The 10 Best Stand Mixers
This wiki has been updated 28 times since it was first published in March of 2015. While handheld egg beaters are a useful little accessory, they can't compare with stand mixers. Not only do these boast better performance and more versatility, they do so while allowing for hands-free operation, so you can continue with your other kitchen tasks at the same time you are making the perfect batch of cookies, creating your own homemade pasta, or kneading dough for a loaf of bread. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
October 22, 2020:
Stand mixers might just be one of the best kitchen gadgets ever invented. They allow you to knead dough, make stiff egg whites for meringues, mix batters, whip cream, and more, all without the manual effort that used to be involved in these tasks. Additionally, many models, like the Kitchen Aid Artisan, Kitchen Aid 600 Series, and Cuisinart SM-50 for example, have an outlet where you can attach pasta rollers and meat grinders, adding to a stand mixer's already high level of versatility. On the note of versatility, we would be remiss if we didn't mention the Nurxiovo Pro 1518-BM, which incorporates both an outlet for a pasta roller or meat grinder and comes with a blender jar and incorporated attachment spot for it.
For those with small kitchens or low cabinets, two of the biggest downsides to most stand mixers are the large footprint and tall stance. However, we have found many options that don't require a lot of counter space or a lot of head room. For example, we have included the Ankarsrum Original and NutriMill Artiste, both of which have the motors incorporated into their base. When it comes to a small footprint, the Dash Go Everyday, Sunbeam Mix Master 2594, and Hamilton Beach 63391 immediately stand out. However, to achieve this small form factor, a concession on capacity is made, and none have bowls that can hold more than four quarts.
When it comes to precision work, the more speed settings the better, so if you want full control over the mixing action, you'll want to consider the Kitchen Aid Artisan, Kitchen Aid 600 Series, Cuisinart SM-50, Sunbeam Mix Master 2594, and Hamilton Beach 63221, all of which have 10 or more speed settings. Another good option is the Ankarsrum Original, which offers stepless speed adjustment from 45 to 130 RPM.
December 05, 2019:
High-quality stand mixers are notoriously expensive, but the unit's durability and added functionality is always reflected in the price. So for the beginner-level cook who just wants an easier way to beat a cake mix, or egg whites we rated some entry level models, as well as the best dream machines with all the bells and whistles that budding chefs long for.
We added the lesser-known but incredibly powerful Ankarsrum Original. Best suited to advanced cooks, the rotating bowl, dough roller and integrated scraper are just a few features that help it to stand apart from the other high-end models.
We replaced the Sunbeam Heritage with the Hamilton Beach Tilt-Head as a top low-cost option because the Hamilton Beach offers superior included attachments, and a similarly sized capacity bowl for a significantly better price.
Breville Scraper Pro The Breville Scraper Pro is a high-end model designed to ensure even mixing, while the flexible edges on its ingenious beater constantly clear the sides and bottom of the bowl. It also sports a detachable pouring shield that catches splatter. breville.com
Whatever You Knead
A mixer itself comes in many shapes and sizes, but the stand mixer must include a mixing bowl, a motor, and a stand of some sort.
The stand mixer has been a staple in the domestic and commercial kitchen for well over eighty years. For those of you who enjoy baking, cooking, or just plain kitchen decor, the stand mixer is an excellent addition to your household.
A mixer itself comes in many shapes and sizes, but the stand mixer must include a mixing bowl, a motor, and a stand of some sort. It is not to be confused with an immersion blender or a hand mixer. A blender of any kind blends ingredients into liquids, while a mixer evenly mixes the ingredients. The hand mixer and immersion blender are both handheld, while the stand mixer remains stationary. Lastly, the hand mixer will not have the power to mix thick batters or knead dough.
While the stand mixer performs similar functions as a hand mixer, it differs in design. The advantage of the stand is that it frees up your hands to tackle another culinary adventure while the mixer operates. The complaints from fatigue and inconvenience of the hand mixer has lead many consumers to switch over to a stand mixer.
This is particularly true in commercial baking scenarios where large volumes of baked goods are produced. Considering the large motor size, the stand mixer is the workhorse of the kitchen. Also, the sheer weight of the unit helps prevent the stand from "walking" when it mixes, making it an anchor on the table.
Mix It Up
Now that we know what to expect from a basic model of stand mixers, let's get fancy. Stand mixers come with many bells and whistles, some of which will be extremely beneficial, while others might have no effect for you.
Since the stand is equipped with a motor, the gears will vary from six to twelve speeds. Obviously the more options you have will customize your cooking. Some also include an ultra slow beginning speed known as a stir speed. This will prevent ingredients from splashing out of the bowl when the machine is revved on. A super fast speed will be beneficial for whipping eggs and meringues.
Some mixers will includes an additional bowl in another size, which can speed up baking time.
The motor size is the biggest advantage a stand mixer has over it's handheld counterpart. All mixers will display the size of the motor in wattage, however, the torque size is also important to know. For the home consumer, a 200-400W motor is appropriate; the higher the wattage, the more power. While most models will suffice, the thick bread dough would benefit from 300W motor of above. The commercial models will be more powerful to complete such tasks while avoiding overheating.
The basic attachments cover the majority of functions your mixer will do: beating, whisking, and a dough hook for kneading. Adjustments to these basics are convenient, but not essential. A scrape beater works wonders clearing the icing from a bowl, for instance.
KitchenAid's models of stand mixers are unique in that their attachments can be connected to the head of the mixer for a myriad of other functions: ice cream maker, pasta roller, or food processors. Given that a food processor can be attached, this might eliminate your need to buy a stand-alone processor, which will cost you more money. The KitchenAid attachments are also cross generational; this means a new attachment will work on a KitchenAid mixer from as far back as the 1930's!
A splash guard should be considered, especially if you bake a lot. This will prevent flour, eggs, and other troublesome ingredients from splashing up and out of the bowl.
The bowl should lock into the stand mixer to prevent slippage. Glass and steel are usually the materials offered. Some mixers will includes an additional bowl in another size, which can speed up baking time.
The way in which the stand mixer mixes is to be to taken for granted. A planetary motion mixer will ensure that all parts of the bowl are reached while a vertical mixer is limiting in that only one area of the bowl can be mixed.
A Brief History of The Mixer
Mixers designed for kitchen use first came into existence in the mid-19th century. The hand cranked egg beater was the oldest model and ironically enough, still in production today. As the hands of consumers began to tire, Rufus Eastman designed the first mixer with a motor in 1885. While an improvement, the mixer was handheld and cumbersome to handle.
Herbert Johnson is credited for invention of the electric stand mixer, developed in 1914. This basic model became popularized as the K frame for KitchenAid. Herbert Johnson partnered what would become KitchenAid to sell the first model named the H-5. Over the next decade, competitors entered the market and kept the production quality high.
Today, stand mixers are bought daily at most retailers where KitchenAid is still seen as the golden standard. Given the high cost of these machines, it is an investment to say the least. A properly cared for quality mixer will last a lifetime, and then some. It's a tradition to hand the mixer down from generation to generation.