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Mixing bowls - what do people use?

applehome Oct 1, 2008 12:31 AM

I was just getting ready to buy new mixing bowls - enough of our old sets have broken or disfigured that we're missing a nice middle sized one - and we thought we'd like to buy a new set. I was looking at Melamine, like these:

http://www.chefscatalog.com/product/2...

But on the on-going Malamine thread (not the resin but the powder found in Chinese products), it was said that you can't microwave melamine resin. I've verified this by googling. We don't often go directly from mixing to microwave or vice-versa, so perhaps it's not a big deal - just toss it into the one huge corningware we seem to have kept in one piece for the nuking. But I just have the feeling that there is something that is light and easy to use that we wouldn't have to transfer just to nuke.

So the question is what kind of bowls do people like? We have a pyrex one that is just too heavy. Does anybody have any of the new silicone bowls? Can they be microwaved? Any raves about favorite bowls would be much appreciated - steering us away from disasters would be appreciated, as well.

TIA

  1. stilton Oct 1, 2008 12:46 AM

    Stainless steel or ceramic is all I use. Plastics and silicone tend to retain grease, which is detrimental to whipping egg whites. Of course, if you don't make meringues, then that is not a concern.

    Are silicone bowls flabby-sided like their cake pan counterparts? If so, that does not sound like a good thing to have in a mixing bowl.

    1. j
      jeanmarieok Oct 1, 2008 04:25 AM

      I have a nice ceramic mixing bowl set from King Arthur flour. But I often grab a big tupperware bowl (if I'm going to store in the fridge for any length of time, I like the lid!) or my Pampered Chef big batterbowl (I like the handle on it, makes it easy to move around, and stabilize).

      1. roxlet Oct 1, 2008 05:27 AM

        I have all sorts of mixing bowls, but I always grab one of the stainless steel ones first. They are lightweight, nonreactive, and a cinch to clean. I have some gorgeous ceramic ones, but they are so heavy to get out of the cupboard, that I rarely use them.

        1. f
          foodwich Oct 1, 2008 05:33 AM

          I use stainless steel mixing bowls and ceramic bowls. i keep the ceramic bowls on the counter and mine are handmaid with a lip for pouring. but as a others have commented my 'go to' bowls are the stainless steel. i have 4 bowls which i bought 25 years ago and are still going strong. i also have a set i bought made by oxo with a rubberized exterrior. keeps them from slipping around on the counter. i too had bought pyrex which i dont use since they were very heavy and did not want to handle them too much.

          3 Replies
          1. re: foodwich
            Gio Oct 1, 2008 05:59 AM

            I have a 6 piece vintage McCoy "Pink and Blue" mixing bowl set that I have used everyday for about 30 years. A few minor chips on 2 of them just endear them to me. I also use a set of pyrex bowls of various sizes.
            Here's a photo of one of the Pink & Blue bowls:

             
            1. re: Gio
              JonParker Oct 3, 2008 09:08 AM

              Those are lovely. I'm so jealous. I use 1950s turquoise Pyrex.

              1. re: JonParker
                Gio Oct 3, 2008 09:15 AM

                Thank you! I started collecting them in the 70s when I first bought the largest one to use for bread baking. Then the I-just-have-to-find-the-whole-set bug hit me. They're a little heavy, but I love to use each of them. .

          2. scubadoo97 Oct 1, 2008 05:56 AM

            I rarely have a need to mix and wave in the same bowl. I use standard stainless bowls that can be found most everywhere. Biggest plus is that they are wide and deep enough to allow good mixing and are a snap to clean. I find oils cling to plastic more than the stainless metal bowls. Ceramic is just too heavy and breakable

            1. alkapal Oct 1, 2008 06:03 AM

              i use melamine with the rubber rings around the base to keep it from slipping, i like the little handles and pour spouts -- makes it so much easier to hold it to mix and pour. i use the melamine bowls the most in my kitchen, typically for batters, salads, and the like.

              i also use corning glass (heavy and awkward, but for "sensitive" foods that may pick up something from a melamine plastic -- rare, imo; also use for double boiler purpose.) and stainless steel (for meats).

              1. Richard 16 Oct 1, 2008 06:44 AM

                Corning set I've had for decades, and some inexpensive stainless I've had almost as long. The former can be microwaved but may be heavy for you, the opposite for the stainless.

                1. Caroline1 Oct 1, 2008 09:37 AM

                  I use stainless steel and glass mixing bowls exclusively. Dishwasher safe, non-porous, good for everything. Who could ask for anything more? '-)

                  1. k
                    Kelli2006 Oct 1, 2008 09:57 AM

                    I have Rubbermaid plastic bowls, a few antique ceramic bowls that I inherited from my grandparents, but my go-to prep bowls are heavy stainless with a rubber coating on the bottom 1/4. I do have a heavy copper bowl but it only takes up space in my cabinets.

                    1. sebetti Oct 1, 2008 10:21 AM

                      My ceramic mixing bowls are awfully pretty but eventually they all begin to craze and they, ultimately, have a limited lifespan due to breakage, etc. They next set I purchase will be stainless.

                      btw, stay AWAY from the Le Cr mixing bowls - compared to these, regular ceramic bowls are LIGHT. My husband bought them because he thought they were cool - I won't even touch them, they're HIS.

                      1. g
                        Grillncook Oct 2, 2008 04:00 AM

                        I use stainless it works and it's safe for food. Glass is way too heavy for me and it's difficult to find it in the shape I like which is deep, Boy, I wish someone had told me about microwaving melamine, I hope I don't grow another head or my fingers star falling off. I've been microwaving ours for years and I've never had a problem. It just re-enforces a belief that I've always had, you can't always take information you find on the web as gospel. Just one more thing I can't do anymore, just waiting for them to say that getting up in the morning is hazardous, so I can stay in bed all day.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Grillncook
                          paulj Oct 3, 2008 09:38 AM

                          The problem with microwaving melamine is that the bowl itself reacts to the waves, heating up. If you are heating a full bowl you might not notice, except that the rim might be hot. But if there's just a bit of food or water in the bowl, the issue will be obvious.

                          If you haven't been noticing this heating effect, I suspect your bowls are made of some other plastic. Does it say on the bottom 'microwave safe', or 'not for microwave use'?

                          Recently I bought a Spanish ceramic bowl, which is supposed to be soaked in water before the initial use. The first time I used in the microwave, it got hotter than I expected. Then I realized that the water in its pores was reacting.

                        2. r
                          RGC1982 Oct 2, 2008 04:12 PM

                          I became a convert to the nested melamine bowls that you can find at Crate and Barrel or Williams Sonoma. They have rubber feet and a nifty handle. Just don't drop them on a tile floor.

                          BTW. the melamine is food safe when not used as a food additive.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: RGC1982
                            lrostron Oct 2, 2008 04:16 PM

                            I've got an assortment, but always go to my stainless steel bowls, a set I picked up years ago at Costco. The ceramic and glass I save for presentation, for instance, if I've made a pasta salad in the stainless, I'll transfer it to the ceramic for the table.

                          2. m
                            mpalmer6c Oct 2, 2008 05:10 PM

                            For mixing large quantities, I have a big inherited ceramic bowl that is maybe 60 years old and looks like new. For smaller quanties, another antique ceramic. I also have the stainless bowl that came with my KitchenAid mixer. If I was buying now, I'd probably still get ceramic. Stainless just seems so ... cold. On the other hand, you can get great buys on stainless from restaurant supply places.

                            1. paulj Oct 3, 2008 09:46 AM

                              We were given one or two sets of nesting stainless steel as wedding presents. But in recent years my favorites are a pair of commercial grade stainless steel from Sams. They are deeper than the previous set.

                              For microwave use I have an old glass mixing/measuring bowl. It's really more my microwave cooking pot than a mixing bowl.

                              1. d
                                Dave Westerberg Oct 4, 2008 05:43 AM

                                Interesting thread. I have stainless bowls that I like, and a ceramic set that I actually use more for bringing dips and such to pot-luck dinners. Frankly, for every task from making bread starter to mixing cookie dough or lasagna filling, I use a big (2 gallon?) pink plastic bowl (we have several) you can buy for a few bucks at an oriental grocery. We call them "the friendly bowls." They are light, sturdy, big enough to use for anything, and I'd be lost without them. As for grease: Dawn or the dishwasher takes care of that.

                                1. b
                                  beachmouse Oct 4, 2008 08:22 AM

                                  I don't care for metal bowls because I hate the sound of a metal spoon or hand mixer hitting the side of them. My set is white melamine and is made by Rosti- the original manufacturers of the bowl style in the first post. (They also do some very nicely designed melamine spoons nd stirrers)

                                  http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&r...

                                  1. Carole Oct 4, 2008 09:53 AM

                                    I recently picked up a 4-piece set of nested splash-proof glass bowls by Anchor Hocking that I've been using a lot. Good for mixing but also look fine on the table for serving. Found them on Amazon.

                                    1. mamaciita Oct 4, 2008 03:37 PM

                                      I typically use the stainless bowls that I inherited from my mom when she "upgraded" to plastic.

                                      The ones I love have metal rings attached to the outer rim, which are perfect for holding on while pouring, whipping, etc. I have looked at lots of new models, but I can't get as good a grip on anything but my bowls with rings.

                                      1. Sam Fujisaka Oct 4, 2008 04:32 PM

                                        Beat and bent beater stainless.

                                        1. alkapal Oct 5, 2008 09:42 AM

                                          if you go with melamine, be sure they are deeper, have a rubberized ring around the base, have a lip to grip, and a little pour spout. i like one in particular that is slightly elevated on a base (sorry, no brand), so i can more easily hold it up in my arm without it slipping.

                                          hey, this is a fantastic deal on a set from penny's: markdown to $15 !!! http://www.jcpenney.com/jcp/X6.aspx?D...

                                          i agree about needing a ring on the stainless bowl to help you hold it securely.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: alkapal
                                            paulj Oct 5, 2008 11:00 AM

                                            However one advantage to my plain stainless steel bowl (no ring) is that I can use it as double-boiler top. I've used it this way to make a long-cook polenta.

                                            1. re: paulj
                                              alkapal Oct 5, 2008 11:05 AM

                                              true! i have stainless nesters, melamine nesters, glass/pyrex nesters --- AND a very crowded kitchen. {;^D

                                            2. re: alkapal
                                              applehome Oct 5, 2008 12:17 PM

                                              The Penney's set is great - they're made in China, which means that for every set you buy, there's that much melamine *not* going into baby formula. I would imagine, actually, that the great majority of these are made in China.

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