This New Induction Cookware Comes with a Cooktop — And It’s Perfect for Anyone Who Lives Alone

published May 26, 2021
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Credit: Courtesy of Bonbowl

The internet is full of big-batch recipes, family-size dinners, and meal prep ideas. But what about those of us who live alone and don’t want to eat the same thing days in a row? As a single, immensely busy gal living on her own, I think of this every time I look at my fridge full of leftovers. And that’s why the Bonbowl speaks to me.

What’s the Bonbowl?

The Bonbowl includes a freestanding induction burner and a removable bowl for both cooking and eating. The cooktop has a built-in timer and the inside of the bowl (and only the inside of the bowl!) gets super hot super quickly, making it incredibly efficient and safer than, say, gas or electric. (Note: The cooktop has a hob in the center, so you can only use it with the included bowl.)

Credit: Su-Jit Lin

The Bonbowl’s 18-ounce bowl is pretty special — shrinking cookware and dinnerware into one and drastically reducing cleanup. The bowl has a heat-resistant silicone lip and double-walled insulation that keeps the outside cool enough to handle even after cooking. You can buy the bowl with a nonstick coating or in stainless steel. It also comes with a BPA-free plastic lid, which can be used to steam food, drain water, and turn the bowl into a food storage container.

Cooking in the Bonbowl

The high rims of the bowl give you more flexibility than a typical 6-inch pan, so you can sauté, sear, simmer, and brown in it. And the walls of the bowl heat up, too, giving you more cooking area — similar to a wok. The bowl is still small, no doubt, so I sometimes have to cook things like sautéed vegetables in batches. I also have an issue making pasta in the Bonbowl, as long noodles have to be broken to fit and the bowl really maxes out at 3.5 ounces of dry pasta, which is a little less than I like to eat.

Credit: Su-Jit Lin

However, the bowl’s efficient heating makes it fantastic for quick searing, as I’ve found with steak, chicken, shrimp, and peppers and onions, which char as if I had laid them directly on a grill. It can also bring water to a boil in roughly four minutes, and the nonstick coating is really good. I also like the bowl’s built-in timer and that the cooktop pauses when you remove the bowl from the burner, so you can resume cooking, if needed, but it will automatically shut off after a few minutes if not.

If you opt for the nonstick bowl, you do have to be careful about the cooking and eating utensils you use (read: no metal), but nonstick is also easier to clean than stainless steel. I would suggest opting for the latter, however, because you’ll be able to use your normal silverware in it without issue.

How Easy Is It to Clean?

Cleaning the Bonbowl is easy: Using a non-abrasive sponge and dish soap does the trick. Both the nonstick and stainless steel bowls are top-rack dishwasher-safe, but you can also use a tougher scrubber with the stainless steel version.

As for the cooktop, it cleans up well with a damp cloth and water or a mild, non-abrasive soap (just be careful not to let it drip into the vents). Like all plug-in appliances, it cannot be submerged in water.

The Bottom Line

For a particular niche audience, the Bonbowl is tres bonne. At $130 for the whole kit, it’s a great gift for a college student, a city apartment dweller, camper, anti-microwaver, or someone living alone.

While the Bonbowl does have some notable cons, it is super convenient. And there are plans for a larger bowl is in the works (you heard it here first!).