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Advice for a New Mixing Bowl Design

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hello, food lovers! My name is Nazneen and I'm an Industrial Design college student currently in Junior year. For a class assignment, my teammate, Jhonatan and I are currently looking into designing mixing bowls for baking at home and are doing market research on them regarding easy-cleaning designs. We want to design a mixing bowl product that comes in multiples (for different use) and are easy and quick to clean. As of now, we have some ideas, but would like to hear from baking enthusiasts out there (from non professionals to professionals) on how they feel their mixing bowl products help serve their baking activities. Our focus is on domestic use, so home experience is what we are essentially interested in. However, we would definitely like to hear your takes in professional kitchens!

 

Here are some key questions for you to start off with your replies:

 

1. What kind of mixing bowl do you have at home? Material, size, shape, etc.

2. Do you usually use multiple bowls to put different ingredients in?

3. How do you clean your mixing bowls after you use them? Soak them first, clean them immediately, put them in the dishwasher, etc?

4. Do you have any tips and tricks on effective cleaning of your mixing containers? Please share them with us!

5. What elements do you think make a mixing bowl design effective? Handles, spouts, weight, etc?

 

These questions are to help you to have an idea of what we're looking for, but you may add any suggestions to our survey as you please. We really appreciate your responses, and can't wait to hear from you! Thank you!

 

Nazneen & Jhonatan

post #2 of 12

Hello Nazneen & Jhonatan... thank you verymuch for introducing yourselves and describing your project.

 

1.  Stainless steel.  Nesting set of three: 10, 8 and 6 inch.  Plus a few larger stainless steel bowl, about 14 inch diameter.

2.  Yes, often two - wet ingredients and dry ingredients.

3.  Clean immediately with hot water and dish washing detergent.  Occasionally dishwasher clean.

4.  Clean immediately.  :)

5.  Essential elements are (not in any order of preference):

  • metal so can be used over hot water to melt chocolate, etc;
  • flat area on bottom (at least a 2 inch diameter flat area) so will sit on counter without tipping over;
  • smooth curve transition from straight side to flat bottom so rubber/plastic scrapers work effectively;
  • handle - I like small loop type that will allow a finger to be inserted, yet will fold flat against outside of bowl;
  • nestable sizes for compact storage;
  • thick and sturdy enough that won't dent when dropped or banged on with utensils
  • shiny exterior and interior surfaces for ease of cleaning;
  • labeled (stamped into metal, preferably) with capacity markings
  • Rolled edges for gripability

p.s.  Pouring spout not necessary of really desired.

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hello, Brian :)

 

Thank you for getting back to us quickly. We appreciate your response! May we know what your thoughts are on silicone mixing bowls?

post #4 of 12

Great question.  I specified my desires as metal but never talked much about why.  Perhaps it is just an old-fashioned preference for the old-fashioned.  :)

 

My requirements for mixing bowl material is based on ability to keep clean, ability to heat and chill, and rigidity.  My experience with plastic is that it is rigid enough and can be heated/chilled, but when it scratches it is often difficult to clean (or have a reasonable assurance that it is clean).  Maybe I'm squeemish, but when I see scratches in a plastic bowl it gives me the heeby-jeebies that there may be dirt/bacteria that isn't getting cleaned out as good as it should.  I use some silicone baking molds but still on the fence about it primarily due to rigidity issues.  Floppy cookware or mixing bowls is unaceptable to me.  If silicone mixing bowls meet hte requiremts stated above, I might consider it.  So far, though, I have no interest in the colapsable silicone mixing bowns currently on the market due to the rigidity concern.  The last thing I'd want is for the mixing bowl to "fold itself back up" while i'm trying to mix or bang batter off of the mixing spoon or while scraping batter into a baking pan.

post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nik Nazneen View Post

1. What kind of mixing bowl do you have at home? Material, size, shape, etc.

2. Do you usually use multiple bowls to put different ingredients in?

3. How do you clean your mixing bowls after you use them? Soak them first, clean them immediately, put them in the dishwasher, etc?

4. Do you have any tips and tricks on effective cleaning of your mixing containers? Please share them with us!

5. What elements do you think make a mixing bowl design effective? Handles, spouts, weight, etc?

 

1) Plastic and stainless steel. i use the plastic most often. Each is a set of 4 nesting sizes, probably from 12 inches across down to 6. 

2), Usually 2, a dry and a wet for baking, or 1 large for dough or 1 medium to large for soaking. The small bowl is most often used for pancake or waffle batter. The large also often do duty as popcorn bowls. 

3) Dishwasher though there might be a soak first if the dishwasher doesn't have room.

4) Wash them quickly so stuff doesn't dry in them

5) Skip the handles, spouts, non skid bases. These are best when made of a single material with no seams. I do like a lip at the top rim generally. Provides rigidity and gripping points. 

 

You can't really monkey with the design of a mixing bowl much. Remember centuries of cooking technique have developed in them. If you want to radically change the shape, you need to express how it's better and how it affects the classic techniques. Overcoming classic technique would be a major marketing hurdle to experienced cooks. 

 

I like the plastic bowls for the microwave. They even make a fine microwave cover dome as needed. When I soak rice noodles, I fill the bowl with water, add the noodles and put it in the microwave to heat. Keeps it out of the way and I'm not using th3e microwave for anything else. It would be similarly nice if the metal bowls were magnetic for light duty heating on induction cooktops and rated for such. 

 

Markings. I usually raise my bread dough in the large bowls. It would be nice if they were marked with a physical ridges on the OUTSIDE to help gauge doubling and such. No printed lines, they don't last. No physical ridges on the inside as it will mess with the use of the bowl. 

 

Durability. Plastics tend to become brittle with exposure to the dishwasher, microwave, UV and such, particularly clear plastics. Skip the clear plastics. Choose a tough long-lasting grade of plastic if you choose plastic. 

 

Lids are a nice addition to a set of bowls. Storing the lids for their occasional use is a pain, because they honestly won't get used a lot. 

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #6 of 12

I have more mixing bowls than any other item in my kitchen and I use them all.

 

I have a Fiestaware enameled metal set with plastic, fitted covers that I use when cooking, to store food in the refrigerator and to take with me when I have to take food to a gathering. Without the covers they can go in the oven to reheat whatever is in them. They are an attractive turquoise color, so they can be used for serving. They are easy to clean.

 

Looking for them online, they seem to be no longer made. That's a shame, they are very useful. I see some being sold as "vintage." I got the set for $4.00 at a thrift store a few years back. You might want to consider the various ways I am able to use these no-longer-made bowls when designing your product.

 

I also have several sizes of stainless steel bowls which I use during cooking and the smaller ones, as the top part of a double boiler. The very large one is great for tossing big salads before serving them. They are lightweight and easy to clean.

 

I also have various sizes of glass and ceramic bowls--many small ones to hold various ingredients as I chop them to be added to dishes, or to beat a couple of eggs in, or melt chocolate in the microwave, or to store leftovers in the fridge, etc. I make a lot of vegetable-heavy dishes, like stir fries, soups or stews, so I often have a number of small bowls lined up, filled with ingredients, ready to be added to the pan.

 

I also have one huge crockery bowl that I use for rising yeast doughs because it keeps an even temperature in a drafty kitchen.

 

I don't have a single plastic bowl. I find them harder to clean.

 

I never put big bowls in the dishwasher. I try to wash them by hand as I go along, rather than letting them soak or pile up.

post #7 of 12

@Nik Nazneen,

Hi! hope your still around. Having mixed 10's of 1000's pounds of things over the years, I have always had it in the back of my head to create a home use horizontal mixer. They usually have an external motor so I thought the hopper could double as a lot of things. Sous vide, heating etc.

I have very little time during these holidays to be on CT but would love to discuss it. The horizontal mixer, I feel is superior to all others.

FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thank you, 

Quote:
Originally Posted by phatch View Post
 

 

1) Plastic and stainless steel. i use the plastic most often. Each is a set of 4 nesting sizes, probably from 12 inches across down to 6. 

2), Usually 2, a dry and a wet for baking, or 1 large for dough or 1 medium to large for soaking. The small bowl is most often used for pancake or waffle batter. The large also often do duty as popcorn bowls. 

3) Dishwasher though there might be a soak first if the dishwasher doesn't have room.

4) Wash them quickly so stuff doesn't dry in them

5) Skip the handles, spouts, non skid bases. These are best when made of a single material with no seams. I do like a lip at the top rim generally. Provides rigidity and gripping points. 

 

You can't really monkey with the design of a mixing bowl much. Remember centuries of cooking technique have developed in them. If you want to radically change the shape, you need to express how it's better and how it affects the classic techniques. Overcoming classic technique would be a major marketing hurdle to experienced cooks. 

 

I like the plastic bowls for the microwave. They even make a fine microwave cover dome as needed. When I soak rice noodles, I fill the bowl with water, add the noodles and put it in the microwave to heat. Keeps it out of the way and I'm not using th3e microwave for anything else. It would be similarly nice if the metal bowls were magnetic for light duty heating on induction cooktops and rated for such. 

 

Markings. I usually raise my bread dough in the large bowls. It would be nice if they were marked with a physical ridges on the OUTSIDE to help gauge doubling and such. No printed lines, they don't last. No physical ridges on the inside as it will mess with the use of the bowl. 

 

Durability. Plastics tend to become brittle with exposure to the dishwasher, microwave, UV and such, particularly clear plastics. Skip the clear plastics. Choose a tough long-lasting grade of plastic if you choose plastic. 

 

Lids are a nice addition to a set of bowls. Storing the lids for their occasional use is a pain, because they honestly won't get used a lot. 


Thank you for the feedback!

 

Yeah, it is indeed hard to come up with a newly shaped bowl. We had to redesign a steering wheel in our last project and it was a hard one to remove the wheel entirely. A bowl should be harder! Thank you for that important note.

 

You bring up some interesting features to consider too! But how do you feel about silicone materials though? We are looking into the material to see how well it cleans up, so we may try to integrate it into our final product.

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicagoTerry View Post
 

I have more mixing bowls than any other item in my kitchen and I use them all.

 

I have a Fiestaware enameled metal set with plastic, fitted covers that I use when cooking, to store food in the refrigerator and to take with me when I have to take food to a gathering. Without the covers they can go in the oven to reheat whatever is in them. They are an attractive turquoise color, so they can be used for serving. They are easy to clean.

 

Looking for them online, they seem to be no longer made. That's a shame, they are very useful. I see some being sold as "vintage." I got the set for $4.00 at a thrift store a few years back. You might want to consider the various ways I am able to use these no-longer-made bowls when designing your product.

 

I also have several sizes of stainless steel bowls which I use during cooking and the smaller ones, as the top part of a double boiler. The very large one is great for tossing big salads before serving them. They are lightweight and easy to clean.

 

I also have various sizes of glass and ceramic bowls--many small ones to hold various ingredients as I chop them to be added to dishes, or to beat a couple of eggs in, or melt chocolate in the microwave, or to store leftovers in the fridge, etc. I make a lot of vegetable-heavy dishes, like stir fries, soups or stews, so I often have a number of small bowls lined up, filled with ingredients, ready to be added to the pan.

 

I also have one huge crockery bowl that I use for rising yeast doughs because it keeps an even temperature in a drafty kitchen.

 

I don't have a single plastic bowl. I find them harder to clean.

 

I never put big bowls in the dishwasher. I try to wash them by hand as I go along, rather than letting them soak or pile up.

 

Hello, thank you for your response (:

 

I agree, my mother has a lot of the old mixing bowl designs too and I find them to be so much prettier!

 

Would you say that having multiple sizes of bowls is very convenient for you? If you were to buy a set of mixing bowls, do you think the typical one and a half, four and eight quart set would be the best one? Or do you have any other preferences on that? Would appreciate it if you could share more on sizes since you've already brought it up! :)

 

And also, do you think that cleaning off food from the insides of the bowls is hard if your bowl is larger and takes up the whole space of the sink? Some things you say triggered my mind to ask these questions but I hope you don't mind answering them. Thank you so much.

 

Nazneen

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by panini View Post
 

@Nik Nazneen,

Hi! hope your still around. Having mixed 10's of 1000's pounds of things over the years, I have always had it in the back of my head to create a home use horizontal mixer. They usually have an external motor so I thought the hopper could double as a lot of things. Sous vide, heating etc.

I have very little time during these holidays to be on CT but would love to discuss it. The horizontal mixer, I feel is superior to all others.


Still here! And thank you for the reply (:

 

This is the first time I've heard of a horizontal mixer, but it's interesting you brought it up. Just like any ideas, I think developing them could lead to something great! You should look into that more. However, my teammate and I are currently looking into easy cleaning and handling of mixing bowl and haven't enough time to dive into more complex machines.

 

We appreciate your inputs, though!

post #11 of 12

I use all the sizes I have but I have multiple small bowls --probably 1 qt to 1.5 qt that I use several of at a time sometimes. I can never have too many of those.

 

I think my two largest bowls are over 8 qts. I don't use them often but once in awhile they are necessary. The only time I have trouble washing a large bowl is is when it is heavy & deep as well as large. My crockery bowl is very large and deep and I find it very difficult to wash in a smallish sink because it is also heavy. My big stainless bowl is also very large, but it is shallower and it's not really hard to wash at all because I can maneuver it easily.

 

When I bake I do most of my mixing directly in the bowl of my KitchenAid mixer. I think that's 5 quarts. I usually sift flour into a bowl smaller than that--probably 4 qt.

 

I'm not sure what I would look for in terms of sizes if I were buying a set of bowls. Aside from the Fiestaware set I mentioned above, I don't think I've ever bought a set. Most of my bowls have come from thrift stores over the years, bought one piece at a time. I think if I were buying a set I'd want a fourth bowl between the 4 qt and  8qt bowls.

post #12 of 12

Silicone has it's uses, but rigidity is not one of its better features. On the interior, it will be a hindrance for all the reasons plastic is a hindrance-- whipping egg whites being the biggie.  Plastic/silicone holds oil in very small amounts even through washing. But that oil will mess up the whipping of egg whites. I have plastic bowls as i said before. I use them the most. But I have a second set of metal,-noted earlier that I have to use for egg whites. 

 

On the exterior, it doesn't add anything, just a seam to fail at. The grippy silicone bases are a failure point. Ship the bowls with a silicone "hot pad" they can use as a sticky base. Problem solved, freebie added. 

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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