Choosing the Right Mixer for Your Bakery

When it comes to choosing the right mixer for a bakery, there a few things to take into consideration, like “how much space do I have for a mixer”, “what exactly am I mixing” and “how big does my mixer need to be”?

If you are mixing more than just dough, it may be a good idea to go with either a horizontal or a planetary mixer. If you are mixing dough only, and it’s important to keep the dough at a certain temperature, you’re probably going to want to go with a spiral mixer. Let’s dive a bit deeper and take a look at the pros and cons of each mixer so that we can help you make an educated decision on which mixer is right for your bakery

Planetary Mixers

Planetary mixers come in many sizes, from smaller countertop mixers to very large mixers capable of mixing 200 to 800 kg of product at a time. Planetary mixers are great for mixing and beating things like eggs, cake batter, cookie dough, potatoes, pizza dough and many other things. They come with many attachments, including a whip, hook and beater, as well as attachments that allow the mincing of meat, the cutting of vegetables and the grating of cheese.

All this makes the planetary mixer a well-rounded machine, though the drawback to this is its short life span when constantly ran at high speeds. Also, it is not the best mixer for most types of bread dough, and if dough is your main concern, you may want to consider a horizontal or a spiral mixer.

Horizontal Mixers

A horizontal mixer gives you a clear advantage when you’re trying to mix thousands of pounds of dough in a very short amount of time. Medium-to-large-sized bakeries and factories depend on this type of machine because of its sheer size and capability. This type of mixer is perfect for the mixing of things like short doughs, tortillas, fillings, pie doughs, health breads, cheesecakes, muffins and many other things. Horizontal mixers come with a selection of mixing arms that allow you to customize based on the type of dough you are mixing. They also allow for continuous mixing, meaning once the mixed dough comes out, exiting easily into a trough, the next batch can go into the machine on the other end.

The disadvantage to this choice is that heat generation is a concern. The friction from the dough rubbing on the sides of the mixing chamber causes the dough temperature to rise, which can be damaging to some types of dough. It is important to take this into consideration when choosing the right mixer, especially if you plan on mixing mostly bread doughs.

Spiral Mixers

Spiral mixers are great for mixing many varieties of dough, including bread, pizza, bagels and many others. Spiral mixers come with two motors, one to turn the mixing tool and one to turn the bowl, mixing dough more efficiently and more gently than a horizontal mixer, so heat from friction isn’t as critical of a concern.

These characteristics allow bakeries to produce a range of different products with consistent quality. Spiral mixers also use an energy efficient mixing process, making the cost to run them lower than that of a horizontal mixer. They are usually less expensive than horizontal mixers as well.

Though great pieces of machinery and perfect for mixing bread dough, there are a few drawbacks to purchasing a spiral mixer for your bakery. First, they are not as big as a horizontal mixer. The Spiral mixer can mix anywhere from 50 – 600 kg of dough at a time, and while that is a very big amount, a horizontal mixer can mix more. Second, like we said before, the spiral mixer is great for bread dough, but not ideal for anything other than dough. If you need to mix anything other than dough, this is not the mixer for you.

Being a Versatile Bakery

Some bakeries will opt to purchase more than one type of mixers depending on their size and what they need to do. They may be making bread as well as pastries, cookies, pies and bagels, all in the same day and at the same time. This would be very hard to achieve with only a spiral mixer because each mixer has a specific use. At some point your bakery may expand, and when that happens give us a call and we will be happy to help you choose the right mixer for your needs