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Apr 9, 2009 07:31 PM

hand mixer vs. immersion blender

hello all- I was contemplating getting an immersion blender with various attachements. will i still need a hand mixer?

Also, if i bake only minimally- do i really need a stand mixer?? (though thi is on the wedding registry so maybe i should just keep it there?


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  1. Hmm.. well, I can't say what you need, but an immersion blender has a single mixer attachment, but if you wanted to do something more, like whipping cream, you'd probably want a hand mixer.

    The stand mixer is a foundation piece - it can do a lot: grind meat, roll pasta (with the attachments) - and a good bit of it is not tied to baking. But only you can say whether you'd use it enough. Its a heavy piece, and take up a good bit of space..

    1 Reply
    1. re: grant.cook

      I have 4 pieces I use all the time. A small inexpensive hand mixture, an immersion blender I use tons ..., my food processor, 1 small, 1 big. I need those and use them. Anything else ... I can live without. My stand mixture is not that big, Cuisinart food processor and a small black and decker one. My hand mixture, cheap whatever and a medium priced immersion. Had them all years. Never failed used all the time. Works just fine.

    2. The two really aren't even remotely interchangeable. A decent hand mixer for things like whipped cream or egg whites is an essential in my opinion. I have only rarely used my immersion blender and could easily live without it (a regular blender works better anyway). As for a stand mixer, there are just too many things that would be very difficult to make without one. They are big suckers to be sure, but I sacrifice a permanent spot on my counter for my Kitchenaid. But then I do a fair amount of baking.

      4 Replies
      1. re: bnemes3343

        My Bamix makes has an attachment for whipped cream and does almost any thing a stand blender can with the exception of crushing ice.

        1. re: KTinNYC

          I suppose it's just what your preference is. I have both a blender and an immersion blender. I have used my immersion blender once. My blender I use all the time. I would guess one reason is that I can leave my blender on my counter. The immersion blender (and any attachments I might add to it) is much less convenient to get to for me. If I'm blending a soup I just find it easier to do in a blender

          1. re: bnemes3343

            Safer too, I can't tell you how many times I've burnt myself using an immersion blender. Damn little bits fly everywhere when I start it up.

            ...and I like to be able to crush ice.

            1. re: bnemes3343

              Yes, this is definitely a personal preference issue. Using the immersion blender for soups is so much more convenient for me. My kitchen is too small to have blender sitting out so the immersion blender is better for me.

        2. I used to work at Williams Sonoma, and spent many a spring day helping brides register for all their wedding day goodies. bnemes3343 is correct on the technical points of this question, immersion blenders and mixers are like comparing apples and oranges. The question that you should ask yourself is: should I get a regular blender (with the stand and the jar) or an immersion blender?

          Personally, if I have one choice - I'd get a good blender before an immersion blender, hands down. We have both, and I only use the immersion blender when I'm being lazy and am okay with more chunky, "rustic" results (the lazy part comes when I clean it - which is just stick it in a sink and let'er rip and then throw the blade attachment in the dishwasher). But, regular blenders are far, far more versatile (i.e., frozen cocktails to go along your silky-textured gazpacho, anyone?), despite having the break everything down to clean it. So, it's more work, but not much more.

          As far as mixers go, a good handheld mixer (I recommend KitchenAid) will be fine for someone who doesn't bake often. Except in those cases for people who like to make bread - you can't knead bread with a hand mixer. However, if you limit yourself to cakes and icings/meringues and some mashed spuds every now and then - then a hand mixer will serve you just fine.

          1. Braun has sold, for years, a hand mixer with immersion blender attachment (and also a mini food processor). The mixer part does a good job with whipping egg whites and cream, as well as regular mixing jobs. Some versions even have dough hooks.

            The Cuisinart Smart Stick is primarily an immersion blender, but has a whisk attachment (and the mini food processor). This whisk is good for whipping, but would not do for heavier duty mixing jobs (like creaming butter and sugar).

            Both are good immersion blenders, and good whippers.

            1. I have the Oster Kitchen Center, which uses the same motor for a blender, a mixer, a meat grinder, and a shredder. With limited cabinet and counter space, this makes more sense than a big Kitchenaid stand mixer that wouldn't get regular use. It all fits on one shelf. But I rarely use the blender part - I have a $10 immersion blender that is just the ticket for pureeing soups. You just need to repeat the mantra "engage only when submerged". No fussing with multiple batches. Cleanup is a 5-second whir in the dishpan and clean water. By the time I could get the blender out and filled with the first batch, I've finished and am putting away the clean immersion stick. I have a hand mixer because someone gave it to me - and frankly, I use it more often than I do the Oster piece. I'd leave the stand mixer on the registry list, but if I didn't receive one and didn't think I'd ever be doing frequent baking, I'd get a good hand mixer plus a plain, cheap immersion stick, and maybe a blender.