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The purpose of this buying guide is to help you find the top food mixers for your lifestyle.

Here are links to all four parts of our buying guide:

In Part 1: Types of Food Mixers we discussed the basic advantages and disadvantages of both stand mixers and hand mixers as well as their cousins the food processor and the blender

Now we will discuss the various features and parts of a food mixer for you to consider. Most food mixer manufacturers put a lot of emphasis on speed and power. However, an interesting note from Consumer Reports Food Mixers Reviews and Tips shows that neither figure necessarily translates into better performance. This is why we want to get to know our food mixers better so you can research those hand mixer reviews and stand mixer reviews with a better understanding of what’s what.

Onward!

how to buy a food mixer

NOW, LET’S DISCUSS THE PARTS AND FEATURES OF A FOOD MIXER

Power:

One way to know if a food mixer has reliable power feature is by checking its motor. Also serving as the mixer’s base, the motor is usually placed beneath the bowl processor. In case of power disruptions, the motor should be able to extend the machine’s power by up to a few more minutes. Poor food mixers, however, only last up to 10-15 seconds. While they look convenient and compact, side-mounted motors are much more fragile than solid stationary motors. The latter may also require extra height because it is placed directly beneath the bowl.

Speed Settings:

KitchenAid KSM150PSER Artisan 5-Quart Stand Mixer Speed settingsA good food mixer should allow you to adjust the speed settings according to your needs. Some mixers may take as many as 16 different speed options. But take note that while this gives you a wider variety to choose from, it does not mean that you will be using all these speed options. In fact, food mixing may only require a few speed setting options. Here’s a tip: opt for a food mixer which has a ‘slow start’ setting so that the food ingredients will not splash out of the mixing bowl. This gradually improves the speed suited to your requirements.

Bowl design:

Sunbeam 2371 MixMaster Stand Mixer BowlsThe bowl design is another important thing to consider. It may vary depending on what type of food mixer you have. Stand mixers can either have lifted or titled bowl while hand mixers have rotating bowls. When looking for the bowl design, you have to check out the feed tube. It is better to have wide-mouth tubes which can accommodate blocks of cheese or potatoes at one session. Some mixers have a safety feature which limits the ingredients that you can insert in the tube.

Bowl design can also be a battle between sloping sides vs straight sides. A sloping design often results to unevenly chopped ingredients. It also does not fare well in emulsified items like mayonnaise. A straight feed tube, on the other hand, can splatter up the walls of the bowl with ingredients as the blades rotate. Thus, it is much preferred for emulsifying sauces. To ensure convenience, pick a bowl design that comes with a handle. This gives you control over the mixing process and provides support when transferring the ingredients from one mixer to another.

Beater type and other attachments:

Sunbeam 2551 Heritage Series Hand Mixer PicIt is also essential to check out what type of beater or attachments come with your food mixer. Most food mixers are equipped with single or paired beater, one whisker, and some dough hooks. Here’s a tip: pick a beater which do not have a centre support or bar. This makes cleaning much easier once you are done with the mixing process.

As an example, the Sunbeam 2551 Heritage Series Hand Mixer comes with plentiful attachments: 2 chrome beaters, 2 dough hooks, and 2 whisks (Pictured).

Comfort

A hand mixer should be well balanced and comfortable to hold. And should be easy to maneuver. For a stand mixer you still may have to move it around your kitchen so it shouldn’t be too heavy or bulky to move around or lift in and out of your cabinets.

Capacity:

A decent food mixer must hold up to 9 cups of ingredients. Mixers that can accommodate less than that size will leave you with more batches to mix. Some models may also raise the bar with 12 – 15 cup capacities giving you just enough space to knead doughs for two 9-ounce bread loaves.

Locking Heads (stand mixers)

You should be able to fix the power head of your stand mixer in an “up” position. Beaters can get very heavy when weighed down with your mix (like cookie dough). Being able to lock it in position ensures it won’t crash as the beaters get heavier.

THAT CONCLUDES THIS PART OF OUR FOOD MIXERS BUYING GUIDE GUIDE

We hope that Part 2 of “How to Buy a Food Mixer” buying guide has provided you with some great information on helping you pick out the best food mixer for your budget and lifestyle.

Be on the lookout for:

Part 3: Strategies For Buying

Where we go over a few more guidelines when making your decision what to buy

Here are links to all four parts of our buying guide:

Until next time!


Check out all our food mixers reviews

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