While my shiny stand mixer stirs batter, kneads dough or whips marshmallow fluff, I’m wiping down the counter or grabbing chocolate chips. But up until my last birthday, I had only ever used a hand mixer, which is still my mom’s choice. Which is better?
To answer that question, the folks at Cookware.com offer this buying guide, the first-ever guest post here at Food Loves Writing!
When it comes to cookware sets, there are certain appliances that are more important than others; and for people who bake frequently, a kitchen mixer is one such accessory. When upgrading a to a new mixer, be aware that there are a number of different types out there for every kitchen’s need, so if you are planning on purchasing one, it’s important to get a good idea of how often you will be using it and what exactly you’ll be mixing. So we’re going to help out by providing a quick overview of the type of kitchen mixers that are out there.
If you’re planning on baking early and often, this is the type of mixer that will work best for you. Stand mixers come with an internal motor and a large bowl attachment and are capable of mixing large quantities of batter (usually up to 8 quarts), making them ideal for mixing large batches of dough for baking bread, muffins and other goodies. Most stand mixers also come with an array of accessories, including bowls, flat hooks and attachments that can be used for dicing, grinding or even pasta making. These types of mixers are also extremely durable and if used properly can last years, or even decades.
However there are some drawbacks. Stand mixers tend to be large and bulky; some of the larger stands can weigh in excess of 30 lbs. This can make them very difficult to store and move around. They also can be expensive, especially in comparison to hand mixers. But if you describe yourself as someone who likes to bake frequently and in large batches, stand mixers are the way to go.
Light, versatile and inexpensive, hand mixers can be a very functional tool for folks who don’t bake in large batches and just want an easy-to-use appliance for egg beating and light mixing. Handheld mixers aren’t as durable as their standing brethren, and aren’t recommended for recipes that require a lot of ingredients. But if you’re the type of person who just bakes cookies once in a while, handheld mixers should be able to suit your needs.
Many kitchen connoisseurs will usually buy both hand and stand mixers, using the stand for large-scale, complicated endeavors and the handheld version for quick and easy creations.
Most mixers out there will come with a range of mixing speeds (varying anywhere from three to six settings). Most will also include the basic accessories, such as dough hooks and whisks. So, once you decide what type is best for you it’s usually then just a matter of picking the right design and color to complement your dinnerware and kitchen scheme!
P.S. – (It’s Shannalee, again.) Since I mentioned chocolate chips above, it got me wanting cookies. You, too? Here’s my favorite recipe for chocolate-chip cookies, if, you know, you’re looking for a way to use your mixer sometime soon.
Photos courtesy of Cookware.com