From Rim to Base
Whether a bowl had a rim also affected how comfortable—or not—it was to hold. The rimmed models, which included all the stainless-steel bowls as well as the Pyrex, offered roughly ¼ to ½ inch of grippable material. The alternative, the thickened collar that ringed the other glass bowls, was better than nothing, but not much. Grasping the 4-quart Anchor Hocking bowl, which weighed more than 3½ pounds empty, by its collar took some serious muscle. Its only perk: Its collar sloped smoothly down the inside of the bowl, whereas those on the Arc International and the Duralex bowls stuck out, trapping food in the crevices.
As for countertop stability, we used the vinaigrette test to determine how far each bowl moved as we vigorously whisked oil into the dressing. To our surprise, there were no clear advantages or disadvantages to using heavier glass or lighter-weight metal, nor to using bowls with broader or narrower base diameters. In fact, the bowl that traveled the farthest, from Anchor Hocking, was the heaviest and the broadest at its base. The only model that flat-out flunked the stability test was from OXO. Ironically, its supposed selling point—its rubber-coated base—was its downfall: Instead of keeping the bowl stable, the coating clung to the counter and caused the bowl to twirl to the point of tipping over. (The final blow to that set: OXO cautioned against using its bowl as part of a double boiler, since its exterior plastic coating could overheat.) In durability tests, one glass bowl cracked and another shattered, but all stainless bowls emerged unscathed.