A space-saving solution

About a month ago, in a post about polenta, I mentioned not having a double-boiler insert but really really wanting one. “We don’t really need one,” my husband pointed out. “And think about how much space it would take up.” He’s right on both counts, of course.

But I just stumbled upon a collapsible double boiler at Amazon. Wow. How cool is that? I could make gobs of polenta easily, melt chocolate fearlessly, and do all those other things that require a double boiler. All without eating up much more of our precious storage space in the kitchen!

I’ve never cooked with silicone before, though (aside from those heat-resistant silicone spatulas). Nor has my husband, who does all his baking in an extensive collection of metal pans. Have any of you used silicone cooking containers before? How do you like them?

5 Responses to “A space-saving solution”

  1. Jennuon 14 Sep 2007 at 1:11 pm

    My 2 cents–You could also just use a metal bowl, if you already have one. Even if you don’t already have one, a metal bowl can be used for other things, but a double boiler can only be used for one thing.

    I don’t have any silicone, but a friend of mine has some silicone bakewear and was unimpressed with it.

  2. pixieon 14 Sep 2007 at 1:51 pm

    I have a silicone flower cupcake pan from The Pampered Chef that I *love*!

  3. Marshaon 18 Sep 2007 at 3:22 pm

    Jennu: Good idea to use a metal bowl. Now if only I had a metal bowl… :)

    Pixie:/ Flower cupcakes? Those sound fun!

  4. Ariannaon 20 Sep 2007 at 3:38 pm

    I am SO GLAD that you commented on a recent post, because I had transferred a lot of my blogs to my phone’s feed reader (I’m just using Google’s Reader on my Treo; I used to use Netvibes — and still do, for desktop feed-reading). In any case, I KNOW that yours was added to that list, but I guess its feed never made it through, and I didn’t notice in all the shuffling. So, my sincerest apologies that I haven’t been keeping up! I certainly plan to from now on — yours is one of my favorite blogs. :)

    In any case, to comment on this actual post (which was my initial intent here), I actually have a set of really nice old-fashioned cupcake pans that are made of red silicone, that I picked up at a Crate & Barrel outlet a while ago. I’ve been pretty pleased with them so far! They are easy to clean and make really pretty cupcakes (they’re basically shaped like mini bundts). I was really wary of them, too (they’re so floppy!), but they turned out cupcakes just as nice as my metal pans did (and seemed so much easier to wash, which has always been my beef with cupcake pans!). So I would say, go for it, regarding silicone bakeware. At least get one piece & give it a try!

    However, the earlier commenter was right: why not just use a silver bowl? That’s always served myself, my mother, and HER mother (not to mention my sisters!) perfectly well, and I think it would be an unnecessary expense to purchase a double-boiler, unless you planned to do some pretty intense pastry chef-ing! :) But, on the other hand, I DO understand coveting something fun, AND it’s nice how little space it would take up!! :) I wish I could offer a better opinion, but I seem to be riding the fence here….

    I’ve got plenty more entries to catch up on (& possibly comments to leave!), so I’ll definitely let you go here. For now. :)

  5. merpon 22 Sep 2007 at 4:44 pm

    In my opinion, silicone cookware is a short-term pleasure. I’ve had a series of those silicone spatulas and I swear by them. Having something soft and rubbery you can scrape sauce out of a hot pan with (or whatever) is so worth it. But they only last 2-3 years, I’d say. At some point they start absorbing flavors, and eventually they start to deteriorate and feel sticky.

    So actual pans and bakeware I’ve stayed away from. Not sure I want my food in direct contact for a long time with a substance that unstable. And flexible cookware makes me nervous – I spill and drop enough things cooked in solid stuff!

    But sure, get a regular double boiler – they’re useful!