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No matter what kind of cook you are, you’re sure to need a set of mixing bowls. You’ll use them in the kitchen every day for mixing batters for cake, pancakes, and brownies, for tossing salads, or for holding rising bread dough. Mixing bowls come in a variety of materials, and each has its pros and cons. Metal bowls are durable and heat-resistant, but can’t be used the microwave. Glass bowls are durable and microwave safe, but they can chip or break if not handled properly. Plastic bowls are hard to break and are likely to be less expensive than other materials, but they can’t handle high heat. No matter which bowls you like, it’s wise to buy a set, since you’ll use them so often, and different sized bowls are useful for different tasks.
01 of 07
Best for Hand Mixers: OXO Good Grips Mixing Bowl Set with Black Handles
This three-piece set of bowls welcomes your hand mixer, with deep bowls that minimize splashing and a handle on each bowl that’s easy to hang onto with one hand while you’re using the mixer in your other hand. The bowls are made from durable plastic that won’t crack or break with normal use, and they a rubbery bottom that won’t slide on your kitchen counter.
A small spout opposite the handle makes it easy to pour your batter or drain excess liquid from the food you’re marinating. The set includes one 1 1/2-quart bowl, one 3-quart bowl, and one 5-quart bowl. While these probably won’t grace your table for fancy parties, they’re super-sturdy, so they’re great for outdoor use or for movie and popcorn night. These nest neatly when it’s time to put them away. They are dishwasher safe, so cleanup is easy when you’re done cooking.
02 of 07
Best Metal: Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls by Finedine
You’ll always have the size you need with this set of six stainless steel mixing bowls. The smallest bowls can be used for prep work while the largest will hold your largest batches of cake batter, super-sized salads, or bread dough for a crowd, and the shape is ideal for hand-whisking, whether you’re whipping cream or emulsifying a salad dressing. Since these are made from stainless steel, you can use them as a double-boiler on top of a saucepan of simmering water to melt delicate chocolate or cook a custard. They won’t stain, rust, or retain odors, and are dishwasher safe for easy cleaning. While they’re not as decorative as the serving bowls you use on holidays, they’re great for picnics, barbecues, and outdoor dining, since they’re unbreakable and heavy enough not to blow away in the wind. This set includes 3/4-quart, 1 1/2-quart, 3-quart, 4-quart, 5-quart, and 8- quart bowls that nest for storage.
03 of 07
Best Glass: Pyrex Prepware 3-Piece Glass Mixing Bowl Set
Glass mixing bowls are classic, and the borosilicate glass used in Pyrex has been used in kitchens since the early 1900s. It is designed to be safe in your preheated oven, freezer, microwave, and dishwasher. While glass can break when handled improperly, these are sturdy enough for everyday use for many years. Since the glass is nonporous and nonreactive, you can use it for marinating foods, mixing cake batters, or serving delicate salads without worrying about flavors or odors remaining. The set includes one 1-quart bowl, one 1 1/2-quart bowl, and one 2 1/2- quart bowl. The plain clear glass shows off your food nicely if you decide to use them for serving.
04 of 07
Best Decorative: Nordic Ware 4-Piece Prep N Serve Mixing Bowl Set
This four-piece bowl set will add festive color to your kitchen and the wide-ribbed exterior adds a decorative touch so the bowls will also look great on your table for casual dinners. Made from sturdy plastic, you’ll feel confident using them outdoors, or anywhere breakable bowls wouldn’t be welcome. The sizes are great for large and small mixing tasks, whether you’re whisking salad dressing in the small bowl or tossing a salad in the large one. When it’s time to reheat leftovers or melt chocolate for a recipe, these are safe for use in the microwave. The bowls have a non-skid bottom that will hold them secure while you mix, and they’re dishwasher safe for easy cleaning when cooking is done. The set includes one 2-quart bowl, one 3 1/2-quart bowl, one 5-quart bowl, and one 7-quart bowl. They nest easily for storage, so you’ll save space in your cabinets.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
Best with Lids: Cuisinart CTG-00-SMB Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls with Lids
When you’re making cookie dough that needs to be refrigerated before baking, these are the bowls you’ll reach for, since each bowl has its own lid. Made from stainless steel, they won’t discolor or absorb odors, so you’ll reach for them when you’re marinating your famous spicy chicken, and for storing leftovers in the refrigerator or in the freezer. This set of three includes one 1 1/2-quart bowl, one 3-quart bowl, and one 5- quart bowl, along with lids for each. When cooking is done, these are dishwasher safe, including the lids, so cleanup will be done in a snap.
06 of 07
Best for Baking Bread: OXO Good Grips 3-Piece Stainless-Steel Mixing Bowl Set
These bowls have a stainless steel interior and a plastic exterior, providing insulation against heat or cold, so you can work with hot or chilly foods while keeping your hands comfortable. That insulation also makes these bowls ideal for holding your rising bread dough, since the dough will stay at a more constant temperature, even if the kitchen is drafty. This three piece set includes sizes you’ll reach for often: one 1 1/2-quart bowl, one 3-quart bowl, and one 5-quart bowl. The stainless steel interior won’t stain or absorb odors, so you can use these for marinating your favorite curry today and mix a delicate salad dressing tomorrow. The non-skid base on each bowl keeps them from sliding around on your counter while you’re mixing, and avoids the marks you can get from stainless steel bowls sliding on your countertops. When cooking is done, these are dishwasher safe for quick cleaning, and then they nest neatly for tidy storage.
07 of 07
Best Budget: Gourmet Home Products 6 Piece Nested Polypropylene Mixing Bowl Set
Great for a new kitchen, a vacation home, dorm use, or as a spare set of bowls for any kitchen, this budget-friendly set will have plenty of uses at home and away. They’re inexpensive enough that if you take one to a potluck and leave it behind, you won’t be making frantic calls the next day. The bowls come in six coordinated colors, so they’ll look good in the kitchen or on the table, no matter which size you use. They are made from heavy-duty plastic and are microwave safe for heating leftovers or melting butter for your favorite recipes. When cooking is done, they’re dishwasher safe for easy cleaning and they nest neatly for storage. Got leftovers? You can use them for storage in the refrigerator or freezer. This set includes one .32-quart bowl, one .74-quart bowl, one 1.37-quart bowl, one 2.22-quart bowl, one 3.69-quart bowl, and one-5.8 quart bowl, so you’ll always have the right size for the job. This set comes in a variety of color options, so you’re sure to find one that’s perfect for your kitchen or for a themed party.