The best stand mixer of 2020
For anyone who bakes regularly, a stand mixer is a must-have kitchen appliance.
It doesn't just make mixing up cake batter and kneading dough easier, though. Some models also handle other tasks with attachments that allow you to make fresh pasta, mill grains, grind meat, or churn ice cream.
To help you get caught up on the latest stand mixer developments, we've taken a fresh look at the product trends and highlighted three brand-new models that all offer excellent performance for your consideration.
Best stand mixers of 2020
1. KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer: A standout mixer from a trusted brand that offers excellent performance, making the higher price tag worth it. This is a newcomer to our short list, but our previous top pick was also a KitchenAid model.
2. Brentwood 5-Speed Stand Mixer: A quality stand mixer for anyone on a budget with plenty of features to get the job done. This is another new pick, and it's earned a spot for its affordability and convenience.
3. Cuisinart Precision Master: Similar in power and performance to the KitchenAid but at a more affordable price. We love Cuisinart products, and this is a newcomer to our short list.
What you need to know before buying a stand mixer
When you're shopping for a stand mixer, you want to choose a model with enough power for the tasks you'll use it for. Stand mixer power is measured in watts, with most models offering between 250 and 1,000 watts.
The motor's quality usually matters more than the wattage, though. That means high-end stand mixers with a lower wattage motor often perform better than low-end mixers with a high-wattage motor. But if you want to use the mixer for kneading dough or mixing thicker batters, you'll still want a model with a higher wattage.
Based on its power, a stand mixer allows you to adjust the speed that it works at for the different recipes you prepare. Nearly all models offer at least five or six speeds, but high-end mixers can have as many as 10 to 12.
You want to be sure your stand mixer is large enough for the recipes you'll prepare, so pay attention to its capacity, too. For one to two people, a 4- or 4.5-quart bowl is usually large enough. For a family or cooking in bulk, though, you'll want a mixer with at least a 6-quart capacity.
You should also consider what attachments you need for your stand mixer. All mixers come with some type of beater or whisk, but the types vary from model to model. A flat beater works well for basic mixing, while a flexible beater is better for more liquid recipes. A balloon-style whisk is ideal for whipping, and you'll definitely need a dough hook if you want to make bread dough.
High-end stand mixers are usually compatible with additional attachments that you can purchase separately. The more attachments you can use with your mixer, the more versatile it is. You can find some mixers that offer attachments like a pasta maker, grain mill, ice cream maker, meat grinder, juicer, slicer, and/or shredder.
One of the frustrations of a stand mixer is that they can send ingredients flying across your kitchen if you use the mixer at a higher speed. Some models feature a splash guard to keep ingredients in the bowl when you're working at a higher setting. The guard should be removable for cleaning, though.
For a basic stand mixer with a small capacity and lower-wattage motor, you'll typically pay between $30 and $70. A more durable model with a higher wattage can go for $80 to $200, but you'll spend $200 to $500 for a powerful high-end mixer that offers plenty of compatible attachments.
Q. Can I mix and knead bread dough in a stand mixer?
A. If you purchase a mixer with a strong enough motor, you can knead even large balls of dough. Look for a model that has at least 500 watts of power.
Q. Can I purchase an additional bowl for my stand mixer?
A. Most brands sell the mixer's bowl separately, so you can buy an extra bowl if you're a regular baker who doesn't want to wash the bowl between recipes. It also comes in handy if you lose or break a bowl.
In-depth reviews of the best stand mixers
Best of the best: KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer
What we like: Effectively mixes and creams even heavy foods. Offers 10 speeds and tilting head. Attachments are coated for durability. Available in several color options.
What we dislike: A pricey investment, but most users feel it's worth it.
Best bang for your buck: Brentwood 5-Speed Stand Mixer
What we like: Price is extremely appealing, considering all the features. Offers a tilting head, variable speeds, and multiple attachments. Mixer is lightweight and compact for easy storage.
What we dislike: Isn't as sturdy or powerful as high-end mixers, and has a smaller capacity bowl.
Choice 3: Cuisinart Precision Master
What we like: Offers a powerful 500-watt motor and quiet operation. Comes with four attachments, including a wire whip and dough hook. Has 12 variable speeds.
What we dislike: Head doesn't lift as high as it could, which makes adding ingredients a little more difficult.
Jennifer Blair is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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