As much as I like my stand mixer, I find that I still use a hand mixer with great regularity. A hand mixer is great when you only need to mix up a small batch of something like brownies or cake and you simply don’t want to get out the big mixer. It can also be a good tool when you need to mix up multiple bowls and don’t have enough stand mixer bowls to go around. A good hand mixer should be versatile and easy to use, and the Cook’s Country test kitchen put them through their paces in a recent issue ( Dec/Jan 2015) in an effort to determine which mixers were the best. They looked for mixers with open beaters (no central post inside the whisk) that wouldn’t catch food and that handled a variety of tasks – from mixing heavy oatmeal cookie dough to whipping a small amount of cream – with ease.
The test kitchen’s top pick was the Kitchenaid 5 Speed Ultra Power Hand Mixer (which I have, incidentally), which “felt like the sports car of the group… powerful and well calibrated, nicely covering the range called for in recipes” and took home a “Highly Recommended” rating. Three mixers were “Recommended,” including the Cuisinart PowerSelect 3-Speed Hand Mixer – which was awarded a “best buy” due to its very reasonable under-$30 price tag – and the Cuisinart Power Advantage 7- Speed Hand Mixer, the test kitchen’s previous favorite. The Bodum Bistro Electric Hand Mixer was also “Recommended,” though the test kitchen noted that it was a bit more difficult to clean than the other models. Breville’s Handy Mix and Hamilton Beach SoftScrape were not recommended.