Kitchen Mixing Equipment Buying Guide
Running a business that involves cooking and preparing food is much more challenging than it may seem at first glance. To put it straight, even the tiniest detail matters, in the sense that it can make a positive difference or a negative one. This could be said about kitchen equipment, which should be chosen to maximize your staff’s efficacy.
Happily, thanks to technology, the range of kitchen equipment pieces manufactured for restaurants has been greatly revolutionized. This way, you can aim at obtaining excellent results in half the time that would normally be required for that.
To that end, today we’ll focus on commercial mixing equipment. Such equipment is, obviously, designed to meet a wide array of functions – namely beating, mixing, whipping, preparing cake mixes, or even dough for pastries, so on and so forth.
So, if your activity entails the preparation of pastries and baked goods in general, then getting commercial mixing equipment is a must.
Immersion Blenders – Why You Need One
First, we’d like to focus our attention on immersion blenders. Once you get one, you’ll find it difficult to imagine that a commercial kitchen can function without such a unit. Why is that?
For one thing, an immersion blender offers a quick and convenient way of blending significant quantities of liquid at once. In comparison to a conventional blender, which comes with a container (usually a small container), an immersion blender doesn’t restrict you in this way. Quite the contrary, a larger quantity of ingredients can be efficiently mixed in a reduced amount of time.
Therefore, this eliminates the need for pouring the ingredients into a blender’s restricting container. Concurrently, this means you don’t have to split the quantities into batches.
Nonetheless, this isn’t the only way in which immersion blenders can be used. In fact, an immersion blender does an excellent job at preparing sauces, smoothies, so on and so forth. Simultaneously, an immersion blender is great for whipping heavy cream, blending puree soups, mixing ground meat, etc. As you can see, its functionality is guaranteed.
Types of Immersion Blenders
|Basic Immersion Blenders||- They are suitable for most uses; however, they aren’t as versatile as their counterparts.|
- Suitable for making purees, blending ingredients, so on and so forth.
|Multi-Function Blenders||- More versatile, in the sense that they can be used for nearly any purpose in the kitchen.|
- Still, they are pricier, as they come with more accessories. Suitable for crushing ice, chopping nuts, dicing fruits and veggies, etc.
What to Look for When Shopping for Immersion Blenders?
After establishing that each commercial kitchen needs a reliable immersion blender, it’s time to focus on the main characteristics you should look for.
Does your immersion blender need a powerful motor or not? Typically, in a commercial kitchen, a blender can be used in numerous applications. Thus, it is preferred to get a unit that will easily handle preparing purees or even crushing ice.
Moving on, immersion blenders come with different attachments. Evidently, if you invest in an immersion blender that supplies an array of attachments, then your staff will be able to use the device for the preparation of a greater range of foods and meals.
For example, some models incorporate attachments for whisking, frothing, chopping, so on and so forth. To that end, if you prefer investing in a unit that provides you with matchless versatility, we advise you to factor this in.
Once again, your needs should dictate your purchase. Therefore, it is entirely up to you to decide whether this characteristic is important or not. For instance, if you plan on utilizing the blender for the preparation of multiple meals that require distinct consistencies, then our advice would be to pick a model that will deliver in this direction.
Ease of Use and Convenience
It goes without saying that, in a commercial kitchen, things have to move along fast. This is, in fact, the key to customer turnover and satisfaction. This is why you have to choose the equipment that facilitates the ease of use and convenience you need to develop.
To that end, we’re also referring to the design of the unit: is it easy to maintain or not. Can you wash its attachments in the dishwasher? If not, are they easy to clean or not?
Many people that use immersion blenders end up complaining that they are likely to accumulate heat. This is likely to happen especially in the case of cheaper models. For the most part, in the case of commercial-grade kitchen equipment, things should be different.
And they are, in most cases. But this doesn’t mean you should leave your guard down. Conversely, you have to assess the power of the blender and ensure that it addresses your needs. If you do this, the odds are you won’t have to worry about the annoyance of heat accumulation.
Meanwhile, many manufacturers produce immersion blenders that disperse the heat rather quickly. We encourage you to choose such an item.
Is It Lightweight?
This is, perhaps, one of the most critical aspects that you should consider. When it comes to immersion blenders, they are hand-held. Therefore, they should be lightweight, so that your employees won’t get exhausted after using the blender for a few minutes. With that in mind, when choosing such a unit, the weight is important, since this will also make the blender easier or more difficult to grip.
Furthermore, it would be safe to say that a commercial mixer is one of the most efficient and versatile preparation equipment pieces you can invest in. In contrast with regular mixers, a commercial grade mixer comes with numerous accessories that make it even more versatile, being suitable for numerous applications.
Types of Mixers
|Planetary Mixer||Also referred to as a vertical mixer, it incorporates an agitator that mixes the ingredients, whereas the mixing bowl is stationary;|
- It incorporates an array of agitator attachments;
- Some models feature a unique characteristic – a power Takeoff (PTO) hub, enabling you to add grating, slicing, chopping, as well as other attachments;
- When the situation asks for it, a smaller bowl can be used for smaller quantities.
|- Thanks to the range of accessories included, it can be used for mixing dough, puddings, icings, and so on.|
|Dough Mixer||Known as spiral mixers, dough mixers present a spiral-shaped agitator that is stationary; meanwhile, the bowl revolves around it;|
- When mixing smaller batches, you don’t have to worry about changing the agitator or the bowl.
- The range of attachments isn’t as diverse as in the case of planetary mixers.
|- Thanks to its unique design, this mixer is best for mixing large quantities of dough.|
|Vertical Cutter Mixer||- It includes a large covered mixing bowl, an interior agitator and a high horsepower motor;|
- It performs a wide range of functions, but its efficiency level isn’t as high as in the case of its counterparts, nor is it as versatile.
|- Perfect for fast, bulk production;|
- Recommended for mixing batters, sauces, chopping nuts, cooked meat, salad material, and bread.
Mixer Features Should You Keep an Eye Out for?
Evidently, purchasing the first commercial mixer that crosses your path isn’t the way to go if you want to optimize your production. In fact, there is a range of key features that you should keep in mind.
How big is your kitchen space? Depending on the space you have at your disposal, you should choose a commercial mixer that will easily fit into your kitchen. For instance, more compact units (less than 10 qt.) are designed specifically to easily fit on a countertop.
On the other hand, larger mixers (10-20 qt.) are a better option for equipment stands. Anything that goes beyond this size is considered a floor mixer, being designed to sit on the floor.
Essentially, larger commercial mixers usually incorporate a higher horsepower motor, when compared to smaller models. That’s evidently because they are made to handle greater quantities of ingredients. At the same time, it’s worth outlining that larger units are generally better suited for stiff, thick dough – such as pizza dough. Such textures require more power than dough with a lighter texture.
As a rule of thumb, commercial mixers come with various operating speeds, which determine the speed at which the agitator will revolve. Depending on the product, one mixer might be more efficient at mixing at specific speeds. For example, in the case of a planetary mixer, each agitator attachment will provide individual results.
Meanwhile, does the mixer enable you to change the operating speed during its operation? This is of great importance, as well. Many models come with this characteristic, which can come in handy, boosting the productivity of your kitchen staff.
However, note that not all commercial units on the market are meant to effortlessly cope with this mechanical stress; thus, requiring you to shut down the unit before changing the speed.
Type of Bowl Lift
If you choose to invest in a planetary mixer, then the bowl remains attached to a yoke at the sides or near the vertical column of the machine. To that end, perhaps the most common type is the manual bowl lift, which doesn’t let the bowl to move.
Meanwhile, we also have the electric bowl lift, which includes a system that lowers and raises the bowl automatically. This model is common for larger mixing bowls. There is also the bowl guard, which aims at preventing foreign objects from getting in direct contact with the mixture while diminishing the incidence of unwanted accidents.
Usually, commercial mixers can be divided into two major categories, when it comes to the drive systems. As you might expect, there are advantages and disadvantages to both types.
- Cheaper to fix and repair, in the case of malfunctions;
|- It’s likely to experience a belt slip, or, most commonly, insufficient grip between the drive and the belt. So, this diminishes the velocity ratio of the mixer system.|
|Gear-driven||- The risk of system slips is eliminated;||- If repairs are necessary, they are pricey.|
Commercial Mixer Accessories
Evidently, the purpose of mixer accessories is to diversify the uses you can get out of a mixing system. With that in mind, these are the main accessories you’re likely to use when running a commercial kitchen.
First, a dough hook is a must-have accessory for kneading and folding pizza and bread dough, among others.
Expressly, the wire whip comprises of wire strands, which are arranged in an oval shape. Usually, this type of accessory is best suited for puddings, custards, whipped cream, as well as light, thin textures such as the ones of soufflés.
This facilitates a wide, flat surface, being more than ideal for mixing up the batter for brownies or cakes while being suitable for hard cookie dough. Thanks to its versatility, it can also be used for mashed potatoes or making the icing.
This comes in handy for scraping the sides of the mixing bowl, as the agitator turns. Essentially, this reduces ingredient waste, while being time efficient.
This accessory is meant to easily cut through heavy, textured dough, such as pizza and pie dough.
Final Thoughts on Commercial Mixing Equipment
To conclude, with the right equipment, you can aim at making your business more successful and profitable. This is not a simple task, for sure – which is why you should do your research beforehand and invest in the mixing equipment that will address your individual needs, over the course of time.
After doing this, you’ll realize that your kitchen staff’s efficiency will boost, as the right equipment will help you save time and money.