How to choose a set of mixing bowls

Believe it or not, I’ve noticed the difference in my kitchen from choosing the right set.  Things are neater.  I never feel like I’m short on equipment.  I’m more inclined to cook more involved recipes.

  • Material: Two obvious choices are Pyrex-type glass and stainless steel.  I prefer stainless steel because it’s cheaper and thin is fine for everyday use.  I keep one Pyrex glass bowl around, though I’m not sure why.
  • Sizes: I own 3/4-, 3-, 5-, and 8-quart bowls.  The 3/4-quart bowls are great for vinaigrettes and rendered fats.  I highly recommend these.  The 3- and 5-quart bowls are all-purpose bowls (at least for the scale on which I’m cooking).  The trade-off is between mixing space and dishwasher space.  I really like having them both.  The 8 quart is great for tossing salad or pasta.  While dishwasher-safe, it’s a pain to clean.  It’s the first one I’d send to the attic if I needed more space.
  • Quantity: I cook dinner for three around six times per week.  Three each of the 3/4-, 3-, and 5-quart bowls and one of the 8-quart bowls is enough.  I wish I’d bought double the 3/4-quart bowls and maybe one more each of the 3- and 5-quart bowls.  If I had to sell the 8-quart to buy the extra, I would.
  • Storage space: To minimize storage space, buy a set of bowls that nest nicely.  What I mean is that smaller  bowls should fit inside larger quantity bowls.  Sometimes a lower-capacity bowl won’t fit inside higher-capacity bowl because the widths and depths are incompatible.  An easy way to make sure your bowls nest is to buy them all from from the same manufacturer.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email