Three best stand mixers
As a kid, it might have been fun to get your hands all sticky with wet flour. But as an adult, mixing dough and batter by hand can feel like a messy chore. The right stand mixer makes the job virtually effortless, mess-free, and ultra-convenient. Whether you're a lover of homemade pasta or a passionate baker, a versatile stand mixer is one tool every home cook should have in his or her arsenal. That's why we've created this quick guide to help you find the best stand mixer for your kitchen.
Considerations when choosing stand mixers
The most important thing to consider is how you'll use your stand mixer. If you'll use the mixer for daily baking that includes making pastries and bread, investing in a high-quality unit is the way to go. If you'll only be whipping up sweets for the occasional school bake sale, a budget option may be more in line with your needs.
A stand mixer can mix batters, whip cream and meringue, and knead all types of dough from pie to pizza dough. You can also perform many other kitchen tasks with a stand mixer thanks to the array of attachments available.
Let's take a look at the features you should consider when shopping for a stand mixer.
Most stand mixers come with the following attachments: a flat beater, flexible beater, whisk, and dough hook. Look for a model that comes with these standard attachments to avoid having to spend extra money down the line.
A more powerful mixer isn't necessarily better. However, if you'll be using your mixer regularly, look for a combination of wattage and high-end construction. For mixing heavy bread dough, choose a mixer that has at least 500 watts of power to ensure the machine doesn't struggle to combine ingredients and leave you with a burnt-out motor. Powerful stand mixers designed for daily use typically fall in the range of $200 to $500.
Most stand mixers feature a four-quart or 4.5-quart bowl. For larger batches of baked goods or dough, choose a model with a bigger bowl. Some units have bowls as large as six or seven quarts. Larger-capacity mixers are usually more expensive than standard-size ones. But if you're a professional baker, a standard bowl isn't going to cut it for making big batches of cookies and other tasty treats.
Some mixers come equipped with an array of speed settings, but having 10-plus options isn't going to make much of a difference for most home cooks. Don't spend more just because a mixer has more speeds.
Accessories and extra attachments
In addition to the included attachments, some stand mixers also come with accessories, such as splash guards, spatulas, and bowl lids. Many of these items can also be purchased separately.
Do you want to get the most out of your mixer? Look for a brand that's compatible with extra attachments that can be bought separately. These include pasta attachments, shredders, and meat grinders. Not all mixers are compatible with additional accessories. Budget mixers under $100 typically only work with their included attachments.
Q. My beater attachment seems to be hitting the bottom of the mixer bowl. Is my unit defective?
A. Thankfully, this is an easy fix. Most stand mixers can be adjusted to fix the height of attachments to prevent damage to the bowl. Check the user manual for instructions on how to make the adjustment.
Q. I keep making a mess when using my stand mixer. What am I doing wrong?
A. Is a cloud of flour puffing up in your face every time you try to mix dough in your mixer? Start at a low speed, and work your way up if needed.
Q. My mixer came with multiple attachments, and I have no idea which one to use. What do I do?
A. Check the instruction manual for your device. Most mixers come with some sort of chart to guide you in selecting the right attachment for the task. A dough hook is usually used for thick, bread-like mixtures. A whisk is best for whipping cream or mixing thin batters. A flat or flexible beater is for everything in between. Your device's instruction manual should also provide you with information on how to use the mixer's speed settings.
Stand mixers we recommend
Best of the best: KitchenAid Artisan Tilt-Head Stand Mixer
Our take: Truly the best of the best in the world of stand mixers, the KitchenAid Artisan is a professional-quality device for the home baker.
What we like: This mixer handles all tasks with ease. It boasts quality construction and is compatible with a bevy of attachments.
What we dislike: It's definitely an investment, but one that's worthwhile.
Best bang for your buck: Hamilton Beach 6-Speed Classic Stand Mixer
Our take: A budget stand mixer that's perfect for low-volume tasks, this is a good choice for the occasional baker.
What we like: This Hamilton Beach mixer boasts an attractive price point and six-speed options.
What we dislike: It doesn't always incorporate ingredients evenly.
Choice 3: Breville Scraper Mixer Pro
Our take: Another high-quality stand mixer, this stainless-steel model is attractive enough to reside on any countertop.
What we like: Breville's Scraper Mixer Pro mixes ingredients effortlessly and features a large bowl for mixing bigger quantities.
What we dislike: This high-end mixer comes with a matching price tag.
Steph Coelho 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.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.