28 Different Types of Mixing Bowls

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There are a wide variety of mixing bowls to suit different techniques. Get to know which ones you need to have in your kitchen.

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A mother and daughter using plenty of mixing bowls for baking.

The classic mixing bowl was produced by an English pottery company that’s been around since the 1800s. Tom Cash bought the company in 1901 and called it Mason Cash after its most memorable potters, “Bossy” Mason. At the same time, they introduced the cane mixing bowl.

The name “cane bowl” is a reference to the distinctive color of the earthenware. Sometimes it’s also called the “yellow ware.” The company has shifted hands over the years but the mixing bowl has retained its 112-year-old classic design.

A. Material

1. Stainless Steel

Stainless steel mixing bowl with a blue plastic lid.Source: Hayneedle

While this type of mixing bowl is becoming more and more popular, it’s important that you are careful when using your bowl with hot ingredients so that your hands are not burned. Because the stainless steel is a great conductor of heat, it’s easy to accidentally allow your bowl to get too warm without realizing it. Additionally, using a whisk or other metal instrument inside your stainless steel bowl can not only scratch and damage the surface of the bowl but also impart a metallic taste to your food. One major benefit of using these bowls is that they can often serve as a double boiler when used with the correct size saucepan.

2. Silicone

4 pieces of small silicone mixing bowls in Blue.Source: Wayfair

While some people may be turned off by the texture of silicone mixing bowls as well as the fact that particularly strong foods can leave behind unpleasant odors, there are actually a number of benefits to purchasing silicone mixing bowls. These bowls are incredibly easy to clean, are naturally non-stick, and can be put in the microwave without any fear of damaging the material. Additionally, since they collapse so easily, they don’t take up a lot of storage space in your cupboards.

3. Glass

A set of durable glass mixing bowls. Source: Amazon

You won’t ever have to worry about the taste or color of your food being adversely affected when you use a glass mixing bowl. Choose a glass that has been tempered so you don’t have to worry about temperature swings causing the glass to crack. The problem with all types of glass mixing bowls is that they can easily break if you drop them on the floor or hit them against the countertop. Glass bowls are great when you are mixing a number of ingredients together because you can see through the sides of the bowl to make sure that there isn’t anything that hasn’t been fully incorporated.

4. Plastic

A set of plastic mixing bowls in different colors and sizes. Source: Amazon

Probably the least expensive type of mixing bowl that you can buy is a plastic bowl. These bowls are also virtually indestructible, making them ideal if you are going to be traveling with food and want to be able to mix and transport in the same container. Unfortunately, plastic can easily melt if you leave it too close to a hot surface such as a stove or an oven and lighter plastic bowls, in particular, are susceptible to staining as well as retaining strong odors. You will want to make sure that you only buy high-quality plastic bowls so you don’t have to worry about them shattering if you stick them in the freezer or becoming stained.

5. Melamine

Cute and colorful melamine mixing bowls with doodles.Source: Hayneedle

People who are looking for a mixing bowl that can stand up to everyday use and can be washed in the dishwasher without any fear of cracking or breaking will benefit from melamine. This is a very specific type of hard plastic that is made with strengthening materials to ensure that it does not crack or break. While there were concerns in the past over the safety of melamine dishes, the FDA has declared melamine completely safe to use. As long as you do not heat your foods to greater than 160° F, there is no concern over the chemicals in the melamine transferring to your food. These mixing bowls are incredibly difficult to break or chip and will not shatter when dropped or when used with very cold food.

6. Copper

Elegant-looking mixing bowls that are copper on th outside and steel on the inside.Source: Wayfair

Copper bowls are timeless and incredibly beautiful; for that reason, many people turn to this material when they are shopping for new mixing bowls. Unfortunately, they are incredibly expensive, which is why most people do not have more than one in their homes. One of the main benefits of using copper bowls is that they will actually stabilize egg whites that you beat in this bowl. The copper ions will react with the egg whites to stabilize them so they firm up rather quickly.

7. Porcelain

Porcelain mixing bowl in red and white.Source: Wayfair

The main benefit of porcelain mixing bowls is that they are incredibly attractive. You can buy these bowls in a number of different colors, styles, sizes, and designs. Because they are generally heavier than other types of mixing bowls, they won’t move around on your countertop when you’re using them. Unfortunately, this type of material is prone to cracking and chipping and it is very easy to accidentally damage your mixing bowls if you’re not careful.

8. Wood/Bamboo

Bamboo bowl with other wooden kitchenware. Source: Amazon

Natural materials bring a warm element to your mixing bowls and can look incredible in your kitchen and on the table. Over time, your wood will actually become seasoned and add a bit of flavor to the food that you mix in your bowl. This is especially true when you mix a salad or use your mixing bowl to make bread dough. One main problem with choosing a natural material such as wood or bamboo for your mixing bowls is that these materials are very porous and bits of your batter can get stuck in the side of the bowl. To ensure that you get the most use out of a mixing bowl, opt for one that is as attractive as it is functional so you can use it as a serving bowl after you have finished mixing your food.

9. Stoneware

White stoneware mixing bowl with a shiny finish.Source: Hayneedle

Not only are stoneware mixing bowls very attractive but they are significantly heavier than other types of materials, which is great if you are going to be stirring vigorously and do not want your bowl to migrate on the countertop. Unfortunately, dropping these bowls or banging them against the counter can cause them to break and thicker stoneware bowls can break other dishes or glasses in your cupboard if you bang them into each other.

B. Features

1. Set

A set of nested, plastic mixing bowls in different colors. Source: Amazon

The best way to make sure that you have the correct size mixing bowls for all of your needs is to buy a set. Mixing bowls will generally come in nesting sets if you choose this option, which is wonderful because it will allow you to store all of your bowls inside of each other and will take up very little storage space. Being able to choose the exact size mixing bowl for each of your needs ensures that you do not choose a bowl that is too small or one that takes up too much space on the counter when working on an involved recipe. Nesting mixing bowls that come in a set are generally complementary in color or design so you don’t have to worry about them clashing if you have more than one out in the kitchen at a time.

2. Lid

Red mixing bowl with a red lid.Source: Wayfair

One feature to consider if you are going to be using your mixing bowls for storage as well as for preparing recipes is an included lid. Instead of having to use plastic wrap or foil to cover your mixing bowls when you place your food items in the refrigerator if you buy mixing bowls that come with included lids, then you will not have to worry about being able to get a tight seal. This is key to ensure that your food stays fresh and that flavors do not migrate when the food is stored.

3. Dishwasher-Safe

Beige, blue and green mixing bowls with a friction grip.Source: Wayfair

No matter what you are cooking, cleaning up the kitchen can be a little bit of a hassle and the best way to ensure that the job is completed quickly and with very little frustration is to make sure that the mixing bowls you buy are dishwasher-safe. This means that at the end of your cooking session, you do not have to stand at the sink and wash multiple dishes. Rather, you can simply toss the bowls in the dishwasher and trust that they will not be a chip, become damaged, or have the design peel off of the outside of the bowl. This is especially helpful if you have very big mixing bowls as these can be difficult to wash completely and thoroughly in a sink.

4. Eco-Friendly

Blue, terracota mixing bowl with a glossy finish.Source: Wayfair

While there are many types of mixing bowls that you can buy that will stand up to years of use, ones that are made from chemically-processed manmade materials are not very healthy for the environment. In order to rest easy that you are doing everything you can to help protect the environment, opt for mixing bowls that are labeled eco-friendly.

5. Rubberized Base

Stainless steel mixing bowls with colorful rubberized bottoms.Source: Home Depot

This feature is one that you will love them if you tend to stir your batter, dough, or other food items inside your bowl rather vigorously and has noticed that your bowls tend to move and migrate across the countertop. Instead of having to hold the bowl tightly against the counter while you are mixing, when you opt for a bowl that has a rubberized base, this feature will help the bowl actually stick to your counter. This is a great way for you to rest easy that your bowl will not move or accidentally be knocked over while you are cooking.

6. Pour Spout

Mixing bowl with handle and spout that comes in a Lemon Yellow color.Source: Hayneedle

While a pour spout is not necessary if you’re going to be mixing dry ingredients or something that can be poured out of the bowl using a spatula to guide it, if you will be mixing up very wet ingredients, then a pour spout is the best way to control how you can empty out your mixing bowl. Without a pour spout, it can be incredibly difficult to control the flow of liquid ingredients, such as beaten eggs or thin pancake batter, and you will find that you can easily make a mess in your kitchen. Opting for a pour spout will ensure that you can control not only where your food is poured but also the speed at which it leaves the bowl.

7. BPA-Free

BPA-free mixing bowls in Lime Green.Source: Houzz

With more and more people becoming health-conscious and wanting to make sure that the dishes and bowls that they use in their kitchen will not cause any health problems in the future, it makes sense to look for mixing bowls that are labeled BPA-free. This means that you will not have to worry about storing any food items in your bowls for long periods of time because there will be no BPA to leach into your food. The peace of mind that you will enjoy from these bowls is worth the extra cost that you may have to pay for this feature.

8. Microwave-Safe

Rosy pink and white, microwave-safe mixing bowl.Source: Houzz

Being able to put your mixing bowls into the microwave to heat the food that you’re making allows you to quickly whip up recipes without having to stop, transfer the food to a pot, and heat it up on the stove. Unfortunately, there are many mixing bowls that will actually be damaged if they are used in the microwave; they can melt and even transfer dangerous chemicals into your food. Instead of putting the health of your family and the quality of your food at risk, make sure that you buy a mixing bowl that can go in the microwave. This means that you’ll be able to rest easy that no dangerous chemicals will transfer to your food or that your bowl will be damaged by the high temperatures in this appliance.

9. Interior Measurement Markings

Stainless steel mixing bowls with Interior Measurement Markings.Source: Hayneedle

While chances are good that you will have already measured out your ingredients before you put them into your mixing bowl, if you want to be able to use are mixing bowl as a measuring cup as well, then you will definitely want to make sure that you buy one that has interior measurement markings. These will let you easily measure your ingredients while cooking so you don’t have to worry about dirtying measuring cups. This is also a great idea if you tend to cook in ratios or like to eyeball your recipes as you will be able to easily make sure that you have the correct amounts of different ingredients in your recipe.

10. Vintage

Colorful, vintage mixing bowls inf four different sizes.Source: Etsy

Many people love the look and quality of vintage measuring bowls and use them either as decorative pieces or as functional bowls in their kitchens. If you love the way these bowls look and want to add a touch of vintage charm with an antique bowl in your kitchen, then you need to make sure that the one you choose is safe and will stand up to your use. Unfortunately, vintage mixing bowls were not always held to the same high standards as bowls are now, which means that you can actually put your family at risk of BPA or other chemicals leaching into your food. Knowing the quality of the vintage bowl that you are going to buy and making sure that you’d use it appropriately is the best way to enjoy a vintage look in your kitchen without being at risk.

11. Personalized

A personalized mixing bowl in white with blue accents.Source: Etsy

Personalizing a gift is a wonderful way that you can make sure the recipient knows that you are thinking about him or her when you give this kind of gift. A mixing bowl is no different and personalizing a mixing bowl is a wonderful way to celebrate an event such as graduation from culinary school, a wedding, or even a child finally being old enough to help out in the kitchen. No matter the reason why you buy a personalized mixing bowl, it is sure to be a gift that will be cherished and used on a regular basis, ensuring that the recipient always thinks of you when he or she uses it.

12. Handles

White mixing bowls with handles for easy usage. Source: Amazon

By buying a mixing bowl that has handles, you can make sure that you are able to easily move your bowl from one location in your kitchen to another. People who suffer from arthritis in their hands or have weaker than normal hands will greatly benefit from this because having a handle to hold onto is significantly easier than trying to grip the entire bowl when moving it. It is important that the handles are high-quality and are attached correctly so that you do not have to worry about your bowl falling and either breaking or spilling all of the food that you have mixed.

13. Grater Lids

Stainless steel mixing bowls with different styles of grater lids. Source: Amazon

One of the main benefits of mixing bowls is being able to use them to put all of your ingredients in at the same time so you do not have to dirty other dishes. If you do a lot of cooking from scratch, then you know that you often use a grater in your kitchen but this kitchen tool can be very difficult to clean and bulky to store. By buying mixing bowls that have a grater built into the lid, you can make sure that you always know where your grater is and that the food that you freshly grate will fall right into the mixing bowl to be used.

C. Sizes

1. Under Two Quarts

Contemporary, plastic mixing bowl in fuchsia pink.Source: Houzz

These small mixing bowls will not have enough room in them for you to mix up large recipes but they can be very useful if you only need to mix up a small amount of a salad dressing or to beat just a few eggs. Because they are such an easy size to store, this is a relatively popular size for mixing bowls.

2. Two to Four Quarts

A durable, wide-mouthed glass bowl.Source: Houzz

This size mixing bowl is a little bit more common as well as more useful for most people. While not large enough to easily hold items such as a batch of cookies, you can use mixing bowls this size to mix up the dry ingredients or the wet ingredients before combining them in a larger mixing bowl.

3. Five to Seven Quarts

Stainless mixing bowl with a seamless finish.Source: Houzz

You’re sure to love the extra space that you have been a mixing bowl that is this size as it ensures that you have more than enough room to mix pancake batter or other such foods.

4. Eight to Ten Quarts

8-quart, stainless steel mixing bowl.Source: Houzz

Anybody who is going to be mixing bread dough, cookie dough, or batter for brownies can greatly benefit from this size mixing bowl. It’s large enough for multiple ingredients without the user having to worry about spillage but not so big that it is difficult to manage or to store.

5. Eleven to Twenty Quarts

Stainless mixing bowl with a flat bottom.Source: Houzz

If you buy a mixing bowl that is in this size, then you likely do a lot of baking or cooking and either has a larger family or tend to make food for parties. That’s because this size is a little bit larger than what most people will need for average meals in their homes. This is also useful size if you own a restaurant as it provides enough space for you to mix up your ingredients.

6. More Than Twenty Quarts

Large, stainless steel mixing bowl.Source: Houzz

While you may think that it is a rare time when you would ever need a mixing bowl that is this large, if you love to double or triple recipes, then it’s important that you have enough space in your mixing bowl. This will ensure that you do not have to worry about whether not you have thoroughly mixed your ingredients or worry about them coming out over the top of the bowl and spilling all over the counter. A large mixing bowl such as this can be difficult to store but when you need the size, then there really is no substitute.





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