Passionate home bakers probably have their own favorite mixer – the brand they know will make batch after batch of Christmas cookies, beautiful birthday cakes, and simple quick scones.
But do you know if your mixer is really the best option for shaking up all the family favorites? That’s where Taste of Home’s test kitchen comes in. Our kitchen team just needed to know which mixer would do the best job of testing the recipes submitted by our readers (you must submit one!).
Our Top Pick
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10 Best Stand Mixers Review
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How We Found the Best Stand Mixer
So to find our the very best in stand mixers, our culinary team collected the biggest names in mixers and used them in our Test Kitchen for several months. But to really get a feel for these mixers’ performance, our cooks put them head to head in a series of challenges:
- Whipping: How long did it take to whip two egg whites into stiff peaks? Did the whisk attachments reach the bottom of the bowl?
- Creaming: How well could the paddle attachment cream a cup of sugar with a half cup of butter? Did the bowl need to be scraped down to incorporate the ingredients?
- Blending: How long did it take to blend drops of yellow and blue dye to make green (using a base of cream cheese)?
- Price: Is the product affordable? Was the performance reflected in the price?
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Stand Mixer
Stand mixers can do a lot these days. Your cooking style, family size, counter space, and the types of foods you like to make can help you determine which model is right for you. Let’s go over some of the features and characteristics you’ll need to consider.
Tilt Head vs. Bowl Lift
Tilt head and bowl lift mixers each have their pros and cons. The mixing head of a tilt head model lifts backward, providing full access to the bowl and making it easier to load ingredients. These models are also shorter and smaller, so they take up less counter space. Tilt heads have some power limitations because the tilt mechanism can only take so many forces. They typically run on less than 375 watts, which is about 0.5 horsepower. Their bowls range in size from 3 to 5 quarts, so they’re generally a better option for use once a week to prepare meals for a maximum of three to five people.
Bowl lift mixers were initially designed for professionals. These models have a handle that raises and lowers the bowl to provide access to the bowl’s contents. This design makes it difficult to access and add ingredients during the mixing process. However, you can lower the bowl and add ingredients while the mixer is still running, which you can’t do with a tilt head model.
The single-piece head design of a bowl lift mixer can take greater forces than a tilt head model, with most of them running on 375 to 975 watts or about 0.5 to 1.3 horsepower. Bowl lift models are larger and heavier, but their powerful motors and heavy-duty gears can take heavy, daily use. If you use a mixer on a daily basis or cook for more than five people, this is the type of stand mixer for you.
Size and Weight
Stand mixers aren’t usually lightweight, although some of the lightest weight (and lightest duty) models weigh only 2.5 pounds. Most models weigh anywhere from 12 to 30 pounds—and that may be without the bowl or any accessories. If you store the mixer on your countertop, weight might be less of an issue. However, if you’ll need to get it out of the cupboard to use it, you’ll need the physical strength to lift and carry it.
There’s also the size to consider. Tilt head stand mixers are shorter with a narrower base because the head tilts to provide access to the bowl. Bowl lift models need extra height for the bowl lift mechanism. That also means they have a wider base for stability. Measure your available storage space, so the mixer won’t take over your kitchen.
The smallest stand mixers use 250 watts. That’s enough power for periodic use, but not with thick, heavy doughs. Casual cooks will probably be happy with a mixer that takes anywhere from 300 to 375 watts. These mixers have enough power for a 3- to 5-quart bowl and can handle thick mixes as long as you’re not putting it under heavy stress every day.
Stand mixers with 375 to 975 watts are more appropriate for those who cook for large groups several times a week. You might also want this much power if you regularly mix thick bread doughs.
Bowls range in size from 3.5-quart, light-use models to 10-quart, commercial models. If you have a family of two to four people, a smaller 3.5- to 5-quart bowl will probably provide enough mixing space for most of your needs. However, you may want a bigger bowl if you bake and use a stand mixer regularly, simply because many of the larger models are bowl lift designs and have higher power with faster speeds.
If you cook for five or more people on a regular basis, a 6- to 10-quart bowl provides more space and power for a higher mix volume.
Stand mixers generally have 6 to 12 speeds. The more mixing settings you have, the more versatile use you’ll get from the mixer. High speeds can whip up meringues faster than a model that tops out at six options. However, the power of the settings will also depend on the power behind them. A more powerful motor may get you more out of the mixer than extra speed settings.
The only controls many mixers have is the speed setting. That may be a dial or a knob you push forward or backward. Some models feature backlit dials, which are easier to see.
Some of the pricier models have a speed lock to prevent accidental bumping of the speed control while the mixer is in use. Others may have a slow speed start-up feature. This gradually builds speed until the mixer reaches full speed to prevent ingredients from spraying out of the bowl.
Stand mixers are amazingly versatile and can operate as a completely different kitchen tool with the right attachment or accessory. Most stand mixers come with at least a few standard attachments, like dough hooks, scraper paddles, beaters, and whisks. Many mixers have a power hub or a built-in port for additional accessories like spiralizers, pasta makers, meat grinders, cheese graters, ice cream makers, and food processors that run using the mixer’s motor.
Since attachments can be pricey to buy separately, the more accessories the mixer comes with initially, the more money you’ll save in the long run. Multipurpose mixers can often replace many other kitchen appliances. They may not function as efficiently as an appliance dedicated to a single function, but you’ll save kitchen space.
Best Stand Mixer | Buying Guide : Things to consider while buying a Stand Mixer
There are several factors that you need to check and verify with your requirements before making any decision to buy.
Tilt Head vs. Bowl Lift
Before looking at individual models, you should consider which of two basic types of stand mixers are right for you: tilt head or bowl lift. With the tilt head model, you insert and remove the bowl by lifting the head of the mixer.
Once the head is lifted, you can securely twist the bowl into place in the base of the mixer. Then just pull the tilt head down and use a small lever on the side of the machine to lock it into place, so it doesn’t wobble while you use it.
These models tend to be a little less bulky, so consider the space you have for storing when making your decision.
To insert and remove the bowl on the bowl lift models, the bowl hooks onto arms that extend from the machine, and the arms raise and lift to make removal easier.
More advanced home cooks like this model because bowls of warm or cold water can be placed beneath it for added temperature control. Some users complain that it’s more difficult to add ingredients to the bowl lift model, and don’t like that attachments have to be removed from the machine in order to remove the bowl.
You’ll find bowl lift models to be more common in the higher end and more powerful mixers – this is because the heavy motors in the these products are not easily supported by the single hinge found in the tilt head models.
The bowl lift models are also more stable, as the vibrations from the mixing action vibrate through heavier and thicker construction, meaning there is more mass to distribute the mechanical energy from the vibrating parts and motor. These mixers are the best choice for those who like to make thick doughs like bread dough often.
This is the first and foremost thing that you must check as it directly relates to the quantity of food you are going to produce. The stand mixers can have the maximum capacity in between 2.5 Litres to 7 Litres for domestic use. If you have a small family with 2-3 members or you’re a hobbyist mix small batches of food, a lower to a medium capacity product can suit you the most. On the other hand, you might like to have a higher capacity machine to prepare large batches if you belong to a big family.
Motor Wattage Capacity
The capacity of the inbuilt motor can play a big role to mix the food efficiently. The quality and sturdiness matter a lot too because of the vibration generated to operate the machine. Generally, to produce more dough or prepare more mixing of the ingredients at a time, the machine needs to be run more thoroughly to ensure better mixing quality. All of the high capacity Stand mixers have a higher wattage rating for their motors.
Build Quality and Durability
It is an extremely important point for you to note as this is very crucial to make a stand mixer last longer. Most of the reputed brands provide full-body metal cover with anti-skid attachments at the feet. It ensures to keep the machine being steady when you operate it. These features can be very beneficial if you are planning to use it at your home where the user does not have much prior knowledge of using any such products.
Quanity of produced food
The ultimate goal of using a stand mixer is to produce high-quality dough or food mixes in sufficient quantity that can match our requirements. For example, if you want to mix dough for 5 people with 4 Rotis of 10 inches in diameter for each, you will need around 700 grams of atta. To make dough for 20 rotis, it is safe to have such a kitchen appliance with 5 liters of capacity. If you love tasty cakes, a 5 L stand mixer can make the mix up to 4 Kg approximately. The same capacity stand mixer can produce up to 1.5 Liters of whipped cream in quantity.
Ease of Use and Maintenance
The goal of buying a stand mixer is to ease the kneading and mixing operation with relief to the hands. Therefore, you should select the product that does not complicate the process. Otherwise, what is the meaning of having it?
Choose a model that comes with an easy method of changing the mixing tools, user-friendly mixing speed adjustment and convenience to add suitable ingredients at any time.
Apart from the above points, it should also be a machine that requires less maintenance and can be cleaned easily.
Slow Start Feature
Any decent stand mixer will have this option. This basically slowly spins the motor up for the first several seconds, so that the ingredients do not fly into the air and create a flour cloud, or splatter your walls.
Generally, the more speed options available the better, as this allows you to perform any task that you set out to do, including whipping cream at a higher speed and kneading dough at lower speeds.
This speed control also allows you to maximize the torque being produced by the motor with the stiffness of the ingredients. We like to see at least 6-7 speed options.
Our Testing Process
We tested the major functions of each mixer, using identical real-world recipes you can really make. As we tested every recipe on each mixer, we noted how well the mixer did and if there were any issues. The mixers came with similar tools and attachments, so we tested these standard mixer functions:
Whipping – How well does the wire whisk whip? Whipping results are dependent on the wire whisk, motor power, and position of the whip in relation to the bottom of the bowl. For this test, we whipped a quarter cup of egg whites and a half cup of egg whites, to a stiff peak and measured the results in time to see how long it took for the peaks to form.
Beating – Can the mixer’s beater blade evenly incorporate all ingredients? We made five dozen of my Great Aunt Rose’s chocolate chip cookies to test the effectiveness of each mixer’s beater
–blade design and ability to evenly mix multiple ingredients of various textures, densities and shapes.
Kneading – Can the mixer effectively knead a thick dough? A quality mixer should be able to handle the laborious work of kneading a dough, so we made to batches of a sticky, stretchy pizza dough in each mixer to see if their dough hooks could thoroughly mix the ingredients to create the gluten strands necessary for perfect pizzeria-style pizza dough.
Usability – We considered each mixer’s overall user experience, build quality, and the accessories the manufacturers offer for their mixers.
Everything to consider when choosing the mixer that’s perfect for you
- Maximum Batch Size – Will you typically use your mixer once in a while to make a single cake or a dozen cookies, or will you be putting together enough food to feed the entire family every week? Consider a mixer with larger-capacity mixing bowls if you intend to double or triple your favorite recipes
- Knead to Know – Plan on regularly making bread? All of the mixers we tested have a dough hook, but we found that some mixers are better at kneading dough than others
- Color & Look – From futuristic body designs to head-turning colors, today’s mixers are real lookers. Take your time to choose one that matches your cooking style as well as your style of decorating
- Dimensions – If you’re like most people, you’ll want to display that gorgeous new mixer on your counter. Great idea! – Just make sure there’s enough counter clearance to accommodate it because mixers can be rather large. If you plan to store your mixer when it’s not in use, that’s fine, too. There are several compact, lightweight mixers that easily fit into a cabinet
- Attachment Options – Are you interested in moving beyond mixing, whipping, and kneading with your new mixer? Consider transforming your mixer into a multi-use appliance with attachments. Pasta rollers, meat grinders, and food processors are common mixer attachments
Things to be considered before buying a mixer:
- Budget: It goes without saying that initially, you need to decide upon the budget that you can afford to spend behind the gadget you want to buy. Mixers available in the market come in a wide variety of price ranges depending upon their features. Decide on your needs and choose the budget.
- Your Kitchen Needs: There is no use buying a mixer with an ice-cream maker attachment if you would never use it. In that way, you will only spend a lot of your money, which would not be worth it. So you need to know why you want to buy a mixer in the very first place. Be very specific regarding how or for what purpose you wish to use your mixer. If you wish to use it for quotidian kitchen needs, then you will need attachments like a dough hook, flat beater e.t.c and would not need excess attachments like pasta or ice-cream maker.
However, if you want to experiment and fancy becoming a cook one day, then you can surely opt for buying loads and loads of attachments, which are available in the market. In the second case, while buying the instrument, do not forget to check which attachments can be fitted into the machine. It is always better to prefer those machines which can accommodate a large variety of other attachments.
- Weight & Space: Another very important thing to be kept in mind is while buying a mixer is the amount of space it is going to occupy on your kitchen top. If you have a spacious kitchen, you can opt for larger varieties; otherwise, it is better to choose those models which are sleek and can fit in a small space. Also, the weight of the mixer is important, in case you want to change the position of the device at regular intervals. However, one must also know that in the case of mixers, the heavier it is, the better it will function. Unless there is enough weight, the mixer can not put the desired pressure on the ingredients and would not give you the expected result.
- Cleaning ease: Opt for those mixers in which most parts are detachable. This gives you an edge in cleaning the instrument thoroughly from time to time. This is a hygienic practice and should be a must-lookout while buying a mixer. The mixers come with a user guide, and you can always refer to the manual and know how to operate and clean the parts.
- Noise level: Most of the hand mixers are sure to make noise while working. But a few of them can make more noise than the permissible limit. So do read customer feedback and see reviews before you buy a mixer.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q1. What is planetary action in a mixer?
This is a technique adopted to ensure thorough mixing of the ingredients in a mixer. In this case, the beater and the axle move in the opposite direction so that the ingredients mix thoroughly. This technique ensures efficient blending and mixing.
Q2. Which attachments are given for free with stand mixers?
Generally, three attachments, i.e., the flat beater, the dough hook, and a wire whip, are given free of cost with most of the models of a stand mixer. However, it is always advisable to refer to the user guide and check for the items that are there inside the box.Q3. Does a stand mixer consume a lot of power?
No. It is a myth that the stand mixers consume a lot of power and result in a high electricity bill. There are many stand mixers available in the market that consume minimal power and are extremely efficient. So before buying a mixer, just check how much power the motor consumes and buy according to your needs.Q4. Do I need to pause in between while using a stand mixer, or else it might get heated up?
The best Stand mixers available in the Indian market are equipped with cooling fans. Thus you can run them continuously without worrying about the heat issue.
However, a few models still exist in the market which do not have any cooling fan attached to them, and they need to be used carefully by pausing them at certain intervals. This interval allows these instruments to cool down to room temperature, and only then these can be reused.
Q5. Can the parts of a mixer get rusted?
Generally, the parts of the mixer are made from high-quality stainless steel that can withstand heavy load. So they do not rust easily and have very high durability. In best stand mixers in India, the parts are sometimes hard ionized or die-casted to avoid the chances of rusting.
Although the parts of the mixer come in contact with water and air all the time, it is still advisable to use them carefully and rub off excess water from their surface after you are done using them. This precautionary measure ensures the long-life of the parts.
Q6. Other than mixing ingredients, can stand mixers be used for any other job?
Yes. Stand mixers are multipurpose instruments that are worth every penny you spend on them. Mixing and blending are the chief functions of a stand mixer. Other than these, they can be used to knead the dough using the dough hook.
There are several attachments available in the market which can be bought and fitted into the instrument to increase their functionality. They can be used as ice-cream makers, pasta-makers e.t.c. There are more than 150 attachments available for stand mixers in the market. Buy them, and you are good to become a master chef with your stand mixer.
Q7. Which is a more expensive choice, a hand mixer or a stand mixer?
Stand mixers are much more expensive than hand mixers. But it also performs a variety of functions which a hand mixer cannot do. For small scale cooking needs, a hand mixer is a perfect choice. But if you wish to cook on large scales, then the hand mixer can not suffice.
The capacity of a stand mixer varies from 2 L to 8 L or even more. They can be used to blend or mix large quantities of ingredients all at once, thereby saving a lot of your time. Thus although stand mixers are expensive, their functionality is very wide.
Q8. What dishes can I make using a stand mixer?
There is actually no limit to the number of dishes one can prepare using a stand mixer. You can prepare flavored bread, cakes, mousse, and a lot of such exquisite dishes. And if you can buy a few attachments for your stand mixer, then you can even prepare ice cream, pasta, and other international cuisines in your kitchen very easily without spending much time.
Thus Stand mixers are an essential addition to your kitchen and so choose them wisely. Read and research about stand mixers, segregate your requirements, decide on a budget, and only then you are good to go and buy the mixer of your choice.
Here we have tried to make your research a bit easier by bringing all the possible information about stand mixers all in one place. We hope this article will surely help you decide which is going to be the perfect stand mixer for your beautiful kitchen.
In case you wish to know more about any of the products mentioned above or wish to let us know about some products, do not hesitate to comment below.