When you’re mixing a batter for baking cakes or preparing dough for cookies, how do you decide between a stand mixer vs. a hand mixer? There’s not necessarily a right or wrong answer, but there are definitely some food and cooking jobs that are better suited to one or the other.
There are so many factors, what do you like to bake? The size of the hand or stand mixer or space available in your kitchen etc. Before the arrival of these mixers, you would have to stir the dough for your cookies by hand. Thanks to the technology, now you just have to push a button and your electric mixer will do the job for you.
Now, the problem is whether to do it with a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer ? There are pros and cons of both stand mixer electric hand mixer and we have listed them for you.
Stand mixers have a frame that acts as the housing for a heavier-duty motor than a hand mixer, as well as the mounting base for a bowl, which is designed to fit the mixer and lock in place during mixing. The bowls on home models will generally hold 4 quarts of liquid, where commercial stand mixers can hold upwards of 100 quarts. Typically, home models will be suitable to be kept on a countertop, whereas commercial models are mounted on the floor.
Usually, stand mixers will have various mixing attachments, including a flat beater (or paddle), which is ideal for creaming and mixing, a whisk attachment, which can be used for whipping cream or egg whites, and a dough hook for kneading heavier dough, such as bread dough.
Advantages to using a stand mixer:
1. The large mixing bowl helps avoid splashing batter out of the bowl.
2. The stable bowl allows you to walk away from the bowl, so if you are mixing something for 6 minutes, you don’t have to be holding the bowl or mixer the whole time.
3. Mixing is much quicker, even with a thick batter or dough.
4. Stand mixers are more likely to comes with bells and whistles, such as timers, automatic stop and other programmable settings.
Disadvantages to using a stand mixer:
1. Cleaning the various parts can be cumbersome.
2. Stand mixers are significantly more expensive than hand mixers.
3. They are heavy and large, and take up a big chunk of kitchen “real estate”.
If you do not bake often or need a mixer just to mix the batter, whip cream, whisk eggs or similar small tasks. Then a hand mixer is a perfect option for you. You don’t have to buy an expensive and space taking appliance like a stand mixer. Hand mixers are fairly small in size and compact thus easy to carry and portable. They are fairly easy to clean and keep. Due to their small size, they have limited attachment tools, though some have a few more attachments. A hand mixer is a basic tool in the kitchen and usually in the first thing you purchase while setting up your kitchen. Electric hand mixers usually cost under $100 and are cost effective.
Low-cost hand mixers usually come with simple flat beaters. But some expensive hand mixers include extra attachments like dough hooks and a balloon whisk.
As it is easy to handle a hand mixer you will be in charge of the beaters and their path, it is easy to moving the beaters around to ensure that no ingredients are missed. On the other hand its a drawback too, you have to hold the mixer in your hand and move around the entire time you are using a hand mixer. If you are doing some intensive baking they can cause pain in your hand or wrist. Also, they don’t have splash guards, so it will be hard for you to prevent the ingredients from splashing around.
Sometimes, mixing by hand is the best course of action. Here are some examples:
1. If a recipe calls for eggs “lightly beaten” — simply do this in a bowl using a fork or a wire whisk .
2. If a recipe calls to “fold in” an ingredient, it’s often best to do this by hand. For instance: Stirring chocolate chips into cookie batter, or folding egg whites into a cake batter.
3. If the mixing is done over heat. For instance, if you’re melting chocolate and the recipe calls for you to “stir frequently”. Please don’t do this with a hand mixer.
Should I Buy a Hand Mixer Or Stand Mixer?
Well, it actually depends on your needs. At least you should have an electric hand mixer in your kitchen as it is a basic tool for a kitchen. But if baking is your hobby and you beat and blend a lot then you really should go for the high power and extra functions of a stand mixer.