I’ve never been a microwave snob. Some things just cook faster and are more convenient in the microwave, whether it’s corn on the cob, baked potatoes, single-serving mac and cheese, or even poached eggs. I mostly use my microwave to zap leftovers. And in turn, I almost always zap my fingers by burning the heck out of them when grabbing a hot bowl in the microwave. At least I did until I discovered my microwave cooking savior: a bowl cozy!
A bowl cozy (also called a bowl hugger) is like a potholder molded to fit your bowls, so you can grab food using the fabric instead of making direct contact with a superheated bowl.
They are manufactured to be microwaved, so no need to worry about them catching on fire or overheating. They are designed to hug your bowl and give you a good grip for removing them from the microwave without burning yourself.
I first discovered them at my friends Harry and Jarrod’s one Christmas. We reheated soup in heavy-duty ceramic bowls that get scorching hot in the microwave. Jarrod’s mom had made the bowl cozies as gifts, and they saved our fingers! Instead of asking Mrs. Swartout to make me one, I was impatient and ordered some online. (I was that impressed!)
Now I am the proud owner of a set of two bowl cozies—mine have fruit and vegetable patterns. They are made with three layers of quilted cotton. I love that they have loops for easy hanging on hooks so I can hang them with my potholders by the stove.
My bowl cozies are about 3.5 inches tall at the corners and 8 inches across, with an approximately 5-inch base. I have placed bowls larger than 5 inches in diameter in them—including 8-inch wide East Fork’s everyday bowls, which I indeed use every day. The cozies are moldable enough that you can squash them down or perk them up depending on the size of your vessel.
The only downside of using a larger bowl is that you won’t have as ample of “handles” on the sides to pick up your hot bowl, so it’s a little more of a balancing act to slide it out of the microwave from the bottom.
In spite of its name, these bowl huggers work for plates too! The cozy can flatten down into the shape of a potholder—I’ve used mine for up to 12-inch dinner plates without issue. There is an array of sizes and custom-made options on Etsy, so you could theoretically get one as big as your microwave base, if you want to get a better, safer grip on your larger plates.
Once you turn to the bowl cozy life, I promise you’ll be “bowled over”—and with far less burn risk.