Baking is 80% mixing and 20% the rest of the stuff, especially when it comes to things like cakes and cookies. Using the wrong kind of mixing bowl can have disastrous consequences, as I learned back when I first started baking.
I used to have these big plastic bowls lying around my mom’s kitchen and decided they were as good as anything else to make the buttercream, but I quickly realized my mistake. The plastic wasn’t made to stand a mixer, and the bowl just broke, with its contents now leaking through the cracks.
I’ve since been more careful about what I use to mix my ingredients in, whether it’s for baking cakes or for making kebabs, and for most things I would prefer a stainless steel mixing bowl every time.
Why Use Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls?
I love stainless steel bowls because they’re lightweight, durable, and good for most of my mixing and prepping needs. The only times I opt for a glass mixing bowl are when I’m working with something acidic, or when I’m too lazy to wash my stainless steel bowls.
Glass mixing bowls are great for some people, sure, but I don’t feel comfortable using something so breakable for mixing my stuff – they’re better off being used for serving food instead. This is because I tend to want to hold the bowls in my hand while mixing and I use a hand mixer, and I just don’t want any accidents happening in the kitchen with the glass breaking.
What to Look For in a Mixing Bowl
Things like size, shape, weight, and durability matter a lot when you’re looking for the right mixing bowls. You also need to consider whether a particular set is worth the money, much more. Let’s talk about each of these things in detail.
Mixing bowls are usually on the larger size mainly because you need a lot of room for all the ingredients you’re mixing. Be it eggs for cakes, cookie dough, everyone will appreciate the extra room. Size also matters in mixing bowls when you use a mixer for things like buttercream – the right-sized bowls will keep all the splatters inside.
On the other hand, smaller mixing bowls are great options for when you need to put together a double boiler for melting chocolate, etc. They’re also great for holding the dry ingredients for a cake before you put them into the eggs and butter mix.
There are also bakers and chefs out there who love using oversized mixing bowls for all their needs, loving the extra capacity and the ease of movement, especially when kneading dough.
You might be wondering why this is an important factor – aren’t all mixing bowls round? But see, just being round isn’t enough. Two different mixing bowls that hold the same volume can be wide or high, and when it comes to using a mixer the mixing bowl with the higher edges will perform best.
The high edges are going to keep all the splatters from mixing strictly inside the bowl, but that can’t be said for the low and wide bowls.
Ideally, your mixing bowls need to have the perfect combination of depth, room to move, and height. Meaning that they shouldn’t be so high that the opening becomes narrow and working with the mixing bowl becomes hard, and they shouldn’t be shallow enough that the contents splatter everywhere while mixing.
Mixing bowls are probably one of the kitchen utensils that face the most abuse in the kitchen. There’s no room for them to be delicate or fancy – they need to be practical, long-lasting, and need to be able to handle the pressure of being knocked around and have things mixed in them – sometimes with automatic mixers that do not go easy.
If you pay attention to how you use your mixing bowls, you’ll notice that a lot of us have a habit of partially lifting them off the counters so we can get a better grip on the edges and a better angle for mixing. Not to mention how dealing with anything too heavy for comfort can be, well, uncomfortable.
This is tricky territory for manufacturers – they need to make mixing bowls lightweight and durable. Materials like stainless steel and copper are prime candidates for this job.
Practicality of the Set
It might be really attractive to buy a set of 6 bowls instead of a set of three that comes with the same price tag, but stop for a moment and look closely. The set of six isn’t going to be of much use to you if the smallest three sizes are good for nothing, and it might be better to buy the set with fewer but more useful bowls.
When to Use Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls
Stainless steel mixing bowls are the ideal option for more or less any mixing or prepping you need to do in the kitchen, but just because they look indestructible doesn’t mean you really put that invulnerability to the test!
Here’s when and how not to use your stainless steel mixing bowls:
- Food-grade stainless steel is safe to use for acidic foods, but you’re still better off being careful with most pans. The reason is that stainless steel is considered safe for acidic food only if it contains a certain amount of chromium, and there’s no real way to check how much is in the bowls that we use. Your best bet is to use mixing bowls from reputable and well-established manufacturers.
- Don’t use stainless steel bowls in the oven unless they’re marked oven-safe by the manufacturer.
- Don’t put stainless steel mixing bowls or anything made of metal in the microwave.
Why Buy the Bowls I Suggest?
These bowls are the best I could find. As always I asked myself what the different things I would want in my mixing bowl sets are and went searching for the bowls that would have them. Of course, I’m not selfish so I have things I felt people would generally need in kitchens too – like a bowl with an attachment for a grater. I know I would lose the attachments as soon as I got them, but I know they’re going to be super useful for some organized soul out there.
I also judged each item based on buyer reviews and whether they’ve been recommended by other blogs and mixing bowl reviewers or not – the ones on here aren’t just amazing stainless steel mixing bowls, but made a mark for themselves as amazing options when considering mixing bowls of all materials.
Best Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls
- Best Overall: Cuisinart Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl Set
- Best Oversized: Thunder Group Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls
- Best Non-Slip: REGILLER Non-Slip Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls
- Best Innovative: Rottay Store Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls With Grater Attachments
- Best Storage: AIKKIL Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls
Let’s talk about each of these bowls in detail.
Best Overall: Cuisinart Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl Set
The Cuisinart Stainless Steel mixing bowls are said to be the best by multiple sources, and the 87% five star reviews on Amazon don’t give me reason to believe otherwise. They’re long lasting and light, and they come in three practical sizes – 1.5, 3, and 5 quarts. This makes them a sound choice if you regularly cook for a small family, but I feel like I would need a bigger bowl when cooking for larger gatherings.
The edges on these bowls are rounded and great to hold on to, and they’re lightweight enough that you wouldn’t have any trouble lifting them up or handling them around the kitchen. A great thing about these bowls is that they come with lids, which means they can double as storage containers too.
I’ve found that metal and steel containers are the best for anything you want to store in the freezer, and even though these bowls aren’t microwave safe – none of the ones on this list are going to be – they’re freezer and dishwasher safe.
A common complaint I’ve heard people have with these bowls though is that they stain and rust if you use them to mix or store acidic foods, so you might need to be careful about that.
Best Oversized: Thunder Group Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls
If you ever have the chance to try an oversized mixing bowl, please do. You’ll realize that all your life you might have been using ones that were too small, especially when you made bread or used them to knead any kind of dough.
Usual mixing bowls hardly contain more than 5-8 quarts, but the Thunder Group mixing bowls come in sizes up to 20 quarts. This makes them perfect for any large gatherings or even for commercial use – not quite okay for restaurants, but if you’re running a small baking business, these are a must-have.
They’re too large to go into an average-sized dishwasher, so you’ll have to wash them by hand. On the other side, they’re incredibly lightweight for how big they are – but still, hold up nicely against regular use.
The storage for these bowls might be an issue, but you can always keep them in the bottom cabinets and then store all your smaller mixing bowls inside these large ones.
Best Non-Slip: REGILLER Non-Slip Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls
If you’re tired of your mixing bowls sliding off or banging loudly when you place them on the counters, how about getting ones designed especially not to do that? Yup, nonslip mixing bowls are an actual thing, and this set is pretty nice if you want them – even if the smallest bowl is a little too small, but I bet you can find uses for it too.
The bowls are lined with multicolored silicone on the bottom, with rounded rims that make it easy for you to grip them.
Another great advantage of the silicone bottoms on these bowls is that they don’t clank noisily on your counters, and while they’re not light and flimsy, they’re definitely not too bulky either.
Best Innovative: Rottay Store Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls With Grater Attachments
Mixing bowls aren’t just for baking – we use them in all manners of prep and other stuff in the kitchen. One of the most common uses is to make salads and slice vegetables in them – and this set makes it incredibly easy with its grater attachments. Not only that, but it also comes with a lot of other useful stuff that you’d use for mixing or prepping your food.
This isn’t to say that the only reason this item is in this list is because of the grater attachments – a lot of people bought the bowls simply because they’re great bowls and they wanted them. They’re freezer and dishwasher safe, with bowls that range from one to seven quarts. They also come with lids and nest nicely within one another.
Some people have complained about how they lost the grater attachments a few days after they got them, and a great solution for that is to keep all your tupperware lids and flat attachments in a special tupperware box in one of your cupboards – it works better than putting them all in a drawer, trust me.
Best Storage: AIKKIL Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls
Until now, all the mixing bowls came with lids as an add-on, or at least it wasn’t a feature good enough to make them stand out. But in the case of these AIKKIL mixing bowls, the lids are worth mentioning.
If you intend to use your mixing bowls for a lot of marination and storage during meal prep, or if they’re going to be sitting in the fridge for a while, consider these bowls. If you put heavily psyched stuff in the fridge without sealing it properly, the smell can seep into the other stuff you have in there, and the same goes for when you put stuff in the freezer.
These mixing bowls are freezer and dishwasher safe and come with a bunch of useful extras, plus the same non-slip silicone bottom that was on the REGILLER bowls. The smallest bowl can fit 0.67 quarts inside it, which is pretty small, but then there are more practical sizes from one to seven quarts in the seven bowl, twenty piece set as well.
Stainless steel accessories are a great addition to your kitchen if you want dependable mixing bowls that last. If you get a good set, you can use it for years without it denting, staining, or being damaged in any way.
They’re better than glass mixing bowls because those break easily, which makes it harder to work with them. On the other hand, you can’t put stainless steel mixing bowls in the microwave, and I’d advise against putting them in the oven too.