Last Updated on June 12, 2022
Mixing bowls are generally not the first item that comes to mind when thinking of kitchen essentials. That’s why it didn’t make its way to our 12 must-have kitchen tools article. Still, both pro and home cooks will reach out for their set of mixing bowls hidden in the cupboard whenever they prepare their favorite sauces and cake batters.
There are mixing bowls and sets with various advantages that’ll ease your task, whether you’re mixing salsa, preparing a salad, or making sourdough. Some bowls let you quickly go from mixing a marinade to melting chocolate in a bain-marie on the stove, while others are great for the microwave. There are also bowls that are great for assorting your fancy dinner table with and decorating your countertops.
The number of choices can be overwhelming, which is why we’ve prepared a list of the best individual mixing bowls and sets for you.
What to Look for in a Set of Mixing Bowls
Shopping for mixing bowls may seem like child’s play at first. Still, these are handy tools we’re talking about, and if you want them to make your cooking easier, they need to fit your cooking style and needs. So, before we get into the finest mixing bowls, here is a list of things to keep in mind when choosing one.
When you’re looking for a mixing bowl set, you’ll find that they’re made of various materials, such as glass, ceramic, stainless steel, or plastic.
Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls
These bowls are affordable, lightweight, and virtually unbreakable. They are non-reactive and usually come in various sizes. They are very durable, so using a hand mixer in a stainless steel bowl won’t be a problem. However, one downside of these bowls is that they can’t be microwaved.
Glass Mixing Bowls
These are usually made of tempered glass that’s heat resistant — but not always, so check out the instructions manual before putting one in the oven. You can toss them in the microwave and directly put them on the table as a serving bowl. On the downside, they’re heavier than plastic or stainless steel mixing bowls and don’t come in a wide range of sizes.
Porcelain or Ceramic Mixing Bowls
Porcelain or ceramic bowls can come in a wide range of fun colors and will certainly look fancy on your dinner table. They are also oven and microwave friendly. However, keep in mind that ceramic bowls are heavy and prone to chipping when handled roughly, so they’re not the most friendly option if you’re a clumsy cook.
Plastic Mixing Bowls
These are usually lightweight and microwave safe. Although generally non-reactive, plastic mixing bowls are prone to staining and can absorb unwanted odors.
Size and Weight
The sizes of mixing bowls are typically measured by quartz or liters and sometimes cups. Typically, the capacity of most mixing bowls ranges from 1 to 8 quarts, or between 0.95 and 7.5 liters. A quart is the quadruple of a cup, meaning 1 quart corresponds to 4 cups.
As a home cook, you’ll do just fine with a bowl set that comes with a 1 or 2-quarts bowl for preparing sauces and salad dressings and two larger 3 to 5-quarts bowls for mixing salads, making dough, or marinating meat.
Plastic and stainless steel bowls are lighter than ceramic, while glass bowls are available in a broader range of sizes. Glass and ceramic bowls are heavier and usually have a maximum capacity of four quarts due to their weight and fragility.
How Many in a Set?
Mixing bowl sets typically contain between 3 to 6 bowls, but you can always find a more extensive collection. Although a set with many different sizes of mixing bowls can be alluring, in terms of kitchen tools, sometimes simplicity can do the trick.
When you’re shopping for mixing bowls — or any other equipment — ask yourself whether you’re actually going to use all of them. Even though avid cooks will appreciate having multiple bowls of similar sizes when preparing multiple recipes at once, a set of three to five bowls is enough for most home cooks.
It’s not uncommon for mixing bowls to come with additional features like pouring spouts, lids, and handles, adding to their efficiency.
For instance, storing leftovers in the same bowl without wasting plastic wrap is very convenient. You can also carry your bowl to a potluck or a gathering without worrying about breaking them. Similarly, pour spouts enable you to pour sauces and batters from one bowl to another without making a mess.
Mixing bowls with handles are helpful if you frequently mix ingredients with a hand mixer. Plus, having a handle to hold while mixing saves you a flying bowl.
On that note, a bowl that slides around on the counter is a nightmare when you’re mixing stuff. To spare yourself the headache, get a set of non-slip-based mixing bowls to ensure they stay in place while you work. However, avoid the ones with deep grooves because sometimes food particles get stuck in them.
Oven, Dishwasher, and Freezer-Friendly
Most stainless steel, glass, ceramic, and plastic mixing bowls are typically dishwasher and freezer safe. Apart from those, bowls made of tempered glass are usually oven-safe (up to certain temperatures). But before making any assumptions, checking the manufacturer’s instructions might save you from a lot of trouble because a glass bowl cracking in the oven is quite an accident.
Best Mixing Bowls and Sets
Best Ceramic: Mason Cash Mixing Bowl
Ceramic is a reliable material that’s been used for many pieces of kitchen equipment, so why should mixing bowls be an exception? This 4.25 quarts ceramic mixing bowl is both big and handy. Its beautiful traditional patterns will make your kitchen and dinner table look like a scene from a European movie. The material is chip-resistant ceramic, available in multiple colors, on top of being dishwasher and microwave safe.
Keep in mind that this bowl is not as light as its stainless steel or plastic counterparts. If this sounds like a dealbreaker to you, you can have a look at the other bowls on the list. However, the weight of this Mason Cash bowl gives it extra stability. You can serve whatever you like in it on a fancy dinner table and then toss it into the dishwasher. The cleanup is as simple as that.
Most Innovative: Mason Cash Innovative Kitchen Mixing Bowl
You want your mixing bowl to be solid and sturdy, and that’s exactly what this Mason Cash mixing bowl is all about. The bowl is cleverly designed so that you can tilt it slightly to the side and have it stay that way. It’s great for having more surface area when you’re mixing eggs, let’s say, as your egg whites will foam up faster.
If you bake big cakes regularly, this mixing bowl can make it easier and more fun. It can hold a bit more than 5 quarts, and when you tilt the bowl, it stays that way with ease, thanks to the 8 separate flat areas around the bowl. This allows more air to be incorporated into the mixture, resulting in better rising bakes.
You can also wash it in the dishwasher and put it in a microwave, but the bowl is not so petite — it’s 29 cm wide and 14 cm high — so you might need to consider that before trying to fit it into your microwave.
Widest: Thunder Group Mixing Bowl
Thanks to its wide and shallow shape, this stainless steel mixing bowl is great for whisking, folding, mixing, and tossing. It’s big enough to contain any amount of cake batter, and it’s great for mixing salads. However, its short walls won’t keep the splatters if you’re using it with a hand mixer.
The best thing about this bowl is that you can make your own set and choose from 9 different sizes based on what you need the most. The bowls are available from 0.75 quarts to 20 quarts.
Outside of the Box: KROK Mortar and Pestle
A mixing bowl can be whatever you mix your ingredients in, and sometimes it’s much quicker and more practical to have a multipurpose “bowl.” Have you ever thought about using your mortar and pestle as a mixing bowl? This granite Krok mortar and pestle is ideal for making a curry, a paste, a sauce, or a salad dressing, such as a classic caesar salad dressing. You can mix, grind, and whisk using just a single mortar and avoid that pile of dishes that no one wants to clean after a nice supper.
Best for Baking: OXO Good Grips 3- Piece Mixing Bowls with Colored Handles and Base
This modest bowl set is friends with every hand mixer. The bowls are deep enough to prevent splashing, while their handles give you more control in your cake batter mixing task. They are made of sturdy plastic that won’t split or crack with everyday use. Plus, they have a silicone base that’ll prevent them from slipping around on the counter when you’re mixing with a hand mixer or kneading some bread dough.
When you’re done mixing, you can easily pour or drain the bowl contents thanks to the spout. The set includes a 1.5 quarts, 3 quarts, and 5 quarts bowl. While it’s true that these bowls probably won’t look good on a fancy dinner table, they’re very durable, so you can use them for a backyard get-together or a late movie night to serve heaps of popcorn. You can neatly store the bowls by nesting them into each other, and the cleanup is a snap since they are safe to go in the dishwasher. The set is also available in black silicone.
Most Durable: Fine Dine Mixing Bowls Stainless Steel
This stainless steel mixing bowl set will satisfy your every culinary need. You can reach for the smaller bowls to make that 3-ingredient TikTok dressing your friends have been talking about and use the larger ones to mix cake dough, serve large snacks, or simply wash veggies and fruits. It’s also great for hand mixing, whether you’re making a salad, whipping cake batter, or mixing the veggies with your favorite spice blend.
Although you can’t put these stainless steel bowls directly over the stove, they can still hold very hot things and are perfect for some bain-marie. Just be conscious that they heat up very quickly. The material won’t rust, retain odors or even stain from whatever you’re making. Mixing your curry or fish marinade fish will no longer be a nightmare.
If you’re not looking for a bowl that looks decorative, get yourself stainless steel set by all means. You can easily grab them for barbecues and picnics as they’re unbreakable and heavy so you can be sure they won’t be gone with the wind. This set of mixing bowls includes 0.75-quart, 1.5 quarts, 3 quarts, 4quarts, 5 quarts, and 8 quarts bowls that nest into each other for storage, but there is also a 5-piece set with air-tight lids.
Best Glass with Lids: Pyrex 4 Piece 100 Years Glass Mixing Bowls
Glass mixing bowls are a classic, and Pyrex is a brand that has been used in kitchens worldwide since the early 1900s. It’s safe in the oven, microwave, dishwasher, and freezer. But it’s not bulletproof. If you mishandle them, they might break. Still, these glass bowls are durable enough for many years of everyday use. Since glass is non-porous and non-reactive, you can use the bowls in this set to mix cake batters, marinate foods and serve delicious salads without worrying about remaining flavors and odors.
The set comes with a 3 cups, 6 cups, 10 cups, and a 4.5 quarts bowl, with matching BPA-free plastic lids in assorting colors. While the lids make storing and reheating food very convenient, the simple, clear glass showcases your food if you decide to use the bowls for serving.
This stainless steel bowl set will bring a festival of colors to your table or countertop with its reflective iridescent coating. Made of stainless steel, this set is perfect for outdoor settings or anywhere where flimsy bowls wouldn’t be appreciated.
The 4 piece set is ideal for mixing tasks, big and small. You can whip up salad dressings in the small bowl and toss then toss the salad in the large one. They also have air-tight lids, so you can just put away the leftover salad. Plus, they are safe to be thrown in the dishwasher. The set comes with a 1.5 quarts, 2.5 quarts, 4.5 quarts, and a 7 quarts bowl that easily nest inside each other, saving up space wherever you store them.
Best for Bread Making: OXO Good Grips 3-Piece Mixing Bowls Stainless Steel
The stainless steel interior is a reliable surface for mixing anything and will serve you for a very long time. On top of that, the bowls are covered with plastic on the outside, which provides insulation for hot or cold ingredients, so you can work with anything and keep your hands comfortable at the same time. What’s more, the insulation makes these bowls ideal for rising bread dough. The consistent temperature sets the stage for consistent bulk fermentation, yielding uniform results every single time.
Bread making sometimes requires vigorous kneading. The non-slip bottoms of these bowls will prevent them from sliding when you’re kneading your dough, while also protecting your countertops from scratches.
This modest 1.5, 3, and 5 quarts bowl set is simple enough for any kind of task, from baking to mixing marinades. You can also clean them in the dishwasher and then put them away, neatly nested within each other.
Best Budget: AIKWI 6-Piece Nested Plastic Mixing Bowls
This set is ideal for a new kitchen, a summer home, bedroom use, or as a spare bowl set for any kitchen. This inexpensive set will have many uses at home and on the go. They’re cheap enough to take one to a potluck, and if you leave it behind, you can just forget about it.
This set of bowls comes in six matching colors and is made of sturdy plastic. The material is microwave safe for heating leftovers or melting butter for your favorite recipes, and dishwasher friendly for easy cleanup. Plus, they can be packed away neatly for easy storage.
This set includes a 0.3, 0.8, 1.4, 2.23, 3.7, and a 5.8 quarts bowl, so you’ll always have the right size for the job. This set comes in two color options – grayscale and rainbow – so you’re sure to find one that’s perfect for your kitchen or a themed party.
Best With Additional Features: Belwares Mixing Bowls Stainless Steel with Lids and Accessories
This bowl set will reduce the number of tools you use for your next cooking project. Each cap has a detachable apparatus on which any three accessories easily snap into place. The accessories include a grater, a slicer, and a shredder. To make things even easier, there are markers of measurement on the inside of each bowl so you can quickly mix and eliminate the measuring cups. A small pouring spout on the opposite side of the handle allows for a smooth pouring of any liquid.
The bowls also have rubber bottoms so they stick on the countertop when you’re working and don’t slip even when you’re mixing bread dough. The rubberized handles provide a non-slip grip and comfortable insulation for the hot stuff you might want to handle in them. The set includes a 1.5 quarts bowl, a 3 quarts bowl, and a 5 quarts bowl, with lids for each of them. They’re also safe to put in the refrigerator, dishwasher, oven, and freezer.
Best Low-Impact: Eco Bamboo Fiber 6-Piece Mixing Bowls by Chef Craft
If you don’t like using plastic materials in your kitchen but still need a more durable bowl set than glass or ceramic, these bamboo fiber mixing bowls might be your next best friend in the kitchen.
These sustainable bowls are safe in the dishwasher. You can pick the color from 3 available options — the natural colored ones are also free of dyes. The set includes six bowls with sizes of 1 cup, 2 cups, 1 quart, 2 quarts, 3 quarts, and 4.5 quarts. They are perfect for an eco-friendly household.
The Final Verdict
All these mixing bowls have their own strong suits. If you’re looking for a multipurpose set that you can use as a mixing bowl, put into the oven, wash in the dishwasher, and use as a serving bowl on a lovely dining table, you should go for a glass or a ceramic mixing bowl. However, check out the plastic and stainless steel sets if you prefer a more durable and easy-to-use bowl set. Either way, having a multipurpose set will ease your cooking process tremendously. Here is list of more essential kitchen tools and gifts for cooking lovers.