The Benefits of a Hand Blender: Choosing Your Next Mixer
Hand mixers are used in both home kitchens and in small kitchens, like those inside travel trailers or recreational vehicles. Because of their portability, they can be used to blend or mix inside the cooking vessels themselves such as blending a vegetable soup or a one-bowl cake mix. If electric outlets are not available in your work area, choose hand mixers with that come with batteries.
I love my KitchenAid stand up mixer. It's heavy, can knead all kinds of doughs great, and can stand around on my counter and whip up whites and whipping cream while I'm doing other things. But, rather than break out the large stand-up mixer, for both small and large jobs a hand mixer is easier to clean up and quicker to put away.
Choosing a Hand Mixer
While there are many different brands out there to choose from, here are some things to consider for your next one:
- Do you have access to an electrical outlet?
If you are working in an area far away from one, a battery operated portable mixer may be helpful. Some models may not have the strength as standard electrical ones, but do the job without plugging it in. Or, ditch the batteries all together and choose a rotary beater. These are fantastic for camping, and the kids have fun working it in the kitchen.
- Do you need it for more than just whipping or blending?
Certain models have attachments like dough hooks, that make the hand blender useful for more than just batters. Also, some brands of mixers have other types of beaters for incorporating more air into the mix increasing volume, such as the KitchenAid whisk, which I use often, or even an immersion blender attachment, used for pureeing foods.
- What speeds do you need?
My first mixer had basically an on and off switch, with no real 'low' speeds. That meant that stirring dry ingredients slowly was an impossible task since the dry ingredients would spray out everywhere. When I finally upgraded, I looked for one with a very slow speed. If you are wanting to use the hand blender for stirring and incorporating ingredients, rather than simply beating and whipping, then find a model with actual low speeds on it.
These are also called hand blenders, and are a stand-up hand version of a blender. These are used to puree foods in small amounts, and also when the food will stay inside the pot rather than be transferred to a standard blender, like finishing a soup by pureeing to make it smooth right before smoothing. For ease in cleaning, choose a model with a removable blade part and pop it in the dishwasher to wash it.
Besides just simply looking at the model's features, the cost and brand reputation should be factored in, as well as any reviews or recommendations from other users. Sometimes a lower-end model of a solid brand with a great reputation may be a better investment than an upper-end model of a brand you've never heard of before. You want a hand mixer that you'll use now, but also many years from now as well.