Kitchen gadgets like blenders and mixers make food preparation easy. However, these kitchen appliances can take up valuable cabinet or counter space. So, it makes sense to invest in devices that can perform multiple functions. However, multitasking is possible only if the device has been designed for the intended purposes. Let us look at blenders and mixers for instance. Can a blender be used as a mixer?
A blender can be used as a mixer only to some extent. Mixers beat and combine ingredients while blenders pulverize and liquefy ingredients. While blenders can replace mixers for tasks like preparing pancake batter, they cannot be used to mix solid ingredients, prepare a dough, or for whisking.
To understand why a regular blender cannot perform all the functions that a mixer does, we should take a closer look at how each of these devices operate.
What Does A Blender Do?
As the name suggests, a blender will blend ingredients.
Not only does it mix the ingredients, but it also liquifies them during the process.
Blenders are commonly used to make soups, purees, sauces, and smoothies. They tend to handle liquids very well.
However, you can also use blenders to blend soft solid ingredients.
The sharp blades and fast motor ensures that the ingredients are finely mixed, and they end up in a liquid form.
Basic blender models blend soft solids and liquids and make them into a paste or liquid.
However, there are powerful blenders that can crush and mix ice and other solids.
Some blenders can also make ice cream and nut butter.
Depending on their form, function, and size, the following different types of blenders are available.
In this traditional blender, the main parts are an electric motor and a switch or knob with speed settings.
You must place the ingredients in a glass or plastic jar with a blade at the bottom.
The blade is made of sharp stainless steel and angled to ensure maximum contact with the food.
To blend the ingredients, you should place the jar on the main unit and lock it into position.
Close the jar with its airtight lid. When you switch on the power, the blades begin to rotate.
It creates a tornado-like vortex that drags the food into the center.
As the ingredients spin, the blades pulverize them and blend it into a uniform mix.
The final product is a homogenous liquid with an even texture.
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The immersion blender is a small, handheld device.
It is portable and useful to make soups and sauces.
The main benefit of an immersion blender is that you can use it to blend ingredients in any pot or pan.
You do not have to transfer the ingredients into a blender jar for the purpose.
The immersion blender looks like a wand with rotating blades at the base.
You immerse the blade into the food and switch it on.
As you move the blender through the ingredients, it will uniformly blend the ingredients and create a homogenous mixture.
Bullet blenders are smaller versions of countertop blenders and can be used to blend small amounts of ingredients.
In these blenders, a motor base supplies the power. The chopping blade is attached to the lid.
To blend the ingredients, you should transfer them into the glass or fiber jar.
Then screw on the lid, place the jar on the base, and lock it in position.
Switch on the power, and the blade will finely pulverize the ingredients into a smooth puree or paste.
To remove the contents, you can remove the jar from the lock, turn it around, and unscrew the lid.
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What Does A Mixer Do?
A mixer is an electric appliance that grinds, stirs, beats, and whips food.
It evenly combines ingredients and can be used to mix both solids and liquids.
Mixers have different blade attachments to whisk or beat ingredients together.
It can also prepare dough and batters by combining solid and liquid ingredients.
Mixers are used for cooking and baking prep.
They can efficiently tackle a range of tasks and reduce food preparation time.
Mixers are commonly used to make cake batter, cookie dough, frosting, and ice creams.
The two most common types of mixers are handheld mixers and stand mixers.
Handheld mixers have two paddle balloon whisks attached to the main unit.
It is a portable device and is lighter than stand mixers.
To use the handheld mixer, you should first attach the balloon whisks to the main unit.
Then place the whisks in the bowl of ingredients and plug it on.
Select the desired speed setting, and the whisks will start rotating.
You can now use it to whisk, beat, and whip ingredients.
Handheld mixers create a fluffy textured mixture by incorporating air into the mixture while blending the ingredients.
These devices can incorporate air into the mixture. By manually moving the mixer through the bowl, you can ensure that everything combines evenly.
The stand mixer is a standalone device. The upright unit carries the motor.
There is a provision to attach the whisk or hook at the end of the standing unit, so it faces downwards.
The mixer also has a bowl to hold the ingredients.
Stand mixers have different speed settings.
After attaching the hook or whisk in place, you can lower it into the bowl of ingredients.
When you switch it on, the mixer will start mixing the contents of the bowl.
It will mix them for the desired duration without any supervision.
You can use it to prepare dough and batter, whisk eggs and cream, and for various tasks.
The whisk and hook attachments of stand mixers are removable. You can take it off the stand mixer for cleaning.
Interesting Further Reading:
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When To Use A Blender Instead Of A Mixer? (And When Will It Not Work)
A blender can perform some of the tasks that a mixer does. However, it is not a perfect replacement.
The blades of a blender create a swirling movement that causes the ingredients to be finely cut and mixed.
The high shear rate of the blade causes the contents of the jar to liquefy and turn into mush.
Most blenders can only work with soft solids and liquid ingredients.
They need a fluid medium and cannot mix solid ingredients.
Meanwhile, a mixer has a lower shear rate.
The blade, hook, and whisk combine the ingredients slowly and evenly.
Mixers do not cut or chop as rapidly as a blender.
You can use a blender instead of a mixer to prepare certain items like pancake batter.
However, the blender will not whisk air into the batter.
So, the resulting texture may not be as fluffy as when it is made in a mixer.
Some blenders have frothing or foaming jars to add air into liquid ingredients.
Nevertheless, you cannot use a blender for preparing the dough.
While high power blenders can crush ice and solid ingredients, they cannot mix ingredients like flour.
So, you cannot use blenders to make cookie dough or bread dough.
Similarly, most blenders cannot whip or whisk ingredients.
You will not be able to use a blender to whisk egg whites for meringues or beat air into a batter to make it fluffy.
You will need a mixer for these tasks.