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Stand mixer with glass bowl: why?

ellabee Sep 6, 2013 09:30 AM

The latest Williams-Sonoma catalog to arrive features a big KitchenAid stand mixer with a thick glass bowl. I was immediately reminded of Jack Donaghy's see-through dishwasher...

What would be the advantage here? I haven't used a stand mixer in several decades, so am not in a position to assess the pluses and minuses, but the first thing that occurs to me is how heavy this bowl would be to wash. So what's the compensating upside?

  1. greygarious Sep 6, 2013 09:39 AM

    Are you sure it's glass and not plastic? I like a transparent mixer bowl as it's easier to see any unincorporated flour or other ingredient.

    3 Replies
    1. re: greygarious
      juliejulez Sep 6, 2013 11:11 AM

      They're glass. I actually want the bowl for my mixer for the exact reason you mentioned.

      1. re: greygarious
        Candy Sep 7, 2013 10:32 AM

        I've got the catalog in front of me. The copy reads "Meet the first KitchenAid Mixer to combine a dramatic glass bowl..."

        1. re: Candy
          NE_Wombat Sep 7, 2013 08:37 PM

          Well, while I certainly accept "glass", I'm not so sure about "first". Kitchenaid mixers have had glass bowls for years.


          Maybe the key is the subjective term "dramatic". Does it look like something Dale Chihuly would create?

      2. JayL Sep 6, 2013 09:40 AM

        Our old 70s era mixer had glass bowls.

        Nothing new here.

        1. kaleokahu Sep 6, 2013 11:05 AM

          Hi, ellabee:

          It may be because some bread and pastry recipes, e.g., for sourdough, warn against any contact with any bare metal, even SS. Or it may be so that the cook can visually judge volume against *exterior* markings. That's the best I can do, other than SS finishes going out of style...

          My ancient KA has a glass bowl, FWIW. But it is heavy, and I worry over dropping it.


          1. r
            rasputina Sep 6, 2013 12:52 PM

            It is an improvement for the KitchenAid since you have only a couple inches of visual space to see the ingredients due to the massive overhead motor.

            1. r
              rainey Sep 7, 2013 12:17 AM

              My 35yo KA mixer came with a stainless bowl. A couple years ago I bought the glass bowl because I thought it was so sexy.

              You can do fine with a stainless bowl but the glass one does have the advantage of making it apparent if you have dry ingredients that haven't been completely combined. You can see if dough has risen without disturbing it. And if you're making marshmallow with kids they can see the thin clear liquid turn into thick lustrous white marshmallow from their vantage point at the counter height as it's happening.

              If you have stainless and want glass or got glass and want stainless the KA bowls are interchangeable and can be ordered separately.

              1. e
                ellabee Sep 7, 2013 09:46 AM

                Thanks, all; very enlightening.

                My mother's old Sunbeam had opaque white 'milk glass' bowls. Based on responses here, that seems like the worst of both worlds -- the weight and breakability of glass without the ability to check ingredient incorporation or dough-rising.

                Good to know there are stainless bowls available; I was a bit surprised to see no mention of that, but didn't check the website, either. Not in the market for a $600. mixer.

                1. westsidegal Sep 7, 2013 10:41 AM

                  can't speak to this particular item, but, in general i prefer glass for food prep and storage because:
                  1) it is very inert chemically
                  2) i have less than full trust that all the stainless steel items that are manufactured in china are not tainted with some sort of contaminent.

                  recently a load of stainless steel pet bowls from china was found during a random sweep of imports at the Port of LA to have been tainted with radioactive material.
                  (ya like a little cobalt-60 while you cook?) http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/pets/Recalls-Radioactive-pet-food-bowls-and-cat-food.html
                  children's metal jewelry from china has been found to contain cadmium.

                  how many other metallic imports got through the sampling procedure used for the searches?

                  1. Nevy Sep 7, 2013 10:45 AM

                    I love it because I can use it easily to see if my yeasted dough has fermented enough. Otherwise, I'm using the stainless steel one.

                    The unfortunate side effect has been the increased amount of cinnamon buns, French toast brioche, and yeasted waffles consumed in the household!

                    1. Chemicalkinetics Sep 7, 2013 11:04 AM

                      I happened to have seen a standing mixer with a thick glass bowl in Walmart years old -- a different brand of course.

                      Yes, it was heavy too.

                      Like everyone said, a glass bowl has to be make thick in order to reduce breakage, therefore, it will be heavier than a metal bowl. Moreover, the breakage issue does not disappear. The only advantage is that glass is more inert than metal -- even stainless steel. So if you are one of those people who can taste metal, then glass has this advantage. The only advantage is "See-through", but that is really not a big plus for me.

                      1. BIGGUNDOCTOR Sep 8, 2013 09:47 PM

                        I have my Mom's 1950 KA mixer that has a glass bowl. It just looks right on that mixer. Never had a problem washing it, just have to be careful handling it like any other glass object.

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