Recently we decided to buy a blender. Walking down the supermarket aisle and looking at the various options available for the two, I wondered which functions blenders and mixers perform and if they could be used interchangeably.
So, what is the difference between a blender and a mixer? Let’s look into it.
Blenders break down solid and bigger chunks of food into smaller, finer particles, resulting in a smooth paste or fine powder. Mixers can blend but aren’t effective in blending. Blenders essentially combine different ingredients into a smooth emulsion or mix, such as kneading dough or whipping cream.
Today’s post is inspired by the confusion between the blender and the mixer. We shall aim to answer the differences between the two and which equipment needs to be used and when. This will give you a better understanding of the two and help make decisions related to which you should buy or which should you use while making recipes.
Difference between Blender and Mixer
Listed below are a few differences which help us better understand blenders and mixers.
|It is used to chop food items into finer particles.||It is used when you need to effectively combine various ingredients together, such as kneading dough and whipping cremes.|
|It has 2 or 4 blades depending on the manufacturer.||Mixers have 2 beaters, such as hand or stand mixers.|
|Blenders can make great smoothies by chopping and breaking down the ingredients well.||Mixers are great at mixing ingredients well.|
|The blades of a blender are attached to the jar and must be stored or washed along with it.||The beaters of your mixer can be separated after being used to wash or store.|
Is blender and mixer the same?
As we have already established, blenders and mixers are not the same. Blenders help chop or puree food or make a powder out of dry ingredients. On the other hand, the essential function of a mixer is to mix the ingredients well, to create a smooth, cohesive mix of ingredients.
To understand them better, say if you wanted to make your morning smoothie and you would need to puree vegetables and fruits, a blender would do the job effectively. Whereas, if you wanted to whisk a large batch of eggs for your french toast or whip a dollop of creme for waffles or mix a batch of pancake batter, you would need to use a mixer.
The concept of mixers originated with the need to use a hand-held whisk to beat the eggs and churn the butter. Thereafter, versions of the same such as electric handheld mixers and tabletop mixers, are being widely used today.
When to use a blender or a mixer:
Since people often get confused between the use of the two devices, I’ve created a handy guide that helps you understand when you have to use a mixer or blender.
|Recipes||Mixer||Blender||Mixer or Blender|
|Sauces and Dips||Yes|
|Whisking Crème/Beating Eggs||Yes||Yes|
Obviously, this is not an exhaustive list, but it will help you understand what device should be used and when. Hopefully, you can use this table to extrapolate the use of the respective devices for other purposes.
Can I use a mixer instead of a blender?
A mixer can be used instead of a blender in certain cases, depending on what you intend to use it for. A hand or an electrical mixer can be used to combine dry or wet ingredients, especially when making a batter for cakes, cookies, pancakes, or waffles.
An electrical mixer can be used to make the eggs fluffy, or whip creme. While tempering eggs or chocolate a hand mixer would be a go-to choice. Hand-held mixers score over blenders for their ease of use.
Can I use a blender instead of a mixer for the cake?
Absolutely, a blender can be used instead of a mixer for cake. Although, a stand mixer or an electrical handheld mixer is a better choice as they allow the batter to get aerated better. Such as cake recipes that require fluffy egg whites and then folded in the batter, can only be done in a mixer and not in a blender.
However, blenders and mixers both can be used for mixing cake batters.
Different types of Blenders and Mixers:
Blenders and mixers have evolved over a period of time from simple hand-held mixers to motorized tabletop ones to immersion blenders. Each is developed for its own advantages and convenience.
Different Types of Blenders:
- Immersion Blender
- Tabletop Blender
Immersion Blenders: Immersion blenders are handheld motorized blenders. They can be carried anywhere and are easy to use. They don’t have a jar and need a separate mixing bowl to be used. Immersion blenders are also commonly known as stick blenders.
Tabletop Blenders: Tabletop blenders as the name suggests are meant to be used on tabletops or countertops or kitchen platforms. They have heavy-duty motors and large bodies. therefore, are not easy to carry around. However, they have jars that can be easily placed on the motor and removed for cleaning or carrying around.
Different Types of Mixers:
- Hand Mixers
- Stand Mixers
Hand Mixers: Hand Mixers are very similar to immersion blenders. They can whisk, as well as mix. They are easy and versatile to use and can be carried around the kitchen with ease. They have various attachments which allow you to which eggs, whip cream or make a batch of your favorite pizza dough.
Stand Mixers: Stand Mixers are an advanced countertop version of handheld mixers. They have a specific separate jar that is used for mixing. The biggest advantage of a stand mixer is that both hands are free. Also, you can move around the kitchen after starting the mixer. They are heavy so you have to make a designated space for them. Although, they allow you to make larger batched of mixes with ease.