Serious bakers need serious equipment and one key piece of serious equipment is going to be your stand mixer. Not all bakers use a stand mixer, some get by with a hand mixer. Depending on your budget and your preference you may want to try hand mixers, but we are very sure that you will find it a trial to create great baked goods without a good stand mixer. There are a few features that you will want to pay attention to when purchasing a stand mixer.
There are quite a few different styles and models available, as well as varying price points. Knowing what you plan to bake will also make a difference in your mixer choice but you do want to pay attention to a few basic details.
The first thing you want to pay attention to is the motor strength. Some doughs and batters can be quite stiff, causing your mixer to work extremely hard. An under powered mixer will strain if you are trying to knead a dense bread dough and in some cases the motor may burn out. We recommend that you look for motors of 300 watts or higher.
Another detail to look for is the number of speed settings that the mixer has. While you probably don’t need 12 speeds (which is the amount offered on some mixers), you also don’t want just 3 speeds. Look for a mixer with 5-10 speeds. This will give you a lot of flexibility in the type of mixing that you will do. You may be whisking egg whites one day and slowly blending chocolate the next.
Size Matter With Your Mixers Bowl
Most people forget to pay attention to the size of the mixing bowl and then are disappointed when they have to split a recipe in half because the ingredients won’t fit into the bowl. Look for a bowl that is at least 5 quarts (volume). Stainless steel is fine, some bowls are brushed aluminum. Avoid plastic bowls, they can crack. Look for a bowl with a handle, it’s a convenient feature that will make your baking life easier.
KitchenAid Artisan Mixer
This KitchenAid Artisan mixer is powered by a 325 watt motor and has 12 speeds to handle all of your mixing projects. The 5 quart bowl is made of stainless steel and has a convenient handle. This mixer is the #1 rated stand mixer at Amazon. There are 20 colors available to match any kitchen decor.
Hamilton Beach 6 Speed Mixer
This mixer from Hamilton Beach is an excellent price option to the KitchenAid Artisan. While there are not as many features with this unit it is powerful enough to handle any mixing job. It features a 400 watt motor with 6 speeds, a 4 1/2 quart mixing bowl and easy to use controls. For most bakers this is a solid stand mixer for everyday baking use.
Cuisinart Stand Mixer
Made by one of the best known companies in kitchen appliances, this stand mixer from Cuisinart is an excellent mixer for any baker. The 500 watt motor is larger than the motors offered by other mixers and 12 speeds will give you plenty of mixing options. The extra large 5.5 quart bowl is perfect for double batches of cookies and the solid die-cast metal construction guarantees a long kitchen life. An outstanding stand mixer for any kitchen.