How to Choose a Mixer
The top of the class of our testing were the KitchenAid Artisan and WonderMix Stand Mixer. Our runner ups were the KitchenAid Classic and Bosch Universal Plus. Here is a little more information on how you can choose a mixer that would meet your needs, along with some additional detail on how we made our rankings of these 4 quality products.
When you are out on the world wide web, the recipes look like they are easy enough to make. Just follow the steps 1, 2, 3 right? Well, then you realize that you have a life, a family and time is so precious and you don’t have enough to balance all of the above. You have a limited counter and space is limited.
Let’s be candid. Stand Mixers can replace many of the small appliances that are cluttering up your counter, it won’t however actually bake and cook for you will it? If you want to make bread from start to finish in the same machine, you should be looking at a bread machine, and you can find many quality products out there like the Zojirushi Virtuoso. Many stand mixers include additional attachments that you can purchase that will allow you to grind your own meat to make sausage or hamburgers to an ice cream maker so you can make your own homemade ice cream.
There are generally two types of mixers for home use: Center and Planetary. Center Stand mixers have their attachments turn only one way, and the bowl may rotate as well. Planetary-style mixers keep the bowl still while the agitator or attachments do the work and rotate in both directions. Each movement style has its benefits and both styles are versatile.
The most important job a stand mixer does is how effective it can make bread dough come together easily without making the machine’s motor strain or wobble across your counter top. The best mixers in our test made blending cake and cookie dough a dream, in fact, some of the models have paddles with specialized blades to help you get the last bit of flour from the sides and bottom of the bowl. If you are going to whisk egg whites you will want a mixer that will add the most volume as possible.
Kneading dough by hand can be quite a workout, it requires patience and a tremendous forearm strength. If you are like us and lack both, stand mixers are a blessing from above. You do want to make sure you get one that can handle the dough, so a higher watt motor is crucial. It has to have enough power to push the thick and heavy ingredients around when you are making dough for your family for the week.
You will want to consider capacity. It is important in a couple of ways. Cup capacity is the number of cups of flour a particular mixer’s motor can handle at one time as it makes the dough. You will want to consider the bowl’s capacity carefully. The design of the bowl can help an otherwise large mixer handle small and large quantities. If you love to make more than a single loaf of bread each day, you will want a mixer with a bowl that is large enough to handle that. If you just want to make an occasional batch of cookies or whip up some icing for a single layer cake, smaller capacities might be best.
What Else is Important in Considering a Mixer?
Getting the right tool for the right job is essential. In this case, you need to choose a mixer that can be used in as many different ways as possible. You want to make sure that if anything goes wrong with your mixer, you can call upon the right people who can answer your questions and help get it fixed if it comes to that.
There are basic attachments that come with most home mixers like a paddle, beaters, and a whisk and a dough hook. Beaters traditionally come with center-style mixers, while paddles are more common with planetary mixers. These are essential attachments for creaming butter, sugar, mixing batters and making mashed potatoes smooth. Whisk attachments are perfect for whisking (I know, seems obvious) it is also great for making whipped cream and making ganache into a dream frosting. Hooks make your mixer a dough factory, that you can now knead dough for bagels, breads, and pizza!
The mixers we tested also offer more attachments than what come with the mixers. That means they are sold separately and they are particularly useful in making your stand mixer even more versatile or eliminating additional appliances from that kitchen counter. Consider meat grinder attachments that will allow you to make that perfect blend of meat for a great hamburger or to make your own sausage. Ice Cream attachments, cheese shredders, and even pasta attachments!
Choosing a mixer that is great for you is highly dependent on what you are going to use it for. Our choice of the KitchenAid Artisan and the WonderMix as the best overall stand mixers you could buy, because it just took the tasks we threw at it like a champ. The machines did tremendous work in the egg-white test and what that means it produced fluffier, drier, stiffer egg whites in the time allotted than the other mixers.
Regardless of the placement on our tests, each of the mixers you will find in our testing did a great job. They are all great choices and performed well. Some cost less and some cost more. We were able to make great loaves of bread in all of these machines easily enough. Some of these models have different attachment combinations that come with the machine and others are sold separately.
Now that you know what you need to look for in the perfect mixer for you, check out the performance rating below to help you make a perfect choice. We are confident you will do great!
|Performance||WonderMix||KitchenAid Artisan||Bosch Universal Plus||KitchenAid Classic Mixer|
|Bread Dough Test||100%||100%||95%||100%|
|Cookie Dough Test||95%||95%||90%||90%|
|Whipped Egg Whites Test||100%||100%||95%||95%|
|Number of Speeds||4||10||4||10|