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Dec 24, 2009 08:20 AM

why have stand mixers replaced hand mixers?

Seems like stand mixers, especially the Kitchen Aid model, have become the quintessential style of mixer that's always on cooking shows and featured in ads. You never see electric hand mixers promoted or shown anywhere anymore. Seems odd to me, since I far prefer hand mixers. It's far easier to get at the precise place in the bowl that needs mixing with a hand mixer, being able to handle and gauge the mixed product with grace and finesse, instead of having a big arm getting in the way. Hand mixers these days are so light and compact. Here's to hand mixers!

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  1. My problem is I have to hold on to it. Whipping heavy cream can easily take 5 mins of my time just standing there, which I could be doing something else. I have both and I use both of them. Sometimes I am lazy and don't want to pull out the stand mixer. So half way into the whipping I would be standing there and my arms starting to hurt and curse myself for not taking it out earlier lol.

    You can actually adjust the dough hook / whip to be as close to the bowl as possible.

    And a good stand mixer can do so much more than a hand mixer. You cannot knead bread dough or thick cookie dough with a hand mixer.

    1. Actually, at least for TV hand mixers have replaced stand mixers for most mixing. As an example, Alton Brown uses a hand mixer for whipping cream and mixing directly in pots. He only uses a stand mixer for heavy mixing jobs.

      Using a hand mixer and a glass bowl, a TV chef can show more than with a stand mixer. Also, TV chefs usually use KItchenAid Artisans vs. the lift bowl models because it is easier for the camera to show what's going on inside.

      1. Stratford,

        I think for most things a good hand mixer is just as good. It is easier to add ingredients, mix more uniform and provide better feedback to the users (like avoiding over mixing). On the other hand, I agree with cutipie that there are situations where a stand mixer is better, like jobs require more than 3 minutes of mixing. You also cannot knead bread with a hand mixer, but then I like to knead bread dough with my hands anyway.

        1. I prefer the stand mixer because you can tear through things like bread dough, which a hand mixer simply can't do. The few times that I might wish I had a hand mixer, I can do that job with my Bamix wand mixer.

          1. Here's to whisks, mixing spoons, and kneading bread dough by hand!

            Take whatever you see on TV or in the glossy mags with a grain of salt. It is about product placement, as much or more than whether that mixer/blender/griller/slicer/dicer deserves your dollars and your counterspace.

            7 Replies
            1. re: MikeB3542

              Have you ever whisked an angel-food cake by hand? If you have, I salute you. (Really.) If not, I suggest you get a stand mixer and add angel-food cake to your regular rotation. I tend to agree that many of the toys on the tube are worthless, but a good stand mixer is something that I use several times a week.

              1. re: Indirect Heat

                It is a lot of work -- honestly don't do that much baking to make it worthwhile (no, having a stand mixer won't convert me -- I dislike sweets.)

                1. re: MikeB3542

                  I bake very few sweets, Mike. Generally, only at Christmas and birthday cakes.

                  Most of the baking I do comprises savory yeast breads, savory quick breads (those I hand mix) and things like pizza dough or doughs for appetizers. Then of course you can get a number of attachments for the KA (and I presume a Hobart, too?) that allow for tasks that have nothing to do with baking (e.g., the pasta attachment, sausage attachment....others here would have to tell you more about them).

                  You know what you need and want, of course. Not trying to be pushy; just wanted to note it's been very useful to me, even though I don't make many desserts or treats, at all.

              2. re: MikeB3542

                There are some bread doughs, though, that are so wet it's nearly impossible to make them without a mixer. I'm thinking in particular of the focaccia recipe from Rose Levy Berenbaum's bread book, that in addition to being wet requires no less than 20 minutes of kneading in the stand mixer.

                1. re: MikeB3542

                  MikeB3542, if you don't do a lot of baking to warrant one that's fine - however you should have stated that in your post above.

                  1. re: millygirl

                    But I think that is sort of the point. For a lot of folks, a stand mixer is a huge commitment in money and space, so in my book it has to "earn its keep" nearly every day. Once a week just isn't going to cut it. And I really hate "making work" for appliances -- not planning a lifestyle change to justify an appliance.

                    1. re: MikeB3542


                      I think I agree with you on that. I bake about once a week, which is a lot for my schedule since I have to work on weekdays and barely have time to cook. I know a stand mixer is more powerful and can knead bread dough and stuffs, but so far I have been kneading with my hands. Now, if I have to do that everyday or every other day, then I may want a stand mixer, but I don't. I am single. As of now, I already have to bring my baked goods to work to share with others because I just cannot possibly eat them on my own -- so I am really baking faster than my personal needs. By the way, I am quiet popular for doing that.

                      Another reason I have been resistant to get a stand mixer, especially the Kitchen Aid ones, is that there is something not me. A bit too upscale.