A planetary mixer is a versatile commercial machine for mixing icing, sauces, dough, batters, whipping cream, and blending ingredients. iFoodEquipment actually started as a bakery equipment and pizza equipment dealer, so planetary mixers are our bread and butter. We're going to lay some facts on you to try to help you out in picking the best planetary mixer for your business.
The first thing you need to decide is, am I looking at the right type of machine. If you want to be mixing a lot of dough, especially large batches and heavy dough, you may want to check out the spiral mixer section, as those are more suited to dough production. That being said, planetary mixers can handle some dough, to varying degrees.
And that brings us to our next point, and this is probably the most important thing to decide when picking a planetary mixer. You need to know how big the machine needs to be and how powerful. The #1 mistake people make when buying a planetary mixer is buying a machine that is too small. Just because your product technically can FIT inside the mixer, doesn't mean that the mixer can HANDLE that amount of product. This is a huge mistake we have seen time and time again.
Mixers are one of the few commercial food machines that will "speak" to you. While you're mixing your product, your machine will let you know whether or not you're pushing it too hard. Sometimes a mixer will need a breather, to cool down.
So you've got to make sure you're buying a machine that can handle what you're asking of it. Some of our brands, like BakeMax, Globe, and Doyon provide you with detailed capacity charts. So take a look at those, and give an honest account of what you're going to be requiring from your mixer. We'll just say this: it's a bit more complicated than looking at the quart-capacity of a mixer, and whether or not the amount of product can technically fit inside the bowl. Take a look at the capacity charts, and if you're unsure of how big of a machine you need, give us a call and we can help you out.
Another thing you need to consider is power. More horsepower doesn't always mean a more powerful machine. We know, it can be a bit confusing. But you might have a top-tier brand with a lower horsepower rating than an economy brand, but the top-tier mixer is going to be able to produce a lot more than the cheaper model. That being said, HP does definitely play an essential role in the power of a mixer, especially for larger models.
One important thing: you also want to know the amperage of the machine. You don't want to plug in a machine that requires a 20-amp plug into a 15-amp plug... that won't be good. Also, should you choose a gear driven or belt-driven machine? Everyone used the think that gear driven mixers were much better, but this may have been mostly a marketing tactic. Belt driven machines can be just as powerful and dependable as gear driven machines, and they're much easier and cheaper to fix. That being said, both gear and belt driven mixers are going to give you a lot of power, so the choice just comes down to your preference.
Some features you may want to consider when buying a commercial mixer: does it comes with a timer? How long is the timer? Are the timer and controls digital or manual? A few of our items are NSF-approved, which is nice, but not usually necessary in Canada. All of our mixers are commercial-grade, so they all have health certifications.
Finally, where do you want to place your mixer? On a countertop, stand, or on the floor? Here's a question we get: why does KitchenAid Commercial call their 8 quart mixer a "stand" mixer. To make our life confusing, maybe. You could put it on a mixer table, but you're probably just going to set it on a countertop. These distinctions aren't always the firmest. You can set some stand mixers on a countertop, and vice versa, and you can set some stand mixers on the floor. Check out the dimensions of the machine and figure out where you'd like to place it.
Again, there is a lot to consider when buying a planetary mixer, and there is a lot that could go wrong. Thankfully you're speaking to the experts. Please feel free to call or email us to get some more information and to pick out the best planetary mixer for you!