On test: Top five mixing bowls

  • By Caroline Hire - Food writer

An essential piece of kitchen kit, a mixing bowl is required for everything from baking to sauce making and salad dressing. We've picked our five favourite models to help with a range of cooking tasks.

Our top 5 mixing bowls

Best for…innovation


Joseph Joseph mixing bowlJoseph Joseph Nest 9 Plus

Key features: Nesting, two bowls, colander, sieve, American cup measures, tbsp measure, dishwasher-safe
Price: £45

Comments: If you’re stocking your kitchen or looking for a house-warming present, this makes for an impressive all-in-one. The large mixing bowl is 4.5 litres, a good size for getting big bakes underway, then there’s a little bowl for smaller jobs. Neatly stacked inside, the colander and sieve are large enough to tackle standard tasks. The handles are easy to grip but the sieve doesn’t have a long handle or feet so care will need to be taken when draining hot liquids. Plastic is probably the best choice if you’re not a fan of kitchen clatter, and the whole set together, with cups and tablespoon measure, is ultra lightweight.

Buy from Joseph Joseph

Best for...compact design


Swoosh & Böl colander and mixing bowl setSwoosh & Böl mixing bowl

Key features: 23cm mixing bowl, colander, internal measuring guide, non-slip base, dishwasher-safe
Price: £18.99

Comments: We liked the simplicity and practicality of this design. A plastic, two-tone, non-slip mixing bowl that’s big enough for most standard mixing needs, this one comes with a colander that nestles inside perfectly so no problem finding room in the cupboard. A nifty design feature, the colander and bowl can work in tandem. If you like to keep the sink clear, you can drain then sit the colander at a 90 degree angle on the bowl, giving extra clearance for any remaining liquid to trickle into. For big families or keen cooks, this may not be the option but for lovers of less is more, it’s ideal.

Buy from üutensil

Best for … traditional stoneware

Mason Cash mixing bowlMason Cash 29cm Varsity mixing bowl

Key features: large capacity, oven, dishwasher, microwave and freezer-safe
Price: £25

Comments: For fans of an old-fashioned mixing bowl, this is a reliable and attractive choice. It’s heavy but not compared to other stoneware brands and fits nicely in the crook of your arm for creaming and whisking if that’s your favoured stance. Stoneware does have a tendency to mark with metal utensils so that’s worth considering but the versatility of being able to transfer the bowl between oven, microwave and freezer is a definite plus.

Buy from House of Fraser

Best for...batch-baking and big cakes

Lakeland Stainless Steel Mega mixing bowlLakeland mixing bowl

Key features: 7-litre capacity, pouring lip, non-slip base, internal measurements, dishwasher-safe
Price: £18.29

Comments: This high-sided bowl is ideal for big batters. Its super non-skid silicone base means it doesn’t travel when you’re mixing but equally it’s very lightweight so if you prefer to pick up and mix, that’s no problem either. Stainless steel is exactly that, stainless, so you don’t need to worry about marks when you’re doing heavy-duty work. This is a durable product, ideal for hard knocks and tumbles.

Buy from Lakeland


Best…value

Pyrex mixing bowlPyrex Cook & Store 2l glass mixing bowl

Key features: oven, dishwasher, microwave and freezer-safe, lid 
Price: £7.49

Comments: Pyrex bowls come in a variety of sizes, they stack comfortably within one other and you can add to your collection one at a time. We’ve had plenty of experience using this brand, it’s a kitchen classic and for good reason. There probably isn’t a better product out there for versatility, it’s temperature and thermal shock-resistant, meaning it’s a great companion through all stages of a recipe. The bowls can stand up to metal utensils, although they do scuff over time. We like the option of a lid, dispensing with cling film when resting, proving or chilling.

Buy from Pyrex


Buyer's Advice

Why buy?

A mixing bowl is a kitchen must-have, for sweet and savoury tasks, from baking cakes through to making mayonnaise. It’s a useful holding vessel too, for example, when you’re soaking beans or shelling peas.

What to buy

Think about the kind of tasks you use your bowl for. Do you want a bowl that’ll go in the dishwasher, oven, freezer and microwave too? If you’re short on space, nesting bowls, with or without other utensils, are a great solution but don’t be blinded by a ‘more is better’ approach. If you don’t use American cups, ever, then why bother? If you want fancy design, you’ll have to pay, but if practicality on a budget is more your thing, opt for a bowl that’s durable and able to withstand heat. Sets that you can stack, and add to, make good sense.

What we looked for

Versatility Was the bowl dishwasher-safe? Did it offer extra features, for example, pouring lip, handle and lid? Was it also safe for microwave, freezer and oven?

Sturdiness vs weight We had two criteria: either lightweight but non-slip or heavy-based.

Durability Did the bowl mark easily? Could it withstand kitchen knocks?

Capacity The bowl had to be big enough for standard kitchen tasks such as making a cake. High sides were a plus.

Ease of storage We opted for stackable bowls and ones without an excessive footprint.

How we tested

We road-tested the bowls with an electric beater to see how they fared with scuffing, noise and sturdiness. We tried common mixing bowl tasks by hand too, using a balloon whisk and wooden spoon. Plus we tested added features like pouring lips, colanders and handles.

What didn't make the cut?

The bowls had to be up to day-to-day wear and tear. For an everyday bit of equipment, being dishwasher-safe was deemed essential too.

This review was last updated in June 2016. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at goodfoodwebsite@bbc.com. 

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Comments, questions and tips

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hungrybaker
12th Nov, 2015
A nest of 3 or 5 Pyrex mixing bowls with or without lids (now £15-30) is versatile, clear oven-proof glass, and safe in the microwave and dishwasher. I've had my nest of 3 Pyrex bowls in regular use for 36 years, so they're made to last and a good investment. You can buy the bowls separately (I recently bought 2 smaller ones individually, to fit inside the nest.)
elizadocookmore
3rd Jun, 2014
If you want a large mixing bowl the Ikea blanda blank stainless steel bowls are brilliant. Sturdy, huge and very light weight
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