It’s probably great exercise whisking egg whites for 10 minutes by hand to make meringues, or beating the heck out of butter and sugar with a wooden spoon, for what feels like forever, to cream them for a sponge mix. In reality, no one should actually be doing that when you can pick up a basic electric hand mixer for a few pounds.
That will free up enough time so you can make a devil’s food cake and get some proper exercise at the gym, or more likely sit down and watch Bake Off with a slice of your latest creation and a cuppa.
Hand mixers are an excellent alternative to stand mixers if you don’t have the space or budget for one. They are small enough to store away in a kitchen drawer and every model we tested had a flat base, which means they can be stored vertically in a cupboard and will take up less space. It also means the mixers can be stood on their bases while adding additional ingredients to a mixing bowl, so the cake batter-encased beaters won’t make your countertop messy.
Although a number of the hand mixers we tested come with dough hooks, only one (the Smeg hand mixer, £149.95, Smeguk.com) was suitable for kneading bread dough. Generally speaking, you are at risk of burning out the motor if you try and mix heavy yeasted doughs, so stick to mixing lighter doughs and batters and whisking up egg whites, making mayonnaise, hollandaise and other emulsified dressings and sauces.
That said, an electric hand mixer is an essential kitchen tool for any keen home cook or baker, and one that will help you extend your cooking repertoire.
How we tested
We thoroughly tested each hand mixer to see how efficiently it operated and to use all the included attachments. We timed how long each hand mixer took to whisk egg whites to stiff-peak stage using the whisk attachment; to cream butter and sugar using the beater attachment, and, if included, to mix bread dough with the dough attachment and made a range of baked goods. We considered how comfortable the mixers were to hold and use, how heavy they were and how noisy they were in operation, and the effectiveness of any additional functionality.
The best electric hand mixers for 2022 are:
- Best overall electric hand mixer – Dualit hand mixer: £74.99, Dualit.com
- Best cordless electric hand mixer – Cuisinart cordless power hand mixer: £90, Cuisinart.co.uk
- Best designer electric hand mixer – Smeg hand mixer: £149.95, Shop.smeguk.com
- Best budget electric hand mixer – Russell Hobbs desire matte black hand mixer: £32.99, Russellhobbs.com
- Best lightweight electric hand mixer – Bosch hand mixer: £29, Ao.com
- Best electric hand mixer for multi-tasking – Gastroback design hand mixer pro: £119.90, Gastroback.co.uk
- Best luxury electric hand mixer – KitchenAid hand mixer: £119, Kitchenaid.co.uk
- Best electric hand mixer for keen cake-makers – Breville heatsoft hand mixer: £48, Argos.co.uk