No electric mixer- what should I do?

@gr8esama (1255)
United States
March 7, 2007 2:31pm CST
A few months ago I was making a batch of chocolate chip cookies, when suddenly my handy hand mixer went poof. Literally. There was a 'poof' sound, and then a little spark came flying out of the vent. Since then I haven't gotten a new hand mixer and I've been arduously mixing things with a wooden panel spoon. Is there any better way to mix things well without using a hand mixer? I've been using the wooden spoon because it was suggested by my father's girlfriend, but I can't help but feel that there -must- be a better way to thoroughly mix my doughs. Does anyone have any suggestions for mixing methods or tools? I'd like to get one of those fancy kitchen aids, but we can't really swing the three hundred dollars.
4 people like this
10 responses
• United States
7 Mar 07
Well i would suggest like your doing. A wooden spoon or try a heavy duty rubber spatula. Back in the days before all the gadgets and gizmos they used spoons or their hands. You could always use your hands to mix up the dough. I do have an electric mixer but I find it to be a pain to dig out every time i need to use it. I just grab my big rubber spatula. Hope this helps!
@gr8esama (1255)
• United States
8 Mar 07
I hope the hand flouring technique helps next time I'm rolling pie crust!! The first time I made pie... oh my. Way too much flour. I had to throw all the dough away.
@vivasuzi (4126)
• United States
7 Mar 07
Yes there is a way. When mixing dough with your hands, just flour your hands every so often. You don't want to put sooo much flour that it runs the dough, just a little bit. Just pick up a bit of flour and rub it on your hands, then pound your hands together like you would when removing chalk from erasers. If you do this once or twice while you mix, less dough will stick to you. Also, I would mix it with a spoon until the wet ingredients are mixed in, then I would use my hands to really get it into a doughy state. Hope that helps!
1 person likes this
@gr8esama (1255)
• United States
7 Mar 07
By rubber spatula you mean the things that you flip hamburgers and pancakes with? Or those spreading things for frosting? I do sometimes use my hands for really thick dough (just have to remember to take off the ring. I nearly lost a diamond into some croissants once.) But I hate how much of the dough ends up sticking to my fingers afterward. Is there a way to avoid this, or is it just an occupational hazard?
1 person likes this
7 Mar 07
have you checked the warranty? if it is still in date then you could get a new one for free
2 people like this
@gr8esama (1255)
• United States
7 Mar 07
I really should have thought of that! I threw the poor mixer out, but I think I still have the instructions floating around the kitchen drawers somewhere. Can it still work even if I don't have the original machine any more? I can't imagine it would..
• United States
7 Mar 07
I have had my Kitchen aid for 30 years, and it is as good as new. I went though so many hand mixers and regular mixers of all brands. I paid $225.00 then, and as you can see, it was worth it. Until you can get it, use a whipper. The one that looks like lots of sprirls. (()) Like that with more bars. It will work better than a spoon. Or, try a fork.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Mar 07
If the dough isn't too stiff, it should work. Otherwise use a fork. When you can afford the mixer, go for it. It will last forever. I used to go though mixers like crazy, and they were expensive too. But, this one is still here, and I bake a lot with it. Thanks so much for the best response sugar, I appreciate it.
1 person likes this
@gr8esama (1255)
• United States
9 Mar 07
You're very welcome. The whisk is working much better than I thought it would. I was thrown off by the width of the little bars. They just looked too flakey. In combination with my handy big fork for breaking up the thick areas, it works nicely.
@gr8esama (1255)
• United States
7 Mar 07
Yes! My serrogate grandmother has a kitchen aide that she says she's had for about that long. They seem really amazing. Makes sense to me that they're still so very expensive. I have a few whippers in the drawers, I'll try using one next time I bake. I haven't used them for mixing dough before, just soups. A lot of my kitchen utensils were from my dad, so I'm not even sure what most of them are usually used for.
• Pakistan
7 Mar 07
If the dough is not too thcik then you can surely u8se an egg beater thats what I do
1 person likes this
• Pakistan
29 Mar 07
THERE TWO KINDS OF THEM FOUND HERE;ONE IS WITH A SPRING AT ITS END AND ANOTHER IS AMMM!SORRY CAN'T EXPLAIN it's like the ones used in electric mixer
1 person likes this
@eden32 (3978)
• United States
22 May 07
I think one item being described is a whisk- those are usually oval in shape and a bunch of wires that can whip up liquid mixes or eggs. Then there are the older style egg beats that are essentially one or two mixing gizmos (just like your hand beater had) but instead of plugging it in you turn a small hand crank.
1 person likes this
@gr8esama (1255)
• United States
7 Mar 07
I'm not really sure what an egg beater is, but I think it's worth looking up. I always just used a fork to beat eggs. Maybe I just haven't lived yet.
@deebomb (15350)
• United States
7 Mar 07
I got my little hand mixer from the flea market for $5 and it works great for what it is. It's not strong enough to do cookie dough afte all the flour is put but is easier for other things. $5 isn't much if you are try to save for a kitchen aid.
@deebomb (15350)
• United States
7 Mar 07
I had a kitchen aide that I got from kohl for about $150 on sale some time ago. Loved it but my daughter-in-law took it.
1 person likes this
@Woodpigeon (3710)
• Ireland
23 May 07
I picked up a decent Kenwood food processor that has lots of attatchments for less than $100. Still a bit pricey , I know, but much less than 300. I went without one for a long time and I found that if the various ingredients like butter were softened first t wasn't too bad to mix everyhthing by hand with a big spoon. Sorry about the 'poof'! Not a nice surprise!
1 person likes this
@gr8esama (1255)
• United States
23 May 07
I don't think I've ever heard of someone using a food processor instead of a regular mixer, but you know... when you think about what it has in it it makes sense that it would do pretty much the same thing. Doesn't seem like a great idea to throw the chips in there before you mix up the dough. But maybe it would be! Yeah, the poof was unpleasent. It smelled terrible. I think I didn't like that part worse than losing the use of my mixer. Burning gears/oil is really gross.
@breezie (1254)
• Canada
28 Mar 07
Have you tried one of the non electric hand mixers? I have seen them at the dollar store here and would think they would work in a pinch. My electric mixer is a $13 Proctor Silex one from wal mart and it works great. I have had it for 8 years. I'd like to get a fancier one someday since mine is pretty basic, but for now mine gets the job done.
1 person likes this
@gr8esama (1255)
• United States
28 Mar 07
We don't have any dollar stores in Anchorage. hahaha.. We have some $1.49 stores, but they aren't nearly as cool as the dollar stores in Arizona were. Maybe I'll check around on ebay.
@kstrzwsk (146)
• United States
9 Mar 07
If you are from the US then you can go to Wal-Mart and buy a standing mixer for $20 that has a removable top part so you dont have to put your batter in the mixers bowl. Or you can mix it with a regular spoon used for eating with if its metal and it might work easier for you than a wooden spoon.
1 person likes this
@gr8esama (1255)
• United States
9 Mar 07
I'm not so sure how much I like getting appliances from Wal-Mart. I haven't had much luck with them in the past. My last mixer was from there, and we also had a microwave from there once that eventually started running and resetting the clocks without us pushing anything. It was kind of scary. But you're right, a metal spoon would probably help cut through the dough better than wood does.
• United States
8 Mar 07
I rarely use the electric mixer anyway. I prefer mixing by hand. I am quite the purist when it comes to baking in many ways.
@gr8esama (1255)
• United States
23 May 07
No idea why I didn't reply to this sooner! I know exactly how you feel. When I have to mash up stuff for my dough by hand/wooden paddle I just remind myself that this is how women did it for centuries before we had wonderful things like beaters and Kitchen Aides.
@kbkbooks (7031)
• Canada
7 Jun 07
It's funny the older I get, the less I go for gadgets and I am like Inspectress Gadget, okay? I own a little hand electric mixer. I hardly ever use it. I own a blender, I own a food processor. I use a spoon to mix and a knife to chop. I cook a lot of stuff in the microwave but I still prefer to use my stove. I almost never use a mixer for cookies. I have spoons and hands. You roll them with your hands anyway and flatten them with a spoon or a glass, right? Why not just work the dough with you fingers the same way you do for meatloaf and turkey dressing? Don't give me unsanitary. What about ladies in log cabins with woodstoves and pumps for water. They did it with their hands, not a mixmaster.
@gr8esama (1255)
• United States
7 Jun 07
I know exactly what you mean... they used to do it without electric help, so can I! That's pretty funny that you own all of those electric appliances and still choose the do-it-by-hand method. Do you ever use your blender or food processor, or do they sit there like the deep fryer my ex's mother gave me? (*gag*)
@kbkbooks (7031)
• Canada
7 Jun 07
I use my appliances sometimes. Occasionally I treat us to a milk shake in the blender or I mix something in it. My son likes to use the electric mixer for whipped potatoes. I do use it for meringue or whipped cream.