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Best Glass Mixing Bowls?

kushnerom Jan 19, 2010 10:46 PM

I got these beautiful bowls from Williams Sonoma but they chip like crazy after just a few weeks of use and I even ate some of the chipped glass not knowing one of the smaller bowls that nests inside had chipped into the bowl I was eating from! I really want some quality/reliable bowls that will last longer than just a few weeks.


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  1. PBSF RE: kushnerom Jan 19, 2010 11:18 PM

    For practicality, buy a set of metal bowls. If glass is a must, buy a set of pyrex; they are durable but heavy.

    1. tanuki soup RE: kushnerom Jan 20, 2010 03:41 AM

      I like the Duralex (Bormioli Rocco) Viva bowls. Kind of cool looking, tough tempered glass, nest well, nice selection of sizes, inexpensive. Oh yeah, I should mention that the ridges are only on the outside; the inside is smooth.

      1. f
        foiegras RE: kushnerom Jan 20, 2010 08:26 AM

        OMG, that's horrible!! I agree that for any kitchen glass, Pyrex is the answer. I have a new set of Pyrex glass bowls (with plastic lids to go in the fridge), and I also have vintage Pyrex bowls, custard cups, etc. and some Fry pieces too. Vintage Fry is opalescent Pyrex (i.e., the same glass formula). I have never had a piece fail, vintage or new--nothing has ever broken, not one chip, and some of the stuff I have is many decades old.

        And btw, I would definitely be taking them back to W-S ... there's definitely a quality issue. I've returned Dualit toasters to them--apparently they were already aware of the problem and never gave me any static.

        1 Reply
        1. re: foiegras
          kushnerom RE: foiegras Jan 20, 2010 04:35 PM

          Thanks, I'm glad I kept the box. I had originally purchased them early last year but didn't open them until just last month, so I'm going to just go in sans receipt and say I got them as a gift. Too bad everything in there is so expensive, so I can probably only exchange them for a spoon or something :)

          As for the Pyrex, I was considering them since Pyrex never fails, just like Corningware which I love. And the lids make them even handier.

        2. enbell RE: kushnerom Jan 20, 2010 08:43 AM

          I also agree with the Pyrex suggestion. Durability (and safety from glass chips) trump fashion for me. My friend just received a set from Crate and Barrel for her birthday but I am not sure if she has put them to the test yet.

          2 Replies
          1. re: enbell
            kushnerom RE: enbell Jan 20, 2010 04:38 PM

            My friend used to work at Crate and Barrel and I still have one of those bowls in my house that she left behind and it's fantastic! But that was years ago, and when I went online last night, the style has changed--so probably the quality has too unfortunately.

            1. re: enbell
              foiegras RE: enbell Jan 20, 2010 04:45 PM

              The new Pyrex bowls aren't pretty, but a lot of the old ones are. It's not hard to find antique malls with dealers that specialize in Pyrex. Glasbake is a good brand too if you're buying vintage--or McKee. I have so many bowls at this point that I've given myself a stern warning not to buy any more unless I find something absolutely TDF ;) Since they never break, the collection only moves in one direction ...

            2. maplesugar RE: kushnerom Jan 20, 2010 08:53 AM

              I second/third the Pyrex suggestion. I've had it with my Anchor Hocking bowls chipping on the rims and ceramic is cute but better suited to serving. Just be sure if you're also considering baking with them that they're labeled appropriately.

              1. johnb RE: kushnerom Jan 20, 2010 06:14 PM

                Really. Stainless is so much better in so many ways (price, durability, lightness, non-breakable, ease of storage). It's really hard for me to see why anyone would prefer glass. But so be it.

                6 Replies
                1. re: johnb
                  foiegras RE: johnb Jan 20, 2010 06:42 PM

                  It's interesting ... I don't own a single metal bowl (except for the ones that come with the KitchenAid ... and now they're making a glass bowl too). I'm not sure I can explain why I don't like them ... it's like mouth feel, except bowl feel, I guess. I don't like the clanging. The metal mixing bowl I grew up with was dented and scratched--maybe that's part of it. Whatever it may be, I don't find them aesthetically pleasing to work with. Plus ... they're just metal--all alike and always the same. Glass bowls come in many different colors and patterns.

                  And I don't find glass bowls to be impractical in any way ... I also have a number of pottery bowls.

                  1. re: foiegras
                    flourgirl RE: foiegras Jan 21, 2010 09:27 AM

                    I like both metal AND glass bowls. Have sets of both for different purposes. And I use both sets all the time. I have a set of sur la table glass bowls that I got on sale a while back. Look very similar to the WS set except has one less bowl in the set. I use them almost daily and have never had one of them chip.

                    1. re: flourgirl
                      kushnerom RE: flourgirl Jan 21, 2010 03:06 PM

                      I also have a set of metal bowls that I love for use with the hand mixer and more rugged use, but I really use the glass bowls for a variety of things-serving dishes, and mixing things by hand mostly. I might try the Sur La Table bowls since they come in such a variety of sizes as did the WS bowls and if that fails I can always "borrow" my brothers' set of Pyrex bowls since he doesn't really use them. I just wasn't sure about their quality, since the WS already shocked me with their fragility, but since you've had them for so long and haven't had an issue, I'm going to give them a try. They're on sale right now online too! ;)

                      1. re: kushnerom
                        flourgirl RE: kushnerom Jan 22, 2010 04:19 AM

                        I hope you're as happy with the sur la table bowls as I have been. :)

                        I have a set of pyrex bowls as well. I like having both because the sur la table bowls are on the small side - whereas the pyrex bowl set has a number of larger bowls.

                  2. re: johnb
                    grant.cook RE: johnb Jan 21, 2010 06:34 PM

                    I have both, and here's why I like them..

                    Metal is light, so I can mix up big batches - salad, snack mix, saucing wings, etc, and not have to deal with the heft of glass, especially the large ones. Small metal bowls are great for whisking things that need emulsified, etc.

                    Glass holds temperature better.. so for things like whipping cream, mixing carbonara, cutting cold butter into dough, etc, I tend to go for glass.

                    Both are so cheap, and you use so many bowls cooking, there is no harm having a 4-5 piece set of both..

                    1. re: grant.cook
                      Soop RE: grant.cook Jan 25, 2010 06:23 AM

                      Yeah I have both, but the metal one is the big one, used for bread dough or meringue etc. For big batches, it's a no brainer.

                  3. f
                    foiegras RE: kushnerom Jan 21, 2010 07:03 PM

                    Just wanted to mention, I was just looking thru the W-S catalog that came today ... are you talking about the 10-bowl set for $38? Especially given the usual pricepoint at W-S, that seems super cheap to me ... too cheap. I don't remember exactly what I paid for my 4-bowl Pyrex set, but it was something in that vicinity. I'm not sure how you do 10 bowls well for W-S $38.

                    Apropos of nothing, except for a couple drinking glasses that have broken more due to precarious stacking than anything else, the only glass I've had break in the recent past was a large cakeplate that I got at W-S for what seemed like a bargain price. Good Lord was that a mess ... glass shards covering every inch of my dining room.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: foiegras
                      flourgirl RE: foiegras Jan 22, 2010 04:22 AM

                      I paid something like $14 for my sur lat table set (on sale) over a year ago, and as I said on a previous post, they get almost daily use and don't have a single chip on them. I love the esthetics of the bowls so they work for me both as prep and serving bowls.

                      1. re: flourgirl
                        hobbess RE: flourgirl Jan 24, 2010 01:12 AM

                        I always thought one of the reasons to get a stainless steel bowl over a glass one was that you could use the stainless one as a double broiler, but I just saw a clip where somebody used a glass bowl to do that as well.

                        Can all glass bowls do that?

                        1. re: hobbess
                          flourgirl RE: hobbess Jan 24, 2010 05:38 AM

                          I'm thinking probably only pyrex bowls, but I'm no expert. I use my stainless bowls for that purpose. (I'm no longer a fan of heating pyrex after I had a pyrex pan explode in my oven - a pan which was at room temp. when it went in the oven.)

                    2. r
                      rovergal RE: kushnerom Jan 24, 2010 05:19 AM

                      Pyrex all the way. I have a set of three bowls that I bought years ago at a Dollar Days sale. I think I paid $5 for the set, and bought two, thinking I'd have the second set once the first chipped or broke. Well, 15 years later, the second set is still in it's packaging in the basement, as the first set is still going strong! I also love to use their big 8-cup measuring bowl/cup for mixing, as it has a handle and pour spout.

                      1. tim irvine RE: kushnerom Jan 24, 2010 09:27 AM

                        They are sort of a vanishing breed, but I like ceramic bowls, like Mason Cash. if you come across a T. G. Green, get it. It is my fave. I have found a few deals in hardware stores, some from probably now defunct midwestern potters I had never heard of. I like the way they feel,and I like that they are heavy enough that they don't waltz around the counter. I also like to have a variety of shapes rather than a set, some taller and less prone to sloshing, others flatter and good for working ingredients by hand (bread) or dipping (making French toast with the bread).

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: tim irvine
                          flourgirl RE: tim irvine Jan 24, 2010 10:12 AM

                          I agree. I have lots of ceramic bowls too - in assorted shapes and sizes, many of them handthrown. I love bowls. :)

                          1. re: flourgirl
                            kushnerom RE: flourgirl Jan 24, 2010 10:59 AM

                            Thanks for the tips everyone. I actually returned my chippy bowls to Williams Sonoma, and got two large glass bowls individually at Sur La Table since these sizes don't come in the set. They are having a sale right now where practically everything is at least 20% off so I was able to get them both at a good price and I really only needed the larger sizes anyways, since I had no use for those tiny prep bowls (I already have some old pyrex ones that are in tip top shape from the 80s!)

                            About the Pyrex heating question... they are able to be used in the oven, but you have to be careful with them. I read the instructions for the first time and there are a lot of situations in which the glass can break... namely taking something out of the oven and putting the glass on something cold (i.e. the counter) or the opposite of a colder bowl/dish being put into the hot oven as in Flourgirl's case. Basically, any drastic temperature change is risky for glass cookingware.

                            1. re: kushnerom
                              flourgirl RE: kushnerom Jan 24, 2010 11:24 AM

                              When my pan exploded, it was a pan that was at room temperature with room temp. ingredients plus warmer ingredients added to the pan before it was put into the oven. If that is "drastic" then so be it - but I never use pyrex pans anymore and I wouldn't use pyrex bowls as double boilers, either.

                              1. re: flourgirl
                                kushnerom RE: flourgirl Jan 24, 2010 04:03 PM

                                In that case, that's pretty scary. I've always used Pyrex or Corningware (also made from glass even though it doesn't look like it) for baking in the past... but now I'm not so sure I want to. :)

                                1. re: flourgirl
                                  foiegras RE: flourgirl Jan 24, 2010 05:57 PM

                                  I'm sure it can happen, but I've been baking in Corningware & Pyrex for many years and never had a problem ...

                                  My guess is that pan had been stressed prior to the incident ... but who knows.

                                  I pour boiling water into Pyrex all the time. If I want to serve hot tea in fragile cups, I make it in a Pyrex measuring cup, and pour it from there into the cups.

                                  1. re: foiegras
                                    hobbess RE: foiegras Jan 24, 2010 07:45 PM

                                    I think I read somewhere that exploding Pyrex was an issue for newer Pyrex built after a certain year.

                                    1. re: hobbess
                                      foiegras RE: hobbess Jan 24, 2010 08:08 PM

                                      Here's Snopes on that: http://www.snopes.com/food/warnings/p...

                                      It's quite an interesting article ... few facts from it:

                                      * Pyrex is used in about 80% of US homes [I would suspect those 80% have multiples--I have many pieces of Pyrex, I'm sure over 2 dozen, if not 3
                                      ]* Since 1998, almost 370 million pieces of Pyrex have been manufactured
                                      * Over the last 10 years, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has received 66 Pyrex complaints

                                    2. re: foiegras
                                      flourgirl RE: foiegras Jan 25, 2010 03:30 AM

                                      foiegras, that's what I'm guessing was the problem - that the pan was stressed. But if it was, it was nothing that caught my attention. So how is anybody supposed to know if their pan is stressed or not? And if that pan had exploded right when I opened the oven, it could have been really bad. It happened to me once - I'm not taking any more chances with Pyrex. (I actually posted about this on a separate thread the night it happened...)

                            2. d
                              dobs737 RE: kushnerom Mar 3, 2010 07:56 PM

                              I too was in desperate search of glass bowls and agree that Duralex is very good. I was looking for a very very large glass bowl for marinating beef for sauerbraten. I was concerned that soaking beef in vinegar over 3 days may be bad for a stainless steel bowl. The largest bowl pyrex makes is 4 quarts which was too small. Duralex makes a 6 quart bowl that is 12 inches in diameter. You can find it here http://www.irawoods.com/Duralex-USA-5...
                              There is also a 10 bowl set on amazon, but there were too many little bowls that I didn't need, and that set didn't include the 6 quart bowl. Hope this helps someone!

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