The mixing bowl is one of those “must have” kitchen items. It’s their versatility that is probably their greatest asset. From cakes to mayonnaise, there’s really not much they can’t do!
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Obviously, the requirements you have for the bowl will affect which bowl you buy. Do you want nesting bowls to reduce space? Do they need to be able to go in the freezer, the microwave, or the dishwasher? All important considerations!
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What kinds of mixing bowls are out there?
Before my children required that I know how to cook – and do it well – I operated under the assumption that the tools in your kitchen had zero effect on the outcome of your meal. So naturally, I had no clue that different mixing bowls were best used in different circumstances.
The question of, “what mixing bowl should I use?” was completely lost on me. That is if I even used one at all (I usually tossed everything around in a cereal bowl).
Today, I understand there’s a wide variety of mixing bowls. Some simple and some fancy. There are mixing bowls in a number of sizes, and some come in nesting sets. This article will look at what I think are the best mixing bowls for baking.
Stainless Steel Bowls
Stainless steel mixing bowls are lightweight and typically less expensive than most other mixing bowls (unless you opt for the higher gauged stainless steel). Some of the high-end stainless steel models will have silicone grips on the bottom of them to keep the bowl in place.
One huge upside to stainless steel mixing bowls is that, contrary to glass bowls, there is no risk of the bowl chipping. This means you’ll never have to worry about chipped pieces of your bowl getting into your food.
Glass bowls are generally a little sturdier than most other bowls, but that means they’re a little heavier as well (not good if you spend hours per day holding the bowl).
I have found that glass mixing bowls with measuring markers are great when you are working with exact measurements, and these markers are most easily read on a glass bowl. Another benefit you’ll enjoy with glass bowls is the ability to throw it in the microwave if needed.
Personally, I love wooden bowls the most. They are lightweight and make tossing your foods like hot wings in your favorite buffalo sauce a breeze. Plus, they are great for housing your fresh salads.
Unfortunately, wooden mixing bowls are not very good for much else outside of that. Plus, keeping these things clean is an extraordinarily tedious task, to say the least.
Plastic or Nylon Bowls
These are pretty inexpensive and very sturdy, they’ll never chip (although there is a risk of them cracking) and you can throw them in the dishwasher when you’re done using them.
The downside to these bowls is that they become discolored after a while, especially if you are using them for mixing things like tomato pastes. They also tend to take on odors of the ingredients that you are mixing.
Now that we’ve gone over the different types of mixing bowls, what they are best used for, and where they are most vulnerable, let’s look at some of my favorite mixing bowls:
If you’re the type that likes to have attractive kitchenware, with designs imprinted on the sides of your bowls, then ceramic bowls are right up your alley. You can find them in almost any pattern, design, or color you can think of and even some that you can’t.
You’ll love how heavy they are when you are stirring and mixing away at your countertop. But hate how heavy they are when transferring the batter to the cooking sheet.
The more expensive models are going to be oven safe at fairly high temperatures, and many ceramic bowls are microwave safe. Be careful though, ceramic is known to chip and of course, ceramic chips is bad news for your cakes.
It seems that silicone is quickly becoming the most popular kitchen material for chefs and home cooks alike. For good reason though, food-grade silicone is about as invulnerable to heat as you can get. It’s very easy to clean, your food doesn’t stick to it, and has the versatility to be used in a myriad of ways.
Silicon bowls are lightweight and their pliability allows you to crease the bowl when pouring your mixture out.
The bigger, the better!
You aren’t always beating eggs, or mixing up a spice rub for the barbecue you have coming up the next day. These bowls are for those times you need a bowl to toss your wings in or make your daughters birthday cake.
Libertyware 20-quart stainless steel mixing bowl
The Libertyware 20 qt. stainless steel mixing bowl is great for big quantities. It uses high-quality stainless steel, that won’t bend under the weight of the batter, keeping its structural integrity no matter what.
I’m not sure I’ve ever needed the entire 20-quarts when using this bowl, but it’s great to know that it is there if it were ever necessary (plus, having all the extra space in the bowl ensures more of its contents remains in the bowl, and less end up on my counter-tops.
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Update International Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl
Is bigger always better? Not really. But, if you’re looking for a monster of a bowl – you can stop reading now – this is the bowl you need.
This is a monstrous 30-quart bowl with heavy duty stainless steel (18/8 gauge), that will hold up to all of your needs.
A giant bowl that is lightweight, durable, easy to clean, and comes at a price as awesome as the bowl itself, isn’t an everyday find. So when you do have the opportunity to get one, you just have to jump on it.
Winco WWB-10 Wooden Woven Salad Bowl
I don’t often use this bowl for mixing salad at all. But I use it all the time for mixing wings in some of my homemade hot sauce. The bowl is ridiculously light and the huge diameter and the bowls high sides makes tossing food unbelievably easy and gets you to the eating part of your meal quickly.
But…. this is a very inexpensive bowl and requires some affection if you want to use it for more than a couple months before needing a new one. For me, it’s worth it.
Oh, by the way, this bowl also fits seamlessly into the “I’m on a budget” category we’ll look at next!!!
I’m on a budget!
Most of us aren’t able to, or maybe just not willing to spend bookoo bucks on mixing bowls. These bowls are going to give you the results you need to achieve, without having to relinquish all that sweet moolah you made with uncle Rico today.
Honla 3-Quart Plastic Mixing Bowls
Three quarts isn’t much mixing space, but if you need several smaller bowls for mixing things like eggs or even brownie batter, this is a perfect set for you. That’s right, SET. You’ll get four bowls for an unbelievable price.
The bowls are easy to clean, have pouring spouts for easy transfer, and has a handy – well handle on it.
The true strength of this bowl though is its durability. The manufacturer touts these bowls as “unbreakable”, but I’ve learned there is no such thing. But still, they are pretty durable.
Restaurantware Met Lux Premium German Bowl
This is a very small stainless steel mixing bowl at a volume of only 1.6 quarts. But even small mixing bowls have their purposes. This bowl is perfect for melting cheese and chocolate when placing it over a pot of water simmering on the stove top.
This particular model is 1.6-quart bowl, but you have the option to purchase a 2.9, 5.6, and 8.9-quart bowls (each bowl increasing in price as they increase in size of course).
Give me one of everything!
Pyrex Smart Essential 6-Piece Set
The Pyrex Smart Essential 6-Piece Mixing Bowl Set is another favorite of mine. There are three mixing bowls, 1-quart, 1-1/2 Quart and 2-quart glass bowls, which each come with a plastic lid.
The bowls are made of non-porous glass, which will maintain its shape and color after heavy long-term usage. Sometimes bowls similar to these can warp, especially if going through extreme temperature changes. These bowls, however, won’t warp, stain, or absorb odors! This means that these bowls can be put in ovens, microwaves, fridges, and freezers. They are also safe for the dishwasher, just place the lids on the top shelf.
Need to store a bunch of leftovers? Click here to see my recommendations on the best containers for freezing leftovers.
I also like that they are made and manufactured in the United States and come with a two-year warranty.
Nothing beats U.S. quality! Learn about the best hunting knives made in the United States!
Stainless steel mixing bowl set by +Steel
Here is a set of four bowls (each with their own specific lids) of different sizes: 1-quart, 1.5-quart, 3-quart, and a five-quart bowl are included – at a very generous price, I might add. A stainless steel whisk is included as well.
The bowls are sturdy enough for your mixing needs, but the real strong suit is the caps and silicone bottom. These are absolutely perfect when you need to mix small amounts of batter and place it in the fridge for later use.
Tiger Chef Mixing Bowls
The three pack of mixing bowls seems to be a trendy package deal these days. The Tiger Chef is (among) my favorite of the sets because the bowls are versatile and I love stainless steel. You’ll get a 13, 16, and 20-quart bowls and of course, the bowls are durable and easy to clean.
Norpro 3 Piece Silicone Bowl Set
Silicone bowls are great for mixing small batches of brownies, pancakes, waffles, or anything else that doesn’t require a large bowl. This set is dishwasher safe, microwave safe, and can stand temperatures up to 500° Fahrenheit. The set includes a 1-quart, 1.5-quart, and a 2-quart bowl.
Easily my favorite thing about these bowls is that they are silicone, and you can manipulate the shape of the bowl while pouring your batter into the skillet or brownie pan.
Pretty bowls, pretty please!
Mason Cash Hearts Mixing Bowl
For a more expensive, but classic vintage look, the Mason Cash Hearts Mixing Bowl is one of the best. It will certainly set you back a few more of your hard-earned dollars, but it looks great and has plenty of reasons to recommend it.
Do you have a love for traditional kitchenware? Check out this article on the history of Wagner cast iron cookware.
This bowl is made from earthenware but is chip-resistant and exceptionally durable. It has a 4.25-quart capacity. The bowl is decorated, with hearts printed on the sides. It’s a nice touch, and also provides better grip for holding the bowl. I’d say the option to choose from pink, red, and cream is a plus as well.
This model is surprisingly light, certainly light enough to hold in one hand while stirring with the other. Unfortunately, it does lack a non-slip surface on the base to make life even easier. It’s dishwasher safe meaning cleanup won’t be a problem. The inside of the bowl is a white glossy color, which is useful for assessing color and consistency of your mixture. Although the exterior is chip resistant, the inside can scratch easily. Be aware of that if you are using a whisk or blender.
Hardwood Chef Premium Thick Acacia Wood Bowl
Yet another wooden mixing bowl and this is far and away the prettiest of them (in my opinion), the design really is exquisite. Acacia wood is attractive, durable, and makes great cutting boards, why would it be any different for a mixing bowl?
The bowl really is meant for salads or mixing any other fresh ingredients and I certainly wouldn’t use it for cake batter or anything of that nature.
Hardwood Chef has a reputation of producing and selling durable wooden tools made of a high-quality that will last years (with proper maintenance). Knowing that, you should expect to pay a premium price for their products.
Huju 3-Piece Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl Set
My final recommendation is the Huji 3-Piece Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls. It’s a set of three bowls (small, medium, and large), all made of quality stainless steel. They have silicone handles for ease of use when baking or pouring. Plus, they feature internal markings for measuring your mixture. The non-slip silicone base is a great touch. You can choose between red or blue for the handles and base.
You can never have too many options to choose from when deciding which kitchen product is best for you. Let’s look at some other pretty sweet mixing bowls.
Lipper International 274 Cherry Footed Salad Bowl
I guess this isn’t technically a mixing bowl (at least not for batter purposes), but a salad is nothing more than a mixture of fresh veggies and some fruits right? I love this because of the cherry finish. It looks great in contrast to the colorful contents inside of it and adds an aura of sophistication to the dinner table.
It is a wooden mixing bowl so you want to have in contact with water for a little time as possible, DO NOT put this in the dishwasher. After washing dry it thoroughly, you can even put a thin coating of mineral oil on it occasionally to keep its deep cherry finish looking fresh.
Regardless of your level of expertise everybody spends time in the kitchen, wants to prepare the best meals possible. In order to do that, you have to have the proper kitchen equipment, and of course, a mixing bowl is a part of that.
Get the wrong size bowl, and you’ll have trouble mixing your ingredients together. Get a poor quality bowl, and you run the risk of having unwanted aromas in your food, or worse, having bits of the bowl that chipped inside of your food.
Do yourself a solid, get a mixing bowl that makes your time prepping meals go as smoothly as possible.
For more great recommendations on baking supplies, check out my post on the best rolling pin for cookie dough. You might also want to read my article on the 6 ice cream scoops that will have you baking like a pro!