Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Best stainless steel mixing bowl set

Answer:  In my opinion, it's the "Bakers and Chefs" set of 3 + 1 at Sam's Club, of all places.
They are sold in a conventional set of three but then you can buy the fourth, which is the 13-quart, separately if you want that.  Obviously to look at them nested like this, all four were really intended to go together.  Less than $30, all-in.  
As with many consumer endeavors, what seems like it should be a very straightforward purchase often turns out not to be.  When I set out to search for these things, I assumed I had a very simple and reasonable wish list of characteristics:

  1. It had to be a set of at least four bowls (many consumer sets only have three).
  2. The largest one had to be at least 12 quarts (I'll reveal why below).
  3. They had to be commercial grade or close to it (no flimsy steel).
  4. They had to have an efficient aspect ratio.

Those sound like four easy criteria, but it took me months to find a set that met them.
By efficient aspect ratio, I mean that the bowls had to be deep relative to their width.  Many mixing bowl sets are very shallow.  
In terms of aspect ratio, I was also taking into account the need for a stable base.  This is IKEA's current stainless bowl (Blanda).  It's very hip and stylish, but look at that tiny flat bottom in the center!  I feared the bowls in this set would be too unstable, roly-poly like.    
Prior to buying this set, I owned a few mixing bowls that were too shallow, and one that was too flimsy, to the point where it would expand so much upon washing in hot water that it would later sit unattended in the drain board and go "SPROING!!!!" when the bottom of it cooled down and contracted enough to snap back into its original shape.  This would happen at entirely unpredictable times and would routinely scare the crap out of me.  And life is simply too short for mixing bowls that make random obnoxious noises and scare the crap out of you.

Happy mixin'.
This is why I need a lot of mixing bowls, and large deep ones at that.  During this time of year, there's a daily haul of fruits and vegetables from our back yard gardens, and that stuff tends to fill up every kitchen container in sight.  

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