Hand or Stand? Both!
I never realized how much I would love having a stand mixer until I got my first one. I thought I could get by with a wooden spoon and some elbow grease forever. And I did for many years. One year, though, my husband bought me a stand mixer for the holidays. I thought it was unnecessary, but I gave it a shot. It turned out to be the greatest thing I have ever had, and I don’t know how I survived a moment without one.
Well, the time has come to replace my trusty mixer because, well, it got dropped and broken when we moved. My mixer may have been broken, but so was my heart. I loved that thing, and I don’t know how I can actually replace it, but I’m in the market for a new one. My original mixer was pretty spendy, though, and I don’t know how excited I am about spending that much again.
So when I saw the Hamilton Beach 64650 6-Speed Classic Stand Mixer, I was pretty excited to find out what it could do. If I could get anywhere close to the usefulness of my original mixer and only spend $30 – $40 to do it, I would be a pretty happy camper.
Breaking The Bowl
The 64650 doesn’t have the largest mixing bowl I’ve ever seen, but it’s not the smallest either. It has enough room for most of the things I make, but it won’t be the mixer I’ll use when I have the entire family over and I bake … well, everything. 4 quarts isn’t enough for some of my needs, but it will be fine for occasional use.
Set The Speed
Even for such an inexpensive model, there is still plenty of flexibility with this baby. You can adjust to 6 speeds and set a burst for when you just need a quick mix. That’s not as much adjustment as a lot of the larger and more expensive mixers have, but I’ve never had a need for that kind of precision. I know there are recipes requiring that kind of precise adjustment, but I’m not that kind of cook or baker.
Detach For The Fun Of It
One of the coolest things about this Hamilton Beach is how versatile it is. If you want more than a stand mixer, you can detach it and use it as a hand mixer with any bowl. That would actually solve my issue of sometimes needing a larger mixing bowl. Ok, now that’s pretty cool.
Get Attached, Or Not
If you’re looking for a series of basic mixing tools, you can get most of them here. I’m pretty impressed by the possibilities this mixer has. There is a whisk, a dough hook, and the basic beaters that are necessary for any hand mixer or stand mixer.
Not As Strong As You Knead
Sadly, the dough hook doesn’t seem to be as strong as it really needs to be, but the regular mixers are much more effective. For the price, not being able to get the best loaf of bread is not a huge deal, but if that’s what you’re buying a mixer for, this is probably not the best option for you. There are plenty of other things you can do with it, but you aren’t likely to get the full range of motion you’d like to have.
A possible frustration could be found with this Hamilton Beach in that the bowl spins unless you hold it in place. So you can’t really turn it on and move onto other things, but you won’t have to put in the upper arm strength that’s necessary to mix by hand. It’s not the worst thing, but it kind of defeats the purpose for which a lot of people use a stand mixer over a hand mixer.
Slow It Down. Oops, You Can’t.
The slowest speed on this might be a little bit too fast for some of the more gentle needs that can come with baking. A lot of cakes require mixing on low to get the right amount of air into the batter and if you move too quickly, they don’t end up wth the correct texture. If you’re not looking to work on professional quality stuff and you just want to get some dough mixed for cookies and the like, it probably won’t matter too much.
Doesn’t Beat To The Right Length
Another quirk of this mixer is that the beaters don’t get deep enough into the bowl when used as a stand mixer. That means you end up having to scrape the bottom as well as the sides to be sure everything gets mixed properly.
Not Perfect, But Probably Worth It
It’s not the perfect tool, but it’s a lot more versatile than I would have expected for the price tag. It’s not going to make it as a professional tool, but as a consumer grade, inexpensive option, it should do the trick and get you on the way to making what you want without the expense of a high end option. If you aren’t looking to open a bakery, the Hamilton Beach 64650 is a decent option.