What to Look for When Buying a Stand Mixer
Choosing the right stand mixer for your needs can seem an impossible task at times given the huge range of models available on the market. While an abundant amount of choices is never a bad thing, it does come with its own challenges. Each stand mixer model comes with pros and cons, so how do you choose which is going to be the best stand mixer for you? To complement our best stand mixer reviews, we have compiled this guide to everything you need to consider when buying.
The best test of any stand mixer is how well it mixes; particularly how well it does on tough jobs like heavy bread dough. The main driver behind this is the power of the electric motor. The more powerful the motor (measured in watts e.g. 800W), the easier it will tackle heavier work. You do also need to consider the reliability of the motor. A powerful motor is no good if it constantly overheats and breaks down.
It is important that you can match the power and speed of the motor to the job you are doing. Different ingredients and doughs have different optimum speeds. The more speed variations a motor can be set to, the more versatile your stand mixer will be. Consider your mixing needs; how often will you use your stand mixer and what will you use it for? For example, if you’re a baker and you regularly mix heavy dough, a more powerful motor, like the one found in the Cuisinart SM-55 stand mixer might be for you.
Almost as important as the motor is the range of attachments available for your kitchen stand mixer. The attachments are what makes a stand mixer really versatile and a great addition to any kitchen. Well designed whips, paddles, and dough hooks are absolutely essential for many mixing jobs.
Beyond the basic set of attachments, some stand mixers such as the KitchenAid Artisan have attachments available that can turn your mixer into an ice cream maker, a shredder, or even a meat grinder - turning your investment into a multi-use appliance.
While a flat beater and whip may suffice for most kitchens, if you are a more adventurous cook or baker, the flexibility that a mixer like the KitchenAid Artisan offers will be indispensible.
Ease of Operation
The best stand mixers are the easiest to use. Well thought out design and intuitive controls should make using your stand mixer simple, even for the first time buyer. A great example of this is the Breville Scraper Mixer Pro, which features 12 different motor speeds and a very useful guide on the mixer itself that describes what each speed is best for.
Each component of the mixer should work well and make things easier for the user. The Breville also comes with a countdown timer that can count up to help get recipes exact. Even the design of attachments should make use of the mixer as simple as possible. There is no point in considering a mixer with an exceptionally powerful motor if its attachments don’t mix the ingredients smoothly and completely. Apart from the excessive waste that this generates, it creates a lot of mess to clean up.
Colors and Style
We are becoming much more style conscious and even appliances are considered in terms of how it will fit and look in a kitchen. Due to their size, stand mixers are often placed permanently on worktops and you may want to think how it will fit in with the rest of the kitchen.
Some stand mixers are suitable to retro designer kitchens, such as a 50's style KitchenAid Artisan, and others, like the Breville Scraper Mixer Pro look fantastic in contemporary style kitchens. If you have a particular color scheme in your kitchen, the KitchenAid Series by far has the most options with over 30 unique colors.
With any product driven by an electric motor, warranties and after sales customer care are essential. There is a lot that can go wrong with any appliance. While choosing a stand mixer with a reptuation for quality can eliminate most of these problems, it’s always a good idea to have a warranty in place that will cover you if anything does go wrong. A 1 year warranty that covers the motor and all essential parts should be considered a minimum with your new mixer.
Price and Value
Stand mixers are often a big expense for a home baker or chef, so price vs. value is naturally a main factor. The big mistake most buyers make is that they confuse cost with value. A low price doesn’t imply bad quality in the same way that high price doesn’t mean great quality. Buyers should look for the model that firstly meets their needs and secondly delivers the best value for money. Using our stand mixer reviews, we're confident you will find the best mixer for your kitchen at the right price.