Mixing bowls are an undervalued part of any kitchen. The right mixing bowl set can make mixing dough by hand a pleasant, relaxing experience or an exercise in frustration.
Here are some of our favorite mixing bowls.
What To Look For In a Mixing Bowl
I’ve found that my favorite mixing bowls tend to share a few qualities with one another. They are…
- Sold in a set – Because you’ll always need multiple sizes
- Surprisingly heavy – I like mixing bowl that can be used with wet, sticky dough, which means one that heavy enough to stay put
- Glass or metal – I prefer glass mixing bowls but metal is OK too. I always avoid plastic, melamine, wood, silicone or any type of synthetic. Glass and metal clean up better, last longer and are easier to clean
- Simple design – Lots of mixing bowls have handles, spouts, sticky rubber bases and all sorts of accoutrements. I find them to be unnecessary and often make the bowl worse
One thing I’d note is that mixing bowls are an inherently simple thing, so almost all the top models from companies you know and trust have been copied. Maybe the copies are fine, maybe they aren’t… there is no way to know. This is why I avoid copies, lookalikes, and anything from an unknown brand when it comes to cooking tools.
The Best Mixing Bowls
Emile Henry Ceramic Mixing Bowl Set
This Emile Henry set is a mixing bowl classic, made in France out of ceramic. The design is super classy and they sell in a glossy glazed red, grey, brown, black, and white. They are most commonly sold in a set of two mixing bowls, small (1.6L/1.7qt) and medium (3.3qt), but there are other sizes available. The largest size they make is a generous 5.8 quart.
I like these bowls for their clean looks, nice weight, and great coloring. They also have a 10-year guarantee, which is a wonderful thing. The company has been around since 1850, so I feel pretty good about them standing behind their products.
Duralex Mixing Bowls
Duralex’s nesting mixing bowls are really great. They are handsome, easy to handle, and surprisingly tough. And you get a big set for not much money. Best of all they nest so well that they take up as much space in your cabinet as a single large mixing bowl.
The main downside of the Duralex bowls is that they don’t get too large — just 2.5-quart for the largest in the 10-piece set.
Oxo Good Grips Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls
If you want nice looking, effective, metal mixing bowls, these Oxo Good Grips are the ones you want. These are my go-to metal mixing bowls in fact.
These bowls have a number of nice features that make them look good and work well. The top lip means more grip for your hands and easy holding if they are filled with hot liquid. The lip makes pouring a bit more difficult, but not terribly so. The bottom of the bowls is grippy rubber, which I normally don’t love, but the rubber has held up well over time.
The bodies are painted white, which seems unnecessary, but they are good looking and the paint hasn’t chipped or scuffed so it’s OK. The inside is food-safe stainless steel and they are dishwasher-safe.
The bowls are sold in a set that has 1.5-quart, 3-quart and 5-quart sizes.
Note: Oxo also makes the very popular Good Grips 3-piece Mixing Set (pictured at the top). These bowls are made out of a hard plastic. They are better then most plastic mixing bowls, but they do tend to pick up scratches over time and can look pretty beaten up if you use them long enough.
All-Clad Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls
This All-Clad set of stainless steel mixing bowls is the most expensive in the article (by wide margin) but they are really good looking and they are All-Clad, so you know they are made well.
These are what I’d call “wedding-registry expensive” not generally something that would be a fit for our kitchen, but I’ve always had great success with All-Clad. Plus they are dishwasher safe, which is a big bonus. And the largest size is 5 quarts, which is a really nice size.
Mixing Bowl With A Lid
Sometimes it’s just easier to have a mixing bowl with a lid, especially if you don’t keep plastic wrap (Saran wrap) in your house.
Pyrex Mixing Bowls
Pyrex has a nice selection of glass mixing bowls that are sold with lids. The bowls are sized between 1- and 4-quart and have a durable lid that doesn’t stain or pick up food flavors. The lids are plastic but there really is no other option for lid this wide in a mixing bowl. (We tend to use Bees Wrap instead, but it doesn’t seal as well as a lid.)
This set of Pyrex mixing bowls is particularly useful.