My trusty hand mixer is so versatile and easy to use, I use it for the majority of my baking needs. Plus, it comes with a variety of attachments that can be used for different tasks so these handy appliances aren’t just limited to mixing.
If you are sitting there unsure of which hand mixer attachment to use for which tasks or what each attachment does, don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place. Here is my quick guide to every hand mixer attachment and what they are best used for.
Let’s get started!
What Is a Hand Mixer?
To state the obvious, a hand mixer is a small, handheld kitchen appliance that is used for mixing and beating ingredients together. It typically consists of the handgrip and the attachment hub. The handgrip part contains the motor and the attachment hub allows you to connect different attachments, depending on what you need to mix or beat. Each hand mixer has various speed settings that you can adjust as needed for your recipe.
A hand mixer is a great alternative to using a large stand mixer because it is more compact and portable. It is mostly used for smaller baking tasks and replaces the need to use a spatula or a wooden spoon. Things like whipping cream, mixing cake batter, or stirring cookie dough are all tasks that are easily completed with a hand mixer.
Types of Mixer Attachments
Now that we know what a hand mixer is, let’s talk about the different attachments that come with most hand mixers. The attachments are what make a hand mixer so versatile – they allow you to do more than just mix ingredients together.
Most hand mixers typically come with two beater attachments. These are the traditional beaters that most people think of when they think of hand mixers. The beater attachment is the most versatile attachment on a hand mixer. These are great for general mixing, such as when you are making a cake or cupcakes.
What I love about the hand mixer beater attachment is that it also doubles up as a whisk, so you can use them for whipping egg whites or heavy cream.
All hand mixers have two beaters that attach to the hub and rotate in opposite directions for optimum mixing performance. The beaters have curved wire paddles that help to pull the ingredients from the sides and bottom of the bowl while they are mixing.
Dough Hook Attachment
The other attachment that is commonly included with hand mixers is the dough hook. As the name suggests, this attachment is designed for mixing and kneading dough. It can be a great time saver if you make bread or pizza dough from scratch in small quantities.
The dough hook attachment is a spiral-shaped metal hook that helps to knead the dough without you having to put in too much effort. Kneading dough by hand can be a real pain (literally) so a hand mixer with dough hook attachments comes in handy.
Although the dough hooks are a great addition, I wouldn’t recommend them for making large batches of bread dough. You are better off kneading by hand or using a stand mixer as a hand mixer is not powerful enough to withstand large amounts of tough dough.
Some hand mixers also include a whisk attachment. Unlike a beater where you get two, you usually only get one whisk attachment for a hand mixer. This is probably because it would be hard for two whisks to rotate in opposite directions.
A whisk is a great attachment to have if you want to whip cream or make meringue. It helps to incorporate air into the mixture, which gives it a light and fluffy texture.
The whisk attachment has wires that are close together and link to the main hub of the attachment. This design helps to create a lot of airflow and allows the mixture to double in size.
You’ll find that most of the hand mixers don’t actually include a whisk. As I mentioned above, the beaters double up as whisks so the need for an actual whisk is a little redundant. That said, if your hand mixer does include a whisk, you can use it to whisk up small amounts of whipped cream and egg whites. The whisk is also great for emulsifying.
Although not as common, some hand mixers also come with a blending rod attachment. This is a long, thin rod that is great for making things like soup or baby food. It can also be used to make smoothies or milkshakes.
The blending rod attaches to the main hub of the mixer and has a blade on the end that helps to chop and blend ingredients together. It is very similar to an immersion blender.
Hand Mixer Attachment Uses
Beater Attachment Uses
- Cake batter
- Cupcake batter
- Whipping cream
- Whipping egg whites
- Mixing mashed potato
Whisk Attachment Uses
- Whipping cream
- Whipping egg whites
- Making pancakes
Dough Hook Attachment Uses
- Making pizza dough
- Making bread dough
- Making cooking dough
Blending rod Attachment Uses
- Blending soups
- Making baby food
- Making milkshakes
- Making smoothies
Now that you know all about the different types of hand mixer attachments, you might be wondering how to choose the right one for your needs and how each is used.
If you only plan on using your hand mixer for simple tasks, such as mixing cake batter, cupcake batter or whipping cream, then the traditional beaters will suffice. The beaters are also great for making mashed potatoes and meringue.
However, if you want to be able to do more with your hand mixers, such as kneading dough or whipping, then you will need to choose a model that comes with the additional kneading dough and whisk attachments.
Although dough hooks are a great addition, they are not necessary if you don’t plan on making a lot of bread or pizza dough from scratch. The same goes for the blending rod attachment – it is great to have but not essential.
If you make a lot of bread dough, you are better off investing in a bread maker or a stand mixer. The same goes for if you blend a lot of your food. Get an immersion blender instead.
So, there you have it. Everything you need to know about the various hand mixer attachments, what they look like and what they are used for.
Choosing the right hand mixer for your needs can be a daunting task, especially since there are so many different types on the market. Now that you know what attachments are available and what they are used for, it will be much easier to choose the right one for your needs and get the most out of your mixer.