Food mixers are a staple in most commercial kitchens and play a crucial role in the preparation of high-quality food products. These versatile pieces of equipment can handle a variety of tasks, from whisking light mixtures for frostings and meringues to kneading heavy doughs for pizzas and artisan breads. By taking care of the heavy mixing for you, a food mixer saves time and effort while ensuring your ingredients are thoroughly mixed, resulting in superior quality food products.
When choosing a new food mixer for your commercial kitchen or replacing an old one, it is essential to select a model that meets your specific needs and preferences. This mixer buying guide will walk you through the various types of commercial mixers available, the features you need to look for, and some tips for finding a mixer that suits your requirements.
Types of Commercial Mixers
There are three primary types of commercial mixers: countertop mixer, planetary mixers, spiral mixers, and vertical cutter mixers. Each type has unique features and is best suited for specific tasks.
1. Countertop Mixer
Countertop mixers are the most common type of food mixer and are typically used in small to medium-sized foodservice establishments. These mixers are designed to sit on a countertop and come in a range of sizes and capacities. Countertop mixers are versatile and can handle a wide range of tasks, including mixing dough, whipping cream, and beating eggs.
2. Planetary Mixers
Planetary mixers are the most common type of commercial mixer and are versatile enough to handle a range of tasks. They come with interchangeable attachments such as wire whips, flat Beaters, and dough hooks, making them suitable for mixing light and heavy batters, doughs, and fillings.
3. Spiral Mixer
Spiral mixers are best suited for kneading heavy dough, such as those used in pizza and artisan bread making. They feature a spiral-shaped agitator that rotates as the mixing bowl turns, ensuring thorough mixing and development of gluten in the dough.
4. Vertical Cutter Mixer
Vertical cutter mixers are ideal for mixing and chopping ingredients such as vegetables, meats, and cheeses. They feature a bowl with a vertical rotating blade that cuts and blends ingredients to the desired consistency.
Features to Look for in a Commercial Mixer
When shopping for a commercial mixer, consider the following features to ensure you find a model that suits your needs:
The capacity of a mixer is an essential consideration. Choose a mixer with a capacity that is appropriate for the volume of food you will be preparing. For smaller commercial kitchens, a 5-quart to 20-quart mixer is typically sufficient, while larger establishments may require a mixer with a capacity of 40-quart or higher.
The power of a mixer determines how effectively it can mix dense ingredients such as dough. Higher-powered mixers are better suited to heavy-duty tasks and can handle larger batches of ingredients. Look for a mixer with a motor that is powerful enough to handle your specific mixing needs.
Different recipes require different speeds, so choosing a mixer that offers variable speed settings is essential. Mixers with multiple speed settings give you more control over the mixing process, ensuring that you can achieve the desired consistency for your dishes.
Commercial mixers are an investment, so it’s important to choose a model that is built to last. Look for mixers that are constructed with high-quality materials such as stainless steel, which is durable and easy to clean. Additionally, check for warranties and service plans, as these can provide added peace of mind and ensure that your mixer remains in top working condition for years to come.
Accessories can expand the versatility of your mixer and allow you to perform a variety of tasks. Look for mixers that come with attachments such as dough hooks, wire whisks, and flat beaters. Some models may also offer additional accessories, such as meat grinders and pasta makers, which can help streamline your food preparation process.
Tips for Finding the Right Commercial Mixer
- Consider your needs and preferences. Think about the specific tasks you need your mixer to perform and what features are most important to you. Do you need a mixer for light-duty tasks, or do you require a heavy-duty model for kneading dough? Consider your space constraints, budget, and preferred power source (electric or manual) as well.
- Read reviews and compare models. Take the time to research different mixer models and read reviews from other users. Comparing different models can help you determine which one will best meet your needs and provide the most value for your investment.
- Test out the mixer before purchasing. Whenever possible, try out the mixer before making a purchase. This can help you get a feel for the mixer’s power, speed, and ease of use. Many retailers offer demos or trial periods, which can allow you to test out a mixer in your own kitchen before committing to a purchase.
- Consider maintenance and repairs. Maintenance and repairs are crucial considerations when purchasing a commercial mixer. Look for models that are easy to clean and maintain, and ensure that replacement parts are readily available. Additionally, consider the cost of repairs and whether the manufacturer offers service plans or warranties.
In conclusion, a food mixer is an essential piece of equipment in any commercial kitchen, and choosing the right model is crucial to ensure high-quality food products. By considering the different types of mixers available, the features to look for, and some tips for finding the right mixer for your needs, you can make an informed decision and invest in a mixer that will serve your kitchen for years to come.