Hand mixers, juicers and blenders
With so many food preparation products on the market, the important question to ask yourself before buying is: what do I want the machine to do?

If it’s a matter of whipping cream then a hand mixer will suffice, but if you regularly bake cakes and bread then a stand mixer will be more up to the task.

If your culinary ambitions extend to lavish entertaining, then it’s worth looking at a top-end machine with lots of attachments. It may seem an expensive option, but in the long run its longevity and versatility will prove good value.

Power & size

Motors
Motors
Motors
Motors

Motors

You might think the bigger the wattage the more powerful the machine, but often it is more important to look at the type of motor the machine has

Series motor

Belt driven motor, which can handle variable speeds. It’s a noisier machine, so tends to be installed in the more basic models

Induction motor

Used in commercial machines, they produce the one, optimum speed for the job required. They also tend to be quieter

 

 

 

Drive motor

Similar to the induction motor, its direct transmission takes the load off the motor so less wattage is needed

Pulse button

Standard on most machines, this gives a quick burst of speed when you need a top-up

Capacity

Some exceed a 4-litre capacity and often have a series of bowls depending on the task. Smaller machines may be limited to what they can do

Hand mixers, stand mixers & food processors

Stand mixers

  • Have a wealth of versitility
  • Come with a wide range accessories and attachments
  • Prices range from around £100 to £800
  • Well-loved brands include KitchenAid and Kenwood

 

Hand mixers

  • Smaller and convenient for more simple kitchen tasks
  • Great for baking anything from cakes and biscuits to meringue
  • Some come with accessories and attachments start at as little as £16 and go up to £200

 

Food mixers

Food processors

  • More compact than stand mixers, but very versatile
  • Basic models have a series motor
  • Higher priced ones are fitted with induction motors
  • Supplied with a series of attachments for multi-tasking 
  • Ideal for soup, smoothies, dips, baby food, sauces and bread
  • Price dictates which attachments they are supplied with
  • Most models are often calibrated for easy measuring
  • Many are supplied with a handy storage unit for all the attachments
  • Favoured brands include Magimix, Kenwood, KitchenAid and Tefal

 

Cooking food processors

  • More expensive that regular food processors
  • Prepare and cook ingredients in one
  • Most will d everything from chopping to cooking and steaming
  • Usually come with a LCD screen for easy operation
Stand mixers

Food mixers

  • Much larger than most food preparation gadgets
  • Lots of attachments and capabilities
  • Great for anything from cakes, biscuits, scones and bread
  • Some include a spiralizer for healthy eating
  • Others might have an ice cream bowl for home made ice cream 
  • Most supplied with a whisk, dough hook and beater as standard
  • Other tools usually need to be purchased separately

 

Food processors & Cooking food processors

Juicers & blenders

Ideal for nutrition, natural recipes, health and well being, a blender is a great breakfast smoothie maker. Juicers are less versatile but models vary widely: presses, cold press juicers, slow juicers, bullet juicers and simple citrus juicers. 

High performance blenders have powerful motors that cause enough friction to be able to make hot food piping hot and silky smooth. 

Juicers

Blenders

  • Hand and stick blenders can whisk, purée and crush
  • Price tends to be dictated by capacity, speed and power
  • For instance, more powerful blenders can crush ice easily
  • Usually have a choice of speeds 
  • Some have a built-in speed sensor

 

Personal blenders

  • Blend straight into the takeaway cup
  • Perfect for smoothies on the go
  • Best brands include Kenwood, Nutribullet, Nutri Ninja and Vitamix

 

 

Juicers

  • Some are simple hand-operated contraptions
  • Others are ‘use the whole fruit’ machines
  • Some can only handle citrus fruits 
  • Centrifugal juice extractors are more ruthless
  • Some even have a ‘coulis’ function

 

Blenders & Personal blenders