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Earlier this month I talked about how much better (and easier) baking has been since buying a KitchenAid mixer, and I stand by it.
But if you don't have the counter space for one, or want similar results without such a big investment, Krups' hand 10-speed hand mixer is a good alternative.
It's way more affordable than a stand mixer, but a whole lot more convenient than whisking and mixing by hand.
This set comes with a pair of silicon-lined beaters, dough hooks, and a whisk attachment, all of which can be stored in a plastic housing that sits under the mixer when not in use. It's crucial to keep a clean kitchen, so this design choice was a good move.
Another good choice was making the speed settings a switch rather than a knob, which I could use to quickly flip between speeds using my thumb. This mixer also has a pause button in case something goes wrong and you need to stop immediately.
I was initially wary that a small hand mixer would be powerful enough for my baking jobs after getting used a stand mixer, but I never ran into any big problems. It's definitely powerful enough for most batters, and in my case everything I made came out very smooth and well combined.
Where my KitchenAid has this mixer beat is in convenience; instead of being "set it and forget it" I always had be be watching what I was doing and moving the mixer or ingredients around. Still, that's not a big deal, and it's significantly more efficient than hand mixing, which I'll only do if a recipe requires a mixture to stay light and airy.
As I said earlier, if you're concerned about cost or counter space, this is a good alternative to a stand mixer, with the only major difference being convenience. It's also a good bit weaker, but you'll only really notice that if you're working on something complicated, or want to to make a lot of dough or batter at once. In that case, you really should step it up to a stand mixer.
If you bake often and don't own any type of electric mixer, this may be the best kitchen investment you can make for under $50.Krups Quiet 10-Speed Hand Mixer, $49.38, available at Amazon
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