Anyday Cookware Review: Testing $140 Microwaveable Bowls

By Huy Vu

March 30, 2022

Anyday microwaveable cookware set

I never expected microwaveable dishes to become a social-media darling. Since Anyday Cookware launched a year ago, it’s been impossible to avoid their ads. It’s been rapturously reviewed as the best thing since, well, the microwave, and has the infamously temper-tantrum-prone chef David Chang attached as a company partner. Anyday Cookware is supposed to change the way we use a microwave, so I bought a set and put it to the test.

Anyday company background

Anyday Cookware is a company founded by Steph Chen, a restaurant consultant who has worked for Chez Panisse and Saveur. Chen apparently stumbled upon cooking a chicken in a microwave when she plopped one into a large food storage container. The result wasn’t the mummified carcass she assumed it would be. Instead, according to her press, the chicken was a beautiful, juicy, and tender bird of deliciousness. 

That revelation got Chen to cogitate that people have been using their microwave the wrong way. Rather than just reheating leftovers, defrosting frozen food, or popping popcorn, why not try cooking an entire meal in a microwave? 

Chen threw herself into researching microwave recipes and learned that David Chang had already done his own recipe development for microwave cooking. Chen teamed up with Chang, and together, they collaborated on creating Anyday Cookware, which they released in 2021. 

What does Anyday cookware claim to be and is it unique?

Despite the bad – and inaccurate – rep that the microwave irradiates you and your food, the Harvard Medical School actually deemed it safe and the best cooking method for retaining nutrients in food. Anyday’s mission, then, is increasing public awareness that the microwave is just as viable a cooking tool as, say, a Dutch oven or pressure cooker.

What’s Anyday cookware made of?

frosted Anyday cookware glass

Anyday Cookware is theoretically the best vessel for cooking anything in the microwave. The Anyway dishes – they’re actually bowls – are made from borosilicate glass, which is resistant to extreme changes in temperature, i.e. thermal shock, meaning it’s less likely to explode in your 500℉ oven. Interestingly, Pyrex used to be made from borosilicate glass before switching to tempered glass 30 or 40 years ago. (The manufacturer doesn’t own up as to when and why.)

Anyday bowl sizes

Anyday bowl options

The Anyday bowls come in four sizes: medium shallow (4 cups), large shallow (7 cups), medium deep (4 cups), large deep (8 cups). You can buy them separately if you don’t want to invest in the full four-bowl set that I tested

The bowls are a pretty frosted glass, which are intended to go straight from the microwave to the dinner table. (More on that later.)  They’re microwave safe (obviously), oven-safe, and dishwasher safe.

But honestly, I don’t see what makes the Anyday dishes any different from other microwave cookware to justify the $120 price tag for the set of four.

The Anyday lids

Anyday microwave safe lids

Basically, you’re paying for the lids, and I admit, they’re an impressive feat of engineering. The lids are also made of borosilicate glass with a stainless-steel rim. (No, they don’t spark in the microwave because the metal is curved, which prevents “arcing.”) The lids are lined with a silicone gasket that traps steam inside so food retains moisture. Positioned on top is a silicone knob that vents and regulates the steam’s pressure. 

So, does this overpriced cookware actually work? I cooked with Anyday for a week, and my results were mixed.

etching on Anyday lids
A reminder on the lids that they’re safe in the microwave

My results cooking with Anyday

If you’re like me, you probably don’t know how to cook a full meal from scratch in a microwave. Anyday’s website has a collection of 180 recipes for any type of meal at any time of day. Some recipes are simple; others are fancy, designed by a handful of chefs, including David (or “Dave” as he’s called on the website’s videos) Chang.

Most of the recipes default to a 1000-watt microwave oven, which is what I have, but if yours is less or more, it can be adjusted in the recipe, along with the number of portions. Also each recipe recommends which size Anyday dish you can use. I was frustrated, however, that the dish recommendation often didn’t correspond with the portion size. So I had to guess which one to use and crossed my fingers it worked out.

A word of warning: The Anyday Cookware gets incredibly hot, so you must use potholders to take it out of the microwave. The bowls don’t have handles, so you need potholders that have a good grip. (Anyday conveniently sells their Anyhand mitts for $20 on the website.)

Although Anyday’s marketing claims that the dishes can be used for serving at the table, I wouldn’t recommend it. The cookware stays blazing hot to the touch for 15-20 minutes, so you can’t have guests self-serve or pass the bowl without giving them communal mitts. Also, the cookware’s frosted glass gets messy during cooking and simply isn’t attractive for a dinner party. 

I chose eight recipes from the Anyday website that would give the Anyday cookware a pretty comprehensive workout, and here are my results.

Confit tomatoes

This recipe is a basic one for making a topping for a pizza, salad, or entree. It entails halving cherry tomatoes and tossing them with a tablespoon of olive oil, salt, and thyme. From the start, this recipe is off. Confit means slow cooking in oil or fat, and one tablespoon just isn’t enough. After 8 minutes of cooking, half the tomatoes were desiccated and blackened. 

Poached eggs

Another easy recipe. Fill the Anyday dish halfway with water, crack open eggs, submerge them, cover, and cook. The recommended time is 2.5 – 3.5 minutes, which seemed vague. Directions say to start with less time, check the egg for doneness, then cook in 30-second increments. At 2.5 minutes, though, the yolks looked like they had been boiled and were overcooked.

Chicken and black bean taco bowl

This recipe was one of the best I tried. It was super easy, just tossing diced chicken, black beans, red bell pepper, and seasonings in the large Anyday dish. I added red onion and a bit more seasoning, but 9 minutes later, I had a great meal.

Salmon with saffron cauliflower mash

I’ve cooked salmon in the microwave before, so I knew that the recipe’s 5-6 minute cooking time was too long. I cooked it for 4 minutes, and it emerged flaky and moist. I liked the Middle Eastern seasonings in this recipe, but the cauliflower mash was bland and too mushy for my taste.

Dave Chang’s shrimp and polenta

The website has a video of Chang literally throwing this dish together haphazardly. It’s meant to be funny, but his finished meal was a mess with watery polenta and slabs of underdone bacon floating on top. I slightly changed Chang’s overly complex and time-consuming recipe by cutting the bacon into smaller pieces, but otherwise I followed it exactly. Dry shrimp and goopy polenta, not my thing.

Broccoli, quinoa, and pistachio salad

The quinoa cooked perfectly, but the broccoli – cooked at the same time with the quinoa – disintegrated into unappetizing mush.


The red pepper, onion, and tomato base needed more seasoning than what the recipe called for, but it was quite tasty. However, the cooking time for the eggs was too long at 3-4 minutes, and they partially exploded.

Grapefruit and almond yogurt cake

The website has 21 dessert recipes, and I recently read that the microwave is great for baking. The flavor profile in this recipe was actually pretty good. But the cake’s texture was exactly the same as a cake baked in an Easy-Bake Oven. I took one bite and dumped it in the trash.

The Anywhere Bag

foldable Anywhere Bag

One of the accessories you can buy off of the Anyday website is the Anywhere bag. Made of cotton canvas with reinforced polyurethane handles, it’s a square tote bag that folds flat. The bag is available in two sizes – medium and large – presumably for taking your Anyday Cookware to a dinner party or picnic. I bought the large – roughly, 9-inches square – because the medium’s dimensions are only a 7.5-inch square.

It’s clearly well-made, but I wouldn’t use it for transporting a piping hot Anyday dish, since it’s not insulated or thick enough to repel heat. The Anyday website shows the bag transporting a bowl of potato salad, so I’d say stick with toting cold items. 

The Anywhere bag could also be about an inch larger to accommodate the large shallow Anyday dish, which doesn’t really fit. It’s not a deal-breaker because the other three dishes fit fine, though not all at once.

Cleaning via dishwasher and by hand

There really isn’t much cleanup involved, which is by far the best feature of Anyday Cookware. Even with the burnt confit tomatoes, I soaked the bowl for a couple of minutes to loosen the burnt bits, and then it cleaned up without any scrubbing needed.

The dishes and lids are dishwasher safe, so during my week of testing I put the cookware in the dishwasher without rinsing them, and they emerged sparkling clean. 

Anyday claims that the frosted glass will remain frosted even in the dishwasher, and that seemed to be true. But long-term testing will prove whether the frosted glass will be damaged by repeated cleanings in the dishwasher. 

What folks might benefit from Anyday cookware?

Anyday Cookware is ideal for people who don’t have the time or patience to cook a full meal every night. I’m not convinced that a microwave meal turns out better than a meal cooked in the oven or on the stove. But cooking dinner from scratch in a microwave is definitely a time-saver. 

Most of Anyday’s recipes take about 10 minutes or less to prep and 8-12 minutes to cook. So you can literally have dinner on the table, start to finish, in about 30 minutes. 

The recipes are customizable, so you can cook a meal with one to two portions or four to six portions. (A few recipes have six to eight portions.)  I found the portion size in the recipes to be accurate, so you can cook solo and have leftovers or feed a family and nobody will go hungry. 


Overall, the Anyday Cookware does what it’s supposed to do. It cooks everything evenly, keeps food hot before serving, and is a cinch to clean either by hand or in the dishwasher. The lids regulate and control the steam during cooking and create an airtight seal when storing leftovers in the refrigerator.

The dishes are well-made and nice to look at, but one particular flaw stands out. The cookware has no handles, which makes taking them out of the microwave challenging. The borosilicate glass gets extremely hot in the microwave, so you need a good pair of oven mitts that have a secure grip. 

Although the recipes were created by chefs, I found them bland-tasting and the directions vague. The website claims that the recipes were repeatedly tested in a 1000-watt microwave oven, but cooking times in my 1000-watt microwave were off. 

Nobody likes wasting food, but I think you need to have some cooking experience to tinker with Anyday’s recipes so you’re not throwing stuff away because it’s inedible.  

I really hate wasting food – I mean, who doesn’t? – and you need cooking experience to tinker with Anyday’s recipes so you’re not throwing stuff in the trash because it’s inedible. I suggest forgetting Anyday’s recipes and finding a good microwave cookbook instead.

If the Anyday Cookware was priced at $60 for the set, I’d recommend getting it. But at double the price, I’m less enthusiastic. On the other hand, the large shallow dish and the large deep dish are $40 each, so you could buy one and test it out for yourself before investing in the full set.