I'm going to do this recipe and it says in the recipe that I need to use pastry blender. I have a question that can I use this one instead of pastry blender? Or this one

1 Answer 1


No, the device called for, a pastry blender, is not what you have linked in either picture.

The first is a simple hand mixer with standard beaters. The second is the paddle attachment for a stand mixer.

A pastry blender is used to cut butter into flour and looks something like this:

enter image description here (Image from crate and barrel)

It is used to cut butter into flour, while leaving it in relatively large solid chunks.

If you don't have a pastry blender, alternatives include:

  • Using two knives, criss-crossed, to slowly cut the butter up with the flour mixture in a scissors-like motion

  • Pressing with the back of a fork

  • With skill and cold hands, you can even press the butter and flour together with your fingers, which is very old fashioned, but hard to describe in text

    (All of these methods require butter cool enough to not blend into the flour, but warm enough to cut easily, about 65 F, 18.3 C.)

  • If you have one, cutting in butter is also very easily done in a food processor with the knife blade; in this case, you want cold butter. It usually takes not very many pulses, so monitor the texture after each pulse or two once you have done four or five.

  • If you have a large holed grater, you can even grate frozen butter, and then simply toss it with the flour

This video from Dear Martini Kitchen has an excellent demonstration of the pastry blender method that clearly shows the desired texture, an inset which shows the two-knife technique, and at the end a brief food processor demo.

  • I see in the recipe that he/she intend to mix the flour and butter to be crumbly so why I can't use the paddle attachment for a stand mixer? is it different result? and what different in purpose of those two? and what about if I want to make a lot of cookies? I need to do this by hand or there are machine for this method?
    – user23839
    Apr 4, 2014 at 4:47
  • 1
    The paddle will mash the butter into the flour, not leave it in separate bits. This will give an altogether different texture, firmer and less frangible, less flaky or crumbly. You can with just the right technique do it with your whisk attachment (as I learned in pastry class), but I don't recommend it. The best methods are the pastry blender, the frozen grated butter method, and the food processor.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Apr 4, 2014 at 4:50
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    The outcome you are looking for is not a butter-flour paste, but rather little "pebbles" of butter surrounded by flour.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Apr 4, 2014 at 4:51
  • @user23839 Yes, there's a machine - as the answer says, you can use a food processor.
    – Cascabel
    Apr 4, 2014 at 4:52
  • alright, I see thank you very much ^^. Do I have to keep the butter at low temperature to prevent it from melting while I blend it ? and If so, what method do you suggest me? ^^
    – user23839
    Apr 4, 2014 at 4:54

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