Jun 14, 2022
Chefs and other culinary connoisseurs have a general sense of concurrence with one known saying: cooking is an art; backing is a science. While the skill of cooking is freely open to experimentation and a bit of serendipity, baking has a heavy reliance on the precision of the process, from the right amount of ingredients to the sufficient consistency of a mixture.
And, much like the scientific method, to fulfill the process means the use of the proper tools. Among the most important of those a baker must be equipped with is a mixer, be it a hand mixer or a stand mixer. Although they may share similar qualities, the few differences they possess begs the question: which kind will do the job better?
For today’s article, we will delve into these contrasting characteristics and how these make one a more preferable tool over the other.
Before we dive in, we must first look into the key differences that make them recognizable from each other.
It starts with what the names easily imply. Hand mixers have to be carried along with the bowl in the mixing process while stand mixers are freestanding tools that sit on the kitchen countertops. Why they are built as such are due to multiple factors from personal preference to convenience. With that said, let’s look into which type of mixer is better suited for a certain aspect of baking.
Baking recipes can really vary from a small chocolate chip cooking to an entire birthday cake, and this means having to deal with ingredients that can vary in both the ingredients needed and the amount required for them.
Discerning what you need for a recipe comes down with the people you will be serving to. Those who explore baking as an occasional hobby may opt for a hand mixer, as the consumers of the end product are limited to friends, family, or just yourself. Then, there are some who take baking as almost a full-time profession, especially for occasions like birthdays and Christmas. Hence, they would opt for a stand mixer that can deal with larger amounts and offer the user the convenience of leaving it behind while doing other tasks at hand.
Not all mixtures are the same. Some such as cookie dough are wet and sticky while others such as bread dough are thicker and more coagulated. Hence, most, if not all, mixers, have varying attachments (three in general) that are made for a specific type of mix.
For the first type, you are probably most familiar with the whisk attachment, most preferable for mixtures like egg whites, whipped cream, and meringue. While one could use a hand whisk, using one from an automated mixer eliminates the tedious and exhausting hours of mixing with your arms and hands.
However, whisks should not be used for heavier and thicker batters such as bread or pizza, as they may break easily. Instead, you may use a dough hook attachment, which can be shaped in either a letter “C” or a letter “S.” What difference do they make? It’s how they do the mixing. C-shaped hooks push the dough towards the side of the dough whereas the S-shaped hooks push the dough downwards. Regardless, they make an excellent alternative to manually kneading with a mere rolling pin.
Lastly, there are the beaters, which can come as flat or a flex edge, the latter of which has a silicone covering on one of its edges to scrape off lumps that stick to the side of the bowl. They are perhaps the most versatile of the three. As a matter of fact, they can mix anything, even non-baking recipes. Yet, they are best utilized on soft mixtures like butter & sugar.
Now that we have detailed the forms of attachments and their use, it’s noteworthy to remember that both hand mixers and stand mixers generally come with these while some others only come with one attachment only, depending on the tool’s model. Therefore, be sure to check out the contents of the package before choosing and purchasing one.
Both hand mixers and stand mixers have their own advantages and drawbacks.
For one, hand mixers are easy to use. They can work on almost any bowl, are maneuverable, and do not take up as much counter space as stand mixers. However, they still require manual work to some extent and may get messy if the user is not careful.
By contrast, stand mixers are much better to use for heavy-duty and large-quantity baking, as they have stronger mixing power than their handheld counterparts, and can operate independently while you are handling multiple baking tasks. That said, they are more expensive than hand mixers and are larger in size, making it harder to store.
In the end, however, which one should any aspiring baker choose? Well, it goes either way. In fact, multiple articles and guides have generally mentioned how it is more preferable to own both in your kitchen. What you will need in baking may vary depending on the vision and end goal, so it’s best to be prepared for anything by having everything.
If you have come this far and are in search of a hand mixer or a stand mixer, this is a right opportunity to come to your closest AllHome branch or visit www.allhome.com.ph to shop for one and so much more. AllHome possesses a collection of items to make your home lifestyle better. For this instance, if you could not decide what to choose between the two types, we have the HANABISHI HHMB120SS Hand Mixer that combines the best of both worlds thanks to its detachable mixer.
Once again, thanks for reading, and we’ll see you in our next entry!