Is Stand Mixer Worth It?
If you are into cooking and loves making breads, cakes, cookies and creams from scratches then a stand mixer is worth it. You can get one for under 100 pounds like the one reviewed in this article or can go for expensive stand mixers like Kenwood Chef XL or Kitchenaid Artisan.
- With every electric mixer, you get a dough hook for kneading, a beater for sponge mixtures, and a whisk for whisking eggs and creams.
- It is easy and fast to mix small quantities of food with your hands but when comes to mixing, whipping, or kneading a large amount of bread dough for instance then having a mixer at hand will make your life easier
- Stand mixers save you time, it is like another pair of hands, it can be mixing while you are washing up your dishes or doing other kitchen tasks while monitoring it.
What Can You Use a Stand Mixer for?
Knowing what to use a stand mixer for will help you make a wise decision as to whether you should buy the expensive stand mixer of the budget one.
Generally, all stand mixers both cheap and expensive ones include three standards accessories: a dough hook, a beater and a whisk. These three tools is all you need for everything mixing, kneading, and whisking. You also get a splash guard for covering and keeping your food away from dust
- A dough hook is for kneading pizza dough, bread dough, and cookies dough
- A beater is for everything mixing: For instance, mixing cake batters. You can also use it for mashing potatoes. Now if you buy an expensive food mixer like Kenwood Chef XL Titanium, you will get not only a standard beater but also a Flexi beater. The flex beater helps scratch the sides of the bowl making sure everything is mixed well without the need of using a spatula
- A whisk is for whisking eggs and whipping creams
Stand mixers can do more than kneading, whisking and beating. This is where the expensive stand mixers come in. Most of them are multipurpose kitchen machines, they include a variety of attachments to help them perform multiple tasks at once. Depending on the model you buy, you can get ice cream maker, blender for making smoothies, sausage maker, pasta roller, food processor, and more. This is quite good if you do not have all these other additional kitchen appliances.
For stand mixers like Kenwood and Kitchenaid, you can buy up to 20 extra attachments to make your gadget as a one for all best kitchen appliance. And with the fact that these brands mixer last long, you can rest assured that you have buy something worth it.
But, if you are on a budget, an affordable stand mixer is all you need to help you make cakes, bread, cookies, meringue, soufflé , buttercream frosting, and more.
How do Stand Mixers Work?
These is how the stand mixers work:
- Read the instruction manual provided to get you familiar with your machine
- Assembling its parts, clean those that needs to be clean such as the mixing bowl and its attachment before first use
- Decide which attachment you are going to use first and attach it
- Fix the mixing bowl
- Plugin the electric mixing machine
- Add ingredients
- Put a splash guard
- Choose a mixing speed
- Switch it on and let the mixer do its work
- Note: Some stand mixers feature planetary mixing action. This makes the bowl and accessories to rotate at the same time but in opposite direction to the mixing attachment for thorough mixing.
What is a Stand Mixer?
A stand mixer also referred to as a food mixer is a small kitchen appliance for kneading pizza, bread, and cookie dough, mixing ingredients especially cake batter, whipping eggs, creams, and more. Some of these gadgets are multifunctional, they come with additional attachments such as a blender for making smoothies, a food processor for chopping, slicing, and micing, a grinder for grinding meat, spices, and coffee beans, sausage, and ice cream maker, and more. Some of these extra attachments need to buy them separately.
The basic accessories composition of each of these electric mixing machines include a dough tool, a beater and a whisking tool. These is all you need for everything mixing, kneading and whipping ingredients. The machine help you to carry out all these repetitive work with ease using a built in rotating technology.
Each electric standing mixer also comes with a bowl and a splash guard. The bowl capacity ranges from half a litre to 7.5 litres. Apart from stand mixers for home use; there is also commercials stand mixers with a capacity of over 25 litres. This helps cater to each family’s needs from individuals, couples, small to large families to commercial needs. A splash guard or cover is there to help keep your food away from dust. There are also variable speed control settings that give you control over the mixing speed of your ingredients.
The capacity in which the mixer performs, its motor power, and brand determine the price you end up paying from £40 to £600. Other brands are more popular than the other such as Kenwood and Kitchenaid. They last longer up to 30 years as people claims but they are quite priced too. With them comes multiple attachments that extend the functionality of your gadget from basic mixing, kneading, and whipping to blending, food processing, making sausages, ice cream, pasta, and more. With them, you can perform multiple tasks simultaneously. These pricey premium models is what everyone dreams of but if you are on a budget and have other kitchen appliances in place going for an affordable stand mixer is worth it.
Most cheap models lasts between 1 and 5 years. This however, depends on how you use and take care of it.
What to look for when buying a stand mixer
- Bowl size: Stand mixers come in different sizes from 1 litre to 7.5 litres larger bowl capacity. Choose which one to go for based on whether you are going to use it for making large batches of food or cater for only 2 people
- Power – this one is debatable as models with less power like Kitchenaid that features 300 watts motor are considered powerful as Kenwood with up to 1500 watts motor. A powerful mixer helps mix heavy dough effortlessly.
- Budget: Are you looking to spend 100 pounds or less or over £500?
- Colour: They come in different colours to match your kitchen decor: Blue, red, cream, white and more. Choose the one that will match or complement your other kitchen appliances
- Use: Are you planning to use it for basic mixing, kneading and whipping tasks or want the one with additional attachments to help you make everything you have ever dream of!
- Replacement parts: Are parts available for sale in case your beater get broken or want an extra bowl?
How to Use and Care for a Stand Mixer
- Always start by reading the instruction manual provided to help you familiarize yourself with your mixer: how many amounts of flour or other ingredients can it handle. What are the minimum and maximum food capacity your machine can handle
- When mixing it is advised to always start at a low speed then increase it to avoid splashing
- Most stand mixers mixing tools do not reach the bowl bottom. This requires you sometimes to use a spatula to help it but do not do so when the machine is in action. Read the manual to see how to adjust your beaters and whisking tool so that they do not touch the bowl bottom as it might cause bowl scratches but also not to be too far from the bowl. A good setting will help reduce frequently spatula use.
- Are the stand mixer parts dishwasher safe? Check the accompanying user guide to find out before washing them to avoid damaging or discoloring them
- Freeze the bowl before whipping creams. This will help you make the fluffiest whipped cream
Can I use an electric hand mixer versus stand mixer?
If you are an occasional baker for one or two people and have no hands issues then you can decide to buy and use electric hand mixer. They can do a basic job of mixing, whipping and kneading a small quantities of food but not mixed ingredients like chocolate cookies dough. Mixing mixed ingredients can burn your motor. But for large batches of food a good stand mixer is all you need. It saves you time by mixing your ingredients faster and offers consistent results. They are expensive though and occupy large kitchen space when compared to buying a hand mixer that are cheap and occupy less space.
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Tina Peters has ten years of testing and reviewing kitchen gadgets. I am a home-trained chef. I like to make cakes, pastries, biscuits, icing, and all kinds of home baking/cooking. As someone who likes trying out new kitchen gadgets to up my cooking skills. Over the past ten years, I often find myself buying gadgets like stand mixers, food processors, mini choppers, air fryers, blenders, and all kinds of kitchen appliances. Getting value for your money whenever you purchase an item requires adequate research and testing. So I decided to collate most of the information I have gathered over ten years of using and researching different kitchen gadgets into coxonskitchen.co.uk.