If you love baking, then having a stand mixer will make a big difference in your life. It will be one of your best buys. It’s a worthy investment, especially if you have the money, space and the requirement for such a machine.
Making the decision to buy the equipment is a big one, but the bigger decision is choosing which mixer to buy. You need to find something that will meet your needs when it comes to cooking and baking.
Making the right decision about which mixer to buy will be a good thing since you will find something that will last you for many years. This way, you will get your money’s worth, plus you will be able to use the machine to do so much more.
Here are some top models that you should consider having in your kitchen:
KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer
This machine comes in different colors that can suit any taste and any kitchen style. It has a 5-quart bowl which can make dough enough for four loaves of bread in a single mix. You can also attach several accessories to it through its power hub. If you find the 5-quart bowl size too big for you, you can opt for the 3.5-quart bowl.
- It is coated with nylon; therefore, it is dishwasher safe
- Some people might prefer the look of nylon coated equipment over burnished coatings, which might be too shiny or cheesy.
- It is 14 inches wide, which means that if space is a problem in your house then you will have a problem finding somewhere to keep it.
- It does not have overload protection, therefore if you overuse it for extended periods without taking a few minutes break from time to time, it can burn out.
- It does not have a built-in timer
Hamilton Beach Electrics
This is the best option if you need a basic stand mixer to do basic things for you. It comes with a 4.5-quart bowl and a 400-watt motor. It has accessories for beating, mixing and creaming your ingredients.
- It comes with a drip ring. This prevents dripping when you are adding ingredients.
- You can also use it as a hand mixer
- Heavy, you might find it difficult to move around when using it
- It is advertised as having 12 speeds, but it actually has only 6 speeds. The speed settings are 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12.
This mixer is much more than a stand mixer; it comes with a three-power port where you can attach a citrus juicer, meat grinder, and a pasta maker.
It has an 800-watt motor so you can use it when you need to do heavy tasks. It comes with a splash free guard, which means that your mixture won’t scatter all over as you work on it.
- Mixes evenly
- Easy to use
- Quite when in use
One of the worst things about using mixers is the act of having to scrape out all the dough from the bowl and most people use their fingers to do this. With a Breville BEM-800, you won’t have to do this anymore. It comes with a rubber edge that continuously scraps off the dough from the 5-quart stainless steel bowl.
Other features that this mixer has includes a LED display, a 12-speed mixing motor, and a countdown timer.
- It is powerful, solid and steady
- Makes a minimal sound when in use
- The only attachment that it comes with is the edge scraper; it doesn’t have any other attachments, which means that it doesn’t have functions such as grinding, ice cream and pasta making, which other mixers have.
The best thing about this mixer is its price. It goes for less than $100. This is a good option to use if you need a mixer, but you don’t use it on a regular basis. It has two large bowls, with one of them being 4 quarts. It has a 12-speed setting, a whisk, a dough hook, and a chrome beater.
- Has two glass bowls
- Comes with a two-year warranty
- Has a soft handle
- You cannot use it for tough tasks, such as kneading bread
Kenwood KMX54 K-Mix Kitchen Machine Electric Stand Mixer
This mixer produces a smooth consistency when it comes to making the dough, whisking eggs, or making whipped cream. In order to minimize chances of splashing, you can gradually increase the settings.
- It is dishwasher safe
- It looks appealing
- Comes with a matching toaster and kettle and it is also available in many colors
- It is hard to put on the attachments
- It is heavy
- Limited to 4 quarts
Swan Retro Stand Mixer
This machine is good when it comes to whipping, however; it is not good when it comes to whisking. Also, when you are kneading dough, you will have to occasionally scrap out the ingredients from the bowl from time to time. When using the mixer, you can use it for three minutes at a time.
- Easy to use
- Looks good
- Good quality
Smeg Stand Mixer
This mixer is available in a wide variety of colors. You can do most of the tasks well with it, but it is not quite good at whisking.
- Dishwasher safe
- Comes with a splash plug
Bodum Bistro Electric Stand Mixer
If you like appliances which have a nice design, then the Bodum Bistro Electric Stand Mixer fits that bill. It comes with a splash guard that you can use to cover the bowl to prevent the ingredients from splashing out. It also has a funnel that you can use to safely add ingredients to your bowl as the mixer is working. It has a rotating head that has an orbital movement. This helps in proper mixing of the ingredients.
- Has a powerful motor that mixes the ingredients in nicely you don’t even have to finish off by hand.
- Its attachments are dishwasher safe
- You will have to scrape off the dough from the sides of the bowl as it is not very good at mixing all the ingredients at the bottom and on the sides very well.
Cheftronic Stand Mixer
The Cheftronic Stand Mixer is a 4.2-quart tilt-head stand mixer that features and anti-sip design. It comes with a powerful 350-watt motor and a 6-speed control. Out of the box, it comes with a set of four attachments including a wire whisk, a dough hook, a flat beater, and a splash guard.
Its relatively small size makes it easy to move around the kitchen. It comes in three colors which can match a wide range of kitchen styles.
- Not noisy
- Uses planetary action to ensure ingredients are mixed thoroughly
- Safe and stable to use
- May not be suitable for younger bakers
What to Consider
Power. If you bake a lot, you definitely want to buy a powerful machine. Most machines rate their power usage in terms of watts. This might not make it quite clear to you how powerful it is.
Watts or amperes do not give much information about how powerful the device is or anything about the motor or head itself. Watts basically defines how much electric power the device uses.
The wattage also does not give you much information about the quality of the machine or any information on how it has been built or designed or how efficient it is.
A better way of knowing the power of the appliance is by checking the horsepower rating. However, it can be quite hard to check for this measurement unless most consumer brands start using it, which is highly unlike unless it comes to consumer brands, such as Hobart.
Planetary Action. This basically means that the beaters go around and round in a similar way to the way the earth rotates on its own axis. In addition, the mixer head revolves the same way that the earth revolves around the sun. The main aim of this is to enable the beater and mixer head to scoop and scrape out all the ingredients from the edges of the bowl and mix them evenly. This will save you the trouble of manually scraping the bowl by hand.
Metal Gearing. Metal equipment tends to be noisier than machines that have not been made out of metal. Nevertheless, the good thing about metallic brands is that they tend to last much longer than their plastic counterparts.
Cheaper models most likely have pot metal gears. Higher quality equipment is most likely made out of brass or steel. These are tougher and can withstand a lot.
Most metal equipment usually come with an electronic sensor. Therefore, in case there is an overload, the machine will automatically switch itself off. This greatly minimizes the chances of the machine getting damaged.
When it comes to KitchenAid, it comes kitted with a nylon gear. This is included in their cheap head designs that have been built in such a way that in case the machine has an overload, its fail-safe mechanism works by breaking up into pieces. However, there more expensive gears have metal gears and they have an overload sensor.
Slow Start Feature. This is a slow start feature that prevents ingredients from splattering all over the place as you start mixing your ingredients. The mixer starts slowly and then gradually picks up speed.
Speed Options. Having different speed options is a good feature to have. It makes it possible for you to carry out a number of tasks, such as whipping, which requires high speeds and kneading, which requires low speeds.
Speed controls the amount of force being used as the ingredients become stiffer. Preferably, the device should have 6-7options. Something to note is that the Hobart N50 comes in 3 speeds. However, these speeds are so powerful that you can use it to mix all kinds of heavy stuff.
Color Choices. Even though the functionality of the machine is the key thing, there are those people who would like to have a visually appealing equipment that matches the rest of their kitchen décor.
If this is a big thing to you, then it will have an impact on the kind of device that you purchase. That is why some of the machines that we have discussed here come in a variety of colors.
Weight. The good thing about having a heavy mixer is that it will not move around the counter, as you are mixing your dough; let’s say something heavy like bread dough. The best weight to go for is a mixer that is at least 20pounds. However, getting something heavier is advisable.
In the past, most of these US manufactured appliances had heavy motors that were brought about by their heavy motors- Emerson or Baldor. These bases had a lot of copper wires, which made them heavy and also lasted for a long time.
However, as manufacturers try to lower manufacturing costs, they outsource most of their manufacturing to other countries, such as China. This has resulted in smaller units that are cheaper and less efficient. These manufacturers have found other ways to make these units heavy.
Something to note is that the Bosch Universal Plus Kitchen Machine that is manufactured for the European market doesn’t put so much emphasis on weight. Their main concern is the amount of space that the device takes up, given that space is quite little and valuable in these houses. As a result, the device is not heavy; therefore, the manufacturers have put suction cups on it, so as to help stick it on the counter space in an effort to prevent it from moving about as you use it. This machine has a strong motor that can basically do anything that you want it to do.
This fact does not make this machine any less versatile. In fact, it is one of the best lightweight models that are in the market at the moment.
Tilt Head vs. Bowl Lift
There are two kinds of mixers. Those that have a tilted head and those that have a bowed head. In the case of the tilted head, if you want to remove the head, then you lift the head and then remove the bowl. As long as you have lifted the head, you can insert or remove the bowl. After inserting it, you can screw it back into place. After this, you pull down the head and then lock it into place using a lever on its side, to prevent it from wobbling about as you use it.
The good thing about this kind of models is that they do not take up lots of space as they are not that big, so how much space you have is a major decision when deciding what to buy.
When it comes to the bowl lift, they have adjustable arms. You can either raise or lower these arms when you want to remove the bowl. This makes it easier to remove the bowl.
The good thing about this model that people who use it at home like is the fact that you can either add warm or cold water to the bowl for better temperature control. However, some people dislike this make because they find it quite challenging to add their ingredients. They also find it quite cumbersome to have to remove attachments on the machine in order to insert or remove the bowl.
When buying mixers, you will notice that heavier ones and more powerful ones tend to have the bowl lift. This is because it is quite difficult for the single head to support the heavy base of a bulky machine.
If you make thick dough a lot, then the bowl lift is the best option for you. They distribute their mass evenly through their heavy base as the machine vibrates.
Built Quality. The quality of the build comprises many factors put together that we have already discussed. This includes whether the machine is powerful enough to do the task at hand.
All the bits and pieces of the machine should be made from quality material. Also, consider whether the motor and the electronic parts of the machine are durable. There should also have been attention to detail during the manufacturing process. It should also be tough and made to withstand force meaning that the product should not just have been quickly put together.
Most manufacturers usually concentrate on three main things when it comes to performance. This includes speed, price, and quality of the build. We would advise you to go for well-built machines rather than inexpensive ones.
Warranty. You should check how long the warranty is. Other factors to consider are what exactly the warranty covers and if the manufacturer provides its customers with good aftersales service.
Consider whether you are the one to pay for shipping or if the company will pay for this. You also need to know if their customer support has a good product knowledge of their stuff and if it is easy to get in touch with them when you need to.
Value. The value of a product is obtained by adding together the quality of its build and the price. We focus on more than the cost of the product; we have our own basis for measuring the value of the product.
You should ask whether once one has taken into consideration the build of the product and all the other factors whether the customer is getting their money’s worth. After doing all this, then it is best to give a star rating based on the things that we have noticed about the products.
Cooking Needs. Before you go out to buy a machine, you should take time to think through what you are going to be using it for. Whether you are a heavy cook, or you will just use it once in a while. For instance, if you are the kind of person that likes to gift their friends and family bread and cookies, then you need a device which can process a lot of dough all at once.
If you go for stand mixers, then you can use it to do a lot of things, you just need to have the right attachments. For instance, you can use it to make pasta, butter, meatballs and ravioli and other kinds of recipes that might seem complicated. Therefore, evaluate the kind of meals that you currently make and what you think you would like to be cooking in the future and the amount of food that you intend to be making.
This will help you to narrow down your options when thinking about the kind of mixer that you would like to get.
Warning About the Capacity and Performance
Just because a machine uses more watts does not necessarily mean that they are more powerful than devices that use fewer watts. How much power the machine uses does not determine the amount of power used when kneading dough or mixing ingredients.
That is why when deciding what to buy, focus your attention on the capacity of the machine rather than on how many watts that it uses. Most manufacturers indicate the capacity of their machines. These are usually overestimated; therefore, base your decision on smaller capacities.
Stand Mixer Limitations
You might think that the best mixers can do everything. However, even the most powerful of devices usually have their own restrictions, especially when it comes to mixing the stiff dough. When using the dough and you observe that the mixer slows down and even stops, it then means that the dough is too stiff for the mixer. You might find yourself having to complete the kneading process by hand, even if you have the most powerful mixer. In order to avoid damaging your mixer, read through the manufacturer’s instructions and ensure that you adhere to them. Mixers are not designed to run for long periods of time without a break. Some of them might not have built-in cut-offs that automatically switches the machines when it gets overloaded therefore exercise precaution when using the mixer.
Stand Mixer Accessories
Most mixers have s hub where you can connect all kinds of attachments. This includes attachments for meat grinders, pasta makers or sausage makers. Even though all these extra accessories significantly increase the cost of your mixer, they increase its functionality and minimize the chances of you having to buy separate appliances to perform these tasks. However, you need to realize that you will need to have enough power to run the devices.
Quality vs. Price
There are so many kinds of mixers, all of them being sold at different prices. A basic unit might only include a single mixing option, while a more expensive unit might have different mixing actions, such as spiraling and rotation. These allow you to carry out a large number of mixing actions and scraps off most of the ingredients from the bowl so that you don’t have to do it manually by hand or using your fingers.
A more powerful mixer makes it possible for you to do a lot more with your machine. Costly machines tend to have parts that last for a long time and they are usually made from all metal.
Important Facts About Stand Mixers
In order for you to use the mixer to perform a variety of actions, the mixer must have different attachments.
This means that when you are making your purchase, ensure to buy a mixer that comes with different attachments, depending on what you intend to be cooking. Some of the things that you can use your mixer for includes making ice-cream, making dough, and beating the batter, among many other things.
The good thing about having extra bowls is that you can use them when your main bowl is dirty. You can also use them for preparing meals.
Keep the accessories inside the bowl. You can end up with several bowls and different accessories. This can make you confused about which accessory to use with which bowl. The best thing to do would be to keep each accessory with the bowl that it is used with. This will make things a lot less confusing for you and a lot easier when you want to mix.
You can use it to shred meat. The mixer comes with a wire whisk. You can use this whisk to shred meat that you want to use in sandwiches or salads.
You can use the high-speed setting of the machine to get the meat sliced into small pieces. This is after you have whisked it into small parts.
You need a towel to cover up the mixer bowl. The thing is that if you are mixing liquid ingredients or when you are just starting to mix up your ingredients, things are going to get splashed out all over the place. This can cover your workspace and even splatter on your clothes and the walls.
This will give you the extra work of having to clean up the place once you are done cooking. That is why it is important that you always ensure that you have a towel in hand to cover up the bowl to prevent spills from happening.
You can adjust the paddle height. You might think that you have to use your mixer just the way that it is and that it is not possible to adjust it when you are using it. However, this is not true.
One of the key things about the mixer is the fact that the paddle height is adjustable. This will ensure that you do a good job of mixing your ingredients.
You can adjust the mixing speed. The mixer has a lot of flexibility when it comes to the speed that you can use when mixing up your ingredients. You can choose the right setting depending on what you are mixing.
There are some mixers that give you the option of using 12-15 speed settings. This allows you to do multiple things.
Therefore, next time you want to mix things, select the right speed setting and you will be able to achieve the right consistency.
When it comes to choosing the best mixer, the KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer aces the test. This mixer has a superior design and a powerful motor. This mixer comes with ten attachments, giving you everything that you would want in a mixer.
This basic kitchen aid comes with a whisk. A paddle and a hook but you can buy all the additional accessories that it comes with. You can use this mixer as a sausage maker, for making ice cream, pasta, grinding meat, juicer, vegetable and fruit strainer, grain mill among many other things.
In addition, the mixer offers arrange of 10 speeds, so you can use it to whisk, beat, aerate and do many other things.
When you buy the kitchen aid, you get a one-year warranty. In case your aid gets damaged within this period, you will get a replacement.
A good mixer can be a game changer for someone who likes to bake. Therefore, if you have an older machine that you want to replace or if you bake regular and you need a mixer that will serve you well, and then the KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer is the machine for you.
What do you think?