Top Reasons to Buy KitchenAid Stand Mixer
Heavy duty kitchenaid or cuisinart kitchen stand mixer is a ‘must have’ for every active kitchen. Most routine tasks can be accomplished with a hand mixer but if you’re a heavy bread baker, make a ton of cookies and cakes – you really should consider a stand mixer. It’s ease of use, versatility, large capacity and power, make it a real kitchen workhorse. At one time only found in the professional kitchen – the stand mixer is now becoming a popular addition to the family kitchen.
The most popular kitchen stand mixers are manufactured by kitchenaid, cuisinart, viking, bosch, and sunbeam. Each manufacturer carries a variety of models – each with their own specifications, features, accessories and price points. Shopping for a kitchen stand mixer can be almost as complicated and overwhelming as car shopping.
Most quality stand mixers come with a variety of attachments allowing you to make spaghetti noodles, fresh juice, dough and even stuffed sausage. They are a real time and labor saver. The best stand mixers will last many years and become family heirlooms.
Stand Mixer Review Considerations
Before buying a kitchenaid, cuisinart, viking, sunbeam, or bosch kitchen stand mixer, there are several things you must take into consideration. Space requirements for one. These mixers are generally over 20lbs. and over 20 inches tall. These are counter top models – you need room to use and store them. If you put them away in the cupboard or on top of the refridgerator, you’re probably not going to want to lug them out and use them. Luckily enough, they come in a variety of colors and styles going well right next to your coffee pot and other kitchen appliances..
Motor size. Kitchen stand mixer motors can range in size anywhere from 200-1000+ watts. This is real important if you’re making a lot of heavy doughs like pizza or bagels. You don’t want the motor to burn out. Metal drive gears. Some of the lower end ($100) models come with plastic gears or metal gears in a plastic housing. These are features you want to consider. Get yourself a kitchen stand mixer that has metal drive gears and a thermal switch.
A common problem with kitchen stand mixers is the plastic drive gears stripping out. On most models these gears can be easily replaced at home at minimal cost. Manufacturers use the plastic gears to protect the motors from burning out. This is generally due to not following the manufacturers recommendations on mixing times.
Make sure the kitchen stand mixer you choose has one single beater with a stationary bowl and not a pair of beaters. This single beater feature actually reaches the edges of the mixing bowl as it operates so you don’t have to scrape it as you go.
The Best Stand Mixer – Buyers’ Guide
You’re in the market for the best stand mixer. Chances are you didn’t realise how many there are to choose from. Different styles, different functions, different capabilities and different prices.
Our reviews offer a comprehensive, in-depth examination of different mixers at different price-points but each is a quality example of its type. Your particular requirements in a stand mixer will be the product of a number of factors – whether you make bread, sponges, meringues or whatever; the available space in, as well as the ambience of, your kitchen; the workload your mixer will meet, and, of course, price.
To help you choose the best stand mixer we have conducted our reviews on the criteria most relevant to most buyers:
- Size & Weight
- Ease of Cleaning
- Value for Money
Performance is more than motor power and top speed. It’s not just the size of the job a mixer can handle, it’s how well it handles the different tasks you’re likely to ask of it. A powerful mixer with a large bowl may make short work of heavy bread doughs but it might not have the deftness you want for more delicate tasks or smaller quantities.
Versatility is offered in spades by many of today’s stand mixers. Attachments such as blenders, juicers, pasta makers and mincers add to a machine’s repertoire but how many of these will you actually use? We recommend simply that the mixer you buy should be the best you can afford for the basics of mixing, beating and whipping. If you need the accessories, check what’s included and what the others cost as extras.
Durability is a given with both Kenwood and KitchenAid – it’s one of the reasons these brands have been at the top for so long. The integrity of their construction means they can take the knocks and, properly treated, they last for years and years. But even within these brands there are differences in design and construction that you may wish to consider. Direct drive motors v drive-belts, for instance. It’s worth considering not just the durability of the mixer, but also of its components and the cost of replacement parts
Appearance is an important factor for most people. Few consider only the functionality of their mixer. What style best complements my kitchen? Do I prefer classic retro or modern? As with most cherished items, the design you choose is a statement about your own taste and style. Will your mixer be on permanent display, or kept in a cupboard between uses? The size and layout of your kitchen may dictate the answer, and here Size and Weight are significant factors. How much space will the mixer occupy on your worktop or in your cupboard? And how easy will it be to lift in and out?
Noise may not be the first consideration to come to mind but it’s important, and not just for the obvious reason. If your kitchen is open-plan with your living space, if you see your kitchen as a social space or if you like to listen to music or the radio while you work then you’ll understand that excessive noise is a real negative. OK there’s no such thing as a silent stand mixer but it’s a question of degree. More than this, the noise level is a pretty good indicator of the quality and robustness of your machine’s gears and drive mechanism. A noisy machine is less likely to be built to last.
Ease of Cleaning isn’t, to be fair, a deal-maker-or-breaker for us or for anyone we know but someone will have to clean your mixer and that someone is probably you. By its nature a stand mixer is going to get messy and sometimes very messy – getting it that way is part of the fun – so it’s useful to consider what’s involved afterwards, and which parts are dishwasher-proof. It’s also useful to know whether you can detatch the beater or whisk without getting sticky, and how easy it is to remove and clean other accessories.
We’ve left Value for Money to last, although for most of us price will be the ultimate factor in deciding which mixer to have. But there’s a choice of mixers at each price point. Whether you consider only the mixers at your chosen price, or you consider them all, paying attention to the other factors will give you a clearer idea of whether you’re getting value for your money. We may be happy to pay for quality but no-one likes to overpay.
We just went over some of the top features involved in buying a KitchenAid stand mixer like storage and assembly, power and efficiency, design and durability, convenience and versatility and finally the cleaning process. So with these points in mind you can now choose to buy a KitchenAid stand mixer knowing full well how it can help you in your kitchen adventures.
The Bottom Line
You’re going to spend a couple hundred bucks on a good reliable heavy duty kitchen stand mixer. The convenience and ease of use is well worth the money. You’re going to want it to last for years. Spend an extra hundred bucks and get a mixer with a heavy duty motor and metal gears. You won’t be disappointed and you’ll be baking better food, from scratch, more often. You won’t believe you went so long without one.
The first thing you’ll want to do when you buy your stand mixer is read the instruction book. This will help you avoid many potential problems. For instance, it only takes a couple minutes to mix up a batch of bread dough. If you let the mixer run for ten minutes or so, you have the potential to burn the motor or strip the (plastic) gears. This happens way too often to many consumers and they blame their mixer when in actuallity it wasn’t being used properly. The plastic gears are designed to strip to protect the motor. The kitchenaid 600 has the metal gears and also a thermal protection switch to protect the unit.
A heavy duty kitchen stand mixer is a major purchase that will cost quite a bit of money. It should also last a lifetime. If buying a used unit make sure it comes from a reputable source and has some sort of guarantee. You don’t want to spend that kind of money on something that someone misused and is trying to unload.
You get what you pay for in a heavy duty kitchen stand mixer. The major manufacturers, kitchenaid, cuisinart, viking, all have excellent stand mixer models. They all have low and high end mixers. The big concern is making sure you go by the manufacturer recommended settings and use it according to the instruction manual. Make sure you read it. Most problems with kitchen stand mixers occur by using incorrect settings and too long mixing times.