Buying a Stand Mixer can be a tough decision. You don’t want to spend more than necessary. You want a machine that will last for years. But… what features should you look for when faced with the enormous number of makes and models on the market. Before you buy, it’s a good idea to learn what these features are, and to decide what it is that you will be using the mixer for.
In this article I will be discussing the general features of Stand Mixers. For information about specific stand mixers check out the reviews here on my blog.
What A Stand Mixer Can Do For You;
A Stand Mixer is made to do the heavy tasks of mixing. Mixing by hand can be a feat of endurance. If you are mixing heavy batters, a hand-mixer just isn’t going to be able to handle it. A Stand Mixer is built to do all of the hard work of preparing food easily. While it does the grunt work, you are hands-free. so you can measure your ingredients and prepare your pans. This can cut your prep time in half.
A Stand Mixer can be very versatile with the attachments that are available. A good quality machine comes with at least three standard attachments. A paddle, a whisk, and a dough hook. These will allow you a lot of options by themselves. You can do everything from kneading dough for fresh bread, to whipping heavy cream to make whipped cream. Many brands also have a wide range of additional attachments. These attachments can make ice cream, roll and cut fresh pasta, grind meat, stuff sausages, and a whole lot more.
Who Would Benefit Most From A Stand Mixer?
- Do you bake more than once a month?
- Do you like to entertain?
- Do you bake for the holidays, or make food gifts for family and friends?
- Do you like to experiment with new recipes?
If you fit into two or more of these categories you need a stand mixer. The time and effort you will save will make the investment well worth it!
What Features Are Necessary?
All-Metal Construction-is important to the durability of the machine you buy.
Planetary Mixing Action-this is like the moon revolving around our planet, which in turn revolves around the sun. In other words the beater is turning on the shaft while the shaft moves around the bowl. This makes sure that the ingredients in the bowl are mixed thoroughly, because the beater his all points on the bowl. See the following video for a demonstration of this concept.
As you can see from this video the mixing action allows the beater to scrape all points on the bowl.
10-Speeds-this will allow the versatility you need for all of your recipes. Mixing doughs, making batters, and whipping all require different speed settings.
4-1/2 Quart Minimum for bowl size. This will accommodate a double batch of most recipes. However, if you are making double batches of recipes a lot, you may want to go with a larger bowl so you are sure all of your recipes can be doubled.
325-Watt Power Minimally- you will need this much power to get through mixing large batches and heavy doughs.
23 lbs or More of Total Weight-this can be a clue that you have all-metal construction. A heavier mixer is also less likely to bounce around than a lighter model.
The Following Features Are Nice, But Are Optional;
Slow-Start Feature-this is nice if you are making frosting frequently, because it prevents dry ingredients from flying-up when the mixer is started.
A Built-In Timer-nice for making bread dough or creaming butter so you don’t have to watch the clock.
A Hub-you’ll find this underneath the front plate cover. It allows you to use the optional attachments. This will give you a much larger variety of uses for your mixer.
Pouring Shields/Splatter Shield-good for reducing the mess that can result when adding dry ingredients while the mixer is running.
Color Choices-you’re probably going to want to keep your mixer on your counter, matching your decor is a nice option.
When buying a Stand Mixer you should think about what type of mixing you do the most. Your mixing needs will help to define the features your mixer should have. Do you want to be able to use optional attachments? Which attachments would you like to be able to use? If you make a lot of cookies and breads you need a heavier duty model with a larger motor. If you want to make wedding cakes or large recipes a larger bowl and more power would be appropriate. Only you can determine what your needs are. But I hope I have been helpful in explaining the choices and you feel ready to make the right investment.
For Reviews of some of the Best Stand Mixers you can click on the links below;