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Using a mixer involves the following steps – placing the mixer on a flat surface, selecting the appropriate blade, filling the mixing bowl with whatever food material you wish to mix, locking the machine in place, turning the mixer on, and adjusting the settings as needed.
Mixers are most commonly used to mix dough and are a popular small appliance among baking enthusiasts. That said, the device has several other uses which we will explore below.
If you would like more information on how to work a mixer, then refer to our detailed mixer use guide below.
1. Place Mixer On A Flat Surface and Plug It In
Begin by placing the mixer on a flat surface near a power outlet. Aside from being flat, the surface should be sturdy to provide the machine with stability. In most cases, a countertop will be the best surface.
Once in place, plug the mixer into the nearest outlet. Most electric mixers will use a 1000 watt motor, meaning they can be plugged into any standard home outlet.
2. Choose The Type Of Mixing Blade
Mixers can be used with several different mixing blades depending upon the type of food being mixed. While there is no shortage of different types, there are four options that have proven to be the most common: Flat Beater, Whip, Dough Hook, and Flat Edge Beater.
Flat Beater – The Flat Beater is the most commonly used attachment and works for mixing, stirring, and blending. If you plan on making brownies, cookies, or donuts, the Flat Beater is the best choice.
This attachment can also be used to cream butter, mash potatoes, and even make guacamole. If you’re ever in-doubt as to which attachment to use, the Flat Beater is a safe bet.
Whip – The whip attachment provides an alternative to hand whisking and can be used for making whipped cream or beating eggs. It’s worth pointing out that the whip blade shouldn’t be used for mixing dough or cake mixtures as this could damage the attachment.
Dough Hook – Most dough hooks are C-shaped and are used to knead dough, especially when making bread, pizza, pastas, and pretzels. For extra tough dough, a spiral hook is sometimes used. Unlike the C-shaped dough hook, the spiral hook works by pushing dough from the bottom of the bowl to the top.
Flat Edge Beater – The Flat Edge Beater is essentially a Flat Beater with a rubber or silicone covering on the outer edge. This covering allows the attachment to better scrape the sides of the mixing bowl.This type of blade is useful when mixing ingredients that tend to stick to the sides of the bowl. Like honey or jams.
Once the appropiate blade has been selected, attach it to the head of the mixer. Some models may have a locking mechanism that must be engaged while others lock automatically once the blade has been inserted.
3. Fill Mixing Bowl With Food
Before you get to mixing, you must first fill the bowl with food. The average mixer bowl comes with a 5.5 qt capacity and how much you can fill it depends upon the type of food material you’re mixing.
For example, kneading dough is much harder on the machine than whisking eggs. When kneading dough, try not to fill the mixing bowl more than two thirds of the way full.
4. Pull Mixing Arm Down and Lock Into Place
When you’re ready to start mixing, pull the mixing arm down and lock it into place. Most mixers will have a button or toggle on the side of the machine body that you can use to engage the locking mechanism.
Once this is done, you’re ready to start mixing.
5. Choose Setting and Hit Start
At this point, all that’s left to do is choose the appropriate setting, hit start, and wait for the process to end. The average 5 quart food mixer comes with speed settings that work on a scale of 1 – 10.
Most recipes will use language like “mix on medium-low speed” which may be confusing for some people. To better understand what these terms mean, read below.
Low – The low setting is best used when mixing dry ingredients like flour and food with low water content like most batters. Regardless of what you’re mixing, it’s a good idea to always start at this speed and increase as required. ‘Low’ can be engaged by selecting 1 or 2.
Low-Medium – Most heavy batters like cookie dough and cake mix will require the Low-Medium setting. The Low-Medium setting is also applicable for beating eggs or heated butter. The Low-Medium setting can be engaged by selecting 3 or 4.
Medium – When it comes time to finish a batter mix, the medium setting is typically the last step. It’s also great for churning butter and mashing potatoes. The Low-Medium setting can be engaged by selecting 5 or 6
Medium-High – For beating or whisking eggs at high speeds, the Medium-High setting is the best option. It’s important to keep in mind that trying to mix heavy batters at this speed may result in damages to the blade or motor. The Medium-High setting can be engaged by selecting 7 or 8.
High – The high setting should be used when making whipped cream or whisking eggs whites. Like the Medium-High setting, High should only be used with foods of low density. The High setting can be engaged by selecting 9 or 10.
It’s a good idea to work up to whatever setting you believe is best for the job. How long you spend at each intermediate step will depend upon what food material you’re mixing and what consistency you’re after.
What Should I Know Before Using A Mixer?
What is a mixer? A food mixer is a small kitchen appliance that’s used to mix flour, knead dough, and many other functions. The average mixer stands 16 inches tall, has a total capacity of 5.5 quarts, and features a 500-1000 watt motor.
While most mixers come with 10 setting options, some come with 12. Similarly, most mixers come with three or four blade attachments. A mixer provides users with an easier and more efficient option than a hand mixer or whisk.
What Are The Stages Of Using A Mixer?
Using a mixer can be broken down into three main stages:
- Choosing the appropriate blade attachment
- Filling the mixing bowl with food
- Pressing start and adjusting the settings as required
Does The Mixer Type Affect The Usage Stages?
No, the mixer type does not affect the usage stages. That said, commercial mixers are capable of mixing more food material at once than standard home models. Additionally, commercial mixers come with a more powerful motor and are great for mixing a large amount of dough at once.
Some of the best mixers are gear driven, meaning they use a series of gears to turn the blade. By contrast, most mid-level mixers use a belt drive system that can slip when heavy doughs are being processed.
Is Using A Mixer For Pizza Dough Better Than An Immersion Blender
Yes, using a mixer for pizza dough is better than using an immersion blender. For starters, while an immersion blender is powered by an electric motor, it’s still a hand-held appliance, meaning it requires significantly more effort on the part of the user.
Secondly, immersion blenders are built for wet foods and don’t do well with dryer foods like dough or flour mixes. Similarly, immersion blenders come with blades that are designed for chopping and cutting, not for mixing doughs, batters, and flour mixes.
When it comes to the question of mixer vs immersion blender for processing pizza dough, the mixer is the clear winner.
Is Using A Mixer For Cake Batter Better Than Using A Food Processor?
Yes, using a mixer for cake batter is better than using a food processor. The average food mixer can process more than twice the amount of cake batter at once compared to a standard home food processor.
Moreover, food mixers come with specialized blades built for the purpose of mixing doughs, batters, and flour mixes. That said, food processors are very effective for kneading dough when the kneading blade is used.
Is A Hand Mixer Better Than A Stand Mixer For Guacamole?
No, a hand mixer is not better than a stand mixer for making guacamole. Because stand mixers run on an electric motor, the mixing process is more efficient and less time consuming compared to a hand mixer. Furthermore, an automated stand mixer does require any energy input on the behalf of the user.
When it comes to what type of mixers are best for making guacamole, electric stand mixers are the clear winner.
How To Use A Mixer For Other Uses Besides Mixing Flour
Besides processing flour and batter, there are several mixer uses that are worth mentioning.
How To Use A Mixer As A Grinder
A mixer cannot be used as a grinder. Because of the types of blades mixers use, the appliance isn’t designed to cut and tear, and as a result, can’t be used as a grinder.
That said, many mixers have a grinding attachment that can be used to grind meat, vegetables and other food materials. To use this attachment, remove the mixing bowl and connect the grinder to the mixing arm.
How To Use A Mixer As A Egg Scrambler
To use a mixer as an egg scrambler, choose the whisking attachment, crack the desired number of eggs into the mixing bowl, and turn the appliance. For the best results, the Medium-High setting should be used.
How To Use A Mixer As A Sausage Maker
To use a mixer as a sausage maker, attach the grinding attachment and slowly feed your prepared/seasoned meat into the input port. Once all the meat has been ground, the next step involves a food pusher and casing.
To make sausages, you must feed the newly ground meat into the food pusher with casing attached to the end. Turn the food pusher on and wait for the casing to become full. When this is done, twist the casing off into sections depending upon how long you want the sausage links to be.