First, what are "pinch bowls"? Pinch bowls are very small bowls specifically designed to hold a single ingredient or condiment. They are often referred to as "condiment cups", too. They have a smooth, seamless inside so ingredient don't catch on them, and can be easily added to pots, skillets, woks, and plates.
Chefs like to have pinch bowls handy while they are cooking so they can have a number of ingredients 'at the ready' so they don't have to hunt for them while they are cooking.
If you are a chef, host or hostess, sports enthusiast, or parent/grandparent you may be surprised to find pinch bowls to have a lot of handy uses. They really are lovely little things that, strange as it may sound, will bring you joy with their functionality, ease of use and cleaning - and they take up very little space.
So, what are some of the uses for pinch bowls?
1. Essential Chefs Tools Pinch bowls are used to hold spices like cayenne pepper, salt, cinnamon, and others. They also are often used to hold chopped vegetables, especially smaller ones like garlic, scallions, and ginger. Use pre-measured amounts or just a bunch to have nearby. This is vital when cooking because all the ingredients are right at hand when needed. No chef likes to burn their dish or add ingredients too late because they are hunting for them while cooking. Pinch bowls are the solution, and a set is essential for every kitchen. They are a true stress reliever when cooking!
2. Individual Condiment Cups Pinch bowls are an aesthetic way to serve condiments when you don't want to have bottles of ketchup and mustard on the table, for example. Placing these condiments, along with mayo, relish, or whatever you are serving, into pinch bowls gives a nicer look to the table. Providing individual condiments at each place setting adds a touch of elegance, too.
3. Garnish Dishes Olives, pickles, lemon wedges and other garnishes can be served nicely in pinch bowls. They will keep the garnishes from rolling away without taking up all the space several larger bowls do and provide a nicer look than unsightly plastic containers. Perfect for burgers, sandwiches, fish, tacos, and much more.
4. Individual Seasoning If you've never experienced seasoning your own food to taste with spices in individual pinch bowls, you've missed out on a real treat. It's a delight for guests - a simple, yet noticeable touch of class when spices and seasoning are on the table in pinch bowls to be used as they like to suit their taste.
5. Game Day Servers Game Day foods are often as much about the condiments, sauces, and sides as the main food itself. Rather than trying to keep watch for those "double-dippers", consider providing each fan with their own set of salsa, cilantro, onion, cheese, and sour cream for example in a set of pinch bowls so everyone can dip away without getting up, reaching across the table, or double-dipping! A great game day experience.
6. Kid Control Kids love dipping, and pinch bowls give them their own dipping bowl, and control their portion. Perfect for ketchup, maple syrup, ranch or whatever. Kids love having their own bowls, and this makes their food fun!
7. Breakfast Options A great solution when you have house guests who will have breakfast with you. Rather than putting a jelly or jam jars on the table, putting a small amount of different flavored jellies in pinch bowls makes a nice impression.
8. Thanksgiving Prep With so many foods to be cooked on Thanksgiving, obviously prepping many of the foods ahead of time makes sense. Pinch bowls are a great solution for prepping the many small, chopped ingredients a day ahead. Put them all in the fridge and just pull them out when cooking your dishes!
9. A-1 Pinch bowls are perfect for A-1 steak sauce (or your favorite steak sauce) served as a side to each diner when serving steak.
10. Fish Fun! Next time you serve fried fish, try this for fun: place individual servings of tartar sauce with a lemon wedge and a sprig of parsley to really make the presentation crisp and appealing to the eye!
11. A Dash of Feel-Good Pinch bowls are a relatively inexpensive way to really add eye appeal and class to your table. Simply put, they really make you feel good, whether you are serving or eating. Everyone deserves a little joy - and these little bowls deliver!
Our pinch bowls are crafted from wood and hand-rubbed with an all-natural bowl and board rub. Wood preserves the flavor of the ingredients and adds an elegant look. Wood pinch bowls will last a lifetime. Our wood pinch bowls are made in the USA and come packaged in sets of six. Learn more.
Share your pinch bowl tips! We'd love to hear your uses and tips for pinch bowls and so will others. Leave a comment below!