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How to Choose Between a Standup or Handheld Mixer

May 4, 2012 Le Cordon Bleu St. Louis 0 Comments

How to Choose Between a Standup or Handheld Mixer

With Mother’s Day around the bend, it might be time to start thinking about some gifts. If your mother enjoys cooking, you may want to think about getting her a mixer. While that may not have seemed that exciting to you as a kid, now (whether you have a culinary career or simply an appreciation for cooking) this idea may seem a bit more enticing.

There are several things to consider when deciding between a standup and handheld mixer. Price is a key factor since standup mixers are typically much more expensive than handhelds. Convenience and ease of use is important also. Remember that standup mixers are heavy and take up more space while handhelds are light weight and easily stored. The importance of features and how frequently the mixer will be used are also key in your decision making process. Here are some of the most essential things to consider when choosing the perfect gift for Mom.

Cost

Inexpensive handheld mixers can be bought at discount stores and drugstores. Higher quality, brand name handhelds and standup mixers can be purchased at department and cooking supply stores as well as online. Handhelds at these higher-end stores will cost two or three times more than discount store models. Standup mixers are considerably more expensive, usually costing at least a couple of hundred dollars. Typically you get what you pay for and often, quality comes at a bit of a price.

Convenience

Serious cooks, particularly bakers and others in a culinary career, prefer standup mixers for their versatility. They usually have more powerful motors than handhelds, come with several attachment tools and have a greater range of speeds. They are quite heavy and can be awkward to move around. If you decide to attend a St. Louis culinary school for example, it is likely that you would learn on this larger and less mobile mixers.

Handhelds are smaller and less powerful but for normal beating, whipping and mixing will do the job quite adequately. They’re easy to grab from the cabinet to use for quickly whipping batter or potatoes. Their smaller size makes them convenient to use, wash and store. 

Features

The tools that come with stand mixers, such as a whip, dough hook and flat beater, make many cooking tasks easier while leaving hands free. These mixers are great for everything from beating egg whites to kneading stiff bread dough. These machines are workhorses and normally last a long time with proper care.

The handhelds are smaller and lighter and can be used with any bowl. The beaters detach easily and can be washed by hand or in the dishwasher.

Both mixers have their place in the kitchen and many cooks own both, using the small handheld for quick jobs and the larger stand mixer for cakes, breads and more complex recipes. If space and budget are limited, then a handheld probably makes more sense. It’s appropriate for cooks  (and Moms) who only bake cakes and cookies a few times or year or who make whipped potatoes from time to time and don’t need a workhorse of a machine for those tasks. If the counter space and budget are larger and, more importantly, if the cooking repertoire requires a more powerful and versatile machine, then the standup is the way to go.

If you have a mom that just can’t get enough of cooking, you may want to think about helping her enroll in a few classes at St. Louis Culinary School this Mother’s Day to help give her more than just the psychical tools to become a more well prepared cook.

This article is presented by Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in St. Louis. Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in St. Louis offers culinary arts and pâtisserie and baking training programs in the St. Louis, Missouri area. To learn more about the class offerings, please visit Chefs.edu/St-Louis for more information. 

Find disclosures on graduation rates, student financial obligations and more at www.chefs.edu/disclosures. Le Cordon Bleu® and the Le Cordon Bleu logo are registered trademarks of Career Education Corporation. Le Cordon Bleu cannot guarantee employment or salary. Credits earned are unlikely to transfer.

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