I have a lot of kitchen equipment. Do I need it all? Probably not but I love it. What I love is choosing the right cooking implement for the job as often the cuisine needs the dish to cook and serve it properly. Having said that, many of these cooking implements can double up. But perhaps one of the most fundamental to all cuisines is the mixing bowl.
There are ceramic, stainless steel, plastic and enamel ones. There are probably more. My whole under-shelf of the kitchen bench is filled with mixing bowls as I use them constantly throughout the day and I like them in easy reach for mixing, preparing ingredients, for scraps, for soaking etc.
How to choose – firstly you need different sizes and you need a few. Weight is important. I have small ones right through to very large, but the ones I use the most are 18 cm diameter through to about 25m.
My regular choice – enamel and stainless steel. Both are usually light weight, making them easy to lift, drain and turn. Both are non reactive so will work for those recipes that ask for non-reactive materials and they look good. They are usually fairly cheap too.
For marinating, soaking and salting, I prefer glass or ceramic.
Bread making – for bread making we usually prefer ceramic as they hold warmth better and just simply feel better to work in but stainless steel and enamel are fine too.
I am not a big fan of plastic ones but I have a couple for their practicality.
Shape – it is helpful to have some wide mouthed bowls for mixing ingredients like pasta or muffin dough. But when it comes to whipping egg whites, you really need a rounder bottomed bowl and sometimes too wide makes the sides too low. It also needs to be very light if you are hand whipping as very quickly the bowl starts to feel 10 times its weight.
And sometimes, it is helpful to have a spout on the side for easy pouring.
So now I have justified why it is that I need this many mixing bowls.
This photo doesn’t even include all of them…