If you love baking, or if you used to love to cook, but can’t do much lately because you feel physically strained, a Stand Mixer is definitely something to save your bacon. There is a distinct possibility of a stand mixer being the most useful appliance, can be found in any kitchen from family to the restaurant.
Having the best stand mixer suited to your need, you can make your kitchen life come alive. Now you can prepare a perfect blend of ingredients for every recipe hassle-free. Cake batter and cookie dough, kneading stiff dough for crusty soft bread, whipped cream, and egg white, you name it. Besides lessening your physical toil, they can do so much easier and quicker.
Make your Confusion Disappear
With so many kitchen appliances around, stand mixer may create confusion with other common appliances like hand mixer and blender. Here are some pointers for you:
- Stand Mixer vs Blender
A blender usually consists of a container that is used to mix ingredients and have clear indication of measurements on it. The usual ingredients meant for blenders are liquids, fruits, vegetables, ice, herbs, and spices, etc. They are low powered and so can’t be used for heavy mixing like doughs.
In contrast, the stand mixer is bigger motorized equipment with higher power and additional attachments. It eases the entire process of mixing and baking. In addition to making lightweight blends, it is used for kneading heavier dough and grinding various items.
- Stand Mixer vs Hand Mixer
Hand mixers are hand-held mixers with smaller size and wight. It requires manual handling while mixing. It has a low powered motor to reduce heavy lifting.
Conversely, the Standalone mixer operates independently and take care of everything regarding mixture. It’s much heavier weighing about 25lbs average. Stand mixers need no manual handling and have additional control and safety features to reduce spillage.
Parts of a Stand Mixer
- Mixing Motor
Stand Mixer generally comes with an electric motor. It varies to several power ranges according to the price and size of the Stand Mixer.
It includes containers for putting ingredients to blend. These bowls can be of materials like stainless steel, glass or ceramic featuring various designs and colors.
Beaters are the handles that are attached from the upper hook top of the bowl. The crucial task of mixing is done by the beater rotated by the motor.
There are mainly three types of beater you will find with Stand Mixer:
- Flat Beater
This is the primary multi-purpose beater used for heavyweight mixtures like cakes, frosting, cookies, meat loaf, smashed potato, etc.
- Wire Whip
Wire Whip is typically used for incorporating air into mixing fluids like cream, egg white, etc. Standard wire whips have stainless steel wires and a metal connection hub. It’s what makes cream blend fluffier.
- Dough Hook
The dough hook is a spiral or curly hook that is used to knead yeast dough such as bread, coffeecakes, pizza dough, etc.
Top of the mixer, most vendors feature a power hub to provide additional attachments. A wide variety of food processing can be done with these attachments like food grinder, spiralizer, fruit/vegetable strainer, pasta maker, meat stuffer, juicer, etc.
Some stand mixers also provide various accessories for safety purposes. You may find a pouring shield that gives you the mastery of slow addition and mixing of ingredients.
The best stand mixers come up with an additional Splash Guard that prevents spillage in case of excessive ingredients.
- Control Knob
Best stand mixers will provide you a control knob and manual. For particular processing, the standard value should be set to produce a proper blend.
Tilt-Head vs Bowl Lift
There are usually two choices for you when it comes to how you can control a stand mixer’s bowl, attachments and accessories. It is either a model with a tilt head or a model with a bowl lift. It’s important to know what each choice offers and how they vary so you know exactly what to expect and what to prepare.
You can tilt the head of the mixer as indicated by the term. Many stand mixers’ head tilts from where the head and the stand join, just top of the stand. While lifting you need to unlock the head and lock it before running.
Bowl lift stand mixers are taller than Tilt Head. Its head isn’t flexible. Two clamps hold on both sides of the bowl. It is moved up and down by rotating a crank on the stand side. Getting the bowl lifted will put it into contact with the beaters. Lowering it will give space for adding and removing accessories and accessing bowl contents.
Attaching, adjusting and removing accessories in tilt head models is simpler. Thanks to its slanting position, the batter that clings to the beater decreases when the head is tilted.Tilt head models need less vertical space, so it’s easier to find room under the cabinets.
However, the lifting mechanism exhibits a drawback.The head tends to vibrate since there is a hinge.
The bowl lift stand mixers are taller and need more vertical space.
Bowl lift models are more steady since the head is not hinged to the stand. Bowl lift models are typically more compact mixers with bigger motors and greater capacity.
Some Tips & Tricks
Before you buy your stand mixer, you should look out for some important aspects.
- Check if the bowl and beaters have a proper non-stick coating. Improper coatings increasethe clinging of food drippings.
- Make sure the beaters and attachments are dishwasher safe. Some equipment should be carefully cleaned.Such as, most of the wire whips are aluminum coated and likely to deteriorate due to cleaning.
- Buy the best stand mixer suited properly to your needs. Look out for power and control features.Besides power watt value, some also provideusage in terms of item weight and ingredient type.
- Stand mixers are quite heavy. You should consider a permanent place to put it in and choose one appropriate with your countertop/shelf.