mixers

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.

Stand Mixers

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.

Hand Mixers

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

Shanna Mallon started Food Loves Writing back in 2008, as a way to remember her grandma and write about her life through food. Since then it's become a place leading her to a lifestyle of eating whole foods, a new home in Nashville and the love of her life, Tim. Follow Shanna on Twitter @foodloves, keep up with Food Loves Writing on Facebook and stay inspired with the monthly newsletter.

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Lan

    i was at walmart the other night, doing my usual perusal of the kitchen appliance aisle. i noticed a handmixer-stand for $100. it looks to be a combo of the standmixer and the handheld mixer. mind you, i have both the standmixer and handheld mixer and yet i wanted *this* contraption too. i walked out of the store with just the items that i NEEDED and not so much coveted. (i also want a proper food processor).

    i have owned two handheld mixers, my 2nd one was bought in the the late evening after the 1st one was mixing pate choux batter and D.I.E.D. on me. i heart my isabella but the handheld… i’ve had her longer and so therefore … i’ve loved her longer.

  2. Donna Azure

    I once worked in a gourmet shop and used a floor model mixer to make cookies. It had an enormous steel batter bowl that held many pounds of batter from which you could make dozens of cookies. We would scoop the cookies out onto huge cookie sheets, freeze them individually, then store them in large ziplocs til we wanted to bake them Not for the average home kitchen baker but very cool, nonetheless!!

  3. Donna Azure

    As a result of clicking on your favorite cookie link, I now have choc chip cookies chilling in the fridge! Can’t wait…and probably won’t!!

  4. Shannalee

    Lan – You are describing exactly what happens to me whenever I walk through the home goods at Wal-Mart! Haven’t seen the combo mixer yet, but I’m interested (also don’t need, but you know). PS: love that your stand mixer has a name.

    Donna – I would love to work in a gourmet shop and bake cookies with a floor model! Sounds like a great job (was it?) – and I’m so excited you’re trying the chocolate-chip recipe. It’s fantastic.

  5. Gemma

    I have a hand mixer and it’s fine but I covet a KitchenAid mixer. If they sold the pistachio colour here I would probably buy one immediately but for now I can wait. I bought a food processor a couple of years ago and have not used it as much as I thought I would so sometimes wish I had just bought my KitchenAid at the time instead.

  6. Kelley

    I bought a KitchenAid for Steve’s birthday a year or two after we got married. It’s hard to say which of us uses/enjoys it more! :) But it was a sign of what was to come — we are the King and Queen of buying kitchen gadgets for each other with the underlying motive of using them ourselves.

  7. Shannalee

    Gemma – I love what you wrote, largely because it used the word pistachio and that must be a lovely color of the mixer (why haven’t I noticed it?). And I also have a food processor (handed down), and I almost never used it – love my stick blender SO much more.

    Kelley – How cute are you guys? I can totally understand the love of kitchen gadgets (and the underlying motives). :)

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