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Jul 8, 2009 10:01 AM

Sell me on a single-bowl sink

I'm getting down to actually choosing all the components for my kitchen makeover. Several people have tried to steer me to getting one big, single-bowl sink instead of the equal two-bowl I'd been planning.

So far, the only argument in its favor I can understand is that you can get the largest pans inside it to clean. That makes sense.

But what the heck do you do when you want to wash a large batch of dishes and pans by hand? I've always kept one bowl with shallow soapy water, and another to rinse in. That'd be impossible in a single-bowl sink.

What am I missing? Stainless steel is the only material I'll consider, BTW.

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  1. what you're missing, in my opinion, is a dishwasher. When we remodeled we went with a relatively deep single stainless sink (franke). Just rinse off the dishes and put them in them in the dishwasher. We got a double from f/p and it's working out pretty well so far

    1 Reply
    1. re: chuckl

      Oh, I should have mentioned that I WILL have a dishwasher. But I hand-wash several items religiously. I never put plastic in the dishwasher, for example, and will sometimes amass quite a batch to do at once.

    2. With a single good sized sink in order to wash tableware that must not go into the dishwasher I use a wash tub set into the sink with the soapy water and rinse as I go in the open side. Space limitation was a factor whan we installed a new counter and sink.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Gio

        I do what you do, Gio, and I always have one of those little rubber-y mats in the sink to protect fragiles - it also protects the sink. I don't like a second sink for rinsing as eventually that water is going to be less than pristine and scalding hot. I will always have this type of sink. Oh, and some are deeper than others so check that out also. I got as deep as seemed reasonable. Not as deep as a utility sink but 8+", I believe. I find NO downside to it and being able to roasting pans and baking sheets flat in the water to soak is great.

        1. re: Gio

          Gio, sixty years ago when my family lived in South America we had a little under-roof outdoor work area behind the kitchen that had a great big washtub where a lady came every week to do our laundry by hand. When she wasn't there we used that sink for soaking and scrubbing pots and pans. Since then I have never, not for a single day, stopped missing that big scrubbing sink.

        2. I added one in my recent remodel and will NEVER have anything but a large single bowl again. It actually makes hand washing a pleasure. I hand wash all my pots an pans and couldn't stand doing it in my old 60/40 bowl, no space. Mine is stainless.

          4 Replies
          1. re: jeffreyem

            jeffreyem, where do you rinse them, then? Do you just use the sprayer and let it fall back into the dishwater?

            1. re: dmd_kc

              Sprayer and the faucet I don't keep any water in the sink, I have a drying rack on the counter, I actually prefer hand washing to the dishwasher (which is right next to the sink.)

            2. re: jeffreyem

              I always prefer hand washing in a single bowl sink. I can be a Klutz so the two bowl sinks never worked for me because I would inevitably not have enough room and break something when I ran into the sides of the sink. it's also good for washing a puppy. The down side of a single bowl is that if you don't wash or load the dishes right away it becomes a storage area for dirty dishes.

              1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

                I see the "storage area" as upside, not downside.

            3. I've had both, and very much prefer double-bowl sinks. That probably has to do as much with my cooking / cleaning style as anything else. I like to put dirty stuff in one side and have the other side available for use. So, for example, if you need to soak a sauce pot for a while before scrubbing it out, it's out of the way while you're prepping the salad. Also, if you have a bunch of dishes to hand-wash, you can have one side full of hot soapy water and the other side available for rinsing.

              My inclination is to go the opposite direction. For our upcoming kitchen remodel, I've picked out a three-bowl sink, with a small, shallow middle bowl that houses the disposal.

              8 Replies
              1. re: alanbarnes

                I have to side with the two bowl contingent. I Installed a two bowl that had one side large enough to take a half sheet pan flat and a smaller side with the disposal mounted in it. My favorite sink ever, the large side was extra deep and really worked well for me.

                I'm now living with a single pot sink undermunted to a tile counter, changing it would start a series of domino like fixes that would result in a whole new kitchen. Not in my budget right now.

                1. re: Scrapironchef

                  I have never understood why people put the disposal on the smaller side. When you are washing your half sheet pan, what happens to the bits of stuck on food? Wouldn't it be better if they could just be disposed off directly down the drain of the sink you are washing it in?

                  1. re: danna

                    when we bought our house it had the disposal in the small side. We redid our kitchen and the question came up. The contractor said "most people put it in the small side". I thought about it, and instead put it in the big side. I tend to use the big side for soaking dirty dishes and whatever, and the small side to rinse or peel veggies. I put the scraps in the compost, and they're relatively clean, so I just scoop them out with my hands. The icky stuff from the soaking pots goes down the disposal. Makes sense to me.

                    1. re: danna

                      The basket strainer in the large side grabs anything too large to go directly down the drain. Putting the disposer in the large side takes it out of action whenever you are washing/soaking something.

                      It's easy to scrape and rinse into the small side, if you do it into the large side you end up having to scrape and inse out the whole sink when you are done.

                      1. re: Scrapironchef

                        kind of depends on how much you *want* to go down the disposal. With septic, you're supposed to minimize that, hence my desire to only send the really gross stuff from soaking down the disposal. I do peel into the small side, then scoop it out into the compost.

                      2. re: danna

                        Me nether. To me the disposal should be on the large bowl. That's where I put mine since that's the side that most washing occurs, but I see it the other way more often.

                    2. re: alanbarnes

                      >>>>I've had both, and very much prefer double-bowl sinks. That probably has to do as much with my cooking / cleaning style as anything else. I like to put dirty stuff in one side and have the other side available for use. <<<<
                      How do you soak a 12" skillet (anything with a handle, really)?

                      1. re: Jay F

                        My sink's probably 60/40, and the big side is large enough to soak most of the stuff I have. There are exceptions; they have to soak on the counter. Suboptimal, but it happens so infrequently that it just isn't that much of an issue.

                    3. We have a double sink, but it's split 60-40 or 70-30. So you end up with a larger main sink and the extra sink for rinsing / draining.

                      Previous kitchen had a single sink, and I went a little snakey - even with a dishwasher.


                      1 Reply
                      1. re: legourmettv

                        I have this type of split sink as well. Love it.. it has the larger side where I can fit the insert out of my 7qt KitchenAid slowcooker easily to wash.. and the smaller side for rinsing other items or whatever.