7 Best Mixing Bowls and Sets, According to Food Network Kitchen
We’ve done more than our share of stirring, beating and folding — not to mention storing and serving — to decide which mixing bowls take the cake!
By Sharon Franke for Food Network Kitchen
Our Top Mixing Bowl Picks:
- Best Overall: Pyrex 6-Piece Mixing Bowl Set with Lids
- Best Value: Cook with Color 12-Piece Plastic Mixing Bowl Set
- Best Stainless Steel: Cuisinart Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls with Lids
- Best Plastic: OXO Good Grips 3-Piece Mixing Bowl Set
- Best Ceramic: Emile Henry Ceramic Mixing Bowl Set
- Best Batter Bowl: Anchor Hocking 2-Quart Glass Batter Bowl with Lid
- Design Statement: Bamboozle 7-Piece Nesting Bowls
Whether you’re the kind of cook who would never serve a meal without a homemade dessert, is a fan of boxed mixes, or thinks a bowl of popcorn is a fine way to end a meal, you need a set of bowls in your kitchen. Even if you never mix up a thing other than a couple of eggs, bowls of all kinds come in handy for storing and serving as well as preparing food. When you go shopping, you’ll find a broad selection of mixing bowls made of all kinds of material at a wide range of prices. Which set is best for your kitchen depends on what kind of cook you are, but don’t worry, among our picks there’s something for everyone.
How We Picked These Mixing Bowl Sets
What's It Made Of?
Glass is attractive and see through. Plus, it’s dishwasher safe and microwavable. But accidentally knock a glass bowl over and you know the drill: Make sure everyone’s wearing shoes and pull out the vacuum cleaner.
On the other hand, stainless steel mixing bowls will last a lifetime. If one falls off the counter, it may make a mess or even wind up with a dent, but you can remeasure your ingredients and start all over. It’s also lighter in weight, so easier to handle.
Plastic offers some of the best attributes of both worlds. It’s easy to handle and won’t break easily. It may or may not be, depending on the plastic, safe for microwaving and dishwasher cleaning.
If you value appearance over all, and intend to keep your bowls on display, you’ll probably want a ceramic set. You can’t beat them for good looks or holding an assortment of fresh fruit, but they’re heavy to hold when you’re beating up a batch of chocolate chip cookies.
How Does It Shape Up?
Wide and shallow bowls with sloping sides are easy to get around with a spatula, whisk or electric mixer. But you need to be careful, especially when using high speed or you can wind up with splatters of frosting on your countertop or walls. On the other hand, with deep bowls, you need to work harder to get to the bottom but you won’t have to worry about spattering.
What Are the Small Details That Matter?
Rims or rolled edges help you get a good grip when you’re holding the bowl with one hand and beating with the other. Other helpful features include spouts for pouring out dressings, batters, and sauces; measuring marks to see how high your dough has risen; and handles to enhance your grasp.
Just about everyone will love this basic set of three glass bowls that includes 1- ,1 1/2, and 3-quart sizes. Their wide, shallow shape makes it easy to get around the side and down to the bottom with an electric hand mixer or a spatula. Use the largest for melting a stick of butter and some chocolate squares before beating up one-bowl brownies. The medium one’s perfect for whipping cream and the smallest for scrambling eggs.
Rims around the edge ensure a good grip when you’re holding the bowl with one hand and a whisk or spatula with the other. There’s a plastic lid for each one so you can store a portion of leftovers in the fridge or bring a batch of potato salad to a picnic.
This set is a runaway best seller at Amazon and you don’t have to wonder why. You just can’t beat the price for a set of six bowls plus storage lids. And in sizes varying from about 1 1/3 cups to close to 6 quarts, they will meet your every need from eating a bowl of yogurt to mixing up a big batch of snack mix.
When it comes to practicality, these nesting bowls check almost every box. They’re lightweight, virtually unbreakable, microwavable and dishwasher safe. And they come in a big assortment of colors, so you can easily find one to match your kitchen color scheme. Choices include gray, green, and pink ombre and multi colors.
The 1.5-, 3-, and 5-quart bowls in this stainless-steel set are relatively deep. While you may find you have to work a little to get your mixer beaters or whisk down to the bottom, you’ll also find that you won’t get any messy splatters if you cream butter and sugar on high speed.
With brushed exteriors and rolled rims, these bowls are easy to grasp when you’re mixing and whipping. Plastic lids are included so you can make your whipped cream ahead of time and keep it covered in the fridge until it’s time to swirl it on top of your pie.
Even though they’re made of plastic and will never do for table service, these OXO bowls aren’t thin or flimsy. Think of them as high-quality workhorses. Not only are they substantial, they have a rubbery finish on the bottom so they won’t skid on the countertop as you gradually drizzle oil into your Caesar salad dressing. Wide handles on one side give you the good grip for which OXO's known. Each of the bowls has a spout so you can easily pour your banana bread batter into a pan. The set includes 1 1/2-, 3- and 5-quart sizes. Note: You can pop them in the dishwasher, they're not microwave safe.
These ceramic bowls will look gorgeous sitting empty on your kitchen countertop, as a centerpiece filled with apples and grapes, or even as serving dishes for popcorn and chips. However, they can be used for just about every mixing task. Mash up your potatoes in one of these beauties and then serve them right from the bowl. As Emile Henry is microwave safe, you can even give your spuds a quick zap to heat them up if you’ve prepared them ahead of time.
Just keep in mind that these bowls are heavy, so you won’t want to be resting one on a hip as you whip up some cream. They’re also deep, so you’ll need to use a spatula to make sure your mixer is incorporating the ingredients at the bottom of the bowl.
While this set isn’t cheap, it’s not expensive for two beautiful bowls that are manufactured in France. The pair includes 1.7- and 3.3-quart sizes and is available in white, red or gray.
You may not realize you need this batter bowl, but once you have it, you won’t want to live without it. Its handle and spout make it easy to pour your frittata mixture right into the skillet or your crepe batter into the pan. Use it to rise bread dough and the measurement marks on the side make it easy to see when the dough is doubled in bulk.
It comes with a lid to keep your sourdough moist as it rises or stash your leftover pancake mix in the fridge. It’s microwave safe, so you can use it to gently warm milk or melt ingredients. And of course, as its glass, it’s dishwasher safe.
Ranging in size from close to 6 quarts down to 10 ounces, this set includes a bowl for everything from storing soup to serving nuts. All of the pieces nest so they don’t take up any more room than a 3-bowl set. And when stacked inside each other, they’re so pretty, that you’ll probably want to leave them sitting on your countertop to dress up your kitchen. You can choose from an array of pastel colors, gradated shades of purples, or a septet of gray tones.
Because these bowls are made from bamboo, they’re light in weight, which combined with grip-able rims, makes them easy to hold onto when you’re beating up a cake mix or bringing a salad to the table. Although they are dishwasher safe, you may want to hand wash them to keep their colors vibrant.
Sharon Franke has been testing and writing about kitchen equipment for over 30 years. Before becoming a cooking tools expert, she spent seven years working as a professional chef in New York City restaurants. In her free time, she's busy baking sourdough bread and rustling pots and pans on her own stove.