With all the tools and gadgets available these days, it can be refreshing to get back to the basics and do things by hand.
Mixing ingredients by hand involves a little more work, but gives you a sense of satisfaction that you just won’t get with an electric mixer.
Electric mixers are all the rage in the baking world these days, and with good reason. They make mixing your ingredients an afterthought.
The added convenience of an electric mixer, however, comes at steep cost. A nice, stand mixer will run you between $200 and $500.
If you’re looking for something that provides some of the benefits of electric mixers, but doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg, a manual mixer might be a good option for you.
By manual, we mean non-electric. With a manual mixer, you’re able to quickly produce a consistent mixture, but it takes a little more work than an electric mixer.
In this post, we’re going to discuss some of the benefits and drawbacks of manual hand mixers, while taking a close look at our favorite manual mixer from OXO, which we consider to be the best non-electric mixer available online.
By the end of this post, if a manual mixer still doesn’t make sense for your situation, find out what it takes to mix batter by hand, without a mixer.
Let’s get started!
Benefits of a non electric hand mixer
Manual hand mixers might take a little work on your part, but that doesn’t mean they don’t provide value.
When compared to whisking by hand or mixing with a spatula and bowl, non electric hand mixers make your prep work much easier.
Twice the fun
With two beaters, you’re able to quickly mix your ingredients or beat your eggs in less time than using a single whisk.
Being so close together, the two beaters are able to quickly blend your mixture by pushing and pulling the mixture through both beaters. Doing so results in a more consistent mixture in less time and with less effort.
A unique feature of this specific hand mixer is its elevated beaters. With most hand mixers, you have to keep the beaters off of the bottom of the bowl as you mix.
The beaters on this mixer, however, have extensions that can sit right on the bottom of the bowl while you mix. What this means is that you can rest the beaters on the bottom of the bowl while you mix without worrying about the beaters scraping the bowl.
The beaters on this mixer are made of stainless steel. Stainless steel is ideal for several reasons.
First, it’s durable. Not only is stainless steel tough, but it also will not chip and is resistant to staining. Stainless steel is also scratch and dent resistant.
Another benefit of stainless steel is that it doesn’t leach into your food. Because it doesn’t leach into your food, like some other materials used in kitchen equipment, you can be confident that the flavor of your mixture will be intact.
Stainless steel also looks beautiful. It’s shiny appearance is easy to maintain by gently wiping off the surface after being used.
The stainless steel beaters aren’t the only nice thing about this mixer. It also has comfortable, non-slip grips.
The soft and contoured grips on the turning knob and handle keep your hands feeling great when using this mixer for extended periods of time.
Easy to clean
The base of this manual hand mixer detaches from the top and is dishwasher safe. The stainless steel beaters can also be easily removed for quick and easy cleaning.
The rotating gears in this mixer are securely enclosed, which keeps them protected for easy clean-up.
One of the benefits that often gets overlooked with a hand mixer is its small footprint. If you’ve ever used a stand mixer, you know how much counter space they take up.
Even electric, hand mixers take up a good amount of space on your counter or in your cabinets.
With this manual hand mixer from OXO, you’ll barely notice it on your counter. It’s also small enough to easily fit in your kitchen cabinets or drawers.
The last benefit that we’ll mention, which is probably the most important to most people, is the cost.
Whereas your typical electric, stand mixer can cost anywhere between $200 and $500, a manual, hand mixer will generally be about a tenth of the cost.
This makes non-electric, hand mixers very affordable for most, and is one of the reasons why they’re still so popular.
Drawbacks of a non electric hand mixer
Although non electric hand mixers provide many of the benefits of electric hand mixers, they do have some drawbacks as well.
Light mixtures only
While electric mixers can handle just about any mixture, manual, non-electric mixers are better suited for light mixtures.
While this hand mixer is primarily used for beating eggs, it can be used for frosting, cake mix, pancake batter, and more.
However, for thicker mixtures, like bread dough, you’ll want to stick to an electric model.
Takes a little effort
While this mixer does make it quicker and easier to mix something than using a whisk or spatula, it still takes some effort on your part.
With electric stand mixers, you can simply hit a button and walk away. With a non-electric hand mixer, you’ll need to crank away to get the job done.
That’s not to say it’s difficult though. Quite the opposite, in fact. As long as the mixture is light, as suggested, it only takes a little bit of effort to run this mixer.
While any non electric hand mixer will have some drawbacks when compared to an electric mixer, the benefits that they provide when compared to using a whisk or spatula make it easy to justify the cost.
If you’re in the market for something that provides some of the core benefits of an electric mixer, but you can’t justify the cost of one, a manual hand mixer is a great way to go.
If you’ve determined that a manual mixer just doesn’t suit your needs, take a look at our next post, which compares electric hand mixers and stand mixers, or take a look at some stand mixers that won’t break the bank.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.