Stand mixers are kitchen staples. Every great home cook needs a solid, reliable and powerful stand mixer to do jobs like making cookie dough, gravies, sauces, batters, mashed potatoes, dips and more! They are also required for jobs such as whipping cream or making meringue from egg whites. Some models even have enough power to make more robust recipes such as bread dough! When you are deciding what stand mixer to purchase, it is really important to first read reviews so that you are sure you are buying the best quality stand mixer for your buck!
Deciding on which model you should get depends on what you want to use it for and what professional grade you require. The following aspects of stand mixer are important to consider:
Quality and Durability of the Materials: Heavy metals and stainless steel are much more durable than plastic. Although heavier and bulkier, these make the mixer last a long time in your kitchen. Glass parts (e.g. Bowls) are durable and dishwasher safe however are prone to breaking in clumsy hands. The good stand mixer models have all metal construction such as all-metal die-cast. Stainless steel is rust-preventing and generally looks really nice in a kitchen with all stainless steel appliances.
Controls: Depending on your needs, there are a variety of controls varying from a simple speed dial that gradually shifts from speed to speed up to push buttons, control levers all the way to touch-pad controls which use a digital display. Some of the higher end models even have embedded timers that can automatically shut the mixing off after a designated time period.
Speeds: More speeds is not better. Generally, you really only need 3 speeds, low, medium or high. Having more speeds simply means you can gradually increase or decrease the speed of the mixing and gives some cooks a better feel of control. This is simply a matter of preference. Personally, I love having as many speeds as possible so that I can gradually increase the speed as I am mixing dry and wet up to forming a stiff batter.
Power: The minimum power you want for a basic stand mixer model is 225 watts. The commercial grades use about 1000 watts of power. Models with hand-mixer combinations usually have less power than the stand still versions. Look at the stand mixer reviews for this. Also, some models offer designs in which the beaters move around the bowl instead of staying stationary, called Planetary Action which give a better mix, although these are more expensive. Also, some models have a gear-led bowl rotators than forcefully moves the bowl. This is good for the toughest of dough.
Size and Capacity: Stand mixers range in weight from 4 to 12 kgs, although this only really matters when you are lifting it in and out of storage. The heavier the model, the more durable it is. Capacity is the amount of food that you can make at one time. The smallest models only hold about 6 cups while the larger models can hold up to 28 cups, enough for 12 dozen cookies! Depending on the size of your household of the events you take part in, this is where your purchasing decision becomes personal and stand mixer reviews really help.
Attachments and Versatility: Stand mixers should have multiple attachments such as dough hooks, whisks, paddles, or bending rods for drink mixing. Some models also have splatter shields which protect you and your counters from the mess.
Appearance: Choose stand mixer according to your kitchen decor. For example, if all of your appliances are white, you may consider getting a white stand mixer. Recently, manufacturers have been producing stand mixers with bold, colorful enamel finishes in reds, blues, yellows etc. These make your stand mixer fun to use!
Warranties and Guarantees: Look for any model whose manufacturer offers a long warranty (5 years to lifetime!) so that you don’t have to worry as much about getting a faulty product.