Stand mixers are a culinary status symbol. They’re seen as the pinnacle of small kitchen gadgetry. If you’ve got a decent stand mixer then you’ve made it. Especially if it’s a KitchenAid one. This, at least, was the viewpoint for generations. Nowadays, stand-up mixers are more affordable, there’s a wider range and, as baking grows in popularity, they’re turning up in more and more homes.
Is a Stand Mixer a Good Investment?
To answer this question you need to consider just how much you would use it. If you’re regularly wanting to bake cakes at home, make your own bread down, and create other baked goods then yes absolutely it’s a good investment. If you’re just starting out, you might consider a simpler (and cheaper) option before launching into the stand mixer world.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Stand Mixer
You might think that a mixer is a mixer, right? That’s where you’re wrong! There are a good few considerations that you should keep in mind when researching the mixer that you want to use:
- How much you’re going to use it: Think about the volumes that you’re cooking for. If you’re regularly entertaining or have a large family, then you’ll definitely want to get a mixer with a large capacity. Something along the lines of a 6 qt. bowl would be ideal. Power is also a consideration for larger volume mixers, you want at least 600 watts minimum. If you’re a light user or only mix for 2-4 people, then a smaller unit will work perfectly, plus they’re far easier to store in cupboards.
- Features: Each mixer will come with a selection of features and you’ll want to ask yourself what you do and don’t need. Do you want a modern digital mixer with lots of preset modes or are you happy to use a speed dial alone? What attachments do you want to use? How many speed settings will work for you?
- Dough requirements: Believe it or not, some mixers (even with high wattage) won’t be able to cope with certain mixes. If you regularly mix a stiff dough then you’ll need to check if the mixer you like the look of can cope with it. Check forums beforehand and see how people have reviewed it.
- Budget: In the stand mixer world it really is you get what you pay for. The more expensive models tend to be sturdier, easier to use, have multiple actions, and host more power. Consider your budget then purchase accordingly.
5 Reasons Why You Should Buy a Stand Mixer
Adaptable and Versatile
The number of ways you can use a stand-up mixer is wide when it comes to the baking world. Anything that requires rapid and consistent mixing can be completed using one. From smooth, lump-free batters to perfectly kneaded dough, easy desserts with few ingredients to heavenly bread mixes. the mixer does it all. Just be sure to use the correct settings and adaptors and you’ll have perfectly mixed food every time.
Stability and Sturdiness
If you’ve ever tried to use a hand mixer and a bowl whilst leaning on the countertop, chances are you’ve lived through the horrible feeling of the bowl spinning around, bouncing, and, worst of all, everything tumbling out of your grasp onto the floor. Not only is there a huge mess to clean up but all of your hard work and preparation is for nothing.
The stand-up mixer is solid, stable, and sturdy. They’re designed to sit on the countertop and stay put without any human intervention, even when running on the highest settings. Follow the instructions, don’t overload, and spillages will be a thing of the past.
There’s nothing more frustrating than using a weak mixer in a thickening dough or mix. Hearing the motor whine and your mix ground to a halt is not only irritating but can ruin your mix unless you act quickly. The powerful stand-up mixers have far greater torque built into their motors so stuck dough will never bother you again.
Low Mess and Easy to Clean
Because everything is secured within the mixing bowl (many of which come with covers) there’s very little mess. Better still, there’s very little mess to clean up when you’re done. The bowls are usually stainless steel and incredibly easy to clean, as are the adaptors. Some of them are even dishwasher safe.
Simple to Use Programs
This might not be applicable to all stand-up mixers, but the majority of them will have set programs that you can use. The most modern have the option to simply press a button and the program is completed, these are often for cake or bread dough mixes. It really does take any inaccuracies out of baking. All mixers will, at the very least, have a dial you can turn to adjust the speed.
Buying a stand mixer is a great investment for your kitchen and unlocks a plethora of additional recipes. Gone will be the days when you lamented at a cookbook asking you to mix when you had no mixer! The world is your mixing oyster!
- Do consider the various features and reasons that you’re purchasing a mixer before buying one.
- Carefully check the power and capacity based on your needs.
- Remember that there’s a great resale market for stand-up mixers.