The 7 Best Hand Mixers
7. Nesco HM-350
- backlit lcd display
- mixer is relatively easy to use
- doesn't come with any dough hooks
|Rating||4.1 / 5.0|
6. Sunbeam FPSBHS0301
- available in black or white
- 3-quart bowl turns automatically
- ejecting the beaters is a pain
|Rating||3.9 / 5.0|
5. Oster FPSTHM2578
- retractable power cord
- has six speed levels
- mixer is rather bulky
|Rating||4.2 / 5.0|
4. Hamilton Beach 62682RZ
- 250 watts peak power
- very competitive price
- snap-on storage case is finicky
|Rating||3.9 / 5.0|
3. KitchenAid KHM926ER
- power cord can lock on either side
- push-button accessory removal
- soft-grip handle for extra comfort
|Rating||4.9 / 5.0|
2. OXO Illuminating Digital
- the base is sturdy
- dc motor is powerful and durable
- compact design is easy to store
|Rating||4.8 / 5.0|
1. Breville BHM800SIL
- quiet operation and high torque
- count-up timer function
- mixing light for viewing ingredients
|Rating||4.9 / 5.0|
Hand Mixers Versus Stand Mixers
Using an electric mixer instead of a manual mixer will result in better textures in your whipped creams, dough, mousses, and pretty much any other food item that requires mixing. It's not just about texture and consistency, though. It is also about convenience. An electric mixer is one of those kitchen tools that you think you don't really need until you use one. Then, you'll wonder how you ever lived without one, especially if you bake often.
When researching which mixer to buy, the first thing you'll probably notice is that there are two different types to choose from: hand mixers and stand mixers**. The best choice for you will come down to a few factors, including how often you bake, what you like to cook, and your storage and budget limitations.
Hand mixers are considerably smaller and more portable than their self-standing brethren. They take up a fraction of the space, and you can easily store them in any kitchen cabinet. They are also the more affordable option of the two. One can often find a good quality hand mixer for less than $100, while a good quality stand mixer can easily cost several hundred.
Most people find hand mixers easier to clean and less cumbersome to deal with than stand mixers. To clean a hand mixer, simply eject the whisks, rinse them off in the sink, and wipe down the unit with a damp towel. Then toss whatever mixing bowl you used into the dishwasher. Stand mixers require the use of a dedicated bowl that comes with the mixer. No matter how little batter or whipped cream you are making, you must still use the large, included bowl. The main unit of a stand mixer also requires more laborious cleaning, as it can be difficult to get to the underside of the head, which tends to get very dirty.
Stand mixers are not without their benefits, however. Since they are hands-free, they allow you to multi-task. You can work on preparing other food items while the machine mixes your dough, or you can incorporate additional ingredients without having to pause the whipping process. Stand mixers are also more powerful, which makes them better for foods with a very thick consistency, like bread and pizza dough. Many self-standing models allow for the attachment of pasta makers and meat grinders, as well, making them a them a more versatile addition to your kitchen.
Tips For Using A Hand Mixer
To use a hand mixer correctly, you should understand how to use each of the different attachments. Using an attachment for the wrong purpose will negatively impact the end product. Common attachments that come with mixers include turbo beaters, whisks, and dough hooks, though the model you choose may come with more or fewer options. Turbo beaters are best used for quickly and thoroughly mixing batters. They can ensure you get all of the lumps out when making cakes, waffles, and similar food items. Whisks are ideal for aerating mixtures, like when making whipped cream, soufflés, or mousses. Dough hooks are those funky looking squiggly hooks that were included with your mixer that you've been wondering about. They are great for kneading thick dough. If you find that you aren't getting the desired result with a particular attachment, feel free to eject it and try another type.
Always start mixing on a slow setting and gradually increase the speed to reach your desired setting. To clean the mixture off of the whisk or turbo beater, slowly lift the mixer's attachments from the food mixture while keeping it running on the slowest speed. This will drain away any liquid that is still adhered to the attachment. Generally, foods with a hard consistency, like biscuit dough, are best worked at slow speeds, while liquid foods, like eggs and cream, are best whipped at high speeds.
When cleaning the mixer, never run the entire unit under water. Wetting the entire unit is one of the most common reasons hand mixers fail or malfunction. Instead, eject the attachments and wash them with soap and water, or put them in the dishwasher if the instructions say they are dishwasher safe. To clean the main unit, simply wipe it clean with a slightly damp cloth, and then use a dry cloth to remove any traces of water.
If you add butter or margarine to a mix, it should be at room temperature unless otherwise specified in the recipe. It is also a good rule of thumb to add ingredients one at a time. Generally, a large mixing bowl will make the process of mixing faster and easier. It also helps you get a thorough consistency throughout the entire mixture.
A Brief History Of Mixers
In 1856, Ralph Collier created and patented the first mixer that featured rotating components, which he called a rotary egg beater. As you may have guessed based on the name, his invention was intended solely for beating eggs. Its paddles were made of small, rigid wires that effectively aerated the eggs during beating.
In 1885, Rufus Eastman invented the first power mixer, though his model didn't actually include a motor to furnish the power. Instead, in his patent he stated "My invention does not include any particular motor for furnishing power, as I can use any of the well-known motors-either spring, weight, water, or electricas may be most convenient or desirable." His design could affix to a table and was intended to mix eggs, creams, and liquors.
In the year 1908, an engineer at the Hobart Manufacturing Company by the name of Herbert Johnson invented a free-standing electric mixer. By 1910, the company was producing and selling the first Hobart KitchenAid mixer, and by 1915, the 20-gallon model was a standard piece of equipment in most bakeries. In 1919, Hobart started selling a home model home named the KitchenAid Food Preparer. The company continued to manufacturer the KitchenAid line of mixers until 1986, at which point they sold the division to the Whirlpool Corporation.