Mixing Bowl Buying Guide
About Mixing Bowl
Mixing bowls are crucial kitchen tools that have a lot of uses. They are used heavily in various kinds of food preparation and can also be used for storage purposes if they have lids. Mixing bowls come in many different styles, sizes, materials and colors.
When choosing mixing bowls for your kitchen it is important to take into consideration what you will be using them for. This will determine the type of mixing bowls that will best serve your cooking and food preparation needs.
Mixing Bowl Features
There are many features that a mixing bowl set can have. We will list the most common features that mixing bowls have so you can determine which ones are the most important for the mixing bowls you choose.
- Stain/Odor Proof – Mixing bowls are made from a variety of materials. Certain materials can be prone to staining and retaining odors. Stainless steel never stains or retains odors and is one of the most popular mixing bowl materials on the market. Glass is another material that doesn’t stain or hold odors. Plastic tends to be the worst for this problem, but manufacturers are improving the quality of the plastic used so it is less of a problem than it used to be. Cleaning the mixing bowls right away after using helps reduce this problem and not storing sauces and liquids that notoriously stain (such as tomato based foods/sauces) will help prevent this from occurring.
- Microwave Safe – Glass and plastic mixing bowls that are microwave safe are very handy when it comes to reheating leftovers. Stainless steel or bowls with metal rims are never microwave safe and should never be used in the microwave. Make sure that the mixing bowls state that they are microwave safe to prevent the glass from shattering or the plastic from being melted.
- Durability – Even if you choose to purchase plastic mixing bowls, you want the plastic to be sturdy and durable to withstand frequent use, microwaving and being washed in the dishwasher. Stainless steel is already tough and virtually indestructible. Glass has its problems simply due to the fact that it can crack and will shatter in most cases if it is dropped. Despite the fragility of glass, many people still prefer it over other materials.
Types of Mixing Bowls
There are several different types of mixing bowls on the market to choose from. So many, in fact, that choosing one set over another can be a real challenge unless you know what you are looking for when you begin searching. We have outlined the different types of mixing b owls below with some information about each of them so you can deter mine which type meets your cooking needs the best.
- Stainless Steel – Stainless steel bowls are the most durable of all the different types of mixing bowls. They can withstand extremely high temperatures and even be used as double boilers. They are rust resistant and will not chip or crack. Even though they can’t be used in the microwave, their benefits far outweigh their disadvantages. Stainless steel mixing bowls are not terribly expensive and are easy to use with hand fixings, stand mixers and by hand. When they come with lids, they make very good storage bowls as well and will stain or retain odors. If you are making something that requires hot liquid, be aware that the mixing bowls will get hot also.
- Glass Bowls – Glass mixing bowls are very common and used to be the predominant type of mixing bowl decades ago. Over the years, plastic and stainless steel came onto the scene, plastic being first in the form of Tupperware. Glass is naturally non-reactive which means it will not alter the taste or color of the food you put into it. Tempered glass is preferred and can be used in the microwave as well as the oven. Tempered glass is durable and long lasting.
- Plastic Bowls – Plastic is probably the least expensive of all the mixing bowls unless it is a high end brand such as Tupperware. They are extremely lightweight and resistant to breaking unless you really work at it. With plastic you may be able to use them for reheating food in the microwave but you must ensure that they are microwave safe before doing this or they could melt. One of the biggest problems with plastic is that it is prone to staining and retaining the odor of foods that are prepared or stored in it.
Mixing Bowl Care and Maintenance
There are a few things you can do to maintain your mixing bowls and keep them in like new condition for a long time. These steps are very simple and will ensure that the bowls last as long as possible.
- Clean the mixing bowls after every use. If they are dishwasher friendly (this will be on the description or the box the bowls come in) you can put them in the dishwasher to get clean.
- If the bowls are not stackable do not force the issue by stacking them anyway. This can result in chipped edges of the glass bowls or misshapen bowls if they are plastic.
- If the bowls are glass bowls and can be used in the microwave or stove, make sure that you know the maximum temperature the bowls can handle before you put them in the oven or microwave. This will avoid any damage to the mixing bowls. Never put stainless steel or bowls with metal rims in the microwave.
Mixing bowls are important to have in any kitchen and you will use them for a multitude of tasks from preparing sauces and salads to marinating meats. Whatever you need your mixing bowls for, choosing the right type and kind is important. We’ve saved you from having to do a bunch of research yourself by providing this buyer’s guide with plenty of information on finding the right mixing bowls for your cooking needs.
Many kitchens have several sets and types of mixing bowls which is another option you have. Whichever you choose, you will enjoy having functional and stylish mixing bowls to handle all of your food preparation needs.