For every enthusiastic hobby baker, mixing bowls are part of the basic kitchen equipment. Baking is so much fun, whether at Christmas time, on birthdays, or simply in everyday life – we are big baking fans! But furthermore, they are extremely practical not only for baking but also for cooking. I personally use many different sizes and variations. Each mixing bowl has its own advantages and disadvantages and that’s why I would like to give you an overview in this article of how I decide on a mixing bowl.
Let’s start with mixing bowls for food processors. Most food processors already have this important accessory, but you can buy a second or even third one. For example, you can beat egg whites in one bowl while the rest of the mixture is being used in the other bowl. To do this, you simply change the two mixing bowls and save a lot of time.
Another useful kitchen appliance is an electric bacon cooker.
Not all bowls are the same. The three best-known materials for mixing bowls are stainless steel, plastic, and sometimes glass. It all depends on your purpose and preferences which mixing bowl is best suited for you. There are even ceramic mixing bowls on the market.
Mixing bowls made of stainless steel
Mixing bowls made of steel are becoming more and more popular, they have a beautiful appearance, have a firm stand, and in addition, stainless steel does not absorb odors and is hygienic. They are very durable and totally rust-free.
The high-quality stainless material promises long durability since it’s rustproof and dishwasher safe. Stainless steel mixing bowls with lid are popular and not only because of their timeless and beautiful appearance. Due to the heavier material, they have very good stability, which is especially useful when stirring with a hand mixer.
If you whip cream often, you know that cream stiffens more quickly if you whip it in a cool bowl. The big advantage of stainless steel: it absorbs heat and cold well. So, your cream should finish faster than usual in a metal mixing bowl.
The advantages of stainless-steel mixing bowls:
- They are slightly heavier than plastic mixing bowls and therefore have better stability (when stirring with a hand mixer, this is a great advantage!)
- Large stainless steel bowls absorb cold and heat very well. (This is a great advantage when whipping cream because the cream can be whipped more stiffly in the cool mixing bowl)
- They are suitable for dishwashers and freezers
- They are odorless
The disadvantages of a stainless-steel mixing bowl:
- They are loud when you whip them
- They scratch more easily through the rods of the hand blender, the swinging whisk or the classic whisk
- Sometimes they are cold to touch
Practical cooking bowls made of plastic
Mixing bowls made of different types of plastic, such as those made of melanin, in particular, are likely to be the most common. The classic among mixing bowls is made of easy-care plastic. This material is used most often. That is why they are also available in many different designs. The light material makes the bowls nice and handy. I am no exception, for example, I love to prepare yeast dough with a food processor in such plastic bowls. It works better than in other mixing bowls because the dough does not stick so firmly. Plastic is very easy to clean and because of its low weight, it is very handy to use.
However, if you use a hand mixer, you should additionally stabilize the light mixing bowl with one hand. Often, however, the bowls have a practical rubber ring on the bottom, which makes the bowl stick to the surface.
But especially with plastic mixing bowls, you have to pay attention to high quality, because many problems can occur later. Eco-testers claim that formaldehyde or melanin can be released when heating some plastic products (for example in the microwave). Both substances are extremely harmful to health in larger quantities!
Mixing bowls made of plastic should never be used as microwave cooking bowls! – Except for the plastic which is suitable for microwaves, therefore follow this advice in the description!
The advantages of a plastic mixing bowl:
- They are very light, functional, robust and cheap
- The material resists any contact with fast rotating whisks
- They are very easy to clean (with a little hot water and dishwashing detergent it is quickly cleaned of dough residue) – it can also be put in the dishwasher without hesitation
The disadvantages of a plastic mixing bowl:
- Due to the mechanical or thermal stress, they can become brittle over time and lose elasticity
- Due to the plasticizers contained in the plastic, the bowls become unattractive after some time, like to discolor and absorb odors
- The resulting scratches are not only unsightly but also unhygienic, as dough residue, in particular, can get stuck
- The surface loses its shine after some time
- Many of them have little hold (unless they are protected by a rubber ring on the pot underside equipped – an exception is a mixing bowl with handle)
- Not heatable! Especially not in a microwave oven
Unlike stainless steel, plastic absorbs odors and colors after prolonged use. Therefore, you should replace your plastic mixing bowls every few years.
Beautiful mixing bowls made of glass
These mixing bowls are made of robust glass, often borosilicate glass, a glass quality with safety. Therefore, always look carefully at what is offered.
Glass mixing bowls are used the least and are less common, usually found in combination with a practical food processor. They usually are made of transparent glass. However, the weight of the material makes these bowls rather unwieldy. On the other hand, they are very stable and do not slip easily while stirring. The material is suitable for dishwashers, freezers, and microwaves. The integrated quantity scale and a silicone lid complete the range.
Glass bowls are very decorative, but heavier and more delicate and are only offered by some suppliers, stainless steel bowls are lighter and easier to get. So, it’s still your decision about glass vs stainless steel mixing bowls, there is no correct answer to this question.
The advantages of a large glass mixing bowl:
- They are suitable for the preparation of hot and cold dishes
- They are suitable for dishwashers, microwaves, and freezers
- Some of them have a special shape (special handles make pouring easier)
- They are odorless
- Further major help is that they enable you to monitor the condition of the ingredients or the progress of the mixture from the outside without having to switch off the machine
- Another discovery was that some mixing bowls are equipped with measuring scales for liters and cups of pints
- Bowls without handles can also be used as salad bowls
- Could be used as a baking bowl
The disadvantages of a glass mixing bowl:
- They are very heavy
- They break easily if you’re not careful enough
- Few providers and therefore less choice
- They are therefore slightly more expensive
All those cookware vessels have different proportions and thus adapt very practically to your intended use.
Deep mixing bowls that are more higher than wide are particularly suitable for whipping liquids.
In shallow bowls, the liquid is more likely to spread and the tools cannot work properly. In higher bowls, the stirring rods get to the liquid and it can expand upwards.
Choosing the best mixing bowls enables them for several uses, such as a:
- Salad bowl
- Mixing bowl
- Muesli bowl
- Pasta bowl
- Salad spinner
- Popcorn bowl
When buying a mixing bowl, you should, therefore, make sure that not every bowl fits on your machine! Please read the operating instructions of your food processor carefully. For example, I know from experience that when using a glass mixing bowl, the distance between the whisk and bowl may need to be readjusted.