what about when there's no stand-alone mixer?

I don't have one of those large countertop mixing machines... i only have a small electric beater and my whisks. SO many recipes call for using the mixer, with, eg, the spatula blade. Can't I just use my k. tools and gadgets that I already own... or do I really have to go out and buy something i have no room for in my kitchen....?

  • Posted by: karmaya
  • November 28, 2012


karmaya November 29, 2012
thanks to all who told me what i already suspected... yes, i have used and will continue to use my wooden spoons, whisks, and even the electric hand mixer at times!!
ReneePussman November 29, 2012
Just use hand held kitchen tools. Food was made for hundreds of years without electric tools and they did just fine.
jsdunbar November 28, 2012
I grew up spending every summer at a cottage with no electricity. We did lots of baling there, on rainy days, for birthdays, etc. of course we had to do it all by hand, but that was part of the fun. I agree that older recipes may make more sense, but once you get the hang of it you won't need to "translate" the instructions because you'll understand the purpose.
Ophelia November 28, 2012
Up until I bought a stand mixer (amazingly on sale, unfortunately "breast cancer awareness" pink and white, it stays in the cupboard when not in use) I did all my baking by hand (no fancy kitchen gadgets beyond whisks and wooden spoons). I've learned that allowing butter to come to room temperature helps with creaming (and a fork makes it even easier), that beating egg whites in amounts of 6 or less in a very large bowl makes it easier and that you can give your arm a little rest if you need to, egg whites won't die if it's not an uninterrupted process. Bread has been made for thousands of years and there are smaller tools available that have been around that make the process easier when you're hand mixing (danish dough whisk anyone?). Older recipes often have clearer instructions of what texture doughs and batters are supposed to be rather than the very unhelpful "mix of high for 30 seconds". You can also draft friends/relatives/etc to help whisk/mix/knead/etc.
AntoniaJames November 28, 2012
Here's a suggestion for making yeast bread without a mixer or bread machine. Stir up the ingredients until they're well combined. A good, strong wooden spoon works well for this. Cover the bowl with a tea towel. Let it sit for 20 - 25 minutes. Then turn the dough out onto the counter and start to knead. It will take about half the time it would take if you just dumped the contents of the bowl onto the counter right away. Stand mixers have saved a lot of people of a lot of time over the years, allowing them to be more efficient. But they've also deprived those cooks/bakers of one of the most enjoyable activities imaginable in any kitchen -- kneading. Letting the dough rest makes the kneading easier and even more enjoyable. ;o)
ChefOno November 28, 2012

Excellent point(s) about kneading. You could say the same thing about breadmakers but at least any way you go about the task, the air is filled with heavenly aroma!


Voted the Best Reply!

ChefOno November 28, 2012

I can just imagine what the response would be if I asked my mother the same question:

Why you young whippersnappers are so spoiled I just don't know what to do with you all. All this talk of electric mixers and food processors and such. When I was a kid, we had a stand mixer -- we stood at the counter and mixed with a wooden spoon. If we got tired, we stirred left-handed by golly or else we wouldn't have something to eat! Some of them rich folk had something called an egg beater that you held with one hand and cranked with the other but your father said that just made folks soft and pretty soon we'd forget how to bake a proper cake and end up buying something called a "box mix". I don't know exactly what he meant by that but just the way he said it, you knew it wasn't something respectable people ever did.

Please be assured you can make *anything* without a stand mixer. Sometimes using one is easier than a hand mixer and will save some time, but often just the opposite is true. Simply substitute "hand mixer" anytime you see the words "stand mixer" and don't give it a second thought.

karmaya November 28, 2012
heh heh - laughed out loud reading your answer, ChefOno..... thanks for confirming what i thought all along! :o))
Reiney November 28, 2012
You can also cream together butter & sugar by hand - which I think would be easier than using a hand mixer, actually, but maybe that's just me. Choke up on a wooden spoon, keep the butter in one corner of a stainless steel bowl and rap the slightly softened butter back and forth, gradually adding sugar. The nice thing about this method is that it's hard to overcream (unlike an electric/stand mixer!).
karmaya November 28, 2012
thanks! would get one, but my counter tops already have too much on them - toaster, coffee grinder, lg cannister, small phone/ans.mach. combo, 4 tall cookbooks that don't fit on the shelves, bird and butterfly field guides by the back door,,,,,... - there never sems to be enough room in my kitchen <3
Monita November 28, 2012
You can definitely use your hand held mixer with the whisk attachment to do most baking steps. If you love to bake and do it often it's really great to have a standing mixer with paddle, whisk and hook attachments. While it seems costly at first, the investment is well worth it
drbabs November 28, 2012
It depends on the recipe, but yes, I think you can use what you own. My sister doesn't have one, and we've made everything at her house with a hand mixer. A stand mixer just makes it easier--you don't have to stand there for 5 minutes holding the beaters waiting for your eggs to whip up.
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