When it comes to cooking and baking, hand mixers are the lightweight kitchen helper you need. They are compact and at home in both small and professional kitchens. Versatile and easily adaptable to whipping, mixing and emulsifying tasks, they are the tool of choice for busy cooks.
If you are looking for a reliable mixer from a trusted brand, the KitchenAid Cordless Seven-Speed Hand Mixer is a great choice.
If you need a hand mixer that can travel around the kitchen, a cordless version might be best. They have rechargeable batteries and are more lightweight than corded models, but some don’t have much power and should be reserved for easier mixing tasks.
On the other hand, cordless models have power when you need it. Although you'll need to be within range of an outlet, most professional kitchens use corded mixers for their power.
For people with hand, arm and shoulder pain, the weight of a mixer matters. It's also important when cooking with children. A mixer that is too heavy is difficult to maneuver. A hand mixer that is 1.5 pounds strikes the balance of being substantial without excessive weight. A model that weighs less than 1.5 pounds might feel flimsy, while one that weighs more isn’t easy to operate for long periods.
While all mixers have at least three speeds, some have up to 16. More is better, right? Not necessarily. Mixers with more speeds tend to cost more, and you may never reach the upper limits of that range. Why pay more for features you don't use?
Stick with a mixer that has five to nine speeds. These will get the job done with no fuss.
In addition to the regular speeds, some mixers feature a pulse or boost button. These add a short burst of power to finish that whipped cream or bring a final lift to scrambled eggs. This button does use additional power and should only be used for 10 seconds or less.
Easy controls mean dials for speed or buttons that push in without much effort. A word of caution: Slippery dials and squishy buttons can be engaged accidentally, sending batter flying across the kitchen. Look for the Goldilocks zone of just the right amount of pressure to operate — not too little, and not too much.
Hand mixers come standard with beaters, but some also include things like a whisk attachment. This balloon-shaped wire beater is perfect for fluffy clouds of whipped cream and pillowy-soft beaten eggs.
A dough hook attachment is also sometimes included, but it’s not necessary. In general, a hand mixer doesn't have enough power to knead dough well, and the beaters can handle anything else.
Expect to spend $11-$200 on this affordable kitchen workhorse.
A. For cooks looking to pare down their small kitchen appliances, replacing your stand mixer with a hand mixer can be tempting. However, these tools are not interchangeable.
Hand mixers are compact and easy to store. They whip cream, beat eggs and prepare cake batter well. However, they are not able to beat stiff cookie or bread dough. Even corded versions don’t have enough power to knead bread for the five to 10 minutes it takes to work the gluten. And even if they did, you’d have to hover over the bowl while they worked.
Stand mixers are heavy and take up a lot of space in the kitchen, but they can handle tough mixing and kneading. They also have a wider range of attachments, including pasta rollers and meat grinders. Additionally, stand mixers don’t require constant attention — turn the stand mixer on for whipping egg whites to a froth while you clean up your prep area.
But take heart: If you don't have a stand mixer, a high-quality hand mixer can complete most mixing, beating and whipping tasks.
A. The list seems endless. A few things you can whip up include:
What you need to know: Made by the same company that manufactures the iconic stand mixer, this heavy-duty cordless mixer is well built and versatile.
What you’ll love: There is no cord to keep you tied down, and its lithium-ion battery charges in two hours or less. It is good for tough doughs and batters but still lightweight. It features seven speeds of mixing power.
What you should consider: Some users thought the attachments were flimsy at this price.
What you need to know: The contoured attachments are uniquely designed to get the job done.
What you’ll love: The beaters are nylon instead of metal with a large surface area for big batches of mixing. This has a turbo boost when short bursts of power are needed.
What you should consider: Some of the plastic components feel less durable.
What you need to know: This compact mixer is perfect for RVs, dorm rooms and other small spaces.
What you’ll love: It has three speeds and 150 watts of power for small mixing jobs. It specializes in whipping cream and beating eggs, and the stainless steel attachments are sturdy and substantial for their size.
What you should consider: Because of the size and small motor, this is best for light- or medium-duty tasks.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Suzannah Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.