All About Mixers - The Bailiwick Academy

All About Mixers

In the market for mixers? Undecided which one to purchase? Are the super expensive ones worth it? Which one will give you the best value for your hard earned money? 

I feel that the more we analyze, the more questions are formed instead of answers. Well, you have to figure out exactly what you want to do first. 

Are you baking for profit, passion, hobby or any combination of the three?  What do you plan on making? 

Image by: Frederic Dupont

Types of Mixers

Before we determine what mixer is best for you.  It wouldn’t hurt to know its different types and the extent of what they can do.

Vertical or Planetary Mixer

This type of mixer comes in a table top and floor variety.  It comes with a paddle, wire whisk and a dough hook attachment. It’s mixing bowl is stationary. This is good for cakes and bread.

Horizontal Mixer

This is a high-intensity mixer used in handling large batches of dough.  It has a tilt bowl feature and comes with a ribbon, plough, roller or breaker bars and paddle agitators.

Spiral Mixer

A spiral mixer is a large industrial type of mixer fitted with both an agitator arm and a spiral. It comes with a protective wire cover.  This is ideal for bread production. 

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Artofex Type Mixer

A large mixer designed with a bowl and a pair of agitators constructed with moving arms to mix the dough. It is also known as a double arm mixer.

Twin Cake Mixer

This type of mixer is fitted with two wire whisks to improve the speed of aeration of beaten egg whites for use in chiffon and sponge cakes. 

Choosing Your Mixer

Now, you know the most common types of mixers. The next thing we’ll do is to guide you to choose an ideal mixer for you. 

The Hobby Baker

Baking as a hobby has its perks.  You can learn to bake cookies, cupcakes, banana loaves and the like in your free time. You are baking just for the fun of it. This means that you only bake occasionally. Thus, you don’t need to have a heavy duty mixer. A twin cake mixer or a hand mixer will do. You can start out with a local brand that is within your ideal price range. Or if you can stretch your budget a bit you can start with a branded 5 quart mixer. 

The Home Baker

You’ve been bitten by the baking bug! You have transitioned from being a hobby baker into a more serious type of baking.  At this stage, you are getting orders for celebration cakes, small to medium wedding cakes and fairly large amounts of cookies or bread.  This time you’ll need a bigger and more efficient mixer.  A planetary mixer is on top of our list as it can hold larger amounts of dough.  Our recommendation is at least 8 quarts.

selective focus photography of woman putting icing on cupcakes
Image By: Holly Stratton

The Professional Baker

You’ve finally made baking your profession.  This is it! 

And for the amount of dough you will be mixing daily, a spiral mixer will be a great addition to your mixer arsenal. Spiral mixers are a must if bread is a part of your offerings.   With the planetary and spiral mixer combo, success is not far behind! 

As your business grows, so does your need to upgrade to more industrial types of mixers like the horizontal and artofex mixers. 

man wearing white apron
Image By: Fran Hogan

Things To Consider

You’re all set to purchase your new mixer.  You next question will be:

“What brand of mixer will I get?”

Before considering the brand, check out the after sales service first.  Are they easy to contact? Do they have service centers near you?  Do they provide you with a temporary mixer while yours is still in the shop? After these, that’s when you consider the brand.  Most expensive brands have powerful motors that would be useful to your mixing needs. 

But always remember that the size of your mixer should be proportionate to your oven.  It wouldn’t make sense when you have a large powerful 10-quart mixer but you only have a 45L table top oven, would it? (Incidentally, we have an oven guide too)

And the last but the most awaited part in choosing a mixer… the aesthetics! Are you into the modern and sleek? Or would you rather have a cute vintage type of mixer? They come in different colors too.   The choice is endless!

Do’s and Don’ts

Finally, you bought your mixer! Are you excited to use it? I’m sure you are! But let us give you a few tips on how to take care of it. 

Do’s

  • Be sure to read the manual before you start using the mixer.
  • Always clean a newly purchased mixer before use.
  • Check the bowl and all the attachments if they are properly fitted and locked before turning it on.
  • Position the mixer on any solid, level and non‐skid work surface that is non flammable.
  • Have service agents change the oil every 6-12 months depending on the use.
  • Clean as you go. Dry the beaters/dough hooks before storing or using them again.

Don’ts

  • NEVER place your hand or any kitchen utensil in the bowl when the mixer is running.
  • Do not overload your mixer.
  • Do not leave the mixer unattended when it is running.
  • STOP the mixer before removing or installing attachments.

Now that you’re all set, don’t forget to tag us when you post a picture of your first finished product!

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