While there are many similarities between stand mixers, hand mixers and food processors, they are not exactly the same.
In this article we will discuss the main differences between these kitchen appliances, so you’ll get a better idea of what to choose for your exact needs.
As we already mentioned, they each have defining qualities that separate them from one another.
For example, stand mixers are more commonly used for bigger batches of dough (making many meals/desserts at once). On the other hand, a hand mixer is better suited for smaller batches of ingredients.
While a stand mixer may be faster, larger and more powerful, a hand mixer is slower. smaller and better for everyday use. A food processor is another kitchen gadget, with properties similar to a stand mixer and a hand mixer, yet it is separate. A food processor is champion at cutting and chopping fruits and vegetables quickly to any desired size. Whether you need to cube vegetables or puree them, a food processor can easily get the job done. Let’s explore the benefits of each gadget and which type of food preparation they are best suited for.
Depending upon what you are making, the best tool to use will vary…
Stand mixers win at kneading, mixing, and whisking
-For example, when whisking, kneading and mixing, a stand mixer is the ideal choice. It has immense power, making it suitable. Stand mixers come with a mixing hook that makes the process much easier and faster. The whisk will stir the ingredients from above, allowing you to add in more as you go. This type of mixer is extremely substantial and powerful, as a result of its high output. This is why a stand mixer is the ideal choice for kneading pizza dough.
-Alternatively, you can knead and mix with a food processor. When you use a food processor, the dough will not be as thoroughly kneaded. With an attachment, a food processor will be able to properly knead pizza dough and effectively mix other ingredients.
-For chopping and cutting, a stand mixer can be used with special attachments. This allows you to easily transform a mixer into a chopper. However, the blades must be sharp and precise. The attachments enable the mixer to dual as a chopper, therefore the quality of attachments is important. This is true for chopping hard ingredients such as nuts.
Food processors win at chopping and cutting
-A food processor is pro at chopping and cutting, as it is commonly used for this. Food processors come with blades for slicing, chopping and pureeing. Food processors can also handle tougher and harder foods, such as seeds and nuts. While a food processor can easily chop and cut, a stand mixer requires extra time and effort to set up the attachments.
-When it comes to mashing foods, especially for a dip, a stand mixer, hand mixer or food processor can be used. As stated above, each tool has its strengths and weaknesses, therefore finding which features you value most is key. A stand mixer or hand mixer can create sauces/ dips easily. The mixing bowl can handle large batches of ingredients, which is ideal when preparing for many guests. You can even make soup in a stand or hand mixer, with a blender attachment.
-A food processor can be used for creating dips, especially thicker ones such as pestos. Either gadget is suitable for this task.
Stand mixers and food processors works for juices and smoothies
-When it comes to creating thick and thin smoothies and shakes, stand mixers and food processors can be used. For example, if you are making thin juice, with little to no pulp, a juicer attachment should be used. With a blender attachment, thicker juices can be created. For a smoothie-like consistency, a blender attachment on a mixer works well. You can even crush ice with a blender attachment.
-A food processor is ideal for thin juices, with a juicer attachment. With a blender attachment, smoothies can be made as well. Ice crushing is an easy task for most food processors.
Hand mixers win at lighter tasks
-While food processors and stand mixers are most suitable for the more demanding tasks, the hand mixer is easier to pick up from your kitchen cabinet and use.
-Just plug it in, add the ingredients into a bowl, and start mixing. For whipped cream and egg whites, the hand mixer is the best tool. It can also whip up a pancake or waffle batter in a few minutes, or mix dry ingredients thoroughly in a few seconds.
Food processors easily replace a knife, grinder and mandolin slicer. A food processor will change the consistency of food quickly and without much effort. For the cook who prepares meals from scratch, a food processor is the go-to choice. Most food processors are equipped with a pulse option for control. Chopping and slicing vegetables can be done easily, as well as creating rough mixtures of dips and sauces such as hummus. A food processor can even make a vinaigrette.
Hand mixers are geared towards baking. They easily replace the hand beater or spoon for pastries. The mixer combines the ingredients together while adding air into the mix. Hand mixers are smaller and better suited for thinner batches that require less power.
Stand mixers are an upgrade from hand mixers. They offer more options and can handle larger, thicker batches. A mixer should always have easy access controls, be stable while mixing, have splash guards, have a balloon beater and dough hook. Whether you select a hand mixer or stand mixer, these are some of the main features you should look for when shopping. The goal is to select a mixer that will be easy enough to use on a daily basis, but powerful enough to perform when you need it.
In conclusion, selecting the right kitchen gadget depends upon your lifestyle, how often you plan to use the primary functions of each and your price range. A stand mixer is more expensive than a hand mixer. While it does supply more benefits, you must decide whether or not you need those benefits. On the other hand, a food processor is extremely versatile and can be used for almost any recipe. Selecting stainless steel blades is very important, regardless of which gadget you select, as they do not rust or wear easily. Also, selecting a tool that has a low noise level is important, as mixers and processors can be loud. Lastly, aim to select a kitchen tool that is easy to clean. After all the preparation, you want to make sure your gadget is easy to clean and dishwasher safe, if possible. Hands down, kitchen gadgets make preparation easier and enhance the quality of your meals.