How many mixing bowls do you have in your kitchen? How many are too many? Are they all made of the same material? Every cook and baker needs to have the right mixing bowls, they are essential to cooking and they are vital kitchen tools. Most people have a few mixing bowls and they are stuffed into cupboards until needed. However, you can make your life in the kitchen so much easier if you have even a few of the right kinds of mixing bowls.
Why all the fuss about mixing bowls? It’s true that you can use almost any type of bowl to whip up a recipe in, as long as the ingredients fit and the bowl doesn’t leak. Your baking life will be so much easier if you have the right bowl for the kitchen project that you are working on. If you are hand mixing a fairly stiff batter, having a handle on the bowl makes your work much easier. Maybe you are mixing a more liquid batter and have to pour it. A mixing bowl with a spout will make a huge difference.
Mixing Bowls Come In Different Materials
Usually you will find mixing bowls made from 5 different types of materials. Each material has its benefits and its drawbacks, but all generally do a very good job. More often, the design of the bowl will be more important than the material it is made from.
Glass Mixing Bowls
These are favorites in many kitchens. Glass doesn’t peel or chip like plastic or melamine, it’s solid and stays solid. Foods, such as acidic foods, won’t react with glass the way that they can with plastic or stainless steel. Clean up is easy, just toss the bowls into the dishwasher. The downside to glass is that it is heavy and can break.
It’s true, plastic is everywhere! Plastic has been an important material in kitchens for years, despite the bad press it is receiving concerning the environment. The benefits are obvious-it’s lightweight, it’s durable, it’s inexpensive and it’s easy to clean. The drawbacks are few, mostly involving scratching and peeling. Some plastics may interact badly with acids, leaving an off taste to your food, but that is rare.
Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls
Lightweight, inexpensive and easy to clean, stainless steel is used often in the manufacturing of kitchen tools. Stainless steel bowls last a long time and are very light and easy to handle. They are slippery and if there are no handles on the bowl you may lose your grip. Metal utensils can scratch stainless steel and if scratched, the material can react with acids.
Some people love ceramics in their kitchens, the colors are so bright. Ceramic is used in mixing bowls and the result is sturdy, attractive bowls that can be used for mixing and for serving. This type of bowl is heavier than plastic or stainless steel and can be prone to breaking when dropped. The benefits are many. Ceramic won’t chip or scratch, it won’t interact badly with some foods and is easy to clean. They also go into the microwave without any problems, there is no metal in ceramic.
Stoneware Mixing Bowls
The odds are very good that your grandmother used stoneware mixing bowls. The bowls may have been passed down from her mother, or they may have been a wedding gift. Stoneware is sturdy, heavy and works with everything. Like glass, it can break and you can’t put it in the dishwasher. Stoneware is usually very creative in its colors and patterns.
There are other materials used to make mixing bowls, but they are less common. Some bowls are made from wood, but these are usually used for mixing salads or for serving. Melamine is a type of very hard plastic and is becoming more common in kitchen bowls. It’s durable and easy to clean and is a cross between plastic and ceramic.
When you are buying mixing bowls, there are a few features that you may want to look for:
Handles-A bowl with a handle is very convenient and makes mixing easier.
Lids-Bowls with lids can do dual duty. You can use them for mixing and storing.
Rubber Bottoms-A rim of rubber or silicone on the bottom of the bowl can make mixing easier.