Although most people prefer to do things by hand when it comes to mixing dough and other food items, these tasks can be made more efficient by using an electric mixer. While there are many options available out there, we suggest using a stand mixer, and for a good reason. You can opt for a hand mixer as well but only if you are up for holding it the entire time causing fatigue. And plus, if you are someone who needs a mixer regularly for preparing delicious smoothies and other dishes, you might want to clear up some counter space and consider a stand mixer.
Things to consider when buying a stand mixer
When it comes to bowl size, you should know that small bowl sizes range from 4.5 to 5.5-quart capacities. If you happen to be a casual baker who only uses a mixer occasionally, then a small bowl size will satisfy most of your needs. However, if you plan on making larger recipes, you will need to step up the bowl size up to a 6-8-quart mixing bowl. Keep in mind that if you are using larger bowls for small projects, it is going to be hard to complete the project. Furthermore, many manufacturers advertise the amount of flour and other ingredients they can hold but you should not swear by that. Instead, you should personally inspect it if possible to ensure that your needs are met.
Similar to the bowel size, you will need to consider the power for your mixing tasks as well. If you plan on mixing relatively tough and hard food items, then you cannot expect a 250 watt powered machine to work for you. However, they will mostly satisfy your occasional mixing projects. With that being said, if you are interested in mixing thicker cookie doughs and larger volume foods then a 325-watt motor is going to give you the power you need. Then again, sometimes the power advertised by the manufacturer may be misleading. Therefore, if you have the opportunity to inspect a machine personally, we will suggest doing that to ensure that your machine provides enough power for your mixing needs.
Controls and Settings
Controls and settings tend to be one of the most important factors when it comes to buying a stand mixer. The reason is that a stand mixer should not only be easy to operate but understand as well. If the knobs and controls on the machine confuse you each time, you should steer clear of it. Since you have a lot of stand mixer options in the market, you should take your time and assess each machine closely to determine whether it is going to be the right fit.
Furthermore, most stand mixers today come with variable speeds that range from 6-12 speed settings. You should opt for a mixer that has low, medium, and high settings, which is fundamental. The more speed and settings you have, the better the control. In addition to that, look for a machine that comes with a slow start or “stir” setting that allows a safe start, preventing the liquid or flour from flying out of the bowl.
While stand mixers tend to be relatively expensive but you have a lot of options in different price ranges. However, the best thing about stand mixers is that you always get what you pay for. The chances of getting ripped off are quite less. If you are a beginner, we will recommend starting with something that ranges between $100-$200. At this point, you can expect to compromise quality a bit but the point here is to get around with the basics of mixing. As you gain experience and move towards comparatively harder food items, you can up the level of stand mixers as well. They are going to cost you a bit but they come with a variety of additional features and a better-built quality.
This stand mixer from Cuisinart is an affordable option for those who are just starting with baking and experimenting with different food items. Perhaps the best thing about this mixer is that even though it has a comparatively lower price tag as compared to the other stand mixers of the same quality but it does not compromise when it comes to a high-quality build or power. It features a 500-watt motor and can be operated using 12 variable speeds. Furthermore, it features a 5.5-quart stainless steel mixing bowl that is designed to last for ages. Overall, this product is durable and built to last.
- Affordable price
- Stainless-Steel mixing bowl
The Hamilton 6-speed Stand Mixer stands out from the rest in its category due to its capability of providing a planetary mixing action that is rare in such a price bracket. Even though it is even more budget-friendly than the Cuisinart stand mixer mentioned earlier but results in a fluffy whipped cream and smooth battering of the cake. It is a 6-speed stand mixer, allowing you to adjust the speed as you continue with your baking tasks. Furthermore, it features non-slip feet that keep the machine stable while it works. The machine is powered by a 300-watt motor and includes a chrome-plated aluminum dough, wire whisk, and a plastic beater.
- Stainless steel bowl
- 300-watt motor
This KitchenAid Artisan Mini Tilt-Head Stand Mixer is the most unique product on the list. The reason is that it is 25% percent lighter and features a 20% smaller footprint as compared to the company’s classic mixer. However, considering its 250-watt motor, it means that it is not something to be taken lightly and will perform most of your mixing tasks with ease. Furthermore, it is compatible with attachments such as grater, pasta roller and spiralizer and more, etc. Moreover, it is a 10-speed stand mixer that features a title design to offer better access to the food items in the mixing bowl.
- Tilt-head design
- 250-watt motor
- Lightweight and easy to handle
The Dash Stand Mixer is as budget-friendly as it can get. It is going to be hard to find a stand mixer that is so affordable and yet comes with features usually found in expensive stand mixers. To begin with, it weighs less than 5lbs, which means that it is extremely lightweight and is easy to carry and store. Secondly, it comes with a 6 variable speed option allowing you to adjust the speed according to your preference and experience. Moreover, the fully tilting motor is designed to ensure that you do not create a mess each time. It has a 250-watt motor that is backed by a 1-year manufacturer warranty and comes with a stainless steel bowl as well.
- Stainless steel bowl
- Amazon’s bestselling stand mixer
You might have thought that this stand mixer just looks good from the outside, which is totally not the case. Infact, it is a powerful machine that is a bit expensive but is worth the money. It features a new coating that not only improves the cosmetic appeal but allows it to non-sticky and dishwasher safe. It comes with a mammoth 600-watt motor with a 5-quart bowl capacity that should be sufficient for all your baking needs. In addition to that, it comes with 10 variable speeds and is compatible with different attachments as well.
- 600-watt motor
- 5-quart bowl capacity
- Compatible with attachments
This Hamilton Beach Classic Hand and Stand Mixer is the perfect answer to your skepticism about whether you should be opting for a hand or stand mixer. The reason is that it is a 2-in-1 machine that features a low risk for beginners. It comes with 6-variable speeds with a pulse button and a slider on top of the mixer for getting a mix started. Although it comes with a detachable 4-quart bowl as well but will not handle cookie and bread though.
- 6 adjustable speeds
Not every stand mixer out there is going to satisfy your needs. Affordability, speed, power, and reliability are the most important factors you should consider. If you are a beginner and a bit tight on the budget, we will recommend the Dash Stand Mixer, which is hardly going to break your bank. It comes with 6 variable speeds and a 250-watt motor, enough for your beginning mixing needs.
However, if budget isn’t an issue then out recommendation would be the Smeg 1950’s Retro Style Aesthetic Stand Mixer, which is quite expensive but worth every penny. With a 600-watt motor and build quality meant to last for years. You are destined to enjoy every bit of mixing with this machine.