| Small appliances
can perform large tasks. Take the tears out of chopping onions with a food
processor or mini-chopper, mix dough with your food processor, make fresh
smoothies in the blender, deep fry your favorite fish - the list is endless.
For advice on selecting the perfect small appliance check out our quick
reference guide to small appliances. If you need further assistance contact
our Gourmet Shop Sales Associates at 888-228-5800.
Hand Mixers & Stand Mixers
When you decide to buy a stand or hand mixer make sure that you match the machine to the way you prepare your food. Sometimes you may only need a hand mixer, sometimes you may only need a stand mixer and sometimes you may need both. Hand mixers can handle light chores such as whipping cream or mixing cake batter. Stand mixer on the other hand are very powerful and are ideal for cooks who make bread and cookies from scratch. They also make whipping cream a breeze and kneading bread a simple task.
The first thing you should do is decide which one you need. Almost any stand or hand mixer will whip cream or batter, but if you are dedicated baker or you want to be, you should probably want to invest in a heavy, powerful stand mixer.
The main thing you should be looking for in a stand or hand mixer is power. This is especially very useful when making heavy dough. The power varies from 200 to 1000 watts. The more powerful motor is the better your cooking will be.
When it comes to speeds dont think that the more speeds it has the better machine is. Some stand mixers have 16 speeds, and some hand mixers have 9 speeds, but even 3 speed mixer will do an excellent job. The slower the lowest speed the better because slow speeds prevent splattering.
You should also consider size and weight. Hand mixers should feel well balanced and comfortable to hold. When it comes to stand mixers size and weight can be a concern. Some weigh more than 20 pounds, but their heft gives them the stability to handle tough jobs. Stand mixers also come with different bowl sizes; so choose the one that suits your everyday baking. We recommend at least 4-½ quart capacity. This gives you enough room to knead a good-sized batch of bread.
Some stand mixers have heads that tilt back and forth; others have ability to lift up and down. When it comes to this feature, make sure you pick the one thats right for you; it should be easy for you to take the attachment and the bowl out without having too much trouble and making a big mess around you.
Consider beater stile and motion. Most of the top-performing hand mixers have wire beaters without the thick center post found on traditional-style beaters. The wire beaters perform well and are a bit easier to clean.
Stand mixers typically have stationary beaters and a bowl that sits on a revolving turntable. Make sure that the beater not only rotates around its own axis, it also rotates around the bowl thus giving you two motions at once. This way beater makes more contact with the ingredients, which is good because it helps speed up whatever you are mixing.