Top tips for buying a kitchen mixer

July 8, 2015

Whether the holidays are approaching or you just love to bake, a mixer helps bring ingredients together effortlessly. To determine which style you need, consider the ingredients and how often you bake.

Top tips for buying a kitchen mixer

Types of kitchen mixers

Electric Hand Mixer: Electric hand mixers, or eggbeaters, are both lightweight and inexpensive. They are easy to store and clean. They work with any bowl, making them ideal for infrequent and light mixing jobs like whipping egg whites or cream. They do require two hands to operate, one to hold the mixer and the other to steady the bowl. Hand mixers cannot handle heavy mixing jobs.

Stand Mixer: Stand mixers have become a kitchen staple for good reason. They save time and muscle power, and hands-free mixing allows you to multitask. Higher-end stand mixers offer superior power and durability, which is ideal for bread making and other tough mixing jobs. Stand mixers come in either tilt head or bowl lift models. The tilt headed models require more height room when lifted, while the bowl lift models are stronger and will fit under upper cabinets.

Common kitchen stand mixer features

  • Speeds: Mixers usually offer low, medium and high speed mixing, although some high-end stand mixers offer a wider range of speeds
  • Interchangable Attachments: Allow you to use different attachments for different mixing jobs
  • Locking Mechanism: Tilt head models have a lock for the head as well as the bowl, while bowl lift models have a lever to adjust and lock the bowl

Common attachments

  • Dough Hook: Spiral or C-shaped attachement used for kneading dough for pastry or bread
  • Wire Whip: Creates a whipping motion used for making whipped cream or beating eggs
  • Flat Beater: Mixes without whipping and is great for cake batter or mashed potoatoes
  • Pastry Knife: Mixes and cuts heavy pizza and pie dough
  • Optional: High-end stand mixers often feature optional attachments like meat grinders, sausage stuffers and pasta makers

Factors to consider

  • Think about the mixing jobs you perform most often. A large-capacity heavy-duty stand mixer is perfect for dense bread and pastry doughs, while a hand mixer or lighter stand mixer is a better option for whipping cream or egg whites.
  • Look for a mixer that is sturdy, built to last and easy to store. Remember that quality stand mixers are necessarily very heavy and consequently harder to move around.
  • Think about what attachements work best for what you do and make sure they are included or easily available as extras.
  • Mixers often come in a variety of different colours so you can buy one to complement your kitchen décor.

Kitchen mixers are a great investment, especially if you enjoy baking and creating foods from scratch. Determining which kitchen mixer is best for you is easy once you've considered your mixing needs, kitchen space and budget.

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