Hand Mixer vs. Immersion Blender: What's the Difference?
There are advantages to using a hand mixer vs. an immersion blender in the kitchen depending on what kind of recipe and ingredients you’re working with. Each tool is versatile and portable and can help you experiment with a range of cuisines and cooking techniques while moving about your kitchen with ease.
Immersion blenders can assist you in making savory soups and dips, while hand mixers are great for creating fluffy pancakes and whipped cream to go on top. Follow this guide for answers to questions like what is a hand mixer, when to use a hand mixer vs. hand blender, and to learn how these multipurpose tools can enhance your making.
What are the differences between a hand mixer and an immersion blender?
The primary differences between hand mixers and immersion blenders are their design and the types of foods they can help create. While a hand mixer primarily combines wet and dry ingredients using two beaters or a whisk, an immersion blender features blades to blend or puree ingredients, or to chop nuts and produce.
Hand mixers are like portable versions of a stand mixer and are ideal for whipping or mixing ingredients for small to medium batches like icings, scrambled eggs, or other baked goods. Immersion blenders are portable devices that can perform many of the same tasks as a standard countertop blender without occupying countertop space.
What is a hand mixer used for?
A hand mixer is excellent for lighter tasks and allows you to easily blend icings, incorporate air for a fluffy souffle or whip up a decadent mousse. The benefits of a hand mixer include helping you mix, whisk, cream or fold while making small to medium-sized batches. When using the Pro Whisk Attachment with a KitchenAid® 7-Speed Hand Mixer, you can whip egg whites to fluffy peaks or create a sweet whipped cream for desserts.
In addition to baking or dessert making, you can use a hand mixer to shred chicken or pork for BBQ sandwiches, knead dough for a sourdough loaf or mash avocados for a guacamole or toast spread.
WHEN TO USE A HAND MIXER?
Use a hand mixer when you need to mix directly in your pot or other dish or are making smaller or lighter batches. Cordless models like this one from KitchenAid brand can allow you to move about your kitchen freely while tackling multiple tasks. A hand mixer effectively combines dry and liquid ingredients and some can be set to various speeds based on the task at hand. You can also use attachments like a Pro Whisk, Dough Hook and Blending Rod on select KitchenAid® hand mixers to expand your recipe repertoire.
Use a hand mixer when creating recipes like Mascarpone Buttercream Frosting, which you can customize to fit your taste with variations like adding coffee flavor, coconut or lavender extracts. A hand mixer can also help you combine peanut butter, eggs, flour and chocolate for this decadent Peanut Butter Chocolate Mousse Pie.
What is an immersion blender used for?
An immersion blender can help you blend, chop, whip, and puree and can perform many of the same tasks as a countertop blender, with the added versatility of being hand-held and occupying less countertop space. With an immersion blender, the blender blades can be inserted directly into a jar, bowl or pot on a stovetop. It’s useful when chopping nuts for fresh pesto, emulsifying oil and vinegar for salad dressings or creating colorful salsas. You can also blend smoothies directly in a to-go container with your immersion blender and make other sweet treats like sorbets and shakes.
WHEN TO USE AN IMMERSION BLENDER?
Use an immersion blender when you need the added convenience of mixing or combining ingredients, like a stovetop soup or curry, in a single dish or container. This can help streamline your making process and cut down on clean-up time because you can avoid transferring ingredients from a pot on a cooktop surface into a countertop blender. An immersion blender is a great tool for blending ingredients directly on the stovetop for a Roasted Carrot Soup, and the Banana Berry Smoothie is especially convenient for busy mornings, allowing you to blend fruits and ice directly in your to-go smoothie container.
Can I Use a Hand Mixer Instead of an Immersion Blender?
A hand mixer can be used instead of an immersion blender when mixing or combining liquid and dry ingredients, such as when making a cake or cookie batter, creaming butter and sugar together, or whipping up a dessert frosting. Hand mixers are well-suited for incorporating air into batter or dough to create fluffy, voluminous baked goods. However, hand mixer beaters are not sharp and won’t cut, chop, puree or blend ingredients. Use an immersion blender instead of a hand mixer for these kinds of tasks.
Can I Use an Immersion Blender Instead of a Hand Mixer?
An immersion blender can be used instead of a hand mixer when working with more liquid ingredients. The blades on an immersion blender will chop or cut through ingredients, so it’s not ideal for hand mixer tasks like folding chocolate chips into cookie dough or when mixing thicker doughs for bread or pasta. The benefits of an immersion blender are that it can mix while also chopping, blending or pureeing. So, if these are not desired actions for a particular task, stick with a hand mixer instead.
Explore KitchenAid® countertop appliances
KitchenAid® hand mixers and immersion blenders can be versatile partners in your making journey, whether you’re experimenting with a new curry dish or adding unique ingredients to your favorite gazpacho recipe. See how cordless appliances from KitchenAid brand can allow you to move about the kitchen freely and enhance your creative process.
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