Finding the Best Hand Mixer
While bright and colorful stand mixers often get all the attention in the kitchen, we know that a good hand mixer is indispensable to home cooks. With a smaller footprint than its standing counterpart, the hand mixer is the perfect tool for whipping up recipes quickly using any mixing bowl. A good hand mixer should make quick work of simple tasks like whipping egg whites or stirring up a batch of brownies (have you tried our best-loved brownie mix brand?).
To find our Best Loved Brand (what’s that?), our culinary team obtained five of the most popular hand mixers for our Test Kitchen. They used these mixers over the course of several months to stir up all the amazing recipes readers send our way (we’d love to receive your favorites!). Then they put each mixer through a series of standardized tests. To find the best hand mixer, our Test Kitchen staff recorded how each performed these essential tasks:
- Whipping: How well would the mixer whip a half pint of heavy whipping cream into stiff peaks? How long would it take?
- Blending: How long would it take to tint sour cream with a few drops of food coloring? (This was just a test—we didn’t actually plan to eat green sour cream, just judge how well the mixer blends!) How evenly was the color mixed? Were there any streaks?
- Creaming: How thoroughly would the mixer cream a half cup of butter and a cup of sugar? How much time would it take?
- Price: Is the product affordable? Was the performance reflected in the price?
The Best Hand Mixer: Oster 7-Speed Clean Start Hand Mixer
After undergoing months of use and a series of tests, our Test Kitchen gave Oster’s seven-speed mixer ($40) a perfect score. Our food stylists and prep cooks all found that the Oster mixer was easy to use and made mixing up all kinds of recipes a breeze.
Features We Loved
- 7 speeds: With seven speeds (much better than those three-speed mixers of yore), Oster’s Clean Start mixer allows you a lot of control of how quickly your ingredients come together. Some stylists noted that the hand mixer’s slowest speed was faster than its competitors, but it shouldn’t cause any big messes when you start mixing your flour into your wet ingredients.
- Versatile attachments: Most mixers simple come with a set of standard beaters. This one came with the classic beaters, of course, plus an aerator whisk and two dough hooks.
- Price: Oster’s seven-speed mixer is priced at less than $50. That’s a pretty good deal considering that this mixer is so powerful and versatile. It makes a great substitute for a stand mixer if you just don’t have the space for something larger.
How It Performed
When it came to our tests, the mixer performed well in every single one. Our food stylists had whipped cream in just 90 seconds—half the time of this mixer’s closest competitor. That means that these amazing recipes will stir up faster than ever. Oster’s mixer made even faster work of blending the food dye into our sour cream. It took only 45 seconds and there wasn’t a streak to be found.
What really impressed our cooks and food stylists, though was how well it creamed butter and sugar—the foundation of so many of our favorite cookie recipes. With its traditional beater attachments, the mixer whipped together these ingredients so well you might think a larger stand mixer did the job.
In the end, this mixer was rated 5/5 on our Test Kitchen scale. That means our culinary team found this mixer to exceed expectations. Our staff would happily use this product at home and would certainly recommend it to a friend. Can you ask for more?
We Also Recommend…
The Oster hand mixer was a joy to use, but two other brands stood out to our team of testers, as well.
Krups 10-Speed Digital Hand Mixer ($60, left): While the Krups hand mixer took awhile to whip cream and left behind some dye in the sour cream test, it ran very quietly and had a smooth transition between speeds. The speed button was another perk, but our Test Kitchen warns, you’ll get an arm workout! We wish it came with a whisk attachment.
Cuisinart Power Advantage Plus 9-Speed Hand Mixer ($59, right): This big-name hand mixer did the job, although we noticed the occasional burst of speed while we mixed, which seemed odd. The storage compartment is a clever idea, but we found it easier to wrap the cord around the mixer.
What to Make with a Hand Mixer
Our Test Kitchen’s favorite dish to make with a hand mixer is this Orange Pumpkin Chiffon Dessert. This comforting fall treat makes use of the hand mixer to whip up the perfect light and creamy pumpkin mousse. Once the chiffon is set, all you have to do is swap out the beaters for the whisk attachment to make some homemade whipped cream.
When it comes to mixing up cookie dough, cake batter and more, some folks like to do it the old-fashioned way with just a spoon or whisk; others like to put everything into a stand mixer. There are some recipes, though, that are best suited for a hand mixer—like these 30 reader favorites.
How to Care for Your Hand Mixer
After all that work whipping up batters, doughs and our creamy chiffon dessert, you’ll have to take care to clean your hand mixer up right. To keep it looking and performing like new, be sure to eject the beaters and clean them after each use. Leaving dirty beaters in the mixer can lead to permanently stuck blades.
Now, go mix up some new recipes!
About Best Loved Brands
If you’re like us, you want all your favorite recipes to turn out fabulous every single time you make them. That means opting for the best tasting ingredients and the best tools. While picking your favorite brand of chocolate chips or bacon is a task, it’s a delicious one to be relished. Choosing the best gadgets and gear for your kitchen, though, is another story. Unless you buy several stand mixers or food processors and put them through their paces, how can you ever know which will make your recipes turn out their best? That’s where our Test Kitchen comes in. Our culinary experts tried dozens of products our Test Kitchen—testing your recipes—to find out which brands came out on top.