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What is your favorite material for mixing bowls?

Do you use different materials for different purposes, or do you have one preference?

What do you like about the various materials over others?

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  1. I love my colored corning glass bowls. (ALTHOUGH i BROKE THE RED ONE) I still have the big blue one, and the smaller green and yellow one. They wash easily and do not stain like plastic ones. Wish I could find these again - over twenty years old now

    1. Stainless steel. It's light, durable, non reactive and inexpensive.

      1. Melamine. I have grown particularly fond of the nesting, footed variety that has a handle and a pouring lip. Really convenient. Not a day goes by without using at least one.

        1. I have a bunch of those glass ikea bowls that come in various sizes. They have the perfect curvature, non reactive/non leeching, easy to clean, and are cheap. For extra large mixing projects, I have a mammoth stainless steel bowl that I can lug around without the fear of breakage.

          I also like to use my vintage Pyrex when I would like to feel a bit of 50s housewife glam, but those are usually saved for serving because they are a tad bit too precious to dump into the dishwasher.

          1. Glass/pyrex. I have a simple clear set of 3 that I got at Bradlee's (yes! during the liquidation), and also a vintage 2 qt."Bake King" with pouring spout.

            1. Glazed ceramic. Other materials
              seem too cold and industrial. Darn durable, too.
              The oldest one I have dates back at least
              50 years.

              1 Reply
              1. re: mpalmer6c

                Me too! The heavier the better -- like the classic Mason Cash bowls. Though I have to admit I'm a sucker for any attractive set of bowls.

                I also find one flexible silicone set I just got useful for being able to direct dry ingredients into the bowl of a whirling mixer.

              2. Stainless steel for most things. It's light, doesn't reactive to food and cleans up easy. Downside is the quality of the new SS bowls can be variable. I got a set at Linens and Things (IHM brand?) and two ripped on the seam almost right away. Went back during their going out of business sale and got another set almost for free. Glass for instances where I'm using very hot substances. I have some of these that I got at various thrift stores and yard sales decards ago. I have one very large nice pottery bowl that I use for mixing large batches and for kitchen to table applications. Never, ever use plastic or silicone because it reacts with food, stain, and transfers odors to and from the food despite what the manufacturers say.

                1. My old favorite mixing bowls were Copco melamine bowls. They come in a nesting set and have a handy rubber ring on the bottom to keep the bowls from sliding. However, my new favorites are vintage pyrex bowls. I love them because they are so charming, and unlike the melamine bowls, they can go into the microwave so you can melt the butter first in the same bowl you are using for mixing--one less bowl to wash! They can also go in the oven although I don't usually need to put my mixing bowls in the oven. The ones that I like are called Cinderella bowls--they have two pour spouts, one wider than the other so that you can decide which spout would pour better depending on the liquid content of your mixture. They fit really well in your hand so that you can hold the bowl with one hand and mix with the other. They are the perfect depth for mixing and because they are Pyrex they are extremely durable. Just don't wash in the dishwasher, otherwise their colors fade. Unfortunately Pyrex doesn't make these anymore, but if you're willing to look around at garage/estate sales and in thrift shops, you can often find them for a song.

                  1. Stainless steel for most purposes. It's light, easy to clean, useful as a double-boiler, and non-reactive. I use glass/Pyrex/Anchor if I wanted to put something in the microwave or need to use plastic wrap.

                    1. Stainless steel for almost everything, but glass for a lot of quick micro wave or marinating items. It depends, but I primarily have glass and stainless. My serving bowls are different. I just got some simple corning ware or pyrex, whatever and some inexpensive stainless. I had them both for over 20 years and love them. But use what suits you best.

                      1. I really like using those rubber-footed mixing bowls in various sizes, but I have lost three of them to cracks in just a couple of years. One cracked when it fell, the other two seemed to come out of the dishwasher with cracked bottoms. Maybe I need to wash them by hand.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: RGC1982

                          I have a rubber drain mat ... sounds corny, but I always put that down on the counter when mixing anything. Always works, It was just a simple one for 99 cents. Never use it as a drain mat, but it specifically for this. It works great. And take no room, in fact I just roll it and put it in the mixing bowl of the mixer.

                        2. I have a bunch of nesting glass ones, which are nice for their all-purpose characteristics. But once I get my stone counter tops in, I know I'll start cracking them, as I did when I had tile.

                          One of my workhorses is a dollar-store plastic one that's wide, squat and has a nifty handle and small pour spout. It's ALMOST as awesome as the yellow plastic Tupperware one with the little handle that my mom had since 1969. That bowl was so beloved that she had to call me the day she finally broke it. That was a couple of years ago, so I'd guess almost 40 years of service was finally too much for it!

                          Seriously, though, the lightness of plastic with that handle -- it's a great combo.

                          1. Stainless steel, and... stainless steel. I've been through all sorts of bowls and the best ones are the ones you get for less than five bucks for the huge ones at restaurant supply stores.

                            I should mention there is another one that I've found works very nicely for baking is the Pourfect bowl. It has tall wings on the wide pour spout, and a bowl rest underneath the spout. The end result is a bowl that makes pouring into your Kitchenaid mixer a breeze. They're available in sizes from 1 to 12 cups.


                            1 Reply
                            1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                              I have seen those, don't have room but one day would love them. Nice addition

                            2. Pyrex/glass for applications where I need some thermal capacity - e.g. carbonara (a warm bowl), or whipping cream (a cold one). I also sometimes just like the heft of a glass bowl versus stainless.

                              Stainless for a lot of things, especially the BIG stainless bowls when making a large salad or mixing wings in a sauce, etc. Small glass bowls for mise en place.