For professionals or for those who are avid bakers, a stand mixer is a highly recommended investment to consider. In fact, a stand mixer is an essential part of a baker's kitchen as it can considerably improve overall baking productivity and quality of the pastries. If you are planning to purchase one, then you need to gather as much information as possible regarding this baking equipment. Why? Well, for starters, stand mixers are quite expensive, so you best make sure you will be able to make the most of it.
If you have already resolved that question and settled on 'Yes' as the answer, then the next step is finding the right stand mixer that will cover all your needs. This is where I come in. In this article, I have compiled a concise guideline on what factors you need to consider when buying a stand mixer. I will also give you five of my highly recommended products in this category to help you further narrow down your list.
In a Hurry?
In a hurry and don't have the time to go through our complete review list and buying guide? No worries! Here is our top recommended stand mixer. It delivers all-around reliability, excellent quality, and top-notch features to help significantly improve your baking experience.
The Stand Mixer Thorough Buying Guide by St.J.G Kitchen Blog
Before we head on to our top five list of stand mixers, I think it is important always to arm yourself with knowledge. At the very least, having a good grasp of a particular subject will allow you to make an informed decision. So, I will be giving you some pointers on how to pick the best stand mixer that will suit all of your needs.
#1. Tilt-Head or Bowl-Lift Stand Mixers?
There are two types of stand mixers to choose from: tilt head and bowl lift. Understanding the differences between the two is the first step in choosing a stand mixer.
#2. Tilt-Head Stand Mixer
Tilt-head Stand mixers are mixers wherein you can lift or tilt the head of the mixer to remove or insert the bowl. You insert or remove the mixing bowl by twisting it until you detach (or attach) it from the latch. The head of the stand mixer has a lever that you use to lock it into place once you are ready to operate it. A key feature of the tilt head stand mixer is its relatively more compact build, compared to bowl-lift models making it ideal for kitchens with limited space.
#3. Bowl-Lift Stand Mixers
This stand mixer type is known for its heavy-duty build and is often found in premium and high-end models. Bowl lift stand mixers utilize powerful motors which also lends to its bulkier and heavier structure. Due to its larger and heavier build, bowl lift models are also known for its impeccable stability. This type of stand mixer is ideal for those who bake daily. Its motor is also powerful enough to mix thick doughs without any difficulty.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Stand Mixer
Once you determine which type of stand mixer to get, it is time to take a closer look and distinguish.
- Build Quality
This first part is pretty self-explanatory. However, knowing the actual build quality of a particular model can be a bit difficult. Personally, I suggest you always go with models from well-known brands such as KitchenAid. These manufacturers have built a solid reputation throughout the years, and you are basically guaranteed top-notch products.
While getting a good budget-friendly deal is preferred, you also have to consider that cheaper doesn't always equate to a great deal. There is a reason why some stand mixers are more affordable, and it is usually because of cheaper parts. I highly recommend you go with popular brands when it comes to stand mixers.
Watts or amps dictates the power of the stand mixer. In this area, the higher power rating, the better. More powerful stand mixers can handle a wider variety of dough – from dry to heavy or thick dough. A good quality stand mixer should ideally be able to deliver around 300 watts of power or more. Of course, this level of wattage requires robust motor, gears, and overall build if you wish for it to also deliver in longevity.
- Speed Options
When it comes to the speed options in stand mixers, it is best to go with the model with the most speed options available. More speed options mean that the stand mixer will be able to handle different baking tasks. For example, kneading the dough requires slower speeds while higher speeds are best for whipping cream. As a rule of thumb, I always go with stand mixers that have 6 to 7-speed options.
- All-Metal Build
All heavy-duty stand mixers have one thing in common: they all incorporate an 'all-metal' build and design. Metal components are typically synonymous with longevity and are known to handle excessive workload better than stand mixers with hybrid parts (metal and plastic). High-end stand mixers also incorporate sensors that will automatically shut off the unit if it picks up any error, damage or overload with the motor.
The heavier the dough, the higher the chance of the stand mixer to wobble which is something you should avoid at all cost. To help reduce this risk, look for stand mixers that weigh 20 lbs. or more. Basically, it is best to have a hefty stand mixer rather than a lightweight one. Remember that when choosing a stand mixer, lightweight and compact are not considered a priority. Of course, there are still some excellent stand mixers there that don't feel like it weighs a ton. However, for heavy-duty use and functionality – in most cases, heavier is better.
- Slow Start Feature
In regards to features, I highly recommend you look for a stand mixer that comes with a Slow Start functionality. This is a nifty feature that slows down the motor for a few seconds to prevent ingredients inside the bowl from flying all over the place: less mess, less stress.
- Color Variations
Design or color variations should also be considered. Will the stand mixer fit in nicely with the overall esthetics of your kitchen décor? This is subjective so go with what is visually pleasing for you. Just remember to consider the previous points we discussed.
Check to see what the warranty covers and its length. If you need to return the item for repair or replacement, does the manufacturer shoulder the return shipping fee? How good is their customer care service? I recommend you check around forums for comments about the manufacturer's availability to their customer regarding inquiries.
REVIEWS OF THE BEST STAND MIXERS
#1. KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer
KitchenAid is one, if not, the premier names when it comes to stand mixers. The Artisan series is designed to handle all baking tasks from dough, batter, and whipped egg whites. The Artisan also comes with a bunch of accessories such as pasta maker and juicer, to name a few. It has top-tier mixing power and is equipped with a 5-quart mixing bowl. Additionally, the KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer also comes in 30 different color variations and up to 15 bowl designs!
You really can't go wrong with KitchenAid when it comes to stand mixers. They are one of the most trusted in this market, and they have yet to fall short of customer's expectations. The Artisan provides reliability, versatility, and functionality in spades and is an excellent addition to any baker's kitchen.
#2. KitchenAid KSM75WH Stand Mixer, 4.5 Qt, White
With a slightly more affordable price tag, the KitchenAid KSM75WH Stand Mixer is a good alternative to the flagship Artisan series. Rather than having a 300-watt motor, the KitchenAid KSM75WH Stand Mixer utilizes a 956-watt version. This is considered really powerful and should cover most of your needs. The KSM75WH also features a total of 10-speed control for outstanding mixing precision.
The KitchenAid Classic is a good choice for those who enjoy baking as a hobby. It is powerful enough to mix cookie dough and batter effortlessly but might have difficulties in mixing thicker and heavier dough. If you plan on using your stand mixer daily, I recommend you go with a heavy-duty stand mixer. The KitchenAid Classic is more suitable for the occasional baking.
#3. Best Affordable Stand Mixers Reviews - Hamilton Beach Electric Stand Mixer, Tilt-Head, 4 Quarts, 7 Speeds With Whisk, Dough Hook & More
If you are specifically looking for a compact and lightweight stand mixer, then I recommend you direct your attention towards the Hamilton Beach Electric Stand Mixer. The Hamilton Beach Stand Mixer is surprisingly compact and lightweight. What's more impressive about this stand mixer is that, despite its size, it manages to deliver a whopping 300-watt power giving its motor quite a punch. In fact, the Hamilton Beach Stand Mixer can easily knead bread dough! Additionally, all additional attachments are dishwasher-safe, making cleanups a breeze.
If you are looking for a compact and budget-friendly stand mixer, then Hamilton Beach is definitely as good as it gets. I do have questions about the stand mixer's overall longevity which is why I would only recommend this stand mixer for occasional baking.
#4. Cusimax 5-Quart 800W Dough Mixer, Tilt-Head Electric Mixer with Stainless Steel Bowl, Dough Hook & More
The Cuisinart Cusimax stand mixer is a powerful baking tool and is one that is best suited for daily baking. It has an 800-watt motor which is more than enough to handle kneading bread dough and mixing other ingredients with relative ease. It can even be used to mash potatoes if you like.
I also liked the splash guard which, for an 800-watt stand mixer, definitely a mandatory feature to have. Also, the Cusimax stand mixer comes with several mixing accessories such as a mixing beater, dough hook, and whisk. For additional stability, the Cusimax also has a non-slip suction base to hold it steady and secure on your kitchen table or counter.
This is as powerful as stand mixers come, but it does have its own fair share of limitations – the most glaring of which is its limited operation time. That said, you can actually push that time limit a bit further, although this is not recommended to be turned into a habit. Overall, the Cuisinart Cusimax is a great choice if you want a stand mixer that can handle mixing all types of dough.
#5. Aucma Stand Mixer,6.5-QT 660W 6-Speed Tilt-Head Food Mixer, Kitchen Electric Mixer
The AUCMA Stand Mixer comes with a large 6.5-quart making it a great choice if you plan on baking more than a handful of cookies, cupcakes, bread, and any other pastry you can think of at any given moment. The powerful 660-watt motor is also surprisingly quiet compared to other stand mixers.
The tilt-head mixer also makes removing and inserting the large 6.5-quart bowl quite easy. This stand mixer comes with three additional mixing accessories: a whisk, mixing beater, and a dough hook. There is also a splash guard access hatch that will prevent the ingredients in the bowl from flying all over the place. There is also a nice blue LED power indicator which gives the AUCMA Stand Mixer a nice visual flair.
With an excellent price range and quality performance, the AUCMA Stand Mixer is definitely one that gives the most bang for your buck. However, keep in mind that it uses a proprietary bowl, and third-party 6.5-quart bowls might not be compatible with the AUCMA Stand Mixer.
WRAPPING IT UP
Stand mixers are a valuable asset to bakers and cooks. The good news for entry-level bakers or baking aficionados is that the stand mixer has grown and developed throughout the years. Nowadays, there is a stand mixer designed for beginners all the way to professionals. The benefits that you get with a stand mixer is undisputable. If you love to cook or bake, I highly recommend you invest in a quality stand mixer. I guarantee you won't be disappointed.