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Ballistic About Bowls

As a home chef you can never complain about having too many bowls.

Every kitchen, at a minimum needs 4 mixing bowls ready for action. A 1, 2, 3 and 4 quart (1, 2, 3 & 4 litre) set of nested bowls is a must. We like stainless steel over those heavy glass bowls that always seem to be on sale at Walmart and dollar stores because they are much lighter and easier to store.

Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls

Stainless steel bowls are our favorite. They are heat-proof (perfect for placing over a saucepan to create a bain marie or double-boiler), lightweight and best of all completely unbreakable. They should form the core of your kitchen bowl collection.

How much to spend on your stainless steel bowls? Spend less than $20 on a set of stainless steel bowls and they will be very poorly constructed, thin, easy to warp and easy to stain.

In the lower price range, the Prime Pacific Euro Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls, Set of 4 bowls is of reasonable quality and doesn't take up much space stored in the cupboard but some may find the sides are slopped a bit steep which is why they take up less space. A good choice if you are on a budget.

For commercial quality without breaking the budget is this set of Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls - Set of 4. The only downside would be the weight. Pick one up and you instantly feel the quality. We like heavier weight bowls because they stay were you put them and are less likely to slide around.  They are also great for a quick make-shift bain-marie or double-boiler.  No need to be an extra pot, we love multitaking kitchen tools.  At just over twice the price of the previous set these are our top pick, a bargain and a half.

We also like rubberized bottom bowls like the OXO Good Grips 3-Piece Stainless-Steel Mixing Bowl Set because they don't slip around on the countertop, are light in weight but of good quality.  We do find them a bit pricey, especially considering that you only get a set of 3 instead of 4 as with the Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls - Set of 4 , they're a bit higher in price and they aren't as heavy as our favorite set.  Still they're quite handy as a second set of bowls.

 All-Clad Stainless Steel bowls
On the ultra-high end take a look at the All-Clad Stainless Mixing Bowl Set. Beautiful and well designed in every respect we particularily like the addition of the handle along the rim.
These would make an outstanding wedding gift, and are beautiful enough to put on display in your kitchen, but they're a bit pricey for us.

Glass Mixing Bowls

A stack of small glass bowls of various sizes to hold ingredients as they are prepared and come in handy by helping keeping your counter-top or cutting board preparation area clean.

We do not recommend sets of glass mixing bowls. They are just too darn heavy, slippery and if they fall of the counter and hit your toes, ouch, ouch ouch!

Ceramic bowls

When you're ready for a second set of bowls you might consider a set of attractive ceramic bowls which work double-duty for serving your recipes in.

They also become useful for holding bread and pizza dough when rising as the thick walls insulate the yeast dough better than the thin stainless steel.

Wooden bowls

Wooden bowls are generally used only for serving salad. Wooden bowls can be laminated, rubbed with a flavorless finishing oil or simply, raw and unfinished (not recommended). For salads like the class Caesar salad often chefs will rub the inside of the wooden bowl with a cut clove of garlic.

Laminated wooden bowls can be washed with dish washing detergent but other types of wooden bowls can take on the flavor of soap.

Rinse unfinished wooden bowls with hot water then sprinkle a handful of kosher salt and scrub it with a wad of paper toweling. The salt helps soak up any leftover dressing. Rinse with running water and dry them straight away.

Never store food in a wooden bowl for any length of time. They're practically guaranteed to warp and crack.

And those heavy glass bowls that always seem to be on sale... just keep walking, there is a reason they're always on sale.


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