365 Objects Of Design

Plastic Free Storage, Cooking and Serving Bowls

25th February 2020
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It’s been a while since I shared a proper Object of Design as I try, for the most part, to make this blog about advice and inspiration rather than straightforward shopping, but today I want to show you something that I really just think is brilliant.

open shelves at madaboutthehouse.com

Before Christmas I was sent a set of Hokan Bowls. They would, said the blurb, reduce my use of plastic as I could put leftovers in the fridge before putting the bowls straight in the oven to reheat and then taking them to the table to either serve from or eat out of.

black hokan bowls plastic free storage via madaboutthehouse.com

In addition they stack, taking up less room on the shelf or in the fridge. The whole idea sounded so brilliant that I was actually a bit wary that they were promising too much. Yes, like many I am guilty of using cling film – I haven’t bought any for ages but am slowly using up a very old roll and wishing I wasn’t. But I can’t ever seem to marry a tupperware base with the correct lid. I also bought a set of lids that are supposed to stretch over every container to create an airtight seal. They sounded brilliant on the packaging but when they turned up only two fitted any of my dishes making the the other 10 useless. So I’d ended up buying even more plastic in an effort to reduce my single-used plastic and now it lives in my cupboard, along with the cling film just to keep it out of landfill.

When I unwrapped the Hokan bowls my first reaction was that they were too small to store much. But, I reasoned, they were so pretty that they would definitely look good on the shelf and, as an added extra it turned out they are great for serving olives as you can upturn the lid for the stones as well as homemade dips and sauces.

hokan bowls via madaboutthehouse.com plastic free storage

Then, over Christmas – the season of leftovers – I started gradually reaching for these bowls first and stacking them, as advised, in the fridge. And then, yes, it’s true you can put them straight in the over with leftover stew or pilaf or even roasted vegetables. And, it turns out, they are quite deceptive in size. I tend to eat with my eyes before my stomach and have realised that while the bowls might look small, the large one will definitely hold lunch for two, especially if you have extra salad or vegetables on the side.

hokan bowls shot by emily wheeler interiors

hokan bowls stacked shot by emily wheeler interiors

And yes, if you heat something in a smaller bowl you can stand it on a mat or a plate and eat straight out of it. They are also microwave and dishwasher safe too.

white hokan bowls via madaboutthehouse.com

Reader, I’m sold. Now I wasn’t ask to post this and I have to tell you, I didn’t pay for my bowls, nor are they cheap at £80 for a set of three but, that said, I think it’s worth saving for them. I have stopped using cling film, reduced the number of storage bowls cluttering up my shelves, put the tupperware in the landfill cupboard and freed up space in the fridge. Not to mention saved on washing up as I can store, heat and eat all from one bowl. Do I sound evangelical? I think I might be. You can also buy the bowls separately if you want to spread the cost or mix up the colours.

PS Nigella’s a huge fan.

 

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  • Susan 28th February 2020 at 9:38 am

    These are very interesting as I’m always looking for multipurpose cooking, serving, and storage with great design. I looked on the site and they are also great for the microwave. I’ve used Japanese style bowls and plates for years because they’re beautiful and easy to store.
    One thing I noticed about the design is they have glaze on the rim and lid. This makes them easy to clean but on Japanese ceramics, they leave this unglazed so the lid doesn’t slide. Did you notice any sliding when you used the dishes?
    I certainly understand one’s desire to decrease the number of plastics used for several reasons, so I’m not so sure why there are so many people recommending Pyrex for storage as the lids are most often plastic and they degrade rather rapidly rendering the entire unit unusable. The price for a set of three Pyrex containers is also not far off the price of these beautiful bowls. (BTW-I do have a glass lid on my butter keeper and its always sliding off the top.)

  • Sue 25th February 2020 at 12:24 pm

    Just use Pyrex dishes with lids! They’re still around I believe & are always loads available in charity shops for around £1 each. They are oven & dishwasher proof, go into your fridge & freezer. Their designs are retro which is fun too!

    • Siân 26th February 2020 at 8:44 am

      Yes, agree with you about Pyrex. Might not be so trendy, but does the same job at a fraction of the price. And you can get clear dishes, so you can see what’s in them. That’s a big advantage when they are stacked up in the fridge.

      • Moull 26th February 2020 at 11:43 am

        Yes totally agree Pyrex all the way – Ikea does their own version too and I haven’t used plastic for over a year now ….

  • Annie 25th February 2020 at 10:56 am

    Definitely going to look into these too, they look great!

  • Esmerelda 25th February 2020 at 8:32 am

    They are indeed very beautiful, but perhaps the most eco-friendly method of storage is the old-fashioned way – use saucers or side plates as lids for any bowl and stack them up in the fridge.

    • Kate Watson-Smyth 25th February 2020 at 11:55 am

      Yes, the designer said he designed these precisely because his stack of bowls and saucers kept threatening to topple over in the fridge.

  • Lucy 25th February 2020 at 8:19 am

    I’ll definitely give them a try. They’re so beautiful too! I mostly use beewax wraps that I started making myself, so I can make any sizes I want.

    • Annie 25th February 2020 at 10:55 am

      Ooh can you share how you make beewax wraps? We try to use them too but I find they lose their “clingability” after a while so being able to re-wax them or make new ones would be wonderful!

  • Sylvia Wedge 25th February 2020 at 8:09 am

    I remember back in the late sixties buying Flammfest products, which would go from oven/hob to table to fridge. The German company continues to manufacture, I believe. They were were mainly white china-looking with dark brown lids. When I moved to North America I gave them to friends. I understand some are still in use!

    • Kate Watson-Smyth 25th February 2020 at 11:57 am

      Ooh I have looked them up – what a gorgeous design. Here are some pieces I found on Etsy if anyone is interested.

    • Deb 29th February 2020 at 9:34 am

      I love the retro design of Flammfest, does anyone know of Flammfest pans can be used on an induction hob? The test is if a magnet sticks to the base.

  • Renaud 25th February 2020 at 7:52 am

    Thank you for sharing! I didn’t know this brand, but I’m glad I do now. I’m also trying to reduce plastic in my life, and like you I’m guilty of using cling film from time to time. I have my own Tupperwares, but they’re also plastic and I have been told that it might not be good to reheat food in the microwave directly from them, so when they’re not good for use anymore, I think I will switch for glass and those bowls, which are not only very practical, but also very aesthetically pleasing.

    Have a lovely day.

    Renaud
    http://blogbyrenaud.wordpress.com

    • Yvonne Labadi 25th February 2020 at 7:58 am

      There is absolutely no reason on earth that these should cost £80!!!

      • Kate Watson-Smyth 25th February 2020 at 11:57 am

        They are expensive but they will last for ever – assuming you don’t break them – and they are a beautiful object as well as having multiple uses.

  • LN 25th February 2020 at 7:02 am

    They do look nice but pricey. Also, it doesn’t look like they can go in the freezer. I use glass containers with glass lids. They are not as stylish obviously but have been doing the same job for years for a fraction of the price!

    • Kate Watson-Smyth 25th February 2020 at 11:58 am

      I’m not sure about the freezer either but they work in pretty well every other scenario and do look lovely on the table too.

      • Paula 25th February 2020 at 5:57 pm

        I’ve used mine in the oven, microwave, fridge and freezer and they’ve been perfectly fine.

        I don’t get the quibbling about the price. Each bowl works out at around £26. There’s precious little that can bought for that money which has all the above functions and looks good to boot. And if you look after them they’ll last for years and beyond. I’d call that a bargain. And no, I have nothing to do with Hokan!

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