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You may wonder about a ribbon blender vs. a paddle blender if you want to mix or blend dry goods. While you’d typically look for the best blender to do it all, sometimes you need an additional mixer that offers something beyond typical blender action. Both the ribbon mixer and paddle mixer offer a similar blender style for dry ingredients. Still, there are some differences you should not miss.
The ribbon mixer and paddle mixers are both types of mixers that are used for large amounts of dry ingredients like flour or grains. But if you’re just making a smoothie, for example, a stick blender or hand blender is recommended.
A ribbon blender, also called a ribbon agitator, is typically used by food manufacturers. Usually set in a large horizontal mixer, the ribbon blades are traditionally long twisted metal strips attached along a counter-rotating shaft. They are great for large batch sizes of food products that are small, uniform, or made of viscous materials. Unlike personal blenders, these have big blending containers and are great for large projects.
If you cannot afford a full ribbon or paddle mixer, look for a blender attachment or traditional mixer to do the job.
A conventional ribbon blender offers excellent large batch mixing of powders and small, uniform materials. The blades can work through clumps of powder or grain to give a consistent mixture of dry ingredients.
Ribbon mixers are not perfect and may be a bad choice for some situations. Since ribbon blades run the entire length of the standard shaft, they are much harder to clean and replace than a paddle mixer. In addition, ribbon blenders require more maintenance and adjustment than paddle mixers.
Paddle blenders, also called paddle agitators, are a type of industrial blender for dry ingredients like grain and powder. That said, they are also used in both the chemical engineering and beverage industries. The large metal paddles run along a central shaft. The paddles can lift, push, and mix the ingredients as they spin.
The paddle mixer’s large paddles easily scoop and mix ingredients effortlessly. While they don’t have an excellent blending velocity, they are great for blending powders at a large batch capacity. They also offer a thoroughly balanced mixture.
Paddle blenders do not crush ingredients. Instead, the paddles push their way through ingredients to mix them. So, if your recipe or ingredients need to be broken down, a paddle mixer is not the way to go.
Either mixer is a solid choice if your project requires large amounts of batch mixing. However, for most people, either option won’t be a great fit. Still, some smaller mixers or types of blender attachments emulate the mixing process for a homogenous blend. So, while the fantastic mixing ability of the ribbon and paddle blender may draw you in, most models will be too large and expensive for the average home chef.
Make sure your kitchen projects are big enough to justify the space and financial cost of a paddle or ribbon blender.
What are ribbon blenders used to make?
Ribbon blenders break up and mix food ingredients like powders and grains.
What’s the difference between a food processor and a blender?
A food processor specializes in breaking down small, tough ingredients. A blender can mix or break down both solid and liquid ingredients.
What mixer attachment should I use for buttercream?
Experts recommend that people use a flat beater attachment for buttercream.
STAT: Only about 2 percent of U.S. farmland grows fruits and vegetables, while 59 percent is devoted to commodity crops. (source)