Planetary vs. standard mixer

11
10
Joined Jun 17, 2014
When buying a stand mixer that will be used for cookie dough, cake batter, and whipping cream, which is preferable -- a standard mixer that uses two beaters at a time where the beaters stay still and the bowl turns (like a hand held mixer would have) or a planetary mixer that uses one moving flat beater or whisk where the bowl stays still? 

Does the planetary mixer offer an advantage? Does the mixture turn out better?

I won't be using it to make bread or pizza dough. 
 
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11
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Joined Jun 17, 2014
Actually that was me that started that thread. I appreciate the answers, but there is more I would like to know. 

I would like to specifically know what the advantages are with planetary mixing versus the regular kind of mixing? What does the planetary movement of the mixing heads accomplish that the standard mixer (where the bowl moves but the beaters are still) does not? Or vice versa?
 
4,199
1,089
Joined Dec 18, 2010
They both mix about the same. Nearly identical except for what we discussed in the other thread. Both work fine if the bowl is big enough for your recipe and the machine is powerful enough. The Sunbeam Mixmaster and Kitchenaid Artisan are about the same in both regards. The Mixmaster may be just a bit more flexible because it comes with two bowl sizes.

The Kitchenaid tends to leave a bit of unmixed at the bottom of the bowl and the Mixmaster tends to leave a bit unmixed on the sides. Both need a scraping with rubber spatula in the middle of the mix.

As said before, they are just different in engineering characteristics but mix just as well as each other. There really aren't any specific advantages to planetary; it is just a different type of mechanism. If anything, the advantage is that with a fixed bowl one can leave it running unattended more easily than one can do with a rotating bowl. But that might not be a recommended practice anyway!
 
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11
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Joined Jun 17, 2014
Okay, thank you. I will probably end up getting the KitchenAid. I just wish it was not so heavy. But all the lighter mixers have drawbacks -- they shake and wobble, they smoke, they are noisy, etc. I want the KitchenAid quality. Decisions!
 
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Joined Aug 4, 2000
I ended up purchasing a refurb'ed Hobart 5 qt mixer.  Problems solved.  And it was the best $1000 I ever spent.
 

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