Has everything you need – solid construction, non-slip bottoms, and rugged lids. Bonus features include measuring guide and three graters.
It's on the higher end of the price range, but the features justify the cost.
A classic set made of stainless steel that is both dishwasher and freezer safe. Plastic lids are a nice bonus.
The set consists only of 3 bowls which is less than the others on our list.
Stainless steel construction and wide, deep design rivals more costly sets. Features slip-resistant bottoms and non-toxic plastic lids.
Our testers found that some foods might causes stains if the bowls aren't cleaned thoroughly.
Well-made yet lightweight design. Features non-slip silicone bottoms for added stability.
The highest-priced set we reviewed. The lids are not as well-made as the bowls and tend to tear.
Deep-walled construction keeps contents inside the bowls. Matching lids fit securely for proper storage of food.
We love the multiple colors, but bowls must be handled with care to avoid chips and scratches.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
Mixing bowls serve as a staple in the modern kitchen. You can use them for everything from baking to making sauces, desserts, and marinades. With the right set of mixing bowls on hand, your time in the kitchen can be easy, fast, and fun.
But there are so many mixing bowl options on the market, it can be hard to know where to begin. Which sizes do you need? Which depths? And which material is best for your mixing bowl set?
At BestReviews, we work hard to bring you honest reviews that will help you answer these types of questions. We test products, talk with owners, and conduct expert interviews in order to bring you the most up-to-date information.
The shopping guide below presents you with information about different mixing bowl choices. When you’ve finished reading, check out our five favorite mixing bowl sets above to see what we recommend.
The material used to make a set of mixing bowls greatly impacts their performance. The most common mixing bowl materials include stainless steel, glass, plastic, copper, ceramic, wood (and wood-like materials), and silicone.
Below, we delve into the pros and cons of each material.
Stainless steel is incredibly durable and easy to clean, and it can withstand high temperatures. You’ll see lots of pots and pans made of stainless steel for these very reasons. Mixing bowls made of stainless steel easily tolerate the rigors of everyday kitchen use. Those without a skid-proof bottom can be used as a double boiler when placed on top of a pot heated on the stove. However, stainless steel cannot be used in the microwave because it could start a fire.
The material with which a bowl is made of impacts its durability. Stainless steel usually strikes the best balance between durability and practicality. Ceramic and glass chip and break more often than other materials, making them the least-durable choices.
For many years, glass mixing bowls served as the kitchen standard. Now that plastic and stainless steel bowls are readily available, however, glass has lost some of its popular charm. But glass bowls still offer some advantages; they’re easy to clean, and the material won’t change the taste or color of food.
If you choose this option, opt for tempered glass, which can safely be used in the oven and microwave.
Once plastic entered the mixing bowl market, it quickly swelled in popularity due to its low price and shatter-resistance. Plastic is also lightweight, which is helpful if you like to toss salads or do a lot of whisking.
It used to be standard practice to put plastic bowls in the microwave, but not anymore. Some bowls may be BPA-free and microwaveable, but you should always read the manufacturer’s label for information about best practices.
Notably, plastic can absorb flavors and odors from foods, transferring them to other foods even after the bowl has been washed.
Stainless steel should never go in the microwave, as it could start a fire. Watch out for bowls with metal rims, too; it’s easy to forget about that band of metal, but it could also cause a fire if placed in the microwave.
The classic look of copper lends an air of elegance to any kitchen. However, the expensive price tag makes copper an impractical choice for some consumers. Copper mixing bowls share many positive qualities with stainless steel, but they are known to discolor easily.
An instance in which copper wields a distinct advantage over other materials is when egg whites are being mixed. Copper ions react with the egg to create a stabilized mixture. If you mix a lot of eggs and like the look of copper, it might be worth paying the higher price for a set of copper mixing bowls.
Some people love ceramic bowls for their beautiful colors and decorative designs. Indeed, a set of ceramic bowls can be a lovely addition to the kitchen. What’s more, ceramic bowls are usually heavy enough to stay put for mixing. However, that same weight can make it tough to toss dressings or hold the bowl while whisking. And ceramic is known to chip, break, and crack far more easily than any other mixing bowl material.
If you opt for a set of ceramic mixing bowls, read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Some ceramic bowls are safe for microwave and oven use, but they cannot be placed on the stovetop.
Mixing bowl sets usually include anywhere from three to ten bowls.
Wood, bamboo, and cork can make an attractive bowl. You might wish to prepare and serve a salad in such a bowl. But when it comes to stirring batters and mixing doughs, the porous surface of wood and similar materials is less than ideal. These types of mixing bowl sets are best left for serving food rather than day-to-day cooking.
Silicone has blown onto the market much like plastic did years ago. Silicone mixing bowls offer a host of benefits, including the following.
Resistance to high temperatures
Easy to clean
Safe for microwave and dishwasher
Silicone is flexible, so you can alter its shape to fit your needs. (For example, you can form a spout to pour batter.) The rubbery texture turns some people away, but it doesn’t affect functionality. On the downside, silicone does tend to hold on to the odors of some foods.
Some mixing bowl lids come with a hole in the center where you can insert a hand mixer.
In addition to mixing bowl material, what should you think about when choosing a mixing bowl set? Below, we examine a few more important factors.
A good mixing bowl should have a height and radius that are within an inch or two of each other. Deeper mixing bowls make it easier to keep all the ingredients in the bowl, especially if you’re mixing batter or dough. Wide, shallow bowls work best for whisking dressing, whipping cream, and similar tasks.
Not all mixing bowl sets are stackable, but some are. You may wish to buy stackable bowls for the sake of convenience. Don’t try to force non-stackable bowls to nest inside one another, as this could cause the bowls to chip or crack.
Many a good meal has been ruined by the transfer of odors from a mixing bowl. Plastic, silicone, and wood are all known to have more problems with odor and stain absorption than glass and stainless steel. If you prepare curries, hot peppers, or other fragrant foods, you may wish to consider bowls that resist odors and stains.
Bowls on both ends of the weight spectrum have their benefits. Lightweight bowls are easier to hold in one arm while whisking with the other. They’re also easier to toss salads in. However, heavy bowls tend to stay in place on the countertop.
Copper kitchenware looks beautiful, but it can be hard to maintain, and it stains easily.
Stainless steel bowls that can withstand high temperatures can be directly placed onto a heated pot for use as a double boiler. However, be sure that any bowl you place on the stovetop does not have a non-skid surface on the bottom.
The ability to put ingredients in the microwave in the same bowl in which they were mixed means fewer dishes and faster cooking. Silicone and glass can usually be microwaved safely, though inexpensive silicone doesn’t hold up to the heat of microwaving as well. Some plastics can withstand microwave exposure well, but some people still choose not to use them in the microwave. Stainless steel should never be microwaved because it poses a fire hazard. For safety reasons, check the manufacturer’s recommendations before putting a new mixing bowl in the microwave.
Are you looking for a mixing bowl you can use with a hand mixer? We recommend opting for a bowl with a flat bottom.
A bowl with a non-skid bottom won’t scoot across the countertop while you stir. With this type of bowl, you can add ingredients with one hand while stirring with the other.
Mixing bowl sets that come with lids enable you to store food directly in your bowls. Some lids are vented so you can place them in the microwave. Other lids have openings for hand mixers, while still others have built-in graters.
Your mixing bowls may or may not be dishwasher safe; always check first. And if your set includes lids, be aware that the lids might not be dishwasher safe – even if the bowls are.
Less Than $25: In this price range, you can find a plastic mixing bowl set that may come with lids and a built-in spout. Most sets in this lower price range come with three bowls.
$25 to $50: You’ll find some quality mixing bowl sets made of stainless steel, glass, ceramic, silicone, and plastic in this price range. Bowls with lids and pouring spouts are more commonly seen in this price range.
$50 to $100: At this higher price range, you’ll find some stainless steel mixing bowl sets with as many as 10 bowls. You’ll also find some high-end bowl sets made of ceramic and/or glass. Bowls with colorful designs and non-skid bottoms are common in this price range.
Q. I’m just starting my kitchen. What bowl sizes do I need for most of my cooking?
A. The beginning home cook would probably be happy with a standard mixing bowl set that includes a 4-quart bowl, a 2.5-quart bowl, and a 1.25-quart bowl. More bowls of different sizes could always be added to the collection over time.
Q. Should I purchase a mixing bowl set that has handles and a spout?
A. Spouts are certainly convenient, but basing your decision solely on whether or not the bowls have spouts could be a mistake. After all, you could also use a funnel for precise pouring.
Handles are also convenient, but again, we believe you should base your buying decision on the overall quality of the bowl set.
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