John Marenic, principal at Marenic Foodservice Consultants, Charlotte, N.C., outlines a variety of considerations operators should weigh before purchasing these units.
Mixers are either gear- or belt-driven. The gear-driven type is preferable for high-volume and heavier mixtures since gears don’t slip like belts can.
There are two types of gears, plastic and metal. Metal is more durable for commercial use, while plastic is appropriate for lighter mixes.
Look at the different size bowls, which are measured in quart sizes. These start at 5 and go up to 60 quarts. Gallon sizes also are available. Floor mixers are typically available in 20- and 30-quart sizes.
Larger floor mixers get very heavy and don’t always have good handles. Operators will want to transport them on something with wheels, making the unit easier to work with.
The 20-quart size is the largest countertop mixer. Because it can be difficult to see inside the bowl when on a table, position these units on the floor.
Floor mixers come with a number of attachments that can make the units more versatile. The components allow operators to do more than just mix dough, batters and egg whites. For example, some attachments facilitate meat grinding, while others chop or slice ingredients, similar to a food processor. Some countertop mixers have pasta-making attachments, and some models can even serve as ice cream makers.
With 30- or 60-quart mixers, operators need to consider the menu and see if they require additional bowls. For example, a 30-quart mixer can accommodate a 20-quart bowl.