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Best Hand Mixers


Richard Kilgore
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I am a greedy little git and I own all three - KA stand mixer, black and decker hand mixer, and a T-fal hand blender. I wouldn't want to give any of them up. I use the KA for pasta, bread doughs, marshmallows. The Black and Decker is awesome because it's good for blending cookie doughs, whipping up egg whites, heavy cream, cake batter. And the T-fal hand blender is great for smoothies and blending soups/sauces.

I own even more kitchen gadgetry but i'll spare you all the details.

Not only do I love kitchen equipment, but I am horribly sentimental, so I would never think to throw out my mom's old hand mixer.

Edited by ellencho (log)

Believe me, I tied my shoes once, and it was an overrated experience - King Jaffe Joffer, ruler of Zamunda

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A hand mixer is useful in many ways that a stand mixer is not. In fact, the one my mom has currently is one I got her for mother's day (at her request). She was tired of lugging out the stand mixer. My KA sits on the counter and takes up a lot of real estate. A hand mixer can be used many places a stand mixer cannot, and in a variety of bowls. It is particularly useful in making passover rolls, which has a dough similar to pate a choux, where you are mixing eggs into a warm dough in the pan you cooked the dough in -- can't do that with a stand mixer. Like someone upthread said, the day after you toss it, you'll need it. Just put it out of the way for now, till then.

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Somewhere in the universe (not necessarily this one) is a marvelous old-model KA that belongs to me; trouble is I don't know where. A long and not terribly interesting story. The more I think about it, though, the less I mind, because I do know where in this universe to find my 1950s Sunbeam Mixmaster: tucked away in my pantry, eaily retrieved and set up whenever I want it. I can't remember the last time I had any blending/mixing need that it couldn't handle. It's powerful enough to field even the toughest jobs I throw at it; and unlike a KA it can be taken off its stand and used as a hand-mixer. Yeah, it's a bit heavy for that, I grant you; and yeah I'm tempted by that hand blender (and may well succumb before long), but the fact is that I very rarely need it to be anywhere other than on its stand, where it deals easily with every task (cream, egg whites) mentioned up-thread as the province of some other kind of mixer. Sure, it uses proprietary bowls - but it came with two of them and I have several more, large and small (also have a whole 'nother same-vintage Mixmaster in the cellar, bought like this one at a garage sale, and kept for parts - at $5 a pop, who could resist?), so I'm never pre-empted from using the mixer.

There are occasions when I wouldn't bother - for crepe batter, sauces and such I prefer a balloon whisk anyway - but anything that's too tiring for my feeble biceps gets handed off to the Mixmaster, which never fails me.

Edited by balmagowry (log)
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I'd say that a hand blender is preferable to a stand in two cases: first, if, for space reasons, you can't keep your stand mixer out, a hand mixer is a lot easier to get out and use for small jobs; and second (as Rachel mentioned), a hand mixer can go places that a stand mixer can't (small bowls, pots and pans on the stove, etc.).

So, if you cook in ways that require a mixer that can go where no stand mixer can, then it's definitely worth keeping. If you can't keep your stand mixer handy, then it's great to have the hand mixer for the small jobs. If neither of those scenarios apply to you, then you probably won't miss the hand mixer. I believe I still have mine, but I haven't used it in years, because I'm able to keep my stand mixer where I need it, and for smallish jobs, I tend to do them by hand anyway. I should probably find it and give it away, but I'm not even sure if I have both beaters.

A hand mixer is fairly useless but a hand BLENDER is another animal entirely, and a very useful tool.

I can't say I agree with you there. I've used immersion blenders (several brands) off and on for several years, and I've never found them to save either time or dishes. I've used them to puree soups, and they take so damn long to completely puree the soup that I find I could have done it in half the time in my Waring. I guess if I wanted a chunky style soup, they'd work great. And then I've found that often, what I want to puree has been cooked in a saute pan, so I need to transfer the contents to a taller, narrower container for the stick blender to work. Again, it's faster and no messier to use a food processor or the Waring for that.

But I know lots of people swear by them, so maybe it's just me.

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I only use a hand mixer for one thing--seven minute frosting--but for that it's essential. You couldn't possibly use a stand mixer with a double boiler, and I don't imagine a hand blender would work as well either.

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I use it for anything whipped. Much more efficient than the KA, especially if you have the whipping attachments rather than the beaters. And I agree with the positive comments above, except for pancakes. Don't want to develop the gluten.

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I gave mine away when I got a KA. (I kept it for a while, but never used it.) I've never missed it-probably gave it away eight years ago or so. I keep my KA out on the counter.

I find having a second bowl very handy. I can successfully whip cream in as small a quanitities as 1/4 cup in my KA, so I can't imagine why I'd want to stand there and hold the mixer for that or anything else.

I also have an immersion blender, but only use it to puree soups.

Edited by marie-louise (log)
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I have two KA bowls and never mind myself unable to use it when needed. Got the second bowl so I could be mixing more bread dough while the first was in autolyse (autolysing?).

I second the skepticism on pancake dough. Isn't the classic instruction that you leave some lumps rather than overmix? Don't you get tough flapjacks when you use the hand mixer?

To the basement, next to the canning supplies, with the hand mixer. I am on a baking spree and I can see pate choux and seven minute icing in my future, so I will not toss it. The KA stays on the counter (yes, it would be an enormous pain to haul that sucker in and out of a cabinet) and the immersion blender in a drawer.

Edited by sued (log)
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I am on a baking spree and I can see pate choux and seven minute icing in my future, so I will not toss it.

I have made pate a choux successfully in a stand mixer--I've never heard of having to add the eggs into a still-warm bowl (thus necessitating a hand mixer). When I make pate a choux I put the roux into a cold bowl, and then I let the stand mixer run to cool the roux further for a minute or two before I add the eggs.

What is the reason to use a warm bowl when making a pate a choux or a choux-like pastry? Does it work better?

On this topic, I like a hand mixer when I'm too lazy to haul out the Big Guns. :raz:

Noise is music. All else is food.

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I second the skepticism on pancake dough. Isn't the classic instruction that you leave some lumps rather than overmix? Don't you get tough flapjacks when you use the hand mixer?

No I don't I swear. In fact I made a pancake breakfast for my entire neighbourhood once and everyone swore they were the fluffiest they'd ever had.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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You couldn't possibly use a stand mixer with a double boiler, ...

At work we have a specific pot which is ideally shaped for our stand mixer's bowl to sit in. We use that for sabayons and suchlike. Admittedly the mixer doesn't lock down into place with the pot there, but it only takes a light hand on the top to hold everything where it should be.

Of course, not everyone's going to have a conveniently-shaped-and-sized pot...but it's worth keeping an eye out when you're in the thrift store.

“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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I found that I was pulling out the hand mixer only at the holidays to mash the potatoes. Then I learned that a hand mixer is a terrible tool for mashing potatoes

I keep reading this in many places, don't use a hand mixer for mashing potatoes. Why not? I have tried a ricer and assorted shapes of hand masher but the ones done with a hand mixer are always better. What is so wrong about using a hand mixer? It is, of course, always possible that my manual technique sucks, but I still think my mashed potatoes are better, much better, than most I get to try elsewhere.

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I found that I was pulling out the hand mixer only at the holidays to mash the potatoes. Then I learned that a hand mixer is a terrible tool for mashing potatoes

I keep reading this in many places, don't use a hand mixer for mashing potatoes. Why not? I have tried a ricer and assorted shapes of hand masher but the ones done with a hand mixer are always better. What is so wrong about using a hand mixer? It is, of course, always possible that my manual technique sucks, but I still think my mashed potatoes are better, much better, than most I get to try elsewhere.

I've been known to use my hand mixer to mash potatoes and the results are great! I don't have a ricer :biggrin:

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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It may have something to do with which potatoes you use. I've noticed that starchier ("baker") potatoes tend to get kind of glue-y when mixed mechanically.

“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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I now use one of those disk-bottom hand-mashers, and it is quicker than hauling out the hand mixer and putting it together. Oxo makes one that is quite sturdy and makes quick work of potatoes, avocadoes and beans. Cook's Illustrated recommended it. The wire mashers are too slow, I have found.

Glueyness is indeed what I am trying to avoid. A hand mixer (not to mention a food procesor, which I have seen some use :shock: ) seems to cut the starch molecules.

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I now use one of those disk-bottom hand-mashers, and it is quicker than hauling out the hand mixer and putting it together. Oxo makes one that is quite sturdy and makes quick work of potatoes, avocadoes and beans. Cook's Illustrated recommended it. The wire mashers are too slow, I have found.

Glueyness is indeed what I am trying to avoid. A hand mixer (not to mention a food procesor, which I have seen some use :shock: ) seems to cut the starch molecules.

I would think a hand mixer would result in glue-y mashed potatoes because the beating action is more violent than the paddle attachment on the KA. But I get great results with using the KA (paddle attachment) with huge batches of mashed potatoes. Just keep the machine on low and make sure your potatoes are perfectly cooked.

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I would think a hand mixer would result in glue-y mashed potatoes because the beating action is more violent than the paddle attachment on the KA. But I get great results with using the KA (paddle attachment) with huge batches of mashed potatoes. Just keep the machine on low and make sure your potatoes are perfectly cooked.

The duty of making the mashed potatoes for my family's holiday dinners has been relegated to me over the last 20 years or so. In fact, I am teaching my niece how to do it now.

I've always used the "wire' masher to start mashing the potatoes and then used a hand mixer once all the ingredients have been added. They turn out great, not gluey. I think the trick is to just not overmix the potatoes. It's like making biscuits...handle the mixture until it's "there" and then stop.

So count me as one in favor of hand mixers when making mashes potatoes.

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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  • 1 year later...

I have a small bakery operation ... we use a 30-qt Hobart and an Electrolux DLX for bread dough and a hand-mixer for sweet goods ... muffins, brownies, banana bread and the like. For the size of batches that we do, a hand mixer has been enough, except that we keep wearing out our toys. A Braun lasted me quite awhile, then the gears went so it only runs on high ... and can't be repaired. A couple of Sally Ann specials had problems, mainly with the beaters which broke ... replacements are the price of the mixer. My latest was a Cuisinart which lasted three months before the plastic bits that hold in the beaters stripped ... and won't be repairable. And, of course, the warranty is void in a commercial application.

Has anyone used the new Bosch hand-mixer or have any suggestions for another industrial-strength make?

I could resign myself to buying cheap ones and replacing them frequently, but my green side doesn't like to keep throwing things away. Or I could invest in a stand mixer. (Our batches aren't big enough for the Hobart and I don't have any attachments except the dough hook ... and it and the DLX are in use for bread at the same time we are doing the sweet goods.)

thanks, Susan

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with all the money you've spent on hand held mixers over time, you probably spent the equivalent of a stand mixer! :wink: I have a 5 qt model that's been in use for 15 years and still going strong, so maybe that's a good option for you. (In the shop I have a 20 qt Hobart, a 6qt KA and a 5 qt KA with extra bowls, beaters and whips for each. I bought a 7 qt Viking, and brought that one home because it wasn't very useful in the shop).

I'm thinking that next I need a 40 qt hobart so I can still use the bowls from the 20 on it if need be.

But, I'd second the idea of buying a stand mixer....

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I'm not overly happy with the quality of hand mixers these days. I've run through a couple and I use mine infrequently. I second the thought of getting yourself a KA 5 or 6 quart. You can get extra bowls and beaters and whisks and you'll be all set.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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If in your thrift shop forays you find an old sunbeam mixmaster junior, grab it. Check that it works and doesn't smell when it runs. They were built like the proverbial brick shithouse. A bit heavier than the new hand helds.

Actually any of the mixmasters can be taken off their base and used hand held, they also work nicely as a stand mixer. Of course these days I use a 6 qt kitchen aid, but I have a basement full of mixmasters that I buy at the reuse centre and fix up for people I teach to bake.

Edited by Kerry Beal (log)
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I have a KA 9-speed Professional hand mixer that I like very much. However, I really think you'd be better off with a stand mixer. I've been using a Kitchen Aid k5A for 25 years. It's never broken down and parts are still available. They're usually available on ebay. Click here to see one currently being auctioned. Note the title of the item; I guess I'm vintage, too. :hmmm:

Ilene

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I have several of the old Sunbeam mixmasters and the Hamilton Beach Convertible, which could be used on the stand or hand-held. They work great, but they are heavy.

I also have burned out a few hand-helds, trying to work through stuff that was too stiff for the motor. A KA was the most recent to die while mixing cookie dough.

A few months back I got one of the Oreck mixers and so far it has held up to anything I have done with it.

Oreck mixer

The design is different and it is very comfortable to use, no stress on my wrist at all.

You can get it and try it, as they offer a 30 day free home trial and if you are at all familiar with the company, they stand behind their products.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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