The Uses of a Kitchen Mixer

A kitchen mixer grinds, beats, stirs and whips food. It is a more efficient way of mixing ingredients than laboriously stirring with a spoon. There are two types of mixers: a hand mixer, which has two whisks attached to it, and a stand mixer, which uses whisks, paddles, a dough hook and other attachments. Choosing either a hand or stand mixer is often a matter of personal preference, but many people opt for a stand mixer because it is less tedious to use and is best for mixing large quantities of heavy ingredients, such as dough.

How a Handheld Mixer Works

To use a handheld mixer, you first plug it in and attach two balloon whisks. Place the mixer in your bowl of ingredients and select the speed setting you want. Turn it on by pushing a switch. The whisks start to rotate due to an electric motor inside the device. The whisks will mix, beat or whip the ingredients, depending on your speed setting. They will also incorporate air into your ingredients, giving them a "fluffier" texture. You often move the bowl while using your mixer, to make sure every ingredient is thoroughly mixed.

How a Stand Mixer Works

A stand mixer works similar to a handheld, with the difference that you attach a bowl (often a stainless steel bowl) to it and you do not have to hold the mixer. After affixing the bowl to the mixer, you add the preferred attachment (such as a dough hook for bread ingredients) and select the desired speed setting. You then flip the switch, and a large motor will rotate the attachment. Let it work as long as it needs. You may have to scrape the attachment during the mixing, such as when too much of the dough sticks to the hook.