The urge to bake some cupcakes has struck you, or perhaps you want to whip up scrambled eggs instead. Maybe it’s pizza dough or even a nice marinade for chicken. For all those recipes and countless others, you need a mixing bowl. But just how many of these bowls should you have handy in your kitchen?
It’s recommended to own at least five mixing bowls. These should range in size from small bowls about two or three quarts to larger bowls that can hold as much as six or even eight quarts.
If you’re on the hunt for some mixing bowls, you will not want to miss this article. In it, we’ll talk more about mixing bowl sizes and which bowl material is best. We’ll even provide some shopping links and real price examples.
What Are Mixing Bowls Used For?
Mixing bowls have nearly countless uses. Here’s an overview of them.
- Making a salad: If you’re prepping a big salad for the whole family, throw all your ingredients one by one into a mixing bowl. Use tongs to toss the salad so all the ingredients are well incorporated.
- Combining dry ingredients: Baking often calls for dry and wet ingredients. Until you can add them together, keep them separated in two mixing bowls. A smaller bowl and a whisk or even a fork are often all you need for stirring dry ingredients used to make cakes, cupcakes, bread, and more.
- Letting dough rise: After you’re done kneading and working your dough for pizza, bread, or dessert, the yeast within needs to do its thing and let the dough rise. Leave your dough in a mixing bowl, cover it with a damp cloth or plastic wrap, and come back in an hour or two. The dough should look much different.
- Beating: Most mixing bowls can withstand the impact of you beating wet ingredients by hand or even with a stand mixer.
- Pouring: If your mixing bowl has a perfect slope, then pouring ingredients into a different container becomes so much easier. Take, for example, transferring a finished cake mix into the cake pan or tin. A mixing bowl is your best friend here. Make sure you scrape the sides of the bowl to get all the cake mix out!
What Size Mixing Bowls Do I Need?
The above tasks are not intended to be done in the same size of mixing bowl, at least not for the most part. If you’re wondering which size mixing bowls you need, let’s go over the bowl sizes we covered in the intro.
The smallest bowl in your collection is the two-quart mixing bowl. On average, these have a height of 3 ¾ inches and a width of 7 5/8 inches. They’re ideal for small jobs such as stirring together dry ingredients for a cake or making a few scrambled eggs for breakfast.
The three or four-quart mixing bowl is an average size. Its height is about 4 ½ inches while the width is 10 inches across. This gives you plenty of room to handle the everyday cooking tasks that come up as you prepare breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert.
Getting even bigger now is the six-quart mixing bowl. This has an average height of five inches and a width of 10 ¾ inches. Since it’s even larger than a four-quart bowl, you should have no problem making a cake in a bowl of this size, especially when the time comes to prep your wet ingredients.
The biggest mixing bowl around is the eight-quart one. This may be as tall as 6 ¼ inches with a width of 11 ¾ inches. You’re thus afforded the most space for all your cooking creations, from mixing salads to making dough and letting it rise. You’ll probably use a six-quart bowl a little more often than this one, but it’s good to have an eight-quart bowl, too.
Are Stainless Steel or Glass Mixing Bowls Better?
At any retail store that sells cookware, you’ll come across mixing bowls in two predominant materials: stainless steel and glass. Which is the better material of the two? To answer that, we’ll compare the pros and cons of each.
First, we’ve got stainless steel mixing bowls, which are made of a lightweight metal. Starting with the pros, most stainless steel is non-reactive, meaning you can do almost anything in the bowl without the properties of the metal changing. Most does not mean all, though, so shop carefully.
Stainless steel mixing bowls are quite durable, so if you invested in a set, you will have them for quite a while. They also tend to cost less money which benefits your wallet. Since steel is so tough, breaking these bowls is very hard to do. You can even use them as part of a double boiler.
Here are some downsides to owning a set of stainless steel mixing bowls. For starters, they’re not very appealing. You also have to be cautious about how you use them. You can’t break stainless steel mixing bowls outright, but you sure can dent them. Once you do that, there’s no going back to how the bowl once was.
Using a whisk in a steel bowl can lead to that scraping metal-on-metal sound while scratching the bowl’s interior, so it’s not recommended. You should also wear an oven mitt or other protective hand equipment when using stainless steel mixing bowls as a double boiler or for any other application involving heat. Since they’re metal, the bowl heats right up, which could cause burns to unsuspecting hands.
If the downsides of stainless steel mixing bowls have you looking for another material, try glass instead. When tempered, most glass mixing bowls are resistant to temperature changes. They won’t crack when heated, nor will they shatter when frozen. They’re also non-reactive all the time.
Glass mixing bowls weigh a lot more than stainless steel, so you must handle them with more care. The surface can be slippery too, which may lead to breakage. Unlike stainless steel bowls, if you drop a glass one, that’s it. It’s toast.
How Much Do Mixing Bowls Typically Cost?
Finally, let’s talk about one of the most important considerations in choosing the right set of mixing bowls for your home: the price. How much you’ll shell out for mixing bowls will depend on these factors:
- How many bowls you get, with a bigger set typically being more expensive
- The material of the mixing bowls
- The brand, as some branded mixing bowls may be costlier than those from smaller, lesser-known brands
Keeping all that in mind, we dug around on Amazon to find you three mixing bowl sets. One is made of plastic, another metal, and our third pick is glass.
Our first set of mixing bowls are plastic. They come from Nordic Wear in coastal colors. Included in the eight-piece set are bowls that are two quarts, 3.5 quarts, five quarts, and seven quarts. Each also has its own lid, completing the set. The eight-piece set is about $50.
All bowls are free of melamine and bisphenol A or BPAs. The bottoms are coated in silicone to reduce slippage while the sides and lids have grips for loading your mixing bowls into the dishwasher after cooking or baking.
If glass bowls are more your thing, check out this highly rated set from Pyrex. You get three pieces for under $20, which is a great deal. These are a one-quart, 1.5-quart, and a 2.5-quart bowl, each made of tempered glass. These bowls can safely go in your preheated oven, microwave, freezer, or dishwasher without shattering.
The nonporous glass Pyrex uses on their glass mixing bowl set won’t retain stains, flavors, or odors from previous cooking adventures since it’s nonporous.
Finally, we’ve got our stainless steel pick, TASTI’s five-piece mixing bowl set. For under $35, this Amazon’s Choice set offers bowls in many sizes, including 1.5 quarts, two quarts, 2.5 quarts, 3.5 quarts, and seven quarts.
Each has a silicone bottom in different colors to keep the bowls from slipping, protect them from heat, and to make them easier to organize.
Mixing bowls are useful for many applications, from stirring wet and dry ingredients to making dough and prepping a salad. It’s recommended you have a set of at least five mixing bowls. These should come in a variety of sizes, so no matter what your recipe calls for, you’ll be ready.
The links we shared in this article will provide a great starting point when shopping for your first complete set of mixing bowls. Whether you like glass, stainless steel, or even plastic, you can take your cooking and baking to the next level with a good set of mixing bowls. Best of luck!
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