Stand mixers: a buyer’s guide
What should you look for in a kitchen stand mixer? Does it mix, whip, knead, or all three? And what’s the difference between a stand mixer and a food processor? Good Homes magazine has all the answers, plus recommendations for some of the best food mixers on the market…
What is a stand mixer?
Stand mixers, also called food mixers or kitchen machines, are electric devices that mix ingredients. They are often used for baking and tend to have a large mixing bowl with accessories for kneading, whisking and – obviously – mixing.
Why do I need a stand mixer?
If you’re a keen baker, you’ll no doubt have tired of mixing by hand! While an electric handheld mixer is smaller, cheaper and ideal for light baking jobs, you can’t walk away and leave it to do its thing while tending to other matters. A stand mixer takes the hard work out of baking, and you can also them for mashed potato and homemade sauces.
What’s the difference between a stand mixer, food processor and a blender?
A question we’ve all had to ask when first starting to bake! A food processor is designed to chop, slice, grate and mix, so it’s better suited to cooking, rather than baking. A blenders is designed to blend liquids such as soups and smoothies. Your stand mixer deals with cake mix, frosting, bread dough, whipping cream and turning egg whites into meringues.
How much are stand mixers?
Like most appliances, stand mixers can vary in price depending on the brand. You can pay as little as £50 or as much as £1,000. The more expensive models tend have more functions and a re usually better designed, meaning the last longer. Remember, buy cheap, buy twice! It’s always worth looking at online reviews when choosing your stand mixer. Of course, Good Homes magazine has some stand mixer recommendations, priced from low to high…
5 of the best stand mixers
1. The cheap and cheerful mixer
This matt grey stand mixer from Wilko (£60) is cheap, cheerful and stylish. With a 1000W motor and six speed settings, it can effortlessly prepare batters and dough for baking. The mixer has suction cups to hold it in place while mixing, and is compact enough to sit on the kitchen counter without getting in the way. It’s a little loud when used at top speed though – so do bear that in mind if you prefer a quiet home!
2. The green machine
If you want the retro look of a KitchenAid without paying the hefty price tag, this Aucma stand mixer from Amazon (£99) is a great option. It has a huge 6.2-litre stainless steel bowl with splash guard, a 1400W high performance pure copper motor, six speeds and a pulse function, anti-slip suction feet and three mixing accessories: a whisk, a dough hook and a mixing beater. This stand mixer comes in pale green, as well as black, red, royal blue and silver.
3. Sleek and smart
The Cuisinart Precision stand mixer (£275) combines simplicity, performance and style. It has a 5.2-litre stainless steel bowl, splash guard and an impressive 12 speed settings, giving you precise control of your mixing. Select the ultra-gentle fold settings to combine delicate foods, or crank it up to full power to whip ingredients together in seconds. This smart stand mixer makes light work of kneading bread dough, whisking egg whites or mixing batters and sauces. The only addition we’d like to see would be a flat paddle that reaches the sides of the bowl.
4. Retro chic
Smeg’s SMF02 stand mixer (£429.95) has a retro look and a robust die cast aluminium body. It has a 4.8-litre stainless steel bowl, 800W motor and 10 variable speeds, with an indicator to highlight what accessories to use at those speeds. The mixers reach all touchpoints within the bowl, and the mixer also has a front port for further accessories like pasta makers, multi-food grinders, slicers and graters. It’s available in a number of colours including pretty pink.
5. The professional baker
Arguably, the most famous and prestigious of the stand mixers, the KitchenAid is built to perform, and built to last. The Pebbled Palm KitchenAid (£599) is ultra stylish and will make a statement in any kitchen, but if it doesn’t suit your decor you’ll be pleased to know that you can personalise your KitchenAid stand mixer. Choose the colour of the stand, the colour/pattern of the bowl and, if you’re feeling fancy, you can even get your mixer engraved!
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