“ Brand: Sainsbury's / Design: Hand Mixer / Power: 300W „
Cooking is something that both my other half and I enjoy. A while ago we decided to make meringues, but we were a little over zealous with out balloon whisk and the handle fell off. We didn't have a suitable attachment on the food processor, so we decided to look from a replacement whisk on our visit to Sainsbury's. My other half had a good look at the appliance aisle and on his return presented me with said hand mixer, knowing that I'm not a fan of spending more than I have to we went with this Sainsbury's own mixer which cost the grand total of £12.99.
The mixer comes in a cardboard box, which we still use to store the mixer and attachments in as I'm sure they'd otherwise become lost in the depths of pans and baking trays also in there. The mixer looks exactly the same as it's pictured on the box. It is black and silver. It has a handle and controls at the top, underneath there is two holes for the attachments to be fitted. The mixer unit is roughly 14.8(H)x8(D)x21.2(W)cm. It comes with 2 beaters (whisks!) and 2 dough hooks. You attach these by putting the rod at the end of the attachment into the hole until it locks in, the release the attachments you push down on the control button. This is a very handy features it means you can remove and clean messy whisks separately from the mixer unit. The control button is one which you push up, it has numbers from 0-5 along the side for you work up and down depending on what you need to mix. There is also a turbo button, for some extra power - great for those meringues we found!
The lower setting are great for creaming butter and sugar in baking, they are powerful enough to work on butter which isn't totally soft without spraying the sugar everywhere in the process. I found a good way to get any mixture off the whisks after creaming is to hold the whisk in the mixing bowl (high sides are best) just above the ingredients and turn the power up the medium or high, this makes any mixture left on the attachments spray onto the edges of the mixing bowl without going everywhere else. The turbo button works by immediately operating the highest speed possible by the mixture, you need to hold the button down to use this and the speed will return to normal when you release it. It's very handy for mixing things which need a lot of 'oomph' like those meringues we've now mastered!
Our kitchen doesn't have a huge amount of sockets, so it was a relief that this mixer has a 1.4 metre power cable, meaning you don't have to be right next to a socket to be able to use it. The mixer is very simple to operate and I don't think anybody would struggle to work it. The whisks/beaters are fantastic and very versatile, we use them for cakes, meringues, pancakes, cookies and any other cooking which needs elbow grease. It gives great results without the whisk ache of using a balloon whisk or wooden spoon, I don't think I'd be able to bake so much so easily without it now. I have used the dough hooks on a few occasions, mainly for pizza dough and found that they take out a lot of the work which dough making usually entails. The attachments are very easy to clean, there are no nooks or crannies and they are stainless steel so very hygienic too.
The mixer unit cannot be submerged in water, but I have found it rarely gets messy so a wipes over with the washing up sponge or a cloth keeps it looking good as new. The attachments can be washed up like anything else and come up great. There is a note at the bottom of the instruction booklet which states to only use the mixer for a maximum of 5 minutes, then leave t to rest for 20 minutes before using again. I've never timed myself cooking, but have never needed to mix for prolonged periods of time so I don't think this is much of a problem. If you cooking on the larger scale it may be something to remember so as not to have the mixer overheat, however it's very sturdy and I have experienced no problems with it at all.
I would definitely recommend this mixer to anybody who bakes or cooks, whether it's a regular hobby or not, it's cheap enough to keep in the cupboard ready for when it's needed. It doesn't take up a lot of space, is sturdy and gives great results. I'm very glad we didn't buy a more expensive mixer. This one comes highly recommended from me - 5/5
Everyone says 'you get what you pay for' - and that's not always true. You usually either get more or less than you pay for - and if I'm honest in my experience paying a little less, especially for kitchen items, you get a little less.
I'm in the kitchen a lot at home and work, and I know the importance of reliability as well as how itis important something does the job its designed for. I'm usually more than happy, after a little research, to pay a little more for something if I know it will last and can withstand the impending abuse I'm going to hopefully spend the next few years inflicting. I was delighted when they build a Poundland round the corner from my house - tons of bits and bobs at a great price. I was gutted after everything from there I have ever bought has let me down. Tongues snapped. Timers that don't time. Blunt knives.
So, I don't like to spend and I see the merit in spending a little more. Thats why last when shopping I saw this great little hand mixer at a pretty decent £12.99. I read they did a value mixer at £4.99, but nothing in sight. They had a few branded ones ranging upto £25, but this was the cheapest and looked fine. It had the attachments we wanted and was within our price range. If they had the value one I would have still opted for this, its almost twice the price but had the look and feel of a much more premium product. Its matt black and silver, 300w has 5 speeds and comes with interchangeable whisks and dough hooks.
We wanted a hand mixed because we make lots of bread and cakes. Its something we both insist on as we both love cooking and its great fun. When we have time off together we often cook and bake and over the past year or so been slowly building up the gadgets and gizmos for the kitchen. A hand mixer is a little bit of a late addition mainly due to the fact we both love kneading bread by hand mixing up cakes ourselves. We agreed to pick up a cheap mixer when we saw one and had the money as it mixing by machine save a little time and effort - and as with ever busying lifestyles we thought it time. When we saw this it was a no brainer. We love Sainsburys - feel genuine value for money when we shop their and as a result have built up a real affiliation and brand loyalty. We wen't to our local Morrisons tonight (its closer and were in a rush) and the are having a refurb. The signs out side say 'please accept our apologies while we improve your store', as soon as we read that my girlfriend said 'are they building a Sainsburys?'
This mixer has not broken tradition with the great value for money we have grown to expect from Sainsbury - it simply does is job and it does it well. Something like this, a future staple of the kitchen - I don't want anything more. The first time we cracked it out last week was to make a lemon drizzle cake and mixing by hand squeezed down the preparing time by about 10 minutes - and also resulted in a better cake. Cakes need air, and mixing by machine fills you mixture with more air than by hand. So you not only get a quicker cake but a better one too. For me, mixing by machine leaves you with a more premium product when cook - it just tastes more professional. You also eliminate lumps in the mix giving a much nicer cake - and with a mixer you get more consistently good results.
The first thing you notice is it has a nice weight. Not too heavy but heavy enough. A hand mixer should have a little weight to unsure its sits more firmly in your hand and the mixing bowl - to help maintain a stead mix. No one want batter all over the kitchen wall. It has five setting and the thing you will notice is even the first setting is quiet violent - you almost worry that setting 5 will start to drill through the work top - its ok though as once its running if feels easy to control.
For me though its the dough hook I love, if not for the fact its cleaner and quicker to mix like this than by hand. Mixing dough by hand is messy, and doing this saves time mixing and cleaning the kitchen. I'll be making much more bread simply due to the fact I own this and don't have to take into the mess. Its mixed quickly in the bowl with me touching it at all.
Next to the speed control is a little trigger to release the attachment. Its really easy and quick and makes cleaning a breeze. Once your done mixing, click off rinse and your done. 20 seconds max. You might have a little mix on the blender itself but has a nice smooth finish underside so just wipe clean. Its not cordless which some may find a pain - but not me. Plugging something like this in is not a hassle and the difference between £12.99 and £30. It just makes sense to go for the cheaper option.
It feels like a product that will last. Its sturdy and robust. The controls are not fiddly or small and its super simple to use. There is nothing to dislike about this, and just add to the belief I have Sainsbury is a great value supermarket. I assume other supermarkets have similar products, but this feels like a premium product at a really good price.
As cooking is something that I really enjoy, I have a fair few kitchen appliances, but until I acquired this mixer I'd made do with using a food processor or a whisk when baking. I bought this as I wanted to be able to whisk eggs and cake batter more easily. At £12.99 it didn't seem like a huge investment, and on inspection in the shop looked more robust than the store's value version, which is a 100 watt machine.
This particular mixer is 300 watts, and it comes with stainless steel whisks and also some dough hooks. It has 5 speeds and a turbo button. It's not the most compact of items at 21 by 15 cm, and it is fairly heavy too (Sainsbury's don't say how heavy it is but my scales think it's 1.2kg). Lookswise - well it's a hand mixer and not that pretty, but not too dissimilar to others I considered before before buying this one.
When using the mixer you can certainly feel that is powerful, there's no grip as such but it sits in the hand well enough. It makes mixing up egg whites, a job I had previously struggled with with my magimix, a breeze:(top tip here - when Delia says you should be able to hold the bowl upside down over your head that doesn't mean you should actually try it). It's also great for rescuing lumpy hand mixed pancake batter prepared by my children's fair hands and making cakes, the interlocking paddles make short work of mixing everything up. I haven't used the dough hooks extensively as I'd rather let my breadmaker take the strain, however the motor is plenty robust enough to be able to mix pizza dough and the like. It is certainly very good for fairy cake purposes, something which get made at least once a week in this house.
I do find that, in all honesty, there is very little difference between the 5 speeds, which you control with the sliding button on the top. If anything it is a little too quick on the lowest setting, you can't use it to fold anything in, I tend to remove the mixer and do this by hand to avoid meringue being over mixed or flour being beaten and not folded in.
If you press "turbo" it just turns it up to the highest setting - I don't do this very often as it's just a bit scary! I believe more expensive hand mixers have a pulse feature, which this doesn't, so maybe if you are going to be baking a lot you may want to consider a more pimped up machine. For my purposes however, this mixer is more than adequate, though they could have been a little more generous with the cord length - it's only 1 metre which isn't really much in my opinion. It's pretty noisy as well, but it does whisk well, which is kind of what you want it to do.
Having read more hand mixer reviews than I care to recall, before heading to the till with this I did check the attachments and were pleased to see that they were stainless steel and soundly made - in comparison to the value version they are much more solid looking, and as they are not chrome coated there's no fear of chrome covering flaking off. The manual tells me that I shouldn't put the beaters in the dishwasher - no idea why - but I have to admit to having lived dangerously more than once to no ill effect. Rather alarmingly the manual also tells you to "mix for a maximum of five minutes" - in bold type - I suspect this is to avoid the motor overheating - it's not something that I have had an issue with in all honesty, I don't really have the occasion to whisk for longer than the stated maximum time, when eg making a pavlova at the speed this whisks you are unlikely to use it for more than a minute or two. When not in use and mid adding an ingredient you can rest the mixer on its side on the work top and it's quite stable.
When I'm all done the plastic body of the machine is pretty easy to wipe over and has worn well so far. You can't tell from the photo above but the bottom bit of this mixer is metal whereas the bit over the buttons is a plastic imitation - it's fairly well finished though and the buttons are well made.
Removing the beaters to wash is very straightforward, you just push in the speed button and they come out - for safety you can only do this in the off position. There's no easy way to store this item so I tend to keep it in the box it came in and get it out to use as required.
Since buying this, and deliberately choosing a cheaper model in case it didn't get used too much (more flash models seem to be about the £40 mark), I have used this more than I thought I would. It's got a one year guarantee so if anything does go wrong I can take it back to the store, thus far all is well and I'm pretty pleased with my purchase. I've given it 4 stars purely for the cord length and fact that the lowest setting is a bit too fast for my liking, but overall for the price I paid I'm happy to recommend it!
Details here: http://www.sainsburys.co.uk/sol/shop/home_and_garden/kitchen/
Short name: Sainsbury's A1962