Saturday, April 12, 2008

Guyot Designs Squishy Bowls review

Items: Squishy Bowl Set and Travel Shots

Squishy Bowl Large Bowl - 3.3 oz, 4.7" diameter x 3" tall
Squishy Bowl Cup - 1.7 oz, 3.45" diameter x 2.45" tall
Travel Shot - 0.5 oz, 1.95" diameter x 1.42" tall
Made of food grade silicone.
Available in tomato red, tahoe blue, lime green, and slate dark grey.

Guyot Designs asserts that the squishy bowl series is flexible, durable, dish washer safe, and heat resistant. We submitted the Squishy Bowl set of Large Bowl and Cup ($15.15 together in our store) and Travel Shots ($7.55 for a set of two) to several (unbiased, but not entirely scientific) tests of these claims.

First up, flexibility. The large bowl and cup are easily turned completely inside out and returned to normal shape with a simple flexing of the sides. The travel shots were more difficult to turn inside out, but it is possible. We poured liquid in all three sizes to test whether this flexibility interfered with drinking. If you grip with one hand, the bowls form a little spout that is easy to sip from.

We also took the bowl and cup on a picnic. They packed easily and cleaned up well too. They nearly bounce if you drop them, so no worries about shattered plastic or scratches. The slightly matte finish on the outside does tend to attract dirt and hair which are easily brushed away.

For the durability test, we engaged our toddler and dogs. They were allowed to play with the bowls at will. The hounds even licked them clean and carried them around with no punctures or damage to be seen. Certainly a longer test range is necessary to say these are unbreakable, but from a few weeks use they pass our durability check.

The dishwasher safety was another easy one. All bowls went through the dishwasher a few times. There was no damage to the bowls, but water does tend to pool in them. If your dishwasher is as inefficient as the model we used, some of the pooled water may have food bits floating in it. Ick. Washing is so easy by hand that we recommend hand washing even though it is possible to throw Squishy Bowls in the dishwasher.

Finally, the fun one: heat resistance. First, we tried making hot tea by pouring boiling water over a tea bag in the cup. The squishy cup performed beautifully. The silicone is thick enough on the bottom and sides that little heat transfered to the outside of the cup. The tea stayed warmer longer than in our standard stainless steel camping cup. On a backpacking or camping trip, the boiling water test showed these would be great vessels to make instant meals or hot cocoa right in the bowl.

Next, we had to try baking in them. I was making bran muffins and poured batter into the buttered large bowl, cup, and travel shot. I baked these on a cookie sheet in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven. After baking was over, I allowed the muffins to cool for about 10 minutes.

Then I squeezed the bowls from the bottom to release the muffins. The results:

Pretty cute, huh? The bottom of the cup one broke off a bit, which is why it is not quite spherical. The 'cap' on the top of the travel shot muffin could be prevented by adding less batter in the future. Both undersides were slightly overdone which could probably be prevented by baking in a bain marie.

As for the bowl and travel shot, they seem no worse for the wear after baking. Cleanup was easy because the inside of the bowls is smooth. It's good to know that for special occasions I now have a way to make spherical baked goods.

Because we want you to try the Squishy Bowls, we will include a FREE travel shot (random color) with each webstore order between now and Earth Day, April 22. Let us know how you like it!

No comments: