The Best Stand Mixers: A Comprehensive Equipment Review

Stand Mixers

When it comes to serious home baking, a good stand mixer is essential. But with the wide range of options available, choosing the right one has become increasingly challenging. To help you make an informed decision, we conducted an extensive equipment review, testing multiple stand mixers across various price ranges.

The Best Stand Mixers: A Comprehensive Equipment Review
The Best Stand Mixers: A Comprehensive Equipment Review

Evaluating Performance

Our testing process involved assessing the mixers’ performance in a range of common tasks using the three main attachments: the whisk, the paddle, and the dough hook. We whipped small quantities of egg whites, creamed butter and sugar for cookie dough, and kneaded heavy bread dough using the dough hooks. Throughout the testing phase, we also gathered feedback from a diverse group of testers with varying skill levels.

The Power of Torque

One crucial factor we considered was torque, the rotational force that determines a mixer’s ability to handle different tasks. While wattage may seem like the most important factor, our experts explained that torque is the true measure of a mixer’s power. Mixers with higher torque excel at pushing batter or dough around the bowl, making them ideal for heavy-duty kneading. However, it’s important to note that mixers with ample torque tend to be more expensive, larger, and heavier.

KitchenAid’s Time and Speed Limits

KitchenAid stand mixers, a popular choice among home bakers, have imposed time and speed limits for kneading dough. According to the manufacturer, exceeding these limits could potentially damage the mixer and void the warranty. If you frequently work with large quantities of dough, you may want to explore alternative options.

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Factors to Consider when Shopping

Style: Tilt Head vs. Bowl Lift

Stand mixers are available in two primary styles: tilt head and bowl lift. Tilt head models have a mixing head that lifts up from the bowl’s horizontal top, while bowl lift models use a crank to raise and lower the bowl. Tilt head mixers are typically smaller but offer easier access to the bowl, while bowl lift models are more powerful and suitable for larger quantities but may be harder to access.

Motor and Bowl Design

Modern mixers, such as the Ankarsrum, feature motors in the base and bowls on top, providing excellent access to ingredients. These European-style mixers offer efficient mixing and are especially well-suited for heavy doughs.

Weight and Stability

In our testing, we found that heavier stand mixers tend to rock and walk less during heavy-duty mixing. A heavier mixer ensures that the motor’s power is primarily used for moving the dough. However, if you require a lightweight mixer, consider models with suction feed that anchor securely to your countertop.

FAQs

Q: Can stand mixers handle small volumes of ingredients?

A: Yes, most stand mixers perform well when handling small volumes of ingredients such as whipping a couple of egg whites. The lightweight tasks are usually handled with ease.

Q: Should I be concerned about durability when using plastic parts?

A: While plastic parts may be lighter and easier to handle, durability can become a concern, especially when crucial components like the hub for attaching a whisk are made of thin plastic. Stainless steel tools are preferred due to their non-reactive nature and durability.

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Q: Which stand mixer do you recommend for heavy-duty tasks?

A: For those seeking a mixer capable of handling everything, including heavy-duty bread and pizza doughs, we recommend investing in the Ankarsrum original. Its powerful motor and efficient design make it a top choice for serious bakers.

Conclusion

Choosing the right stand mixer can greatly enhance your baking experience. Whether you opt for the Ankarsrum original for heavy-duty tasks, the KitchenAid Classic Series for solid performance at a moderate price, the KitchenAid Artisan Mini for space constraints, or the budget-friendly Farberware six-speed, a stand mixer is a valuable tool in any kitchen.

For more equipment reviews and further details on choosing the perfect stand mixer, visit Hook’d Up Bar and Grill.

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