Wikipedia defines a hand mixer as “a hand-held mixing device. It goes further to explain that a handle is mounted over an enclosure containing the motor. And the motor drives the beaters which are immersed in the food to perform the mixing action. The motor must be lightweight as it is supported by the user during use. The user may use any suitable kitchen container to hold the ingredients while mixing”.
In days gone by before the advent of electric hand mixers, all food preparation was done manually. Imagine how tiring and time consuming it would be to prepare all the scrumptious recipes available these days manually.
Most homemakers are either not patient enough or do not have the time to mix ingredients as long as the recipes require. This result in food or baked goods that do not come out as best as they should.
Thanks to the advent of electric hand mixers, you can now whip up excellent meals and baked goods without stress. And what’s more, you do not have to spend the whole day in meal preparation.
Why You Need a Hand Mixer
We have briefly mentioned one benefit of having a hand mixer but let’s go further and discuss all the benefits in greater details.
In these days that everyone is in a hurry and on the go, house chores and food preparation has become increasingly difficult to accomplish. Thanks to technology some of these house chores and food prep can be electronically accomplished.
When it comes to food preparation, a hand mixer is a time saving device that provides a lot of convenience. With a hand mixer, you don’t need to mix, whip or blend mixtures by hand. The mixer helps you do all the work; saving you time and energy.
You can conveniently whip up those recipes that you’ve been avoiding because they need to be light and fluffy. You now have the freedom to experiment with different recipes at your convenience.
A hand mixer is easy to use; all you need to do is assemble your ingredients in a bowl or pot and mix away! There are no complicated moving parts to assemble; all you do is affix the attachment to the mixer, plug to electricity and use.
If you are a baker who bakes occasionally, you would find a stand mixer cumbersome. But a hand mixer would be right up your alley. With it you can mix cake batters, whip cream and whisk your eggs. Click here to find out the advantages of a stand mixer
Cleaning a hand mixer is as easy as ABC; all you need do is eject the beaters after use and wash in warm soapy water. There are also hand mixer attachments that are dishwasher safe. This makes the mixer much more easy to clean.
Portable and Easy to Store
A hand mixer is portable and easy to store. It doesn’t need space on your countertop; you can store in a drawer in your kitchen. You can also conveniently carry a hand mixer outside your home. This is a great advantage for a private chef or professional baker who would need onsite appliances.
A hand mixer is lightweight which also lends to its portability. You can easily move it from one place to another without exerting too much energy. The weight makes it possible for you to heft and use in your meal preparation.
Some hand mixers come with mixing bowls but others don’t. A mixing bowl is not actually a necessity for a hand mixer because you can use it with any bowl. You can use a hand mixer to whip a few eggs in a medium bowl or use it mix a batch of cookie dough in a big bowl.
This versatility makes the hand mixer an MVP in your team of kitchen utensils.
A hand mixer is very functional because you can control its use in your kitchen. Whereas there are some small recipes that would be lost in a stand mixer, hand mixers work for even the smallest recipes.
If you have a recipe that you feel is too much for your hand mixer, you can divide it into two batches. This is better than not having an appliance that you can use for small recipes.
There are also days when you don’t have time or patience to pull out your stand mixer, just reach for the hand mixer. This is true even for the professional baker whose stand mixer is a permanent fixture in the kitchen.
There are recipes that only a hand mixer is suited for. If you use a stand mixer for such recipes, you won’t get the expected results.
One reason is that the beater of the stand mixer won’t reach all the ingredients. In cases like this a hand mixer can be maneuvered to reach all the sides of your mixing bowl and incorporate all the ingredients.
Tips on How to Buy the Best Hand Mixer
Now that you know the benefits to be derived from having a hand mixer, we know you sure would like to have one. But before you rush out to go shopping, please note the following tips for getting the best hand mixer for you.
Type of Controls
When checking out a hand mixer to buy, look out for one with easy to reach and use controls. It should also have an on and off button.
In addition to the speed options,Some have a boost button.
Some brands would call this feature different names but the main function is to introduce a burst of power. This is useful when you need a burst of power for fast mixing; it provides the boost needed to get the job done.
One other control feature that comes in handy is a pulse button. This allows you to remove excess mixture from the beater or other attachments when you are done. it is also the slow start button .
Hand mixers that have ‘eject’ buttons for the attachments are also desirable. The eject button allows you to detach the attachments with just a push of the button. This comes in handy especially when you are in the middle of mixing ingredients and you need to switch attachments.
Speed Options and Ease of Adjustment of The Hand Mixer
Speed option is a part of the control features that should be carefully considered. This is so important that we have to discuss it separately.
Generally most hand mixers would have between three to nine speed options. Most of the highly rated hand mixers have between six to eight options. There are hand mixers with three speed options that would work perfectly.
In considering speed options, check for products that would go as slow as you want and also as fast as you want. This would widen the range of recipes that the mixer can work for.
On the issue of speed adjustment, look out products that have convenient switch for speed adjustment. May users have asserted that they prefer to have hand mixers with lever for speed adjustment. There are models or designs that have toggle, press button or scroll button for adjusting speed.
It has been discovered that people can accidentally switch speed with a toggle or button but with a lever, you avoid that mistake. You don’t have to fumble with any toggle or button; just move the lever and the speed is adjusted.
That said however, the convenience of speed adjustment is a matter of individual preference.
Consistency and Steadiness of the Hand Mixer
Some hand mixers vibrate a lot when they have been in use for a while or when you increase the speed. This can negatively impact on your mixture.
For this reason, you need to look out for a product that it steady and consistent all though its operation. Although you are not supposed to run the hand mixer for too long at a stretch, it should remain steady and consistent as you work.
Hand mixers would vibrate because they are powered by motors but the vibration shouldn’t be too pronounced.
The consistency here means that the vibration remains the same from speed one to the last speed. And as the speed increases, the hand mixer should remain firm in the users’ hold.
Some hand mixers have been known to slip out of the hold of the user when on fast speed. This is a sign that it’s a low quality product
Weight of The Hand Mixer
A hand mixer should not be too heavy, neither should it be featherweight. The weight should be such that you can hold and use it comfortably for at least 5 minutes at a stretch for hours. A hand mixer that’s too heavy would make you mix your ingredients at a wrong angle. This would incorporate air bubbles that can ruin your mixture.
The weight should be commensurate to the power of the mixer and not more. The weight of the hand mixer affects how fluffy and light your mixture would turn out or whether you’ll get the right consistency.
The highest a good hand mixer should weigh is 1.5kg and the lowest should be 800g. This numbers however,should be taken under advisement based on the brand.
Attachments Included in Purchase
Before you buy a hand mixer, ensure that it comes with the basic attachments. These are the flat beater, dough hooks and balloon whisk. These are actually all the attachments that your hand mixer needs.
In checking out the attachments, ensure that they are made with top quality materials and they are a good length. Short beaters or attachments do not allow you the freedom to use any kind of mixing bowl.
Type of Recipes You Make Frequently
When choosing a hand mixer, bear in mind the kind of recipes you make often or the recipes you want to use them for. If your recipes call for egg whites or you intend to whip egg white quite often, then factor it in.
Some hand mixers would whip egg whites perfectly but have issues with creaming sugar and butter or other cake batter. Ensure that the product you choose can handle your food prep needs.
Comfort and Ease of Use of The Hand Mixer
The design of a hand mixer determines how comfortable it would be to use. Hand mixers that are designed with the handle slanting up towards the front of the mixer are easier to use. This design also ensures that there is minimal strain on your arm.
You also look out for hand mixers with handles that are comfortable to grip and are non slip. A swivel cord is a convenient design especially for people that are left handed.
Any appliance that uses a motor would make a level of noise when in use; from a discreet hum to a disruptive vibration. There are people who do not like noise of any kind. If you are one of those then be sure to check out the noise level of the hand mixer you are fixing to buy.
Some models are noisier in operation than others. This does not indicate their efficiency but is a point to consider.
The durability of a product is most often affected by the quality of the materials used in production. There are brands that are already established and known for churning out top quality products. You would do well to choose a product from such brands.
A hand mixer is not an appliance that you would be pleased to replace at short intervals; not even yearly.
The price of every product is determined by many factors. It is no secret that products manufactured with high quality materials would be more expensive than cheaply made ones.
Do not allow price to be the determining factor of the brand of hand mixer that you’ll choose. Be prepared to pay something substantial for a good quality hand mixer. No one expects you to break the bank to make a purchase. We are only saying that you should be open to adjusting your budget to accommodate a good quality hand mixer.
There are some models of hand mixers that would come with some extra features. The absence of these features though not deal breakers can add a little benefit to your purchase. We’ll discuss some of them:
This is a storage case that in some models also double as a stand for a hand mixer. This makes it easier for you to keep all your hand mixer attachments in one spot. It prevents the loss of one attachment or the other.
A storage stand also makes the hand mixer portable because both the mixer and its attachments would have smaller footprint. This translates to an easy to carry and store appliance.
There are some hand mixers that are a cross between hand mixers and stand mixers. Although a mixing bowl is not a necessity for a hand mixer, it is a useful addition. This kind of hand mixer is good for the homemaker who doesn’t need a stand mixer but wants something that can allow the user rest his/her arms.
LED Display Timer
This feature allows you to preset how long the mixer should run or show you how long it has been running. This is a very useful feature because most users do not have the patience to let the mixer run its required course.
Another reason why this feature is important is so that the user would not leave the mixer to run beyond the recommended time.
Some models have a feature that allows you to lock the cords into the right or left side of the mixer. This allows you to maneuver the mixer to whichever angle is required.
Built in Light
There are models that have in built light to help you see what you’re mixing. This comes in handy when you are working in a poorly lit environment.
These scrapers are attached to the attachment of the hand mixer. This prevents the beater from scraping against the bowl and making that scraping noise that we all hate. It also scraps the sides of the bowl saving you the trouble of having to pause mixing to scrap the bowl manually.
You may be wondering how you would ascertain how true the claims of an advertiser is when checking out a product. One sure way of getting the low down on a prospective purchase is by reading reviews on the product.
Check out what verified buyers of the product are saying. This would give you the overall picture of the worth and quality of the product.
Final Words on Hand Mixers
Before wrapping this up, let’s leave you with this remainder:
A hand mixer should only be used for a short period at a stretch. If you leave it on as you would a stand mixer, it would overheat. If you are making recipes of heavy consistency, you are advised to run the mixer for no more than three minutes at a stretch.