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Mixer Buying Guide

Looking to purchase a mixer but not sure where to start? The kitchen appliance specialists at Abt are here to help! Read on to discover what to look for when buying a mixer for your kitchen.
Mixer Buying Guide

Getting Started

No baker's kitchen is complete without a good mixer. This small appliance makes easy work of the tasks that can be a literal pain in your arm. When shopping for your next mixer, there are many factors to consider before purchasing. Luckily, we are here to help! Keep reading to learn more about picking a mixer for your kitchen.

The Different Types of Mixers

Stand Mixers

A stand mixer is, as its name suggests, a mixer that stands on your countertop. It usually comes with a matching mixing bowl. The most well-known stand mixer is the KitchenAid Stand Mixer, which is loved for both its functions and the myriad color choices available. Stand mixers are dense and packed with powerful motors. They also are available in several styles:

Mini Tilt-Head Stand Mixers

Perfect for small apartments, mini stand mixers offer an efficient and compact motor that can handle small batches for just a few people.

Tilt-Head Stand Mixers

This style of stand mixer offers a medium profile and a bowl large enough for standard kitchens and large families. Designed to tilt the motorhead, it gives easy access to the bowl and beater, allowing you to add ingredients and swap accessories with ease.

Bowl-Lift Stand Mixers

Bowl-lift stand mixers are powerful and offer firm stability for large batches. Instead of tilting back, these mixers utilize a smooth lever that lifts the bowl into position beneath the beater accessory.

Hand Mixers

Hand mixers are lightweight, portable devices that let you easily move your mixing operation to any spot in the kitchen. They also allow for mixing in any of the larger bowls you may own. They're great for quick tasks and easily stow in a cabinet or large drawer.

Mixer Features to Consider

Bowl Size and Capacity

Mixer bowls come in a range of sizes, but the most standard sizes are 4.5 to 5.5 quarts. If you're a professional baker or a home chef, you can find 6-quart mixers as well.
You can also find bowls made of other materials like glass, metal and ceramic. With a variety of colors and textures to suit your kitchen decor, you're sure to find the perfect style.

Mixer Attachments

Most mixers will come with a paddle, whisk, and dough hook attachments.
Mixer Attachments - Paddle/Flat Beater, Whisks, Dough Hook
  • Paddle/Flat Beater

    The flat beater attachment is for cake batter, cookie dough, and mashed potatoes.
  • Whisks

    Also called a balloon whisk or wire whip, these attachments are useful for making whipped cream, frosting, and meringues.
  • Dough Hook

    C-shaped or spiral, this attachment is used for bread and doughs that require kneading.
The design of the beaters also contributes to their overall performance. Old-style beaters were made with a thick post down the center, while the best modern models usually feature two slender beaters of thin, stainless steel wire. The new design options work better and are easier to clean.
Some mixers offer a "planetary action" beater motion, which follows an elliptical path for uniform mixing.

Speeds

Stand mixers offer up to 16 speeds, while hand mixers offer up to nine speeds. The slowest speed is essential for adding dry ingredients without creating a dust storm or splattering. Some hand mixers offer an ingenious "soft" or "slow start" feature in which the selected speed is gradually attained.

Power

Minimum power should be 175 watts for a hand mixer. However, you can find mixers with higher wattages reaching anywhere from 550 to 1000-watts. If you invest in a more powerful mixer, food preparation tasks such as kneading dough or mixing dense ingredients can be done in record time.

Locking Power Heads

For stand mixers, make sure you can lock the powerhead in an "up" position. Otherwise, the heavy dough could pull the beater into the bowl and create a mess. In the same vein, make sure your mixer can lock in the down position so the beater doesn't ride up when beating stiff dough.

Stability

Stand mixers are built heavy to maintain stability, but hand mixers need an underside indentation to perch on the bowl's edge.

Comfort

A mixer should be sturdy and durable. Hand mixers should be light enough to hold comfortably for 5 to 10 minutes. Two pounds is a good weight for most people. Handles that slant up toward the front of the mixer (as opposed to running parallel to the mixer body) are more comfortable to grip. They are designed to reduce the strain on your forearms. If you are left-handed, a model with a swivel cord will make the machine easier to maneuver. If you have limited counter space and plan to store your stand mixer, you'll need to make sure it's not too heavy to lift.

Cleaning

Hand mixers are much easier to clean than stand mixers because you can pop out the attachment. These days, many accessories are dishwasher safe, minus the mixing bowl.
Make sure to find a mixer without seams on the underside. Surfaces should be smooth with no ingredient-trapping cracks or crevices. Models with touch-pad controls are easy to wipe clean with a damp cloth after use.

Furthermore

Buying a mixer does not need to be complicated. Be sure to reach out to the experts at Abt for any further questions!

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