Kitchn Love Letters

I Cook for a Living and These Surprisingly Affordable Mixing Bowls Are My Favorite (and Most Used!) Kitchen Tool

published May 5, 2022
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Credit: Lumina/Stocksy

When I moved into my first apartment, a set of stainless steel mixing bowls was one of the first items on my list of must-have meal prep tools. As an avid home cook-turned line cook-turned private chef, I certainly cook a lot, so the trip to Bed Bath & Beyond was overwhelming to say the least — I wanted everything. I had to pick and choose which items were worth splurging on and which I was better off going with the cheaper version. And boy am I glad I went with the $24 option over the $40 or even $60 set of stainless steel mixing bowls. More than three years later, I still use at least one of these Simply Essential Mixing Bowls every single day. Plus, they’re fitted with a couple of handy features that make them that much more essential to my daily cooking routine.

As a private chef who cooks in others’ kitchens frequently, I’m exposed to tons of cookware and food storage options, and every home has a different set of mixing bowls. I find that my set has the three options that I need for my daily prep, plus they’re perfectly sized. I use the 1-quart bowl for whisking eggs and sauces, the 2.5-quart bowl for tossing salads, mixing up meatballs, and marinating, and I rely on the 4-quart bowl for larger baking projects. But my favorite feature has to be the lids. I’ve used other sets in clients’ homes that come with lids only to find that they don’t really stay secure. After years of repeated use, the lids on my Simply Essential set actually stay on, keep air out, and (best of all) they don’t leak.

When I was commuting to work, I’d make my big lunch salads in the medium mixing bowl, snap on the lid, and pop it into my tote bag for the journey ahead. For extra assurance, I’d also make sure to keep it upright in my bag, and it doubled perfectly as a travel-safe food storage container. Following my lead, my boss ended up buying a set for herself, too. The lids come in handy when I’m at home as well. Using the bowls to marinate chicken or shrimp without the need for plastic wrap or tin foil to keep it covered in the fridge is a huge plus. Bonus: The lids are safe to pop straight into the dishwasher!

I also appreciate the easy-to-read cup and quart measurements on the walls of the bowls. I can assure you, you’ll never end up with an overflowing bowl of pancake batter with these reminding you of their capacity. The measurement marks on this set are indented, so they’ll never fade after frequent use or washing. These space-saving bowls also nest perfectly, which is convenient for any kitchen, but especially in a small apartment like mine. If you’re really tight on room, these bowls have a ring on the lip to easily hang from a wall mount or under-the-shelf hooks, taking up no counter or cabinet space whatsoever.

My shopping lesson of the day: When it comes to essential kitchenware, pots, pans, and knives are worth investing in, whereas other tools are just as good (if not better) than their pricier competitors. Whether you’re baking, marinating, serving up a salad, or tossing veggies in your favorite spice mix to be roasted in the oven or sizzled in a pan, this inexpensive set of mixing bowls will get the job well done for years to come. I give these bowls my chef stamp of approval!