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Hand Mixer vs Immersion Blender

Hand Mixer vs Immersion Blender: What’s the Difference?

Last Updated on February 22, 2024 by Lori Walker

Through numerous hours spent in the kitchen, I’ve discovered that having a hand mixer and immersion blender is essential for any household chef.

They each have strengths and can make cooking a breeze, but which is better?

In this hand mixer vs immersion blender showdown, let’s look at these handy kitchen tools and discover when to use them.

Choosing Between Hand Mixer vs Immersion Blender

Person Holding Hand Mixer

A hand mixer consists of a whisk or two beaters, combining wet and dry ingredients [1], while an immersion blender has a blade to chop, blend, and puree ingredients.

Based on my observation, immersion blenders are slim and long devices with rotating blades at the end, while hand mixers are bulky in shape with spinning beaters at the end.

The best immersion blender is more powerful and has sharp blades that can chop ingredients and turn them into liquid ingredients with a smooth consistency (like a countertop blender).

“Whirling warriors: Hand mixer’s spin, blender’s plunge, taste triumphs.”

– Leonelli Bakery

On the contrary, hand mixers are versatile because you can use this kitchen tool for kneading dough, mixing, blending, beating, and whipping.

What is a Hand Mixer?

A hand mixer is a kitchen device with different speed settings. It comes with two removable beaters that, when turned on, rotate in opposite directions and has additional attachments like a balloon whisk, spatula, and dough hook.

A hand mixer is like a stand mixer but handheld and is typically plugged in with a power cord. It is equipped with a powerful electric motor that drives the attachments at the desired speed.

Bakers and chefs widely use hand mixers because of their versatility. Its whisk attachment is excellent at mixing ingredients, whipping cream, creaming butter, and even mixing small batches of ingredients for chocolate chips, cookie dough, and cakes.

What is an Immersion Blender? 

An immersion blender is a kitchen tool built around convenience and ease of use. This handheld device can liquify solid foods in a matter of seconds with its blender attachment.

An immersion blender is known as a stick blender or hand blender because of its appearance, and it is known for blending ingredients.

Its blender blades work great in blending soups, chopping vegetables, making baby food, blending sauces and salad dressing, and making whipped cream.

Quick Overview

Hand MixerImmersion Blender
AffordabilityGenerally affordableSlightly more expensive 
Overall Cooking PerformanceExcellent for mixing, whipping, and beating ingredients, ideal for baking tasks.Great for blending, pureeing, and emulsifying liquids and soft solids. 
FunctionalityVersatile, but primarily designed for mixing tasks. Highly versatile, capable of handling various tasks
CompatibilityCompatible with bowls and containers. Can be used directly in tall pots, bowls, or pitchers, eliminating the need for transferring liquids and reducing mess.

Key Differences

Design 

Hand mixers have a compact, handheld design with a motorized unit and detachable mixing attachments (whisks and dough hooks). They often feature an ergonomic handle and come in various colors.

Immersion blenders have a slender, stick-like design with a motorized unit at the top and a blending shaft at the bottom. They typically have a comfortable grip handle and a detachable blending shaft.

Immersion blenders prioritize functionality and are often constructed with stainless steel or plastic materials.

Uses & Functionality

The hand blender offers better versatility and functionality compared to the hand mixer. It can handle tasks like blending, pureeing [2], and even chopping, making it useful for creamy soups, sauces, smoothies, and more.

On the other hand, the hand mixer is primarily designed for mixing, whipping, and beating ingredients, making it ideal for baking tasks like cake batters, mashed potatoes, bread dough, and whipped creams.

Ease of Use

The hand mixer is generally easier to use compared to the immersion blender. It has a compact design and simple control that I find easy to use in the bowl or container.

“Cooking is like love”

– Julia Child, American Cook 

On the other hand, the immersion blender requires immersing the blending shaft directly into the ingredients and operating the power button.

The straightforward nature of the hand mixer makes it more user-friendly for most individuals. But what size of KitchenAid mixer do you use for baking?

Performance & Power

Most immersion blenders are more powerful than hand mixers. A handheld immersion blender has more wattage, ranging from around 500 to 800 watts, which is essential for specific tasks.

Most hand mixer models are powered by around 200 to 500 watts only. The extra power of immersion blenders allows the device to chop vegetables and turn them into the desired texture.

The powerful motors do not make much difference if you use the equipment to whip egg whites, scrambled eggs, and whip cream [3].

But if a hand mixer can shred chicken and turn ingredients into semi-liquid mush, immersion blenders can liquify solid ingredients quickly, like countertop blenders.

Safety

Hand mixers are slightly safer due to their design and operation; just be careful with hot ingredients. Hand mixers have fewer exposed blades and moving parts, reducing the risk of accidental cuts or injuries.

The mixing attachments are separate from the motorized unit, making them easier to handle and clean without the risk of electric shocks [4].

Durability & Maintenance 

Immersion blenders are generally easier to clean compared to hand mixers. Due to their design, the blending shaft of immersion blenders can be easily detached and cleaned separately.

Hand mixers, on the other hand, may require more effort to clean as their whisk attachments and main unit need to be cleaned separately.

Check out the differences between Smeg Mixer and KitchenAid here.

Price Point 

Immersion blenders are slightly more expensive compared to hand mixers. The price difference can vary depending on the brand, model, and additional features each appliance offers.

Hand mixers are typically more affordable and accessible for most budgets, with various options available at different price points.

Based on my experience, I scored a decent immersion blender for around $29.97, while a hand mixer typically ranges from $15 – $20 only.

Do They Have Similarities?

Different Brand of Immersion Blender on a Table

Hand mixers and immersion blenders are handheld and electrically powered, making them convenient for use in the kitchen.

They are designed to assist with various culinary tasks, such as mixing, blending, and whipping.

Both appliances offer variable speeds to control the intensity of their functions.

Additionally, they are relatively compact and easy to store, taking up minimal storage and countertop space, unlike a countertop blender or stand mixer.

Pros & Cons of Using Hand Mixer & Immersion Blenders 

Hand Mixer

Pros:

  • Versatile for mixing, whipping, and beating ingredients.
  • Lightweight and easy to maneuver.
  • Offers variable speed settings for control.

Cons:

  • Limited to mixing tasks.
  • Requires a separate bowl or container for operation.

Immersion Blender

Pros:

  • Versatile for blending, pureeing, and emulsifying liquids and soft solids.
  • It can be used directly in pots, bowls, or pitchers.
  • Easy to clean with a detachable blending shaft.

Cons:

  • Limited to liquid or soft ingredients.
  • Less effective for heavy-duty tasks like kneading dough.

Also Read:

FAQs

Can you use an immersion blender and hand mixer interchangeably?

Yes, you can use hand mixers and immersion blenders interchangeably, but with limitations, as they have different functionalities and are designed for specific tasks.

Can you mix cake batter instead of a hand mixer using an immersion blender?

Yes, you can use an immersion blender to mix cake batter instead of a hand mixer, but it may not incorporate air as effectively.

Is it better to mix cake batter with a hand mixer or immersion blender?

It is generally better to mix cake batter with a hand mixer as it provides better control and incorporates air for a lighter texture.

Can I use a hand mixer instead of an immersion blender for soup? 

Yes, you can use a hand mixer instead of an immersion blender for soup. However, it lacks the blending capabilities of an immersion blender for a smooth texture.

Final Thoughts

In my experience, the hand mixer stands out as the top choice in the kitchen. Its versatility, ease of use, and safer operation make it the go-to tool for mixing, whipping, and beating.

However, these two kitchen appliances are practical, functional, and made for specific tasks, so why not get both?

If you want to mix ingredients, go for a hand mixer. If you want to blend ingredients at the desired consistency, use hand blenders.

References:

  1. https://kids.britannica.com/students/assembly/view/260852
  2. https://www.bonappetit.com/test-kitchen/common-mistakes/article/creamy-soup-common-mistakes
  3. https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/how-whip-cream
  4. https://www.webmd.com/first-aid/electric-shock
Lori Walker

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