When Should You Not Use Metal Mixing Bowls?

Metal mixing bowls are everywhere. They are lightweight, easy to store, and dishwasher safe. Also, they are safe around children. So you might wonder, when not to use metal mixing bowls? We researched the subject for you.

When not to use metal bowls depends on the metal; for instance, copper is different than stainless steel. Metal mixing bowls are reactive to acid, so you should not use them with acidic foods. Also, do not use metal bowls in the microwave.

This article will discuss the merits of metal mixing bowls and when it is best to use them when it is best to use other bowls. Continue reading as we delve into the subject of metal mixing bowls.

A woman uses a mixing bowl for baking, When Should You Not Use Metal Mixing Bowls?

Are Metal Mixing Bowls Safe?

Stainless steel bowls are safe and stainless steel does not corrode. You can use a stainless steel bowl to mix anything except acidic foods. It is a great tool in the kitchen, as a food prep vessel, from coating meat with flour to making dough. The bowl will not affect the flavor of non-acidic foods. That is why most stand-mixers feature a stainless steel bowl.

The added advantage of a stainless steel bowl is that it is unbreakable, though it might dent, and is dishwasher safe. For the best way to clean stainless steel bowls read: "How to clean a stainless steel mixing bowl." Stainless steel bowls are mildly reactive to acid. Also, most stainless steel bowls are less presentable as a serving bowl at the dinner table.

Check out these prep stainless steel bowls from Amazon.

Coated copper mixing bowls are safe for food except for acidic food since copper is reactive to acid. Copper mixing bowls are best for whipping eggs and for mixing dry ingredients. Copper bowls are also harder to clean and should not be placed in the dishwasher. Copper bowls are a beautiful medium to serve a salad at the dinner table.

Check out these copper bowls from Amazon.

While metal bowls are safe, they are not the best medium for the microwave or the handling of hot ingredients. While stainless steel is sturdy, most metal mixing bowls are not made to withstand oven temperatures. Always check the manufacturer's instructions before placing a metal bowl in the oven. You can, however, use metal bowls for proofing in the oven since it is a very low-temperature setting.

When Are Metal Bowls Best?

Red hand mixer mixing a mixture for cooking inside a metal bowl, Can I Use A Hand Mixer In A Metal Bowl?

Copper bowls are best for whipping eggs and for presentation.  The copper ions interact well with the egg whites, helping them stiffen. They are also aesthetically pleasing and great for serving.

Stainless steel bowls are best for mixing heavy ingredients. The bowls themselves are lightweight, making them a little easier to handle. They are also best for dough making. They are very versatile during the food preparation of the meal.

When to not use metal bowls?

Metal bowls are reactive. Therefore it is best not to use them for acidic foods, such as citrus or vinegar. While metal mixing bowls are safe in the fridge, you should not use them for marinating. Most marinates have at least one acidic ingredient that might interact with the metal. Use a glass or ceramic bowl for marinating. When working with acidic foods, it is best to choose ceramic or glass bowls which will not react with the food.

Using a whisk in a metal bowl can scratch the metal and cause microscopic metal shavings in the food. While these will not harm, they will affect the flavor. If you choose to whisk in a metal mixing bowl, you might consider using a silicon-coated whisk just to be on the safe side.

Silicon whisks from Amazon.

Is it Better To Store Food in Glass or Stainless Steel?

Both types of containers are safe to use when storing food. Which is better depends on need and personal preference. To help you determine what to use when here is the breakdown of pros and cons for each.

Glass Bowl


  • Clear, you can see what is inside.
  • Non-reactive with acidic food.
  • Microwave safe, so there is no need to transfer to another container.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Will not absorb the smells of food.
  • Insulates hot foods better than metal.


  • Heavier than metal.
  • It will break if dropped.
  • Hard to find secure lids.

Stainless Steel Bowl


  • Lightweight.
  • Easy to clean, just like glass.
  • Will not absorb the smell of food.
  • Easy to find a lid.


  • Not microwave-friendly.
  • It is not clear, so it is hard to see what is inside.
  • Reactive with acidic foods

So which is better? With young kids, a stainless steel bowl will be safer and easier. For a quick reheat in the microwave, a glass container will be more convenient. Both are useful and have their merit.

Can You Put Metal Mixing Bowls In The Fridge?

Metal mixing bowls can be used not only for mixing ingredients but also for storage. And yes, they can definitely go in the fridge. You can use them for any stage in the food prep. The biggest drawback to putting metal mixing bowels in the fridge is that you cannot see what is in them. On the flip side, the fact that metal is a great heat conductor means that the bowl itself gets cooled quickly, allowing the contents to cool quicker.

Metal mixing bowls can even go in the freezer. Just beware since the metal will become uncomfortably cold to the touch.

Click here for this set of bowls from Amazon.

Can Stainless Steel Bowls Be Used in The Microwave?

Newly washed stainless steel bowls

Microwaves today can handle stainless steel. Unlike microwaves of the past, they will not cause sparks or burst into flames. However, the technology used by microwaves to heat your food will be blocked by the metal. Resulting in a hot bowl and cold food. If you want to heat your food properly, do not use a metal bowl. It is best to use a glass or ceramic bowl to warm food in the microwave.

Can Metal Bowls Be Used in The Oven?

It is also unwise to use stainless steel bowls in the oven. The metal might warp or discolor. You can find out more about it in our article "Are Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls Oven Safe."

Copper bowls are oven-safe only if they are coated with oven-safe material. It is always best practice not to bake your food in a metal mixing bowl unless the bowl is marked as oven-safe by the manufacturer.

In Closing

Three different sized silver coloured kitchen mixing bowls, When Should You Not Use Metal Mixing Bowls?

Metal mixing bowls are a great tool to have in the kitchen. They can go straight to the fridge, are lightweight, durable, and convenient to use. However, they should not be used with acidic foods and are not microwave friendly. Also, you should check whether your particular bowl is oven-safe.

Three different sized silver coloured kitchen mixing bowls, When Should You Not Use Metal Mixing Bowls?

Please check out more about food prep in the following articles:

Can Pyrex Go In The Freezer?

6 Of The Best Ovenproof Skillets

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