The Debate: After looking into which type of bowl would fit most comfortably on standard-size KitchenAid mixers, I settled on glass. Or did I? Metal is a cheaper, heavier option but it has the potential to last for a long time. The question then becomes, is the convenience worth the design that recommends glass? A simple solution is just not feasible when you consider the job might take years.
The Question: Does metal vs. glass on KitchenAid mixers actually have a significant impact on the quality of the end result? My general baking belief is that it doesn’t matter as long as you know how to use the tool (or in this case, tools) that you’re working with. But after doing research and testing, my stance has changed.
The Test: I chose three recipes that I frequently make and devised a test to compare results. The first batch of cookies was made with a hearty dose of chocolate and then sandwiched together with peanut butter “cream cheese.” The second was chocolate cupcakes made with all-purpose flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, sugar, eggs and oil. The third was red velvet cupcakes that were made with all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and cocoa powder. Finally, I made a batch of cookies using the same tools and ingredients but with the metal bowl.
I mixed each recipe by hand in a large bowl before transferring to a food processor or mixer. The hands-on method is best for testing recipes in which one ingredient dominates and others play small roles. For example, cookie dough (pancake mix) consists of more than just flour and eggs; it needs sugar, oil and butter to be properly mixed into one cohesive ball without compacting into a heavy mass. Once the dough is mixed, it needs to be rolled out and baked; a stand mixer can accomplish this process without much effort.
The Results: The first three recipes appeared (no pun intended) the same in the hand-mixed or food processor batch. But when I checked the cupcake batter, I noticed a significant difference in texture and color between the metal and glass bowls. The metal bowl produced cookies that were dull and grey, while the glass batch was glossy and round. The peanut butter red velvet cupcakes swelled up right out of the mixing bowl with a deformed texture in comparison to their metal-clad scientist counterparts. The metal tower also cracked, and the batter collapsed into a sickly mess.
The Results: The second batch of cookies produced even better results in comparison to the first batch. Although the cookies had the same texture as their glass-only counterparts, the metal bowl’s dull grey color was replaced by a more consistent chocolate brown hue.
The Results: And lastly, I made a batch of yellow cupcakes with vanilla frosting and two different ingredients (cake mix and chocolate chips) that were baked with glass or metal bowls in a home oven. The cupcake samples chosen for this test were made on different days but placed in an oven about 30 minutes apart (with enough time between baking to keep each one from getting too warm). I frosted the cupcakes to hide any inconsistent texture and appearance so that my friends could focus on which cupcakes they liked the best. My friends were asked to pick which cupcake looked and/or tasted better. The verdict: glass won every time.
The Conclusion: The metal bowl produced a lower quality result in comparison to the same recipe made with glass, even if I mixed both batches by hand. The explanation for this is that metal bowls conduct heat better than glass (21.2% better than tempered glass, according to a study conducted at Thermotech Labs of Austin, Texas) (1). This means that the batter containing water (as in the peanut butter brownies) would not be heated to a steady temperature and the finished product would exhibit irregular browning or “oven spring.”
Metal vs. glass is definitely a matter of personal preference. The decision depends on which tool you wish to use, but ultimately, if you’re going to invest in some sort of kitchen gadget, it’s worth considering what will be most convenient for your immediate needs. For example, if you have larger hands and are looking for something as large as a bowl big enough to mix multiple batches at once, then metal bowls might be easier for handling.
This blog post will explore both sides of this argument and provide some facts that might prove to be helpful in your decision process. Because at the end of the day, your kitchen assistant will determine which type of bowl you decide upon.
Why Use Glass?
First and foremost, glass is a more attractive material than metal. If you like the style of your mixer or have it sitting in the kitchen, you might want to show it off to all of your friends. Glass bowls are generally made to look like glass bowls so they won’t go unnoticed.
I did some research into a few glass bowl makers and found that they might not be the best choice if you plan on mixing heavy doughs or have high temperature baking sheets. A bigger concern is safety. For example, mixing hotcake batter will leave behind a lot of dangerous steam! It’s difficult to tell which bowl makers are safe ones.
For example, there are ones with clear glass but the tumbler has a metal rim. This can create a situation where the bowl might not be secured on your mixer properly (which doesn’t seem safe). I’m sure you’ll have to do some thorough research before buying. Thankfully, this blog post will provide some facts about which brands to consider.
Why Use Metal?
Metal bowls are usually cheaper than their glass counterparts. This is appealing because you can buy a better quality KitchenAid Stand Mixer if you want to! Another issue that you may want to consider with glass is breakage. There are horror stories on forums of people who dropped their bowl and it shattered into hundreds of little pieces. This might be a bad advertisement for KitchenAid and I would recommend against it. For example, a metal bowl will probably have an induction heater and you can use these in ceramic ovens!
Some More Facts to Consider
KitchenAid recommends glass bowls but the company is providing its customers with the option they prefer! Each stand mixer has two types of bowl so it’s your job to decide which one is right for you.
Another reason that KitchenAid might be pushing their glass bowls more is because they’re cheaper than their metal counterparts. Metal bowls are usually more expensive than glass because they’re heavier and require more material to make. This can put a damper on your baking economy. Another issue that you might have is longevity.
For example, a metal bowl can go in the oven but it might lose its shine over time. Cooking and mixing acidic ingredients can be a bad idea with metal bowls. They’ll probably keep their shine for a long time but they may not be as attractive anymore. Your KitchenAid mixer will require regular washing and this will take a toll on your bowl too!
Final Thoughts: I’m happy that KitchenAid didn’t create one solution and they gave us the option to decide on our own! Honestly, I think metal bowls will hold up better in the long run because glass has so many liabilities (as mentioned above).
Can you use glass bowl with KitchenAid mixer?
Yes you can! Metal bowls on stand mixers will not fit on a glass bowl but either standard bowl will fit a metal bowl. However, the metal bowl won’t be secure and it might fall off. The bottom of the bowls will fit well with an induction cooktop (such as an Anova) or on a glass or ceramic kitchen range with direct fire.
How to use glass and metal bowls?
If you want to use your glass bowl with the stand mixer, then follow these steps: Unplug your mixer and turn it upside down. This may make some noise because you are in the process of removing the motor cover plate. You can use a wooden spoon to remove the bowl. Just make sure that you don’t touch the glass when you do this. You can now put your glass bowl on top of your stand mixer. It’s very important that it fits securely on top (not loosely or tightly) because it might not work properly if it doesn’t fit properly. Be careful about heating up the glass because this might cause cracks or other issues.
How do I wash my metal bowl?
If you have a glass bowl, then you probably use it in the oven and other such places where heat is involved. Metal bowls shouldn’t be used in the oven. If you have a glass bowl, then wash it and place it upside down in your sink. Fill up your sink with warm soapy water, making sure to not overfill the sink. Allow the bowl to soak for as long as possible, regardless of whether you have a ceramic or glass top stove. Rinse thoroughly and allow the bowl to dry completely before use. If you have a metal bowl, then wash it by hand with warm soapy water and rub it gently with a towel until all of the excess soap is removed. Rinsing will remove residue remaining from cooking, baking or preserving foods that were baked in your metal bowl.
What can you not mix in a stainless steel bowl?
Stainless Steel or glass bowls are safe to use in an oven up to 450 degrees. The bowl should never be used when cooking or baking on a stovetop. The bottom of the bowl might be too hot and this might cause burns! Another issue is the the veins can burn and they may not withstand high temperatures either. One thing you should never mix with this type of bowl is aluminum foil.
Can you use a mixer in a glass bowl?
You can use a stand mixer in a glass bowl but it’s not recommended because this could break the glass. Be aware that no matter what type of bowl you have (glass or metal), a cover will probably be needed to protect your work surface. If you place your mixer on the top of the glass bowl, then you may have to make sure that it is well secure as this might shake your glass. Some people also like to use kitchen towels in their bowls.
I hope that this blog post helped you decide which type of bowl to buy. Get your stand mixer and check out the different options that you can use! If this is all new to you, then I recommend starting with a standard glass bowl, as it’s free and easy to clean. If you have any additional questions, then please ask below in the comment section! If you liked this blog post, then please share this with your friends and family on Facebook, Twitter and so on.