Commercial Catering Equipment : Planetary Mixer : Buying Guide

Planetary mixers are an almost essential part of any kitchen. These multipurpose mixers allow users to make a variety of mixes from pastry to whisks. Planetary mixers are available in various dimensions and with various specifications.

Planetary mixers are an almost essential part of any kitchen. These multipurpose mixers allow users to make a variety of mixes from pastry to whisks. Planetary mixers are available in various dimensions and with various specifications. This article will assist those looking to purchase one to select the best for their needs.

As with all commercial catering equipment, getting a quality product suited for your specific needs can mean the difference between a hassle free lifelong use versus constant changing and shifting.

Planetary mixers can come in either a gear driven variety or a belt driven variety, with a tilt-able bowl or not and in various capacities and powers. The first thing that MUST be understood is that it is not a dough (or spiral) mixer. Although all planetary mixers can mix dough, they cannot mix large amounts of dough as they are generally not designed to be as tough.

Attachments- Most if not all planetary mixers come with attachments for mixing dough (dough hook), whipping (whisk) and mixing (beater). Changing the attachments is often a straightforward process and a safety guard ensures that this procedure cannot be carried out whist the machine is running.

Size- Sizes for a commercial planetary mixer range from a small 5 Litre bench-top unit having a very small footprint and similar capacity to a domestic unit, to over 100L units for large scale applications such as in cake shops, pasta manufacturing etc. Some general advice on selecting the right size unit includes:

Get a 30-40% larger capacity unit than the maximum amount of product you wish to mix, most products expand on mixing and may spill if loaded to the brim.

As a rule of thumb a 10L mixer would be able to mix around 2kg of dough.

Some optional and special features you can consider with your planetary mixer

Mix Speed Controller - Mix speed simply means the revolutions per minute (rpm) of the relevant attachment that is fixed to the unit for a particular job example a whisk. Mixers mostly come with two kinds of speed controller. One kind allows you to have a set of three to four different speeds. These are useful when you have to vary the mixing speed of the mix in the bowl. The second kind is the fixed speed which is one standard speed for all mixing.

Timer - Some units come with an automatic timer which allows you to leave the operation running for specific time. This is useful for certain recipes and is a great help when you have other things to attend to.

Bowl Material - most mixers come with a standard stainless steel bowl. However, you can get a cheaper version of a tinned finish. Stainless steel is more reliable when it comes to mixing food that has high acidic content. Tinned finish bowls are prone to rust if left wet after washing.

Splash Cover - To stop splashing, which occurs when mixing light sauces or batter at high speeds and maximum size loads, you can use a special cover that fits around the rim of the bowl.

Bowl Scraper - Some mixers come with a factory installed bowl scraper. This feature is particularly useful when mixing certain types of liquids where the ingredients tend to stick to the side of the bowl, which can cause incomplete mixing. To deal with this, the machine must be turned off a couple of time to allow the operator to scrape the sides of the bowl with which can be an inconvenience. However, some machines now offer the bowl scraper that can be attached to the mixing part. The scraper automatically scrapes the sides of the bowl during mixing.

Bowl Lifter - If you run an operation that is mixing dough all day long, this is a useful option to consider. It is a mechanism that raises the bowl into place for mixing so that the operator does not have to manually lift it as it can be quite time consuming and not to mention heavy when doing this manually with loaded bowls.

Ingredients Shaft - This piece allows the operator to add ingredients into the bowl while the mixer is running. It is great for adding ingredients like sugar and flour to obtain the best mix!

Remember, whatever the size and need of your operation, Australian Catering Equipment Supplies can provide the best match for your. Not only can we assist you with the best of commercial catering Equipment and food and restaurant equipment supplies but we can also help you with making informed choices with honest, well-researched and reliable professional advice! For More Info about Catering Equipment please visit our site:http://www.auscaterquip.com.au/ or Call US:(02) 8459 2014


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