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Stand Mixer Buying Guide | KitchenGearPro

stand mixerDo you need a Stand Mix­er? If you think that you real­ly need one think about it a sec­ond time.

A stand mix­er is a machine with a heavy body struc­ture, work bowl, motor, and an elec­tri­cal cord. The acces­sories are attached to the beat­er shaft and mix, stir, whip, beat, and knead the ingre­di­ents in a work bowl.

A stand mix­er can make a few daunt­ing bak­ing or cook­ing man­u­al tasks more enjoy­able and enter­tain­ing. So, this gad­get con­ve­nience has made it very pop­u­lar in recent years. How­ev­er, this machine can become a “pricey decor” of your kitchen counter if you usu­al­ly order food or buy ready one for microwav­ing and do not cook reg­u­lar­ly at home. You will invest a lot of mon­ey into a hefty and large device that will occu­py your kitchen space.

How­ev­er, sup­pose you are an avid bak­er, enthu­si­as­tic cook­er, or just pas­sion­ate about cook­ing and do it reg­u­lar­ly at home. In that case, the stand mix­er is a sig­nif­i­cant invest­ment that can save you a lot of cook­ing time and effort.

Yet, the stand mix­er mar­ket con­sists of so many brands and mod­els that it is not easy to select when you decide to buy one. There are sev­er­al crit­i­cal para­me­ters one should con­sid­er when choos­ing the best stand mix­er for your needs.

Stand Mixer Size, Bowl Capacity, and Head Type

When you decide to buy a stand mix­er, the most crit­i­cal fac­tor is what capac­i­ty of mix­ing bowl you need. The typ­i­cal stand mix­er for mix­ing bowl capac­i­ty ranges from 3.5 quarts to 7 quarts and more.

So, the small house­hold will require a small­er bowl capac­i­ty of 3.5–4.5 quarts, while the larg­er house­hold will ben­e­fit from the 5–6 quarts mix­er bowl. And if you cook not only for your fam­i­ly but also for oth­er peo­ple, you bet­ter con­sid­er the mix­er capac­i­ty with a bowl of 7 or more quarts.

The mix­ing bowl size is direct­ly con­nect­ed to the con­struc­tion of a stand mix­er Head Type. The small­er capac­i­ty mix­er is usu­al­ly equipped with the Tilt-Head type, while the big­ger mix­er is con­struct­ed with the Bowl-Lift head type.

Tilt-Head

The tilt-head type has a bowl attached direct­ly to the machine’s base, so the head tilts back and for­ward to allow access to the bowl and beat­er head when you need to add ingre­di­ents or change acces­sories. This type of stand mix­er usu­al­ly comes with a large bowl capac­i­ty rang­ing from 3.5–5 quarts.

Bowl-Lift

The stand mix­ers with bowl-lift con­struc­tion have a bowl con­nect­ed to two stur­dy levers. A lever lifts the bowl to the appro­pri­ate posi­tion under the beat­ers shaft with an attached acces­so­ry. To add ingre­di­ents or change the acces­sories, the user will lift up or down the bowl to access it. These types of machines usu­al­ly come with six and more quarts bowl capacity.

Tasks and Accessories

So, to select the suit­able machine for you, first of all, you have to con­sid­er the kind of func­tions you will expect from this kitchen appli­ance to per­form and think if it will deliv­er the task you plan to use it for.

Essen­tial­ly, there are two main types of stand mixers:

  • The one that is designed to tack­le the clas­sic mix­ing, stir­ring, whip­ping, beat­ing, and knead­ing job for typ­i­cal bak­ing and cook­ing tasks and uses the work bowl and stan­dard attachments.
  • The machines are designed for an exten­sive range of extra attach­ments and can per­form var­i­ous chores, includ­ing food pro­cess­ing tasks, juic­ing, blend­ing, meat minc­ing, par­a­lyz­ing veg­gies, etc.

Standard Attachments

The typ­i­cal qual­i­ty stand mix­er must come with the fol­low­ing acces­sories for per­form­ing clas­sic mix­ing, stir­ring, whip­ping, beat­ing, and knead­ing tasks:

  • A beat­er — tool for mix­ing chores;
  • A Dough hook — attach­ment for knead­ing task;
  • A bal­loon whisk — acces­so­ry to per­form whisk­ing and whip­ping job;

A good stand mix­er mod­el may also include addi­tion­al acces­sories such as:

  • Flexi-beat­er — a beat­er with a sup­ple spat­u­la brink on the side, so it will be able to remove the sticky food from a bowl surface;
  • Splash­guard – a spe­cial bowl that stops the food in the bowl from splash­ing out­side of the bowl;
  • Addi­tion­al larg­er or small­er bowl;

Extra Attachments

A few stand mix­ers come with a spe­cial knob that makes them com­pat­i­ble with a set of extra attach­ments such as a food proces­sor, juicer, blender, pas­ta machine, meat grinder, and oth­ers. This spe­cial attach­ment trans­fers the device into a very ver­sa­tile machine.

This extra attach­ment usu­al­ly includes:

  • Food proces­sor acces­sories that will per­form typ­i­cal food proces­sor jobs such as slic­ing, shredding;
  • Blender, the device that will make smooth­ies, soups, and oth­er small mix­ing jobs as mak­ing sauces and dressings;
  • A juicer that will extract good qual­i­ty juice, the attach­ment usu­al­ly comes into the form of a slow juicer;
  • Grain Miller and Pas­ta Mak­ing attach­ment that will make all kinds of pasta;
  • Meat grinder for burg­ers and sausages;
  • Ice cream maker;
  • Spi­ral­iz­er that will pro­duce veg­gies, spaghet­ti, and pasta;
  • Veg­etable sheet cutter;
  • Sausage stuffer kit;
  • Cit­rus juicer attachment;

Mixing Action

There are two pri­ma­ry types of beat­er shaft mov­ing dur­ing the pro­cess­ing action.

A Cir­cu­lar Motion — the typ­i­cal mix­ing action design, the mix­er beat­er shaft is rotat­ed around its radi­al axis.

A Plan­e­tary Motion - is the most advanced stand mix­er con­struc­tion when the beat­er shaft rotates in one direc­tion. In con­trast, the sock­et where the post is con­nect­ed revolves in the oppo­site direc­tion. The man­u­fac­tur­ers insist that this motion action is more effi­cient, mix­ing bet­ter, and does not need the man­u­al walls scrap­ping of the bowl.

The cir­cu­lar and plan­e­tary motion actions pro­duce a sim­i­lar result if their machine is pow­er­ful enough and the mix­ing bowl is big enough for the processed recipe.

Other Criteria to Pick Best Stand Mixer

Here are some of the less crit­i­cal para­me­ters you may con­sid­er while select­ing the best stand mix­er for you.

Cost

So your bud­get is cru­cial in choos­ing a stand mix­er, you decide you want the best val­ue for mon­ey, or you like best of the best.

Decent Stand Mix­er costs from $70 to as high as $600. The price depends on the mix­er’s brand, mod­el, and size.

If you decide to buy the device man­u­fac­tured by a rep­utable com­pa­ny with pro­duc­ing his­to­ry, you will have to pay about $300 –$600 or more mon­ey for such a machine. On the oth­er hand, if you go to the Chi­nese gener­ic knock-off mod­el, such a machine may start from $70.

The price of the mix­er also depends on the capac­i­ty of the pro­cess­ing bawl. Indeed, the small­er mix­er costs less than the big­ger ver­sions of it.

Brand

In recent years, a large num­ber of the Chi­nese gener­ic knock-off kitchen appli­ances are flood­ing the kitchen appli­ances mar­ket, and stand mix­ers are not an exclu­sion. So it is your choice if you want to choose a cheap Chi­nese knock-off that will most like­ly go out of order with­in a short time, or you buy the machine for years to last and will per­form as declared.

For exam­ple, Kitchenaid pro­duces the range of the best stand mix­ers; it is the brand that invent­ed this machine and has remained a leader in this mar­ket seg­ment for many years.

Warranty and Customer Service

The war­ran­ty and cus­tomer sup­port are essen­tial para­me­ters when buy­ing an expen­sive and hefty machine. That means the man­u­fac­tur­er must be ready to resolve any prob­lems with their prod­uct. The avail­abil­i­ty of the replace­ment part is also an essen­tial cri­te­ri­on when you buy an expen­sive large appli­ance. In addi­tion, the war­ran­ty indi­cates how much trust the man­u­fac­tur­er puts in their goods. So, a well-known and rep­utable com­pa­ny is expect­ed to have bet­ter cus­tomer sup­port and war­ran­ty than the com­pa­ny that retails Chi­nese knock-off models.

Storage for Attachments

Stand Mix­er is a large and heavy machine and comes with a few large acces­sories which must be stored some­where. They usu­al­ly take a lot of stor­age space. So it is cru­cial to keep all the acces­sories in good order. So the mod­el that comes with a con­ve­nient cad­dy for attach­ment is a plus that takes your stor­ing place tidy.

Summary

The cri­te­ria men­tioned above are the most impor­tant and should help you select a decent stand mix­er that will sat­is­fy your essen­tial needs.

Posted in Buying Advice, Others

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