Lazy Man’s Journal: On Lightweight Mixing Bowls

Pinterest fans may have noticed that I’ve recently struck out in a new direction there. I’ve started a few boards, one of which contains gear I like and/or that people have given me to evaluate (so far no high-performance automobiles, but I’m trying to stay optimistic). One of the few pins that’s up there now is a set of plastic (really melamine) bowls that the good folks at Trudeau sent over a few months ago. It’s inspired a few questions, like: what’s wrong with crockery or stainless steel?

Nothing at all. Thin stainless steel is probably my preference overall, and there’s nothing wrong with crockery except that it’s heavy. Now I don’t want to sound like a lightweight or anything, but many years ago, before I ever started blogging, before there ever was something called a blogosphere (yes, kiddies, I am that old), I noticed something about my baking. Specifically, that I didn’t do much of it. I frequently wondered why, then I had a realization: my bowls. My lovely handcrafted, hand-painted, hand-crackled, authentic, artisan, Tuscan crockery bowls.

They weighed a ton, and I kept them on the bottom shelf of my cupboard in my apartment. The mere thought of wrestling those things, I realized, put a psychic damper on my baking ambitions. So I weighed them. Together the set added up to a stunning twelve pounds, which was a lot for a lazy guy to have to lift when the only reward at the end of the heft was kitchen work. So I went to a restaurant supply store and bought a set of used stainless bowls. Suffice to say it worked. I both baked and cooked a whole lot more using the light-as-a-feather bowls, and I’ve never looked back. These days I judge a mixing bowl primarily by its weight.

Whatever happened to the beautiful crockery? It’s now an objet d’art, which is what it always was, really.

10 thoughts on “Lazy Man’s Journal: On Lightweight Mixing Bowls”

    1. Hey Chris! No, you can’t use them in the microwave, that’s their only drawback.

      – Joe

  1. amen. I hate those ornate bowls and they are never deep enough so the batter goes everywhere!

    1. Indeed. I much prefer them just sitting not he mantle where they can just look pretty.

      – Joe

  2. My favorite bowls are stainless, too. I found mine at the Salvation Army; a couple of mixing bowls that came from an old Sunbeam stand mixer. They are reasonably light yet have a substantial base so they don’t tip easily or roll around when you’re beating the daylights out of fudge or egg whites or cookie dough. The bottom is almost flat but curves up just perfectly when you need to use a whisk. The rolled rim helps keep the bowls won’t bend easily if you bang them around and they are a heavy enough gauge, so they don’t dent easily, either (I’ve seen sauce pans of lighter weight!). One is large enough for a big batch of cookie dough and the other small one is the perfect size to whip a pint of cream. I love them! I’m so glad someone sent them to a thrift store when the mixer died!

    1. It’s funny, you don’t see those things everywhere. A Greek friend of ours noticed the bowls one evening when she came over for dinner. She all but broke down and cried telling me that they were they exact thing her mother used to use (mine are quite old and dinged up). I was so touched I gave her one…but I still haven’t found anything to replace it. I guess too many people use glass and ceramic these days!

      Thanks, Susan!

      – Joe

  3. I so agree with you! I don’t have stainless steel bowl, but that might be the thing when my big, lightweight ceramic bowl from Ikea (yes that’s right), which is cracked and has been through two moves across Canada with me, finally gives up the ghost. We have a lovely bowl from France, which I never use because it’s so heavy. I might consider melamine, but would never use plastic.

    Thanks for making me think about mixing bowls!

    1. Hey Kathy!

      It’s an odd but important detail. My entire kitchen life changed after I got those darn things out of the way! Thanks for the note!

      – Joe

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