Crucible vs. Evaporating Dish

What's the Difference?

The Crucible and the Evaporating Dish are both laboratory tools used in chemistry experiments, but they serve different purposes. The Crucible is a small, heat-resistant container made of porcelain or metal, used for heating substances to high temperatures. It is often used for melting, calcining, or fusing materials. On the other hand, the Evaporating Dish is a shallow, flat-bottomed dish made of glass or porcelain, used for evaporating liquids to obtain solid residues. It is commonly used for concentrating solutions or recovering dissolved substances. While both tools are essential in the lab, their distinct designs and functions make them suitable for different types of experiments.


AttributeCrucibleEvaporating Dish
MaterialTypically made of porcelain, alumina, or platinumUsually made of glass or porcelain
ShapeCylindrical or conical shape with a flat bottomShallow, circular shape with a spout for pouring
UsageUsed for heating substances at high temperaturesUsed for evaporating solvents or liquids
CapacityAvailable in various sizes, typically measured in millilitersAvailable in various sizes, typically measured in milliliters
Heat ResistanceCan withstand high temperatures, suitable for strong heatingCan withstand moderate temperatures, not suitable for strong heating
HandlingUsually handled with tongs or crucible holders due to high temperaturesCan be handled directly, as they do not reach extreme temperatures
ApplicationsUsed in chemistry labs for various heating and melting processesCommonly used in chemistry labs for evaporating solutions or drying substances

Further Detail


When it comes to laboratory equipment, both crucibles and evaporating dishes play crucial roles in various scientific experiments and processes. These two tools are commonly used in chemistry and other scientific disciplines to heat, evaporate, and analyze substances. While they may seem similar at first glance, there are distinct differences in their attributes and applications. In this article, we will explore the characteristics of crucibles and evaporating dishes, highlighting their unique features and discussing their specific uses in the laboratory.


A crucible is a small, cylindrical, and often lidded container made of materials such as porcelain, alumina, or platinum. It is designed to withstand high temperatures and is typically used for heating substances to extremely high temperatures, melting metals, or performing chemical reactions that require intense heat. Crucibles are known for their excellent thermal conductivity and resistance to thermal shock, making them ideal for applications involving extreme temperatures.

Crucibles come in various sizes, ranging from a few milliliters to several liters, depending on the specific experiment or process. They are often used in conjunction with a Bunsen burner or a furnace to provide the necessary heat. The lid of a crucible helps to contain the contents and prevent the loss of volatile substances during heating. Additionally, crucibles are usually glazed on the inside to prevent reactions with the materials being heated.

One of the key advantages of using a crucible is its ability to withstand high temperatures without cracking or breaking. This durability allows for repeated use, making crucibles a cost-effective option for laboratories. Furthermore, the materials used to manufacture crucibles are chemically inert, ensuring that they do not react with the substances being heated, thus maintaining the purity of the sample.

Crucibles find applications in a wide range of scientific processes, including metal alloying, ashing, calcination, and fusion. They are particularly useful in the analysis of minerals, ores, and metals, as well as in the production of ceramics and glass. The ability to withstand high temperatures and the inert nature of crucibles make them indispensable tools in many laboratory settings.

Evaporating Dish

An evaporating dish, also known as a shallow porcelain dish, is a flat-bottomed container with a wide opening and shallow depth. It is typically made of porcelain or borosilicate glass, which are both resistant to thermal shock. Evaporating dishes are primarily used for the process of evaporation, where a liquid is heated to allow the solvent to evaporate, leaving behind the solute or residue.

Unlike crucibles, evaporating dishes are not designed to withstand extremely high temperatures. They are better suited for processes that require gentle heating or moderate temperatures. The shallow depth of an evaporating dish allows for a larger surface area, facilitating faster evaporation. The wide opening also enables easy access for stirring or adding reagents during the evaporation process.

Evaporating dishes are commonly used in chemistry laboratories for tasks such as concentrating solutions, crystallization, or drying substances. They are particularly useful when dealing with volatile or heat-sensitive compounds that may decompose or react at higher temperatures. The shallow design of evaporating dishes also makes them suitable for observing and examining the residue left behind after evaporation.

Another advantage of evaporating dishes is their affordability and availability. They are relatively inexpensive compared to crucibles, making them a cost-effective choice for laboratories with limited budgets. Additionally, evaporating dishes are easy to clean and maintain, as they do not require specialized glazing or treatment.


While both crucibles and evaporating dishes serve important roles in laboratory settings, there are several key differences between the two:

  • Temperature Resistance: Crucibles are designed to withstand high temperatures, often exceeding 1000°C, while evaporating dishes are better suited for moderate temperatures, typically up to 500°C.
  • Depth and Shape: Crucibles are deeper and cylindrical in shape, allowing for the containment of larger volumes of substances, while evaporating dishes are shallow and have a wider opening, facilitating faster evaporation and easier access for stirring.
  • Material Composition: Crucibles are commonly made of porcelain, alumina, or platinum, while evaporating dishes are typically made of porcelain or borosilicate glass.
  • Applications: Crucibles are used for high-temperature processes such as melting metals, chemical reactions, and analysis of minerals and metals, while evaporating dishes are primarily used for evaporation, concentration, crystallization, and drying of substances.
  • Cost: Crucibles are generally more expensive due to their ability to withstand high temperatures and their specialized materials, while evaporating dishes are more affordable and widely available.


In conclusion, both crucibles and evaporating dishes are essential tools in laboratory settings, each with its own unique attributes and applications. Crucibles are designed to withstand high temperatures and are used for intense heating, melting, and chemical reactions. On the other hand, evaporating dishes are better suited for moderate temperatures and are primarily used for evaporation, concentration, and drying of substances. Understanding the differences between these two tools allows scientists and researchers to choose the most appropriate option for their specific experiments or processes, ensuring accurate and reliable results.

Comparisons may contain inaccurate information about people, places, or facts. Please report any issues.