This post is part of our 'This Is Fire' series, where our editors and writers tell you about the products they can't live without in the kitchen.
Cooking often calls for a lot of bowls. Bowls for mixing, bowls for holding prepped ingredients, bowls for storage, bowls for baking in…an assortment of bowls in many different sizes is a must for a true food lover’s kitchen.
Prep bowls come in an unbelievable variety of shapes and sizes (and prices), but for almost a decade, I’ve relied mostly on a single set: The simple, stylish enameled steel ones from Falcon Enamelware. The five bowls nest together for easy storage, they’re nearly indestructible, and they’re safe to put in the dishwasher, bake in the oven, or heat on the stove. Plus, the set throws in a matching colander for washing produce, straining pasta, or holding ingredients for steaming.
My set of bowls has held up to near-daily abuse for coming up on nine years.
These bowls are definitely not inexpensive, but they’ll last way longer under heavy use—and look much better—than the cheapest set. Whether you’re a professional food writer, an expert home cook, or just someone who wants nice bowls to mix things in, these come highly recommended from me.
Bowls nest together
Dishwasher-, oven-, and stove-safe
Enamel eventually chips off
The Falcon brand, and its iconic white-with-blue-rim look, originated in 1920 in England. It’s been a favorite ever since for its durability and longevity. The brand added a few new color patterns in 2011—my set is in Pigeon Grey—but the construction is largely the same. There’s a base of thick steel with a layer of porcelain baked on, which not only protects the steel from rust but also adds the shiny color and smooth surface.
The Prep Set’s five bowls always seem to be just enough for even the most complex recipes. They range from a little bitty one you can use to hold a serving of snacks or beat up a couple eggs for a quick omelet to a capacious vessel in which you can mix up (and bake!) cake batter, serve popcorn for the whole movie night (after melting butter on the stovetop to toss it with), or even freeze layers of ice and fruit for a fancy punch bowl garnish. But you only need enough cabinet space for the biggest bowl, as they all nest together conveniently—colander included.
The bowls are also indispensable for Thanksgiving and other large gatherings: They’re great as backup bakeware or even saucepans when all your other gear is already in use.
These bowls are definitely not inexpensive, but they’ll last way longer under heavy use—and look much better—than the cheapest set.
My set of bowls has held up to near-daily abuse for coming up on nine years. (I know the age exactly because my wife and I registered for them for our wedding—we also got Falcon’s bake set.) The enamel has begun to wear away in spots, but the brand says it’s still perfectly safe to use as the steel beneath oxidizes. Worst case, they’ll need replacing once a decade.
In all, I can’t recommend Falcon Enamelware enough, whether for these bowls or its matching plates, mugs, tea set…the options are many.
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Jason Horn is a staff commerce writer for The Spruce Eats and has been writing about food and drinks for almost 20 years. He’s loved cooking since he was old enough to wield a spoon, and called his long-ago food blog The Messy Epicure because, well, he is. He’s clumsily spilled all manner of things out of his Falcon Enamelware bowls.