If you are a person that loves to bake and cook and does so regularly, you should definitely be investing in a stand mixer. This type of mixer operates on a stand so that you don’t have to babysit the mixing as you would with a hand mixer. You are free to walk around the kitchen and prepare other ingredients while the mixer does its job.
If you’re wondering how to find the best stand mixer on the market and one that offers all the functions you need, take a look through this guide for further information.
Power rating and speed
All stand mixers have a preset and a default speed limit. Some mixers come with speeds that are labeled from slow to very fast while others have speeds that are set from 1 to 10 or from 1 to 12. When you are looking at the power rating this will be determined by how many watts the motor has. This can be in the range of 300 up to 900 watts or more depending on the stand mixer.
When comparing products you want to make sure that you don’t get a machine with low power and high speed. If you plan to mix a lot of dough, you’ll need a powerful machine with a power rating that is very high. If you only plan on using your stand mixer to make sauces or scrambled eggs, for example, you can look for a machine with low power to save some money.
Heavy-duty or light models
There are both heavy-duty and light models of stand mixers available. Light models can easily handle light tasks like mixing up cake batter, mashing potatoes, whipping cream, or beating eggs. Heavier tasks such as mixing bread dough require a heavy-duty model.
Most stand mixers range in size from 4 quarts to 7. Many mixers come with a 5-quart bowl, which is big enough to facilitate most cooking projects done in the home. A 4-quart mixer would be good enough if you don’t plan on making large batches of cookies at a time. A 6-quart or 7-quart bowl would be best if you plan on doubling or even tripling some of your recipes.
Depending on what your plans are for a stand mixer, you’ll have to choose the model you’ll need.
Weight and counter space
It is easy to store a hand mixer away in a drawer or cupboard, but when purchasing a stand mixer you’ll want to have room on the countertop for it. Most of these stand mixers weigh approximately 30 pounds so moving it around to put it away after every use can be quite cumbersome. It should have its own spot on the countertop. The fact that it weighs so much, however, is to its benefit since it will remain solidly in place when mixing heavy loads such as bread dough.
It is a good idea to purchase a stand mixer bundled with a variety of attachments such as Pasta Roller, Spiralizer, or Ice Cream Maker Attachment. You’ll have so much more functionality with your unit once you have a few attachments to work with. A stand mixer has the ability to turn into a blender, food processor and stand mixer all at the same time if you purchase the right attachments to go with it. This is a definite benefit if you don’t have a lot of counter space in your kitchen or room to store several different appliances.
Here are some of the common attachments that may come with a stand mixer or can be purchased separately.
Vegetable and fruit strainer
Ice cream maker
The ice crusher
Ease of use
Many stand mixers offer a splash guard, parts that can be washed in the dishwasher, and a slow start feature. Starting slowly means that there will be less splatter when the mixing starts which means less cleanup afterward. Liquids and flour remain in the bowl due to the splash guard and being dishwasher safe make for faster cleanup.
Many of these stand mixers come in different colors so that they can be added to any kitchen decor. KitchenAid is one of the brands that offer a wide variety of colors to choose from. Their line of mixers currently offers almost 50 colors so that you can choose the perfect color to fit your kitchen decor.
There are a lot of reputable brands of stand mixers available such as Cuisinart, Sunbeam, Oster, Hamilton Beach, and of course, KitchenAid. Many of these companies also produce professional mixers that are able to handle very heavy tasks and large quantities of food.
Stand mixers usually cost about $250 and up. If you’re not able to afford this basic amount you may want to look at reconditioned factory models or used mixers. Keep in mind, however, that the price you pay now will pay itself back over and over again throughout the years. Good stand mixers are made to last and will save you time and energy in the kitchen for many years to come.
Determine Your Needs
Before buying a stand mixer you have to determine what are your primary needs. For example, if you want a mixer to make pies, cakes or cookies, then a lower-end model should do the job for you. If, on the other hand, you want a mixer for more arduous tasks such as kneading bread dough, you will do better with a mixer that has added power.
Compare and Check User Reviews
Once you’ve finalized the type of stand mixer that meets your needs it’s time to start shopping around. It is a good idea to do comparison shopping to look at the various features and find a stand mixer type you are looking at a fair price. The comparison should be done with stand mixers with similar specifications and functions. Price can be an indication of quality, but a more expensive one may not necessarily meet your needs better.
Check the user reviews on the various online shopping sites to understand the experiences of other people that have already purchased and used the type of stand mixer you are planning to buy to get a much better idea about the quality of the stand mixer. This feedback from users will let you know if a particular stand mixer lives up to the claims made by the manufacturer and allows you to be much more confident in your purchasing decision.
Where to Buy
You can buy stand mixers from many online or offline retailers such as Kohl’s, Target, Walmart, TigerDirect, Amazon, BestBuy, Macy’s, etc. Amazon.com keeps an hourly updated running tally of the best-selling stand mixer on its site and this gives an idea of the popular stand mixer amongst buyers.
The factors mentioned in this Stand Mixer Buying Guide are some of the many factors that you should think about before investing in a stand mixer. A stand mixer is a really large investment. Therefore you should take time to do your research and make an informed decision before making that important purchase. This will ensure you do not waste your money and time. Finally, buy the stand mixer and feel great because, after doing all the research, you definitely got the best deal out there. Enjoy the cooking.