Stand mixer is a tool that most cooks who use it say they wouldn’t want to do with out. Whether this is your first stand mixer or you are upgrading, we took the time to list some differences in the types of stand mixers so you can make an informed choice.
Tilted-Head vs. Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer
Tilt-head stand mixers are typically shorter with a hinged head the tilts back. The tilt-head tend to have a smaller footprint and therefore is good for the tiny kitchens and little counter space. However, it requires more space for the tilting but it’s also easier to attach attachment such as the paddle, whisk, or the dough hook. But it’s also harder to put ingredients in while the machine is running. The tilt version is a little nice in the fact the bowl is easier to remove once finished.
A bowl-lift stand mixer tends to be taller with arms to hold the bowl and is the type preferred by professional cooks and frequent bread bakers. They are sturdier and far more stable, and can stay in place under the cabinets while in use. They also tend to have a larger capacity mixing bowl and a higher watt motor.
Consumers like the bowl-lift as they can lower the bowl to add in ingredients. Another positive is that the bowl lift version allows you to place a bowl of hot or ice water below the mixing bowl, and that’s a helpful technique if you are trying to achieve or maintain a particular temperature, often important in pastry or candy making.
Generally speaking, tilt models are lower wattage, and lift models are higher wattage. The higher the wattage, the more powerful the mixer is to do heavy-duty mixing and this is more important than the number of settings or speeds. More expensive professional models all feature the bowl-lift design, while the cheaper models are all tilt-head.
For most household use, it does not matter which one is better. You should consider what you intend to use it for and pick a suitable one for your purpose. For example if you want to use it to make whole wheat bread, dough, buns or the likes, then this matters quite a lot! We think one of the higher powered bowl-lift models would be more functional.
Rotating Disc vs. Fixed Beater Stand Mixer
In a rotating disc stand mixer the bowl is held stationery and the beater mounted on a rotating disc do the work. The orbiting movement of the beater in a “planetary mixing action” does the mixing and keeps the ingredients from sticking to the sides of the bowl. This type of mixing is highly effective and do not need to be watched when mixing compared to a fixed beater type.
Fixed beaters found on traditional stand mixers stay put and are lowered into the bowl which spins on a stand. The mixer must be watched and stopped periodically to scrap the sides of the bowl to include ingredients that are out of the reach of the beaters. This type of stand mixer takes a longer time to mix, but they are often less expensive.
Home Vs. Commercial Stand Mixer
When shopping for a stand mixer you should think about what you are going to use it for. If you want a mixer to make pies, cakes or cookies a standard stand mixer will do the job. However, if you are a bread maker than maybe you need a powerful professional machine because bread dough can get pretty dense.
Commercial or Professional grade stand mixers tend to have higher wattage and often made of stainless steel to comply commercial kitchen cleanliness licensing. They are not much different in terms of size or effectiveness when compared with a high-end home brand, but are specially constructed to be used in volume cooking and baking environment. They can be heavy and cumbersome to move and tend to take a lot space on the counter top.