* Prices may differ from that shown
I like cooking and I do have quite a few kitchen implements to help my life in the kitchen go a little smoother, one of those things being what is known in the trade as a hand mixer... and no, it's not a weapon of torture that is used to damage your hands unless you give up the secret information that is asked for. A hand mixer is in fact a small device that helps mix up ingredients on order to make something like that perfect cake, or what ever else you plan on making.
In other words, hand mixers are a lazy persons wooden spoon...
I have used quite a few food mixers during my time slaving away in the kitchen, breaking some or just realising that others are about as useful as a chocolate teapot on a hot summers day, on the beach, during a picnic with the devil himself. And it is one that I have used quite recently that I wish to tell you about here, today.
That hand mixer being from a man called Russell, Russell Hobbs in fact, (and no, he had nothing to do with them biscuits either), with this particular mixer being from the ever so clever Essential range of Mr Hobbs small appliances.
* Firstly, I'd like to tell you what this mixer looks like...
It looks like many other hand mixers of it's calibre, that being a small kitchen tool and not designed to be used in the kitchens at the Hilton Hotel.
It has a white plastic casing with many slits for venting the heat from the 120 watt motor as it powers along. On the top there is a good size handle, which has all the controls running along it for easy reach. These simple to understand controls are the attachment release button right at the front. Then there's the speed selector just behind that, followed by the boost button.
And that's it for the controls really.
If you turn it over you'll see that there are two little holes near the front end, these holes are for the attachments to slot into, sliding in and being gripped so that you can go about their mixing.
And that's what it looks like, apart from the mains cable that comes out of the machine near the rear so that it's well out of the way of the spinning attachments.
* How do you use it then..?
This is the easy part, you simply slot the attachments in to the two holes that you'll see in the underside of the mixer, giving a little twist so that they are gripped into place. Then, once you plug the machine in, you slide the power button along, starting with number '1', which gives you a good amount of mixing power, right up to five, which is a little too fast for anything really.
To change the speed you simply slide the little slider along from left to right, revealing numbers as you go, one click at a time.
Then, if, by chance, from some reason, you need a sudden burst of mixing speed you can press the 'boost' button, holding it in for as long as you need the boost of power.
And that's how you use it. Plus, as it only weighs about a kilo, if that, it can be used for a while without having to rest during operations, meaning that you don't have to work out in the gym in order to be able to use this one, which is lucky for me as I don't like going to the gym really, it's full of mirror obsessed posers who are in love with their reflections... strange really.
* So what about cleaning it...?
It is only the attachments that need a good cleaning after use, which is done by simply releasing the attachments and washing them in a bowl. To actually release them from the machine you just press the 'release' button which is right at the front of the top of the unit, (if you're with me there..?). This will push out the attachments so do make sure that they have somewhere to drop into to, or onto, as they will fall straight out.
Once the attachments are out it is then just a matter of wiping down the machine with a cloth in order to get rid of any bits of flour, sugar, pastry mix or anything else that may have splattered up onto the units casing.
And that's it for cleaning... simple really...
* So what do I think of this small mixer..?
It's not the best I've used, far from it, but then again, it's not the worst either.
It has it's good side, such as the five speed selector slider button and the quick turbo hit. But it has it's downside too, such as the fact that you only get one set of attachments with it, and to be honest, these attachments, even thought they claim to be stainless steal, are showing signs of rust in places, especially around where the actual mixing blades are spot-welded to the main 'pin', which is not good when you think that you may be mixing rust particles into you beloved mix of food stuff.
Fortunately, as I have owned other mixers in the past, I have a few attachments and some actual fit this machine, which means that I have the dough hooks that should but don't come with this.
The speeds themselves are great, in fact, I mainly only have to use the number one setting as this speed is adequate for my mixing needs, and even that is a bit too fast on some jobs. But, if you want a slow speed then you're going to have to put this down and use the good old fashioned wooden spoon missing method, or should that be 'folding' method..??
The 'flappy paddle' control is so easy to slide with your thumb so there's no real danger of over revving, so to speak.
It doesn't vibrate that badly so it's quite gentle in the hand, but it is pretty loud so there's no chance of using this at midnight really as you will wake up your family, maybe even the dead as well. And I can't say who would be the most annoyed.
There are many little holes in the side to let the motor breath properly so there's very little danger of over heating, and as the position of the handle means that your hand never really goes anywhere near the 'vents', there's no danger of covering them up, unless you end up splashing lots of bread mix up over the body of the machine..?
* And the cost of this 'budget' mixer..?
This one cost about £10.00, or less, which as I said, is a budget mixer with the right power you need to get the job done.
* Would I recommend this hand mixer..?
I'd have to weigh up the pros and cons, adding the price into the mix, and come up with the answer...! Which has to be 'yes' I would recommend this one for a cheap and cheerful hand mixer that does exactly what it is supposed to do.
The only reason I wouldn't recommend it is the way that the attachments seem to have gone a funny red/rust shade after a while, but the actual machine is as good as many others out there of the same calibre.