How to choose a food mixer?
Everyone who likes to bake and cook, but is discouraged by the demanding preparation of doughs, creams and other dishes, will use the food mixer. A mixer will do many of these activities for you. Food preparation is more straightforward, cleaner and almost effortless with it. Since it works automatically, you can use the time to prepare other ingredients or to clean up.
One of the mixer’s main advantages is combining several devices at once. It is often larger, so you save space and money that would have to be invested in buying other appliances, such as a blender or juicer. You need to buy the appropriate extension.
In this article, you will learn how to choose a mixer. We will discuss how much power is sufficient for a powerful mixer, how to select its size and bowl volume, and what it is worth paying extra for. You will also learn what processes the device can handle and what other appliances it can replace.
How to choose a food mixer in brief:
Find out why you should invest in a quality device – A modern food mixer can replace several kitchen appliances, saving space, time, and effort.
- Look under the hood: The metal interior of the device is always an advantage; it will last longer than plastic.
- Check the motor’s power: the limit is the input of approx. 500 W, for more frequent use, information of around 1,000 W is suitable.
- Get to know the features: See what a food mixer can offer and consider which features you will use.
- Look at what you will find in the package: It is possible to buy a lot of attachments, but it is usually a relatively expensive matter. But some extensions may be unnecessary for you.
- Choose the bowl’s capacity: For more frequent baking for several people, models with a bowl volume of 4 or more litres are suitable, but they may take up more space.
- Set a budget: Depending on the price, you may have to reduce your feature or equipment requirements.
Why buy a quality food mixer?
Before you read more detailed information about the choice, make sure you know why investing in a quality food mixer is good and how to recognise it.
- It will replace several kitchen appliances: a food mixer with a wide range of accessories will do a lot of work in the kitchen. You can use it for whipping egg whites, kneading dough, grinding meat, mixing smoothies, and grating vegetables.
- Saves space in the kitchen: although the food mixer is a relatively robust device, it simultaneously saves space by replacing several appliances. Separate appliances would take up more space than a single food mixer.
- It will offer adequate performance: cheap food mixers of dubious origin usually have lower power consumption, so, for example, it will take longer to work with denser doughs than its more robust competitors. A quality food mixer has an input of at least 1,000 W or more.
- It impresses with its design: some manufacturers offer modern devices in various design variants. Not only white, black and stainless steel food mixers are available, but also coloured ones. Sometimes you can also choose from a matte or glossy surface.
Food mixer vs. blender
When furnishing your home, whether to buy a blender or a food mixer may come to your mind. Each of these kitchen appliances is suitable for preparing different dishes. It also has its advantages and disadvantages. We summarise them clearly in the following table. We further divide blenders into countertop blenders, hand (immersion) blenders, and personal or portable blenders because each type suits something a little different.
|Type of Appliances
|– kneading the dough
|– baby food preparation
– mixing sauces and soups
|– baby food preparation
– dough preparation
– production of vegetable milk and butter
– vegetable mixing
– milk shake preparation
The higher the power, the more the food mixer will do for you. Choose the power of the food mixers according to its activities in your kitchen. The value of 500 W can be considered as the lower limit. The only exception is KitchenAid food mixers, which manage the work without problems, even with lower power consumption.
500 to 1000 W: lower power suitable for whipping and mixing. It can also handle a smaller amount of yeast dough. But it will be a lot of trouble with stiff bread dough.
1,000 W and more: an ideal value for mixing light doughs or whipping and kneading heavy and dense yeast doughs. Choose a higher power if you plan to use the food mixer often.
Higher power consumption goes hand in hand with higher consumption, but with a food mixer, this value is relatively negligible; it is not just a device operating for several hours a day like a washing machine or television. Therefore, you should not limit yourself by consumption when choosing.
The volume of the bowl and the maximum amount of flour
The size of the bowl is essential in several processes. Especially in the case of baking (kneading, whipping), a small bowl can be quite a nuisance because you can only sometimes prepare the whole batch of dough in it at once, and preparing the dough in parts can be lengthy, inconvenient and occasionally problematic.
The required volume of the bowl depends on the type of food you prepare and the number of diners. As a guide, you can calculate 1 litre per person, but if you often bake, even for one person, choose a bowl with a volume of at least 3 litres, preferably 4 litres. This volume is the most common on the market.
An important aspect is the maximum amount of flour that can be poured into the food mixer. The food mixer should hold at least one kilogram of flour for convenient use. But if, for example, you bake bread or several Christmas cakes at once, adjust this parameter accordingly.
The minimum amount of ingredients in the bowl can also be a limitation. Even if the attachments reach almost to the bottom of the bowl, few food mixers can beat, for example, half a dozen of cream or snow from one egg. If you plan to prepare a small amount of food, check the minimum amount that the food mixer can handle in advance (preferably directly in the product manual).
Material, maintenance and design
Food mixer are mostly made of a combination of metal and plastic. The more metal predominates, the more durable the food mixer is, but the material used will also affect the price and weight. All-metal food mixers are usually more expensive and heavier.
In particular, the material of the engine and gears is essential for long service life and trouble-free operation. If you’re not looking for a food mixer to whip up snow whites occasionally but plan to put it to work, make sure all of these internal parts are metal. An all-metal kitchen food mixer will be heavier and more expensive but significantly more durable, and its service life will be longer.
Food mixer bowls are usually stainless steel, but you can also come across a ceramic or glass version.
The food mixer material also includes its maintenance. Many users will appreciate when the parts of the food mixer can be washed in the dishwasher. These are, of course, various brooms and attachments. Just wipe the body of the food mixer with a damp cloth.
Since the food mixer will probably be constantly on the kitchen counter, you should not underestimate its design. You can find variants in glossy or matte designs; the colour usually depends on the material. In cheap kitchen food mixers, you will most often come across a white plastic casing, while more advanced models tend to have a stainless steel casing with a more modern design. With some manufacturers, you also have a choice of kitchen food mixers mixer in colourful designs or even different motifs and colours of bowls.
Functions and features
So far, we have mainly focused on the technical parameters of food mixer. This chapter will focus on the functions and equipment you can use with your food mixer.
The absolute basis is kneading the dough, mixing and whipping. Any food mixer with essential equipment can handle these functions. Some food mixers can grate, grind meat, grain and poppy seeds, roll dough for pasta, make ice cream, mix or juice with the appropriate attachments.
The most demanding activity that a robot can perform in baking is kneading. You can use its power, especially when kneading stiff leavened or bread doughs. The essential equipment of all models is a unique kneading hook, which quickly processes dough from a more significant amount of flour.
Hook for gluten free dough
The gluten-free dough has a different structure than regular wheat dough; it is much thinner and less compact. The kneading hook for gluten-free dough simultaneously kneads and, at the same time, scrapes the dough from the walls of the container. Consider purchasing if you often bake gluten-free bread or other baked goods. Food mixers are usually not included in the essential equipment; you must purchase them separately.
Large balloon whisks whip snow, whipped cream or other ingredients. This function is beneficial when baking, preparing creams and other procedures. Whipping of snow whip, whipped cream or other ingredients is ensured by large balloon whisks. You can use the function especially when baking, preparing creams and other procedures.
When preparing the batter for pancakes or cake, it is essential to use a specialised attachment to ensure precise mixing. This attachment is designed to include a silicone spatula that effectively removes any remaining raw materials from the walls of the mixing bowl. Utilising this attachment can achieve perfectly mixed batter, resulting in delicious and fluffy pancakes or a moist and delectable cake.
Slicing and grating
Numerous food mixers in the market offer additional attachments for grating and slicing, which are also available for purchase separately for most models. These attachments usually include a grater with interchangeable coarse or fine grating and slicing settings. They are handy for efficiently slicing and grating vegetables and cheese.
An attachment that is in high demand for this product is the grinder. It is primarily utilised for grinding meat, but depending on the model, you may have the option to acquire a grinder for poppy seeds or grains.
Pressing and juicing
Another accessory that you can buy for food mixers is a juicer. So you don’t have to buy a separate device that would take up space in your kitchen. But the quality of juicer attachments does not reach the quality of different machines. Kenwood food mixers have an excellent reputation in this regard.
If you prefer citrus juice, you can also get a separate citrus press, which takes up less space than a juicer.
Making fresh pasta
If you plan on elevating your culinary game, investing in a pasta additional machine is an excellent option. These machines come in various designs, with a pasta roller that can effectively roll out your dough to the desired thickness. Additionally, with different attachments, you can easily create spaghetti or tagliatelle, making meal prep a breeze.
In addition to various processes, some devices have other valuable functions, such as a safety fuse or a pulse switch.
Safety fuse: The kitchen food mixer can be risky, not only for children. The safety lock prevents it from turning on, for example, with the arm raised or the attachment not appropriately secured. Some models even have double protection, where you will be guided through a series of actions to start the device.
Non-slip feet: Regarding handling safety, most food mixers have non-slip feet to prevent them from sliding down the line or falling over. But these are different from the classic suction cups you are used to, for example, in smoothie makers. When removing a heavy food mixer from the line, you must strain yourself a lot.
Motor overheat fuse: Some models have an overload fuse to protect the motor. There is a risk of overheating the motor, especially in the case of long-term use, for example, when you make several batches of dough in a row. This can be avoided by purchasing a food mixer with a sufficiently large bowl.
Arresting fuse: This fixes the arm of the food mixer in the raised position, thus enabling convenient and safe replacement of attachments and further handling of the food mixer.
The most popular food mixers brands
Kenwood food mixers
Kenwood is a British brand of kitchen appliances whose food mixers are known worldwide. The most significant part of food mixers belongs to the Chef class, from which the Cooking Chef, Chef Patissier, Chef Baker and Chef XL classes are also derived. These food mixers are robust, powerful and have various functions and equipment. It is compatible between Chef class food mixers. The kMix series is significantly smaller, slightly weaker and more design-friendly, including many other appliances and food mixers.
KitchenAid food mixers
The iconic KitchenAid food mixers have been loved by customers worldwide. The brightly coloured machines have had the same design for over 80 years. Their internal arrangement stays mostly the same too. They are considered very high quality and have several decades of service life. But their high purchase price also corresponds to this. The accessories are also expensive; you must buy almost everything else, and you usually only get basic whisks in the package.