There are different types of stand mixers – you have commercial mixers and those that are made for in-home use. Whether you own a small pizza shop or you are just making mashed potatoes once a month, you can find the right stand mixer by going through our guide.
These mixers are the most versatile and useful types of mixers. They are usually made with the most innovative technology and are worth the pricey investment. They are often made with belt drive systems ad feature bowl guards and a number of attachments and features that make them easy to use and very versatile and reliable.
These mixers are also called vertical mixers. These have an agitator which is turned on an offset shaft while the mixing bowl of the machine remains in a stationary position They get the name “planetary” because the move in the same way the planets orbit the sun.
These types of mixers always come with a number of attachments that can be used interchangeably so you can use one appliance to mix all kinds of mixtures, from puddings to making dough. Most planetary mixers have a power takeoff hub that allows you to add other attachments for grating, slicing and chopping. They are very versatile since they can be used for both small and large batches. These mixers are ideal for smaller batches if you use a smaller mixing bowl and vice versa.
These types of mixers are also called spiral mixers because their agitator is spiral shaped and remains in a stationary position while the bowl rotates around the blade. They are designed this way so that they can be ideal for larger amounts of dough to knead at one time. The downside to dough mixers is they don’t come with a lot of attachments like the planetary mixer does. Their strong point is that they can mix more dough quickly, so they are ideal for large bread making operations.
Vertical Cutter Mixers
These types of mixers have motors with high horsepower. They have a large mixing bowl that is covered and the agitator is on the inside and can perform a large variety of functions. Vertical cutter mixers are ideal for large production baking within a short period of time. They can mix sauces, batter, can chop nuts, foods for salads, meats and can knead dough. However, they are not as precise as a spiral or planetary mixer.
Other Ways to Distinguish Between Mixers
Mixer types are not the only way to distinguishes between different mixers. You can look at mixture features, the type of drive system the mixer uses, mixer speeds, horsepower and bowl lift.
- Size – Features that make a difference include the size of the mixer. You can find countertop mixers that have the capacities of less than 10 quarts. Then there are those stand mixers that have the capacities between 10 and 20 quarts. Anything with a larger capacity than that will be considered a floor mixer as they will be stored and used directly on the floor.
- Drive System – Mixers will either have a belt driven or a gear driven system.
- Belt Driven – These are easier and more affordable to maintain than gear driven systems.
- Gear Driven – With these systems there is no risk of the system slipping but repairs can be very expensive.
- Speed – Most mixers have multiple operating speeds. Different speeds are better for different mixes so you want to read the manufacturer’s instruction for your model to ensure you are using it in the right manner. There are some models that allow you to change the speed in the model of the operation and there are others that require you to shut off the unit before changing speeds.
- Horsepower – The larger the mixer, usually the larger the motor and the more horsepower it will provide. These models can mix more and can handle thicker mixes such as pizza dough.
- Bowl Lift – You can find manual bowl lifts and electrical bowl lifts on planetary mixers.
- Manual – These are the most common types of machines. You find this mechanism on the smaller counter top machines. On these smaller units the bowl doesn’t move, but instead it’s the entire top part of the housing that tilts up and allows you access to the bowl.
- Electrical – Systems with this mechanism will automatically raise and lower the bowl at the touch of a button or the flick of a switch. This feature is found in larger standing models which are harder to operate.
- Bowl Guard – This is a nice mechanism for ensuring the safety of your mix. This ensures that the stand mixer complies with OSHA regulations for all the restaurants and bake shows that use such mixers.
No matter which stand mixer you choose, you’ll be sure to have a great cooking experience!