Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Re-Review: Stretchy Bowl Covers

No-name covers look better than they really are.
I recently reviewed the Cover Blubber, a stretchy bowl cover. And that made me think of the reviews I did of three other brands of bowl covers.

Maybe it's time for a re-review of these, since some time has passed.

It all started with some stretchy bowl covers that I saw on a Made-for-TV commercial, but when I went looking for them online, I couldn't find them anywhere. And I wasn't about to call and order by phone.

So I went searching for similar covers - to me, it made sense to have reusable covers for bowls - particularly my stand mixer bowl. I get tired of using plastic wrap to cover it every time I make bread and leave the dough rising in that bowl.

I found some unbranded lids on Amazon, but got frustrated pretty quickly. The description said the lids would stretch to fit different-sized bowls, but trying to get the largest size onto my stand mixer bowl was like trying to put a queen-sized bedsheet on a king-size bed, and the cover wasn't all that much smaller than the bowl. It should have fit.

When I finally wrangled the cover in place, it wanted to slip off.

While I was finally able to get the cover on and it held on fairly well, it was the opposite of easy. I wanted easy.

The covers were okay for other bowls that were smaller, but the range of good fit wasn't quite as wide as I hoped. If the bowl is slightly too large, it's too hard to get the cover on. If the bowl is slightly too small, the covers don't grab at all.

I do have a few bowls they fit well, so I still use them once in a while. I wouldn't buy them again, though.

Norpro Bowl Covers

I also tried Norpro's bowl covers, which are stretchy silicone squares rather than fitted round covers. I liked these a lot better than the no-name covers. I was able to cover my mixer bowl, and it held tight as long as the square and bowl were relatively clean and dry. A little flour or oil on the outside or rim of the bowl made things less stick-able, but not terrible.

The downside was that when I tried to cover a square pan with pointy corners, the sharp corner damaged the silicone square and the next time I tried to stretch it over a bowl, it tore.

Since the tear was at the edge of the square, it's still perfectly usable, but now I know that it's a little fragile, and I should only use it on pans with rounded corners.

Since these don't need to fit a bowl of a specific size, they're really versatile, and they stretch a lot, and they cling pretty well. And, since they're not fitted, you can cover square or odd-shaped bowls just as easily as you can cover round bowls.

I'd love it if I could find them in an even larger size to fit things like muffin pans or other big baking pans. I'd love them even more if they weren't as delicate.

Lekue Bowl Covers

I decided to try one more product with a different design, and that was the odd-looking stretch cover from Lekue.

I hesitated on this one because of the price, but decided to give it a go, anyway. And, good thing I did, since the 10.2-inch lid is perfect for my stand mixer bowl. And that was my primary concern.

Look how well it holds on, despite the expanding gas.
The odd shape means that it holds onto the bowl because of the design as well as the tackiness of the silicone. So a little bit of flour or water on the bowl edge isn't as much of a concern with these covers as with others.

When dough is rising, this thing hangs on tight and it expands to accommodate the gas building in the bowl. And it really, really, really stretches.

The downside is that it's not going to fit absolutely every bowl you own, but it does fit a range of sizes - the one that fits my stand mixer bowl also works well with several smaller mixing bowls I have, like the one at the right.

But there's a point where the cover is too floppy to cling. It covers the bowl, but it's not snug enough to seal. Which is fine, if I'm just covering the bowl to keep out flying things. You know, like flour.

The Lekue covers come in a variety of sizes, from the 10.2 that fits my stand mixer bowl, all the way down to a 3.3 inch size, so you can cover a pretty wide range of bowl sizes with a few sizes of covers. And they come in a couple different colors, if that matters.

Since I first wrote about these covers, I purchased one more large one and a slightly smaller one, for smaller bowls. I use them regularly, particularly the large one that fits my mixer bowl.

Allegedly, you can use these to cover a melon or a cut orange or whatever, but I was mostly interested in having flexible bowl covers.


Out of the three of these, I wouldn't recommend the no-name covers at all, unless you happened to have bowls that are exactly the right size for the covers to fit. Otherwise, forget it.

The Lekue covers are my clear favorites, despite the higher price compared to the others, since I"m getting so much more use out of them. I've been using these covers for quite some time and they're holding up really well. I expect to get a lot more use from them.

The Norpro covers are good, and less expensive than the Lekue. If they fit your needs - or your square bowls - they're a good buy. Since the silicon sticks to itself, you could also use these squares to wrap things - I'm not sure what, but it's an option, if you need it.

Source: I purchased all of these covers.

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