* Prices may differ from that shown
Anyone that knows me knows that I like to dabble in the art of cooking. Although maybe 'Art' is not always the right word in some cases with some of the stuff I have made during my recent escapades inside the room with the oven and sink.
So, to help me make life easier inside the kitchen I like to have the right equipment around me, be that a wooden spoon, so that I do not scratch my pans with a metal edge, to more advanced device that cooks a loaf of bread from a pile of ingredients. The way I see it is that the easier my life can be in the kitchen the more relaxed I am when I'm making something so that I don't end up sounding like a certain foul mouth chef who loves seeing himself in the small screen.... And you know who I mean??
One particular device that I have in my kitchen, which helps me mix up ingredients quick that using a spoon of whisk, is something that is called a Hand Mixer, with me having gone through a few of them during my experiences inside the hot room with the sink full of pots and pans.
One hand mixer that I used a while back, one which I thought would be as good as most others, soon realising that my initial reaction to it was so far off, making me wish that I had never set eyes on it in the first place, is a hand mixer that has a well known brand etched into its brain. That hand mixer being a small one from the well known company called Philips, with the full name being the Philips HR1572 hand mixer, (which is not to be confused with the HR1574 or any other hand mixers with a number for a name).
* What about the specs..?
# 5 speed selection plus a turbo function
# Stainless steel beaters and also dough hooks
# 350watts of power in the motor
# As I just mentioned, it double up as a hand blender for soups and the like.
* Do you get anything else apart from the mixer..?
Yes, you do, you get a few added extras, such as...
# Two whisks attachments for general mixing
# Two dough hooks bread making
# A hand blender attachment, which slots into the secret compartment on the rear.
# A tall jug
* What does this look like..?
It's your standard size for a basic hand mixer, being about 175mm long by about 155mm deep, (excluding whisk attachments), and mo more than 75mm wide at its widest point, which is at the bottom edge. It weighs less than a kilo which makes it pretty light when using it to mix up your flour and eggs... although it does mix many other things too.
The main body is made of a white plastic casing which has a bit of a black edging along the front and around to the bottom, which makes the two colours seem to mix together quite well.
The handle is near the top of the machine, although to be precise, the handle is more a large hole in the top sides of the housing which leaves enough room to be used as a handle. Along the top of this handle, there are the controls, those being three buttons, or to be exact, a slider and two buttons. The button right at the front is a stiff push button which, when pushed down hard, releases the attachments when you've finished mixing. Then, just behind this stiff button, there is the slider button, which is the speed control. This little black slider lever goes from side to side, sliding along numbers from '0' to '5', with '0' bring 'off' and '1' being 'slow', with the numbers going up to the top speed of '5' speeding up the motor with each increase in number.
Then, behind the 5 speed controls there is a turbo boost option which, when pressed, gives a sudden burst of power.
And those are the controls... simple and all easy to get at with either your thumb or you fingers.
There's a little secret about this mixer which, if you don't read the manual, or I don't mention it here, you may just miss what it is...
This little secret is that on the rear end of this one there is a small 'flap' on the black casing. This flap looks a little like a cover for something, and that's what it is really. It is a cover for a slot that, when you attach the supplied long mixer attachment, slotting it into place and locking it in with a twist. You have yourself a hand blender so you can blend up your stuff when it's in the bottom of a long jug.
To use this you slide off the small rubber/plastic covering to reveal what looks like a little cog. You then slot the long mixer attachment into the hole, twisting it to lock it in place. Once it's in place you just use the same controls on the top of the unit to work this blender.
Simple as that really... so it's two machines in one, a mixer and a blender, which is a good point with this one.
But now for the bad parts, which are why I now know longer use this death trap on an electric lead with a plug on it...
Firstly, the motor may have a bit of a kick to it and can make mixing up ingredients a simple task but the heat that the motor gives out doesn't seem to have any way of getting out of the plastic body, there's no real vents to talk of and when I'm holding the handle on the top of this, as you would with most other mixers, you can feel the heat of the motor coming through the plastic body and feeling pretty uncomfortable in my hand. Even if I just use it a few seconds at a time, which is about as useful as chocolate teapot, the motor still gets up to temperature quicker that a spotty pubescent chap watching a blue movie in his bedroom whilst his parents are out for the evening.
Then there's the buttons, which, as I said before, are easy to reach and are easy to use, being simple and quick to react, but they are a little to, shall we say, 'delicate' as all it takes is a slight touch and the sliders slides along the numbers, changing the speeds in seconds, before you've even realised what's happening. This has led to a lot of wrong speed settings and a lot of mess around the work tops as the mix flies out of the mixing bowl.
Then there was the fact that when I was mixing a bit of dough up, ready to make some lovely bread, which I like to do by hand more than machine, one of the hooks actually snapped off when I was in the middle of the mix. The end 2 cm just fell into the dough and got mixed in, which was not good as it meant I had to throw the dough away, together with the hooks, and almost the mixer too. I didn't notice for a few seconds or so as the ends were in the dough so I couldn't tell. The first I knew of it was when I kept seeing a shiny piece popping up in the dough every so often, which was at the wrong angle for the edges of the hooks. Then, when I pulled out the hooks I soon spotted that one of the hooks was shorter than the other, with the shorter one having a sharp end to it.
* How much does this one cost then..?
This nice looking but badly made mixer sells for a whopping £35, which is about the right price for a mixer of its kind, if it was any good that is.
* Would I suggest buying it..?
No. if I know then what I know now then I'd have steered well clear of this mixer when I spent my money on it.
It may well look the part, like many others of its kind, with a strong feeling handle that is easily gripped and can be held by the biggest of hands, but the unit can feel like it's about to go into a complete melt down as it heats up better than a top of the range fan assisted oven.
The 'hook' attachments that I got with this one were about as strong as a wet paper bag in a washing machine full of smelly socks, snapping with very little effort as I soon found out.
In all, this may look the part and will look nice hanging from a bracket in most kitchens, but when it comes to actually using it then you are going to be pretty disappointed indeed... I know I was.