thermal expansion.

It is possible to make your double boiler at home with your regular pot if you cannot afford it or don’t need to purchase a double boiler. You must check whether the bowl material is suitable for use with a boiler. Keep reading to learn which bowls are safe to use with a double boiler.

If you are interested in checking out the best double boilers, you can find them on Amazon by clicking here

What Bowls Are Safe for the Double Boiler

Which Bowls Are Safe to Use with a Double Boiler?

It is safe to use mixing glass bowls, pyrex bowls, metal, and ceramic bowls for a double boiler under specific instructions. Use the correct bowl size that fits into the bottom pan or pot and the suitable material. 

The use of heat-resistant bowls is safe whether glass, plastic, or ceramic. If you are using these bowls for a double boiler, there are a few things you need to know about them. See the section for each material for more information.

Can You Use a Plastic Bowl for a Double Boiler?

It’s not advisable to use plastic bowls for the double boiler since plastic bowls do not withstand heat, making them unsuitable for double boiling. Even though a double boiler uses indirect heat, it is still possible for the plastic to become excessively hot and as a result, the plastic bowl may break and otherwise lose its shape. 

For double-boiling to function, the water in the lower pan or pot must heat the bowl’s contents withstanding it. Using a plastic dish for double-boiling may result in uncooked items because plastic does not conduct heat. But you can use it for melting butter or for a short period. 

It would be best to keep the plastic bowl above the water level to prevent it from melting. However, another problem may arise if the water boils under the bottle, creating a bubble of vapor that will complicate things.

Learn more here.

Can You Use a Stainless Steel Bowl for a Double Boiler?

The stainless steel mixing bowls are excellent for double boilers since they are indestructible, conduct heat readily, and aid in fast cooking.

You should be careful with the size of the bowl since if the bowl touches the boiling water, the food inside may burn or stick to the bottom. 

When utilizing metal bowls for double-boiling, keep in mind that the vapor heats the metal and makes it hot. Be careful when touching it to prevent getting burned.

However, they are pretty light and can move around while stirring them. When pounding eggs, many people still use copper mixing bowls.

Learn more here.

Can You Use Any Glass Bowl for a Double Boiler?

You can make a double boiler with a glass bowl, but make sure to choose the correct glass for the purpose. In most cases, glass bowls expand when heated and contract when cooled, and this sudden heat transformation stresses the glass, causing them to shatter.

The ability of glass to withstand heat is limited, and the wrong glass bowl can lead to damage. The majority of pots and pans in our home cannot support another pot or pan on top of them. It is necessary to use a bowl that fits perfectly inside your pot or pan to prevent the steam from escaping. 

Using a glass bowl as a double boiler has many pros, a few of which are listed below:

  • Due to the glass’ transparency, you can see what’s going inside the bowl, allowing for more efficient cooking.
  • Compared to other bowls, glass bowls are much more affordable and are readily available.
  • They are non-reactive, so you can safely cook with them when you use them for double boilers.

As such, it will ruin your cooking, which is why you need to choose a glass that is heat resistant and has a low thermal expansion. The bowl shouldn’t touch the simmering water; otherwise, the glass bowl will become very hot.

Read Also: Are Glass Bowls Oven Safe?

Is Pyrex Bowls Safe to Use as a Double Boiler?

Pyrex bowls are ideal to use for a double boiler, as it is a heat-safe glass bowl that would be much safer to use than a regular bowl. When picking Pyrex bowls for double-boiling, ensure the bowl conforms tightly to the pot’s edge. 

In addition, it should not be so tight that it becomes difficult to remove or so loose that it comes into contact with the boiling water since the heat from the boiling water may cause fissures.

Avoid sudden and robust temperature fluctuations to prevent the glass from splitting when exposed to boiling water.

Learn more here.

Can You Use a Glass Measuring Cup for a Double Boiler?

In general, ordinary glass cannot withstand such high temperatures. In my opinion, a glass measuring cup would not be an excellent choice for a double boiler. 

The glass measuring cup can withstand both cooktop and oven degrees, allowing you to calculate and cook in one vessel.

The measuring cup, which stands 5 inches tall, is constructed entirely of glass and features a stay-cool grip that allows you to raise it as needed. 

Read Also: Can You Use Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls In The Oven?

Can You Use the Pyrex Measuring Cup as a Double Boiler?

Pyrex measuring cups can be used as double boilers, but make sure they are at room temperature before using. Although Pyrex is heat-proof, make sure that the lower bowl does not get too hot. 

Also, prevent the measuring cup from completely submerging in the boiling water as sudden temperature could fracture the glass. You can also place the pyrex measuring cup on a support in the pot for a better experience.

You can find this Pyrex Glass Measuring Cup on Amazon by clicking here.

Can You Use a Ceramic Bowl as a Double Boiler?

You can make double boilers from heatproof ceramic bowls, and the ceramic bowls that are oven and stovetop-safe can also serve as double boilers. 

Ceramic expands when heated; if the ceramic bowl is not oven-proof, heating it at extreme heat could cause temperature fluctuations when the thermal gradient drops, cracking or shattering it. 

If you like these ceramic mixing bowls you could find more details about them from Amazon here.

Because certain ceramics cannot survive intense temperatures, you should only use stove-top or oven-safe bowls. These ceramic bowls allow you to control the temperature while you double boil, allowing you to heat slowly and evenly.

It is incorrect to assume that ceramic bowls can endure heat because they were created by fire. Suppose a ceramic bowl is not intended for oven usage but is used nevertheless.

In that case, there is a possible safety danger in handling the bowl and its hot contents since the bowl may break, and the hot materials can inflict significant fires.

Read Also: Are Ceramic Bowls Oven Safe?

Can I Use a Microwave-Safe Bowl for a Double Boiler?

The microwave-safe bowls are suitable to use as a double boiler. You should be fine if there is no silver paint or etching on glass or ceramic plates, bowls, cups, mugs, mixing bowls, or baking pans. 

The norms are microwave-safe glass and ceramic bowls; exemptions include crystal and some handcrafted pottery. So, we can also use these microwavable bowls for double boilers by using these microwavable bowls.

How to Double Boil Without a Double Boiler?

If you don’t have a double boiler, you can easily create one by nesting a heat-safe bowl inside a saucepan. The bowl should fit snugly inside the saucepan, and there should be enough room in the saucepan for the water to boil without touching the bottom of the bowl.

To double boil without a double boiler, simply fill the bottom saucepan with water and heat it over medium heat. Place the bowl containing the food to be heated on top of the saucepan, and allow the water to come to a boil. The steam from the boiling water will gently heat the food in the bowl.

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The double boiler is a typical kitchen appliance used to steam cook a wide range of foods. Essentially, it consists of a big pot containing boiling water and an upper bowl that sits inside. The double boilers are available in various materials, including steel, glass, and pyrex.

If you are interested in the best bowls and bowl sets, be sure to visit my Recommended Products Page (click to see my page) which includes all of my top picks by category.


Maria is a content creator and passionate about sharing her food and kitchen knowledge.

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