When Choosing a Commercial Mixer


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When Choosing a Commercial Mixer

When Choosing a Commercial Mixer

Something we get asked a lot here at Sydney Commercial Kitchens is what Mixer is best for me?

It’s a good questions and one I thought I might try to explore.

The reason we use commercial mixers is quite obvious as chefs, bakers and hospitality professionals the most important thing we need to have is consistent product to keep the customer coming back for more, beside the fact we don’t have the time or wage budget to mix hundreds of cakes, breads or emulsions by hand. So which mixer is right for you?

When choosing a mixer you will have to consider what you are making and the quantities involved, are you making mostly breads, are you a cake shop or will you use the mixer for a range of products? A common misconception is that if you buy a 5 litre mixer you can make 5kgs of product, but that unfortunately is not the case, the general rule of thumb is you can fill the bowl to about two thirds capacity so in a five litre bowl you can reasonably fit about 3.3kg of product and so on.

Mixers have powerful motors and have a special bowl that is locked in place while the mixer is operating. A typical mixer will include a wire whisk for whipping creams and egg whites; a flat beater for mixing batters; and a dough hook for kneading.

Mixers are available in either counter top (also called bench) or floor models. Heavy duty floor models can have bowl capacities in excess of 130 litres and weigh hundreds of Kilograms. Whether a mixer is a counter top or floor model depends on its size. Mixers that are 20 litres in size or smaller tend to be counter top mixers and typically used in cafes and smaller restaurants, while larger mixers tend to be floor models due to their size and weight and are used in more commercial applications such as bakeries and production kitchens.

For most general mixing including batters, cake mix, dressings & even doughs you are going to want a planetary mixer, planetary mixers consist of a bowl and an agitator. The bowl remains static, whilst the agitator is rapidly moved around the bowl to mix its contents. With the ability to mix a wide variety of ingredients, planetary mixers are more versatile than their spiral counterparts. Planetary mixers can be used to whip and blend, whereas spiral mixers cannot. And are a staple in kitchens around the world.

If however you plan to specialise in breads or pizza you might want to consider a spiral mixer, spiral mixers are specialist tools for mixing dough. A spiral-shaped agitator remains stationary while the bowl rotates. This method enables spiral mixers to mix the same size dough batch much quicker and with less under-mixed dough than a similarly powered planetary mixer. Spiral mixers can mix dough with less agitator friction than planetary mixers. This allows the dough to be mixed without increasing its temperature, ensuring the dough can rise properly for a more even end result and also helps to avoid unwanted air pockets in your bread.

The commercial mixer has been in kitchens for quite some time and have become an integral part of commercial cookery. The first mixer with rotating parts was patented in 1856 in Baltimore, Maryland by tinsmith Ralph Collier. This was a hand powered device and was the prerunner to the more complex machine mixers we know today.

The first mixer with electric motor is thought to be the one invented by American Rufus Eastman in 1885. In 1908 Herbert Johnson, an engineer for the Hobart Manufacturing Company, invents an electric standing mixer. His inspiration came from observing a baker mixing bread dough with a metal spoon; soon he was toying with a mechanical counterpart. By 1915, his 80-quart mixer was standard equipment for most large bakeries.

In 1919 Hobart introduced the KitchenAid Food Preparer (stand mixer) for the home.

Kitchenaid Mixers through the years

In 1990 Hobart started looking for the oldest mixer still in use and incredibly found one in Fort Smith, Arkansas that was purchased in 1919 by Baker Mike Von Hatten and was still in use in the same shop up until 1990 a whopping total of 71 years, Hobart also found ten other mixers that were made between June 26, 1919 and Jan 20, 1922 still in use. What a testament to both quality and reliability. The Fort Smith mixer is now on display in Hobart Headquarters in Ohio.

When considering a mixer for your kitchen you should give us a call as we can help you to find a unit that will suit your needs and your budget.

Hobart Planetary Mixers

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