Food Mixer & Food Processor Buying Guide
Electricshopping.com sell a huge range of mixers and food processors, so even the most demanding of chefs should be able to find what they are looking for. We thought however, that we would write this guide to help you in making your decision.
When purchasing a food mixer or food processor, the most important point to consider is what you plan to use your machine for. Both food processors and food mixers come in various sizes and are designed for a wide range of tasks.
Which food mixer is right for you?
There are two types of food mixers: hand mixers and stand mixers and both are very useful for different needs. Hand mixers are ideal for tasks that involve heavy whisking, like fluffing eggs or whipping cream. However, for larger jobs like mixing bread dough; a stand mixer offers more power and worktop stability. Hand mixers are convenient for the occasional small task, but if you find that you do a lot of baking and require frequent mixing or blending then a stand mixer is the machine for you.
Stand or Table Top Mixers
Before you purchase your mixer you should consider the power and size that you require for your baking needs. As mixing bowls come in various sizes, make sure that it is large enough for all your baking whims. Most bowls are between 4 and 7 litre capacity. Large models can hold up to 23 cups of flour, plenty if you need to whip up enough bread for the whole family. The power of the mixer motor needs to be big enough, as well. Mixers with 250 watts at the low end are sufficient for standard home-cooking, but serious chefs who require rigorous kneading will want models with 325 watts upwards.
Bowl access also varies between machines. Some mixers have heads that tilt back for easy access to the bowl, while others require that you lower the bowl and remove the tools from the head for access. A splash guard makes it easy to add ingredients to the bowl while the mixer is in operation. They also keep ingredients in the bowl and not on your countertop or kitchen wall.
Most stand mixers come with a whisk, dough hook and flat beater. If you plan to do more than beat, whip, mix, or knead, you should decide which attachments will work with your mixer. Some attachments include a mincer, citrus juicer, pasta maker and slicer/shredder.
A good hand mixer can cost anywhere from £25 to £80. It may possibly fulfil all your blending tasks and it easily fits into a drawer. Even if you have a stand mixer, you'll find that a hand mixer is very convenient for smaller tasks.
Which food processor is right for you?
Food processors have become a favourite kitchen tool with their ability to purée, mince, emulsify, blend and knead. Through various functions and attachments, they have greatly reduced cooking preparation time. When choosing the food processor that is right for you, think about capacity, power and versatility.
Standard food processors generally come in capacities of 7, 9 and 11 cups. The main consideration here is simply the volume of food you're most likely to deal with. Even if you usually work with small quantities such as salad dressing or a few servings of soup, you should consider a larger processor for the occasional larger jobs. Models are available in as large as 20 cup capacity for bigger jobs. Mini processors with 3 or 5 cup capacity are great for mincing ginger or garlic or other small tasks such as making baby food. These small machines are less versatile than larger processors and generally come equipped with a chopping blade and no attachments.
Most food processor manufacturers offer a professional series, whose motors have a higher wattage to support heavy use. These machines are intended for the chef or caterer but are great for the home cook who cooks occasionally in large batches. When buying a high-stamina food processor, look for machines with 750 watts (about 1 horsepower) or more.
Most food processors come with a variety of attachments, making it easy to change from puréeing fruit to grating coconut to slicing cucumbers. Some food processors come with whipping attachments, while others have a bowl insert. There are also many blender/food processor combinations that help save space in the kitchen while still adding functionality. Before you purchase your food processor, be sure to compare more than just prices. Compare all you're getting for that price. Be sure that the machine that you end up with is best suited for your cooking needs and remember, if you need any more help with making your purchase, the electricshopping.com customer care team are only a phone call away!