Jump to Section
There are four types of mixers: spiral, stand, hand, and professional mixer.
Understanding each type’s features, kitchen usability, and sizes will clearly understand which type to buy.
For instance, you may prefer to get other types of mixer versus an immersion blender based on the kinds of ingredients that each works best with. A mixer is best used for mixing ingredients used for baking and cooking. An immersion blender is best suited for blending liquid foods, like sauces or soups.
Another difference between a mixer and an immersion blender is how you use each appliance when mixing. An immersion blender can be put directly into any bowl of ingredients, whereas a mixer is usually only compatible with the attached bowl. Mixers are generally larger, which means you can also mix tougher ingredients, like dough.
Knowing the different mixers available in the market, including their strengths and weaknesses, can help you determine the type to choose for your kitchen.
What are the different types available for mixers?
The different types of mixers are a spiral, stand, hand, and professional mixer.
The following list includes the different types of mixers available in the market:
- Spiral mixer
A spiral mixer rotates the bowl rather than the ingredients using a pulley system, consistently blending the dough. A spiral mixer may be used as a cake mixer.
The spiral mixer is a simple and efficient way to gently mix the dough, allowing for the proper development of gluten without overworking ingredients. It is suitable for mixing ingredients and producing products offered in bakeries or pizzerias such as pizzas, bagels, bread loaves, and many more.
Spiral mixers are not as easy to clean as other mixers in this list because the bowl and hook are permanently attached to the entire unit.
- Stand mixer
A stand mixer is a kitchen electric mixer attached to a stand, which allows for heavy-duty dough mixing and the use of mixer baking attachments. A stand mixer may also have paddle mixer attachments that smoothen the ingredients while mixing them.
Stand mixers are heavy-duty kitchen appliances that are typically placed on the countertop. They have multiple attachments that make this mixer versatile—from making and cutting pasta noodles to grinding meat.
- Hand mixer
A hand mixer is an electric or manual mixer that is hand-operated, meaning you hold the appliance while mixing. Hand mixers are smaller than dough mixers and are portable appliances.
Hand mixers are suitable for small kitchen jobs like whisking, but you can get hand and arm fatigue for more extended use or mixing heavy or large amounts of dough.
- Professional mixer
A professional mixer is a heavy-duty mixer most commonly used in businesses that sell cakes and other bakery items. Some units are designed as a professional, heavy-duty mixer, which comes with a powerful motor, usually between 500-750-watts.
What are the different ways to use a mixer?
The different ways to use a mixer include the following:
- Whip ingredients together, like potatoes or creams.
- Shred meats like chicken, beef, and turkey.
- Mix minced meat into meatballs.
- Get that perfect pizza dough.
- Mix cake or cupcake batter.
- Make those dream loaves.
Whip ingredients together. Mixers can help you create perfectly smooth and fluffy mashed potatoes.
Shred meats. Prepare your pulled pork salad or chicken sandwich with the help of a mixer. Place the tender, cooked meat inside the bowl, set it to low speed, and let the mixer do its shredding magic.
Mix minced meat into meatballs. Get your favorite meatballs ready by tossing all the ingredients together into the mixing bowl. Turn the unit on, and voila—some yummy meatballs for your Bolognese dish.
Get that perfect pizza dough. Let this appliance’s dough hook do all the kneading for you and your pizza lover friends.
Mix cake or cupcake batter. Mixers are a lifesaver when you’re a baker. They can help you mix cake or cupcake batter, especially large and heavy ones while avoiding an over-mixing episode.
Make those perfect loaves. Mixers are great for making artisan bread at home and in a bakery. Don’t forget to mix in cheese, herbs, and other ingredients to make your bread even more beautiful and yummy.
While there are many uses of a mixer, this kitchen appliance requires thoughtful operation and extra care to make it last longer.
What sizes do the mixers come in?
Mixers are designed in various sizes that range from 4.0 to 7.0 quarts.
The ideal size depends on the number of people in your household and how often you cook or bake meals.
Smaller households who don't often bake from scratch may find a smaller mixer suitable. Larger homes that entertain a lot and do a lot of baking may want a larger mixer.
The standard size of a mixer is between 4.5-5.5-quarts. A smaller household with 1-2 people may find a manual mixer even smaller than 4.0-quarts suitable. Larger households with 4-6 people or who entertain a lot may want a mixer over 7.0-quarts.
The types of ingredients you mix can also help you choose the size of mixer that you need. If you make smaller dishes of waffles or cupcakes, an average 5.0-quart mixer should work fine. You may want a 6.0-quart mixer if you make bread dough since the dough expands and takes up more room.
Here are the approximate sizes of each type of mixer in quarts and product dimensions:
Spiral mixer: 10.5 quarts / 34cm W x 53cm D x 67cm H
Stand mixer: 4.5 quarts / 35.8cm W x 22.1cm D x 35.3cm H
Hand mixer: 8.5cm D x 12cm W x 20cm H
Professional mixer: 10.5 quarts / 34cm W x 53cm D x 67cm H
What foods can be mixed in different mixers?
The foods that can be put into different mixers include:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Meats, like beef and chicken
- Pasta noodles
- Cake or cupcake batter
- Breakfast items, like pancakes or waffles
What determines the best mixer type?
The best mixer type can be determined by the following: size, heat settings, programmable features, timer, exterior design, remote capabilities, ease of cleaning, brand, and price.
Speed. The speed controls how fast a mixer mixes ingredients.
Power. The power determines how well a mixer combines ingredients.
Ease of cleaning. You want to choose a mixer with easy-to-clean parts.
Compatibility with your type of ingredients. Consider the kind of ingredients you want to mix with a mixer when choosing the best features.
Weight. Mixers come in different weights. You may want a heavier mixer that stays on your counter permanently, or you may want a lightweight one that you can store away.
Size. The size of your mixer affects the size of ingredients or the number of ingredients you can use.
Design. Mixers come in different designs. You may want a stainless steel mixer to match your kitchen theme, or you may wish to have a mixer in a bold color.
Attachments. Mixers come with different extensions, like whisks or beaters, to help with mixing.
Brand and price. The price of mixers varies according to the type and brand. Recognized brands are known for quality and reliability but are on the higher end of the price range. Consider your budget and whether you'll use mixers regularly or sparingly. Professional mixers are also more expensive than those used at home because of their capacity and power.
Are spiral mixers safe?
Spiral mixers are safe due to their “set it and leave it” feature. Just put in all the ingredients, turn the switch on, set it to the right programmed settings, and let it work its magic.
The bowl and hook are permanently attached to the entire unit, eliminating the risk of cuts and other safety risks.
Modern units also come with safety features that prevent any risk of the unit catching fire.
What is the average price for a mixer?
The average price for a mixer range between $20-$800.
Smaller hand mixers made of plastic materials are in the lower range, whereas stainless steel, heavy-duty mixers may be more expensive.
What is the lifespan of different mixers?
The average lifespan of a mixer is 5-20 years.
Plastic, manual mixers last fewer years than stainless steel, heavy-duty professional mixers. The mixer's frequency of use, maintenance, and upkeep affect how long you can expect it to last.
The factors that affect the lifespan of a mixer include:
Frequency of use: How often you use your mixer affects its duration. The type of items you mix most often also affects longevity. Using your mixer to mix dry flour or eggs leads to minor wear and tear than frequently making large batches of bakery items like bread.
Upkeep: Maintaining your mixer is a necessary part of extending its life. This includes cleaning your mixer thoroughly in between uses.
Repair frequency: The frequency and speed of repairs can also affect how long your mixer lasts. This includes changing out the mixing blades when they become dull.
Initial quality: The initial quality of a mixer affects how long you can expect it to last, with stainless steel mixers from better brands lasting longer than cheaper plastic mixers.
How does the mixer type affect the mixing process?
Mixer types vary in their effect on the mixing process based on their power and ability to handle large batches of dough and the kind of ingredients they can work with.
Stand and professional mixers are considered heavy-duty and powerful units that can handle larger and heavier doughs than the hand mixer. Some models of stand mixers have bowl capacities of up to 7 quarts for making party-sized cookies and several loaves of bread. They also offer longer mixing times, multiple speeds, and stability as these units hold the bowl in place, making consistent mixing results.
Attachments like a food grinder and pasta roller are present in stand mixers, making this type versatile compared to the others.
Hand mixers are great for smaller kitchen tasks like whisking and mixing a fair amount of doughs as they are hand-operated and have limited speeds (from five to nine) compared to stand mixers. Mixing can also be uneven with hand mixers and not as precise as stand, spiral, and professional mixers, as users often have to hold the unit in one hand and the bowl in another.
Spiral mixers are great for efficient and gentle dough mixing, allowing for the proper development of gluten without overworking ingredients. They are often used in bakeries or pizzerias to make pizzas, bagels, bread loaves, and many more.
What effect does mixer type have on the environment?
The various mixer types work similarly to each other and have the same level of environmental footprint. Kitchen appliances that use electric motors, such as food mixers, leave few carbon footprints.
Major brands and manufacturers of mixers are also doing their part in promoting sustainability. They have started to eradicate single-use plastics in their packaging and promote a list of recycling locations to drop off old kitchen appliances.
Is it better to use spiral mixers or stand mixers in the kitchen?
Deciding whether it's better to use spiral or stand mixers in the kitchen boils down to kitchen space and functionality.
Kitchen usability is considered when deciding between the two types of mixers. It refers to the function and structure of kitchen appliances that make them easier to use.
Stand mixers are typically smaller than spiral mixers, with 10.5 quarts / 34cm W x 53cm D x 67cm H in terms of capacity and product dimension for the former, and 4.5 quarts / 35.8cm W x 22.1cm D x 35.3cm H for the latter.
Both spiral and stand mixers look great on the countertop, but getting either of the two depends on your bench space.
Both can be stored in kitchen drawers, although one is better than the other, depending on how much storage space you have.
It may be better to get a stand mixer over a spiral mixer if you have a small kitchen or limited countertop or storage space.