How to choose a mixer

A mixer is a fairly simple kitchen appliance. Over the years, its functions have not changed much, except that the materials from which it is made have been slightly modernized, and power and speed modes have been added. But in General, the device for whipping and mixing looks the same — the motor that drives the classic working nozzles, and the Cup, if there is one.

Types of mixers

Manual

When choosing a kitchen appliance, we first of all rely on two points:
1. The purpose of the application.
2. Usability.

A hand mixer is a base where the engine is located, equipped with a handle and holes for nozzles. Here, in fact, is the entire device. To whip or mix something, you have to keep it constantly on the weight, sometimes rotating, switching speeds, if they are present. If you need to do something simple, it is an acceptable option.

It is clear that the manual machine should not weigh much, otherwise it will be simply inconvenient to use it. The usual weight is up to 3 kg. Therefore, such devices for whipping have a small power motor. Most often — 250-400 W, but you can buy a hand mixer up to 700 W. The potential of the latter allows you not only to beat the dough for pancakes or a simple cocktail, but it is quite suitable for making protein foam.

We can say that the hand mixer is designed for simple processes and is suitable for those who do not particularly bother preparing complex dishes or kneading dough.

There are models that come with a plastic container. It resembles a glass for a blender, and is actually used in a similar way – the device is immersed in it, as in a normal dish. Most often, the mixer does not have an attachment to it.

The manual device has an obvious advantage — it takes up little space. Some models have a device for hiding the power cord.

In addition to low power, the disadvantage is that such devices are made in a plastic case. This is understandable, because plastic is light, and in the design of a hand mixer, everything is subject to dropping an extra load on the hand.

It is worth emphasizing another small, but still positive point – it is easy to care for. To clean and remove the hand mixer, it is enough to disconnect the nozzles and wash them under a stream of water, and wipe the body with a damp cloth.

Stationary

Such kitchen units are much more massive than manual ones. This is not surprising, because a stationary mixer consists of a bowl and a housing on which the nozzles are attached and the container itself is installed. The engine is mounted inside, and it is much more powerful than in manual models. The power of such devices starts from 450 W and can reach 2700 W. Weight – from 5 to 12 kg depending on the size.

A stationary device is good because it does all the work on its own. And if the bowl has a rotation function, the dish is mixed more evenly and thoroughly. These mixers are called planetary mixers by analogy with the rotation of the earth around its axis.

Another interesting feature is that the nozzles can not only rotate horizontally, but also move vertically. In this case, the ingredients are saturated with oxygen and become more lush.

But the stationary device also has drawbacks. The main one is the dimensions. The mixer takes up quite a lot of space, and in a small kitchen it will be difficult to find a permanent angle for it. You can name another point that is often attributed to a number of disadvantages — during cooking, you are always limited by the size of the bowl. If there is no such problem with a manual mixer, then you need to think in advance about which unit to buy.

Specifications

Power

The power of the motor in the mixer determines whether it can perform certain processes. For example, it is impossible to quickly and efficiently beat egg whites into a steep foam if you have a device less than 180 watts. And it will be impossible to make a steep dough for dumplings even with a 300-500 watt device . Low-power mixers from 180 to 500 W are designed for making purees, simple creams, cocktails, and baby food. If you are a cook, pay attention to devices from 500 to 900 watts. Stationary mixers with large capacities are accelerated to 1000 W or more, since it is simply impossible to handle large volumes with a weak engine. For capacities of 5 l or more, a 1200-2700 W engine is installed in the device. But these mixers are similar to food processors.

Number of speeds

Any cook will immediately pay attention to this indicator, because some cooking processes must take place at different speeds. Some dishes are prepared with a gradual increase in speed, for example, whipping proteins or sour cream. Other cooking jobs will require low speeds, such as mixing yeast dough. And others need a high rate of processing, such as whipping butter or cocktails. It is very good when the mixer has a so-called slow mode or smooth start. This is a low speed used by experienced cooks at the beginning of whipping, so as not to spray the product all over the kitchen. If you do not need such difficulties, then stop your choice on a 2-4 speed machine. For true connoisseurs, there are 7-speed mixers.

Another useful feature is turbo mode. It will help to speed up the nozzle operation for a short time. This often comes in handy when whipping cream or butter. But you can turn it on only for a short time, otherwise the engine will overheat.

In the same way, the mixer operates in pulse mode at maximum rpm. But in this case, the device itself is turned off and turned on again-in short pulse segments. This is indispensable when crushing nuts or breaking lumps in a steep dough.

Bowls

Bowl volume

As mentioned above, the volume of the bowl is important if you plan to beat the dough, prepare large portions of cream, mousse or other products. The very presence of the container in the mixer helps not only to free your hands, but also protects the kitchen area from splashes and pieces of processed product. It is very important to choose the size that you will use most often, so as not to overpay for the entire unit.

For small portions, 1-2 liters or 2-3 liters of capacity are quite suitable. They can prepare a cocktail for a small family or cream for a cake. Keep in mind that the working volume is much smaller, and to avoid splashing any Cup is filled no more than 2/3. If buying a mixer involves frequent dough preparation, then look at the volume of the bowl from 3 to 4 liters. For large pies, there are capacities of more than 5 liters.

The material of the bowl

The stationary container in the mixer is made of plastic, glass or stainless steel. Each material has its pros and cons.

The glass Cup is easy to clean, does not absorb odors, and the entire cooking process is clearly visible in it. But it can break.

The plastic bowl is light, and the device itself is cheaper, which is also good. But it is more difficult to care for it, over time it deforms and fades. Plastic suffers from high temperatures, is prone to splits and scratches, and can absorb odors and fat products over time.

The stainless steel bowl does not react chemically with food, is easy to clean, does not break or deform. But nothing can be seen through it — this is a minus. To understand at what stage of the whipping process, you will have to look through the lid.

Nozzles

On average, the mixer has 2-3 nozzles. If this is a manual low-power device, then you can talk about the presence of a whisk and a hook for beating the dough. For stationary, the standard number of attachments is 3. This is usually a whisk, hook, and paddle for kneading. All of them may have different forms, but they perform the same functions.

Please note that the nozzles are made of stainless steel. Plastic quickly falls into disrepair, no matter what the ads say about it. Aluminum parts quickly deform.

It is better if there are several hooks for the dough, because each form is designed for a specific batch.

It is good when the kit has a blender attachment. It looks like a regular immersion blender and performs similar functions.

Sometimes the set has a universal chopper knife, which is attached to the bottom of the bowl and performs a lot of useful functions, such as crushing ice, nuts, and shredding vegetables.

The mixer can be equipped with an automatic button for disconnecting attachments. It is most often present in manual instances.

Number of nozzles in different models from 1 to 12

Choices

For those who often bake pies, cakes and other dough products, it is better to buy a stationary mixer with a 3-4 liter bowl and a power of 900 to 1600 watts.

If you prefer to make complex creams for pies and cakes yourself, then buy a device with a bowl, at least five speeds and a power of 900 watts.

For a small family that is not too often fond of cooking, a manual device with an average power of 300-500 watts is quite suitable.

Do you like to experiment? Then buy a mixer with the maximum number of attachments. This will help transform a familiar dish into something new.

A family with a small child needs to make sure that a blender attachment is included. It will help to make purees for baby food from ordinary products.

Top 5 mixers

VonShef Electric Hand Mixer Whisk With Stainless Steel Attachments, 5-Speed and Turbo Button, Includes; Beaters, Dough Hooks and Balloon Whisk

BLACK+DECKER Lightweight Hand Mixer, White, MX1500W

Dash Stand Mixer (Electric Mixer for Everyday Use): 6 Speed Stand Mixer with 3 qt Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl, Dough Hooks & Mixer Beaters for Dressings, Frosting, Meringues & More – Aqua

KitchenAid KSM75SL Classic Plus 4.5-Qt. Tilt-Head Stand Mixer

Ninja Professional Countertop Blender with 1100-Watt Base, 72oz Total Crushing Pitcher and (2) 16oz Cups for Frozen Drinks and Smoothies (BL660)

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