Cuisinart`s Hand Mixer Provides A Balance Of Power

If your kitchen techniques for beating, mixing and whipping are limited to an electric hand-held mixer, you may want to consider trading in your old model for the new portable, cordless Cuisinart hand mixer.

There are several cordless hand-held mixers on the market, but Cuisinart`s, a thoughtfully designed kitchen tool, stands out as exceptional. For starters, unlike most other portable cordless hand-held mixers, it has sturdy, interchangeable wire beaters that are extra long. This makes for more mixing surface and allows the action to reach the very bottom of the mixing bowl. Each beater is constructed from four, fine-gauge, stainless-steel wires, similar to those in a wire whisk.

The idea is that the wires offer much less drag through the batter than flat, quarter-inch beater blades, thus putting less of a load on the mixer`s battery power. Yet these beaters are sturdy enough to mix even cookie dough easily.

The tool`s appeal is that it is purely portable (perfect for gourmet campers and boaters). It moves easily from the countertop-where it can be used for making cakes, cookies, whipping cream, souffles, frostings and milkshakes- to the stovetop where it can help with mashing potatoes and blending sauces.

From a distance the mixer easily could be mistaken for a portable hair dryer. The center of gravity has been shifted in this ergonomic design. The thick grip is angled for optimum leverage and contains the nickel-cadmium battery pack that recharges when placed in its wall storage rack. The rack measures 6 by 10 inches, and is mounted simply on the wall or placed on the countertop.

Once charged (it takes 16 hours before the very first use), the Cuisinart portable hand mixer needs four to five hours to fully recharge itself after normal use. One charge is more than enough to mix the batter for two nine-inch cake layers, the frosting for the cake, plus whipping up cream.

The mixer`s top-mounted controls are matched to thumb pressure so they can be operated while grasping the pistol-grip handle. They include a beater ejection button and three speeds, high, medium and low/pulse.

Although a little long for small hands, the handle enables the mixer to be held in a comfortable, natural position, so the strain is off the wrist. This is not the case with some of the electric iron-shaped portable mixers.

Also, the somewhat long handle creates a balance in the mixer that, lo and behold, allows you to rest it on its base with the beaters up in the air. The mixer is available at Marshall Field & Co. stores for $59.99; the Great Ace at 1455 W. Webster Ave., $59.99; Bloomingdale`s, 900 N. Michigan Ave., $65; and Cook`s Cupboard stores at 1201 N. Clark St., 3003 N. Clark St., 15048 S. Cicero Ave., Oak Forest, and 1304 Butterfield Rd., in Downers Grove, for $59.99. -

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