Nobody who takes cooking or baking seriously will want to be without a kitchen stand mixer, which nowadays is seen as an indispensable tool for all culinary tasks. However, there is such a wide range of appliances available, that the decision as to which to choose can be quite bewildering. For anyone coming to the market for the first time, a mixers buying guide is really essential.
Which Food Mixer To Buy
Most people who do a fair amount of cooking consider that a stand mixer makes life a lot easier than a hand mixer, though of course this convenience comes at a price. The hands free facility of a mixer stand is invaluable for anybody who leads a busy life, as it makes it possible to do a mixing task while looking for other ingredients, or attending to the children. However, there are some quicker and lighter tasks for which it is not worthwhile getting out the best stand mixer, so the ideal for anyone who can afford it is to have one of each.
Best Stand Mixer For Heavy Duty
When trying to decide which mixer to buy, one consideration is the amount of use it will receive, and the kind of cooking for which it will be used. A chef, or a parent who cooks three meals a day for a large family, will obviously want a stronger and more powerful appliance than someone for whom cooking is a weekend hobby. Mixer stands are generally made of metal, plastic or a combination of the two, but those built for heavy duty will be likely to have a die-cast all-metal construction. These are the most expensive, but pay for themselves in durability and performance.
The other features to look for are capacity and power. A mixer bowl capacity can range from two to seven quarts, but heavy duty use requires at least six quarts. The minimum power requirement for a mixer is about 225 watts, and at least 500-600 watts for big jobs.
Best Stand Mixer For Baking
Mixer stands also vary in the number of different speeds available, from three speeds to about 15. For tasks such as blending liquids into dry ingredients, or for creaming, slow speeds are required, while higher speeds are needed for dough. Not all users find that models with a high number of speeds are necessarily better. As long as there are three or four speeds, including a slow and a very high speed, most people find this quite adequate.
There are a number of designs available, including rotating beaters, rotating bowls and tilting bowls. The most popular design for baking purposes seems to be the single beater, or other attachment, on a rotating disc, so that the beater not only spins, but rotates round the bowl, which remains stationary. This design, known as planetary action, is considered to be the most effective for blending ingredients in baking.
Kitchenaid Stand Mixers for Sale
From looking at reviews about the best stand mixer for sale, the brand which seems to come top of the list is KitchenAid, which is the oldest and probably the best known. The KitchenAid KSM150PS Artisan is one of those with the planetary action feature, in which the attachments rotate round the bowl as well as on their own axis.
This model is popular for its durability and also its versatility, including the possibility of changing the speed up and down while actually mixing, and its wide range of attachments. However, some reviewers point out that the Bosch mixer outperforms the KitchenAid in respect of its strong motor and powerful whisking action. Still, it is wise to search for the best deals on Kitchenaide stand mixers.
Among other models regarded by some as the best stand mixers on sale are Breville and Cuisinart. Both of these feature a built-in count-down timer, which is highly prized by busy cooks because it saves them from having to stand over the machine while it is operating, or risk burnout. Alternatively, probably the most powerful and expensive model on the market is Viking, with 1,000 watts of power, and metal gear transmission. However, this would only be worth the expense if it was going to be put to heavy duty use.
There are now so many mixers available, all with different features, that a mixers buying guide is essential for any newcomer to the market. However, no guide can select what is best for the preferences of an individual cook. It is necessary for any user to work out first what features are required for a particular style of cooking, and then look for models that fit these requirements.