Mix It Up: Ode to the Hand-Powered Mixer

Rediscover this kitchen wonder.


A quick search on eBay turned up thirty-six of these kitchen wonders, most for around five bucks.

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Are we really so inadequate to the task of modern living as the plethora of timesaving appliances would have us believe? Do we really need a power tool to open cans, floss our teeth, even grate cheese? Some of us still remember when all these things could be done by hand, using elbow grease instead of kilowatts.

Well, here’s a kitchen tool that has not been improved on by revving up an engine: the humble, graceful hand mixer. For beating eggs, it can’t be beat. For whipping cream, it creams the competition. These beaters were engineered to do the job in record time. No wasted minutes spent untangling a cord or searching for a place to plug in.

Not just any beater will do. Find the good old ones at junk stores. Look for flat blades rather than round wire on the mixing surface. More surface area means more aeration, making whatever you’re whipping up frothier and fluffier faster.