Focus on mixers & blenders

30/11/2015 - 07:28
Mixers and blenders are the cornerstone of prep in any commercial kitchen, whatever the size. Kathy Bowry looks at kit that will help chefs whizz through tasks in no time.

The mixer is one of the most useful prep tools in the kitchen because it can be used to mix, fold, dice, slice and grind. At the same time, ‘bar’ blenders have migrated into the foodservice kitchen to purée, mix sauces and for light food processing.

Mark Hogan, marketing and sales manager of Foodservice Equipment Marketing (FEM), says: “Multifunctional planetary mixers can mix bread dough, thick pizza dough and cake batter; mash potatoes; and whisk meringue and cream, meaning they rarely stand idle. To increase food preparation options beyond mixing, choose a model that can accommodate other tools such as a meat grinder or vegetable slicer.”

FEM supplies the Vollrath range of mixers from the heavy-duty floor-standing mixer to countertop planetary mixers, such as Vollrath’s 10L model. This compact mixer is the smallest in the Vollrath’s range, measuring just 332×449×538mm. It has a powerful five-speed transmission and 7/8HP motor that makes light work of mixing and gives consistent results.

Hogan advises that for deep stockpots, handheld stick blenders are the equipment of choice. “FEM supplies a Vortex 750 stick blender with a 450mm shaft. It is powered by a 750W high-efficiency motor that drives the durable stainless steel blades at 14,000rpm. This stick blender has a highly effective, patented fan-assisted cooling system that helps prevent the motor from overheating,” he says.

“Countertop units allow tasks such as blending, mixing, chopping, grinding, emulsifying and puréeing. The latest compact Hamilton Beach HBF500 from FEM is versatile enough to meet the standards of the most demanding chef and keep up with the busiest kitchen, but in a slimmed-down model. The HBF500 features a powerful chopping function, an easy-to-use variable speed dial, and a pulse function for processing wet or dry ingredients.”

Neil Richards, managing director of Metcalfe, says any caterer producing large volumes of bread will tend to be best served by a floor-model mixer where higher horsepower and larger capacities will help keep large batches of dough under control.

“For smaller tasks, such as one or two batches of cupcakes or cookies, or occasional light to medium-duty mixing, a countertop mixer will work just fine.”

For more specialist purposes, Creeds has launched its range of Dell’Oro oblique fork mixers to help bakers and catering operators meet the growing demand from consumers for authentic, continental breads. The oblique fork mixers are a favoured style of mixer over spiral with bakers who make artisan bread with a typically higher hydration, such as French baguettes and Italian ciabatta. The mixers are available in five sizes, with the bowl capacity in kilograms of flour: 30, 50, 80, 110 and 130kg.

Michael Eyre, product director at Jestic Foodservice Equipment says: “A move away from simple, straightforward food combinations to sophisticated menus, enhanced flavour combinations and freshly prepared, healthy meals has raised the importance for cost sector caterers in using a quality mixer or blender.

“The Vita-Prep 3 blender features a variable speed control and a patented high-impact container to blend even the toughest whole-food ingredients. Many models in the range feature fully customisable programmes allowing the customer to work together with one of Jestic’s experts to create the perfect blend.”

Guy Cooper, managing director of Mitchell & Cooper, concludes: “While outsourcing sauces, soups and other liquids is generally perceived as more convenient, the in-house method can be more advantageous when the right equipment is implemented for an extremely easy and profitable process.” Mitchell & Cooper supplies the Omega 3HP food/bar blender, and the Kisag stick blender range and HotWhip unit.

Meanwhile, according to Exclusive Ranges, by investing in a HotmixPRO, you are essentially buying an additional member of staff. Not only is it able to chop, mince, mix, blend, beat, cream, liquidise, whisk and knead, it can perform these tasks in up 16 consecutive stages in a recipe, and apply accurate temperature control by single-degree increments between -24°C and +190°C, says the supplier.

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