Welcome to ‘Kagoo Explains’ - a series of short articles de-mystifying some of the confusing terminology used to describe tech. Today we’ll be looking at ‘planetary mixing’, a more efficient way of mixing dough.
Mixers are fairly simple appliances at heart - they have a drive shaft suspended above a bowl, into which slots a number of different attachments. The drive shaft is connected to a motor, and rotates at a speed controlled by the user - which in turn causes the attachments to rotate. This allows your stand mixer to easily stir ingredients, knead dough, or any number of other helpful tasks.
You spin me right round, baby right round
However this simple mechanism can be limiting, since the attachments only rotate around a central point directly above the centre of the mixing bowl. This placement allows the mixing tools to reach the majority of the bowl, but inevitably there will be areas that aren’t fully covered.
If mixtures are pushed out of the range of the mixing arm - maybe by high speeds or overly-wet ingredients - then they will stay on the edges of the bowl, and will have to be manually removed and pushed back into the centre. This is an annoying process, and means you can’t leave the mixer to work while you concentrate on other tasks.
The solution: a technology called ‘planetary mixing’. Sadly it’s nothing to do with either astronomy or cocktail making - instead it is a method of mixing that uses 2 axes instead of one. A mixer with this tech can move the drive shaft independently of the mixing tool. So the beater rotates around one axis, while the drive shaft rotates around another. This movement is comparable to the movement of planets orbiting the sun, hence the name.
The video above clearly illustrates the path taken by a mixer with planetary motion. The additional movement allows the means that there are far fewer ‘dead spots’ inside the bowl, meaning mixing is far more thorough and you’ll get a better final result without the need to constantly scrape the bowl.
Mixing… now in 3D!
Finally, there is an evolution of this technology found in Bosch mixers - 3D Planetary Mixing. This functions in much the same way as described above, but with one difference - rather than pointing straight down, the drive shaft is set at an angle. This means that the ‘orbit’ of the beater reaches higher up the bowl as it rotates - allowing it to reach places missed by other methods. A helpful addition to make your baking as smooth and easy as possible!
Hopefully that helps clear up exactly how planetary mixing helps your baking, and means you spend more time cooking, and less time scraping the bowl! If you want to treat yourself to a new mixer, check out our list of Top Mixers for 2020.