A good mixer can make life great as an avid cook and lover of simple omelettes. The main thing is to arm yourself with a suitable device for your lifestyle, culinary ambitions and budget. In this article, we will tell you how and which mixer to choose for the house, in which case the mixer should prefer a blender and then a stationary model better than a manual.
What to Choose – Mixer Grinder or Blender?
The main difference between these devices is in different functions:
- The purpose of the blender is to grind the product with knives, and the purpose of the mixer is to whisk as well as kneading the dough with a hook. The mixer can not cook cream soups, baby food, smoothies and smoothies, grind nuts, and blender – turn cream into foam or knead yeast dough.
But since the submersible blender always has an additional nozzle in the form of a whisk and sometimes even a hook for kneading the dough, the question arises – can the blender replace the mixer? Yes, but only in part.
- The blender in its capabilities is comparable only with a hand mixer, but not with a stationary. After all, only a stationary device can quickly and qualitatively knead the thick and dense dough, say, for pies and dumplings. Neither the blender nor the hand mixer will cope with this task.
But with such non-trivial tasks as whipping eggs or pancake dough, the blender will cope almost as well as the hand mixer (but the mixer is still more efficient and convenient with long work). If you like the idea of “3 in 1” devices, we recommend choosing either a submersible blender with a capacity of 500 watts with a hook in the kit, or… as powerful as possible, a mixer blender that looks like a mixer but has a chopper nozzle. You can learn other nuances of blender choice in our step-by-step guide (see the material: Guide to choosing a blender submersible and stationary type). And this video will help you understand the difference between two similar devices and choose a mixer for the kitchen.
Buying Guide For Mixer Grinder
Step 1. Determine the type of mixer
Mixers are conditionally divided into manual, stationary and stationery with a system of planetary mixing.
- The hand mixer is a lightweight and low-power (200-500 W) device with two whisks and two hooks in the kit. Great for whipping eggs, cream, oil, and kneading semi-liquid dough, such as biscuits or pancakes. It is good because it is inexpensive (from 500-3000 rubles), takes up little space, easily washes (enough to remove and rinse the nozzles) and allows you to whip up tiny portions conveniently. Unfortunately, the hand device’s power is not enough to knead yeast dough for pies or cool dough for dumplings, dumplings, and mantles. However, if you rarely cook these dishes, a hand mixer is a great choice.
- A stationary mixer (domestic type) is a stationary device with a bowl, a stand and a mixer with the same whisks and hooks. Thanks to this device, the device can process the product without your participation. All you have to do is load the bowl with ingredients and start the engine. Since modern stationary mixers rotate the nozzles and the bowl itself, the mixture is processed evenly. Thanks to the greater power (400-700 W), such a mixer can knead even a cool dough. If necessary, the mixer can be removed from the stand and used as a normal hand-held device. Disadvantages: high price compared to manual (average price 2500-8000 rubles), larger size, greater engine noise and thicket rotation. Also, an inconvenience can be called the need to wash the bowl before processing the next product, while the hand mixer requires only cleaning the nozzles. Compared to a planetary mixer, the standard device is much cheaper, but it is less stable, its engine is much less durable and reliable. Who will fit a stationary household mixer? All those who whip eggs and biscuit dough and prepare flour products from thick or yeast dough. But he does it not daily, but only from time to time.
- The planetary mixer is the same stationary mixer but more powerful (500-1200 W). Most importantly, with a nozzle rotating on the principle of rotation of the planet, that is, around its axis and at the same time around the entire circumference of the bowl. With this “focus”, it is possible to achieve the mixture’s ideal quality in a minimum time. If you cook often and for many things (especially cakes, sweets, pies, dumplings), the planetary mixer will become the most popular “workhorse”. By the way, some models of planetary mixers have another bonus – the ability to equip with additional devices: meat grinder, grater, dough and noodles-rolling, chopper and even juicer. These multifunctional mixers are often referred to as food processors or food processors. The disadvantages of planetary mixers can be attributed to the high price (from 5 t.p. to 130 tr.), the large weight and noise.
To better understand the difference between the three types of mixers, we recommend reading the following video review.
Step 2. Pay attention to the power
Choosing a mixer, the first thing to pay attention to – is power. As a rule, in many respects, it depends on the performance and speed of processing products. The more power, the more dough can knead the device. Simultaneously, the more powerful it is, the higher its cost and the more electricity is consumed.
- For a hand mixer, which is only whipped/kneaded liquid and semi-liquid mixtures, power 250 watts is enough. If you use a hand mixer often and for a long time (more than 10 minutes), choose a more powerful mixer – 350-400 W.
- The power of a stationary mixer for domestic use should be at least 500A mixer for periodic use is desirable to buy a capacity of at least 600 watts for every day – at least 900 watt.
Step 3. Looking at the materials of the case and bowls
The cases of inexpensive stationary mixers are often made of plastic, and the models are more expensive, and the planetary mixers are made of stainless steel.
- Steel casings of stationary mixers due to gravity are more stable, which is especially important when kneading a dense dough. Besides, they are much more beautiful and stronger. However, metal mixers are much more expensive than similar devices in plastic.
- Plastic casings at heavy loads often begin to smell, creak and shake. But they greatly reduce the cost of devices, and they are easier to transport, move from place to place.
Bowls of mixers are plastic, glass and metal.
- Glass bowls are eco-friendly, inexpensive, beautiful, but fragile. Plastic thickets do not beat and are inexpensive but can eventually deform and change colour. The ideal material for the bowl is stainless steel.
Step 4. Choosing the volume of the bowl
Mixers are equipped with bowls of 1.5 to 6 litres. This indicator depends on how much product you can beat/mix at a time. But there are no minimum limits for stationary mixers – even in the largest bowl, you can equally well beat as a couple of eggs and a dozen. The secret of this ability lies all in the same planetary system of mixing or rotation, not only nozzles but also bowls.
To determine the bowl’s volume, think about what maximum volumes you usually process in the mixer and add to this the number 200-500 ml. This stock will not allow the mixture to splash and flour and sugar – to crumble outside the bowl.
Speaking of sprinkling. When buying a mixer grinder, make sure that a special lid with a hole to add ingredients is attached. This simple item will protect your kitchen from stains and, at the same time, will add and add everything you need right during the workflow. Unfortunately, inexpensive blenders often do not complete such a lid.
And a couple of useful tips on choosing a bowl:
- When choosing mixers in the store, try to test their bowls by simulating, say, pouring the biscuit dough into shape. The bowl’s handle should be such that you can hold the container with one hand and the other hand, with the ease to scrape its contents with a spatula. The bowl itself should be easily removed from the stand.
- It makes sense to buy an additional bowl so that when cooking multi-component dishes, you do not have to wash the already used container once again.
Step 5. Choose nozzles and additional devices
The stationary mixer is often equipped with only a pair of nozzles – a whisk for whipping and a hook to knead a steep dough. And the hook can really be a hook as in the photo below (for kneading a dense dough) or spiral (for a more liquid dough). Sometimes the set includes a spatula for mixing liquid dough. Some mixers have a smoothie nozzle and/or a shredder nozzle (blender) for making sauces, smoothies, cocktails, etc.
Mixers, as we have already noted earlier, can be equipped with additional nozzles: meat grinder, dough race, citrus press and grater. Sometimes these nozzles are included in the kit and sometimes bought separately.
Step 6. Learn about modes, speeds and additional options
Mixers work in 3 modes:
- Standard – the device turns on, begins to whisk or mix.
- Pulse – the motor works impulsively as if jerks. This mode is more suitable for chopping (!) solid products rather than whipping and mixing.
- Turbo mode – in this mode, the mixer works running fast, but within just a few seconds, to avoid overheating the engine.
The rotation speeds of the nozzles are available to mixers from 3 to 20. The more velocities the device has, the thinner you can adjust the degree of product processing, smoothly slow down or accelerate the nozzles’ rotation.
- However, as practice shows, most cooks are quite short of 3-5 speeds.
Of the beneficial additional options can be identified:
- A timer that lets you set the time you need to turn on and off is very convenient when you need to leave.
- A protective system that automatically turns off the mixer at the risk of overheating.
Finally, for those who have decided to choose a planetary mixer, we offer to read the following video review of the KitchenAid mixer compared to the food processor.