There’s nothing quite like a good stand mixer to make baking so much easier. You’ve seen them on TV cooking shows where the host is able to mix a four layer cake with relatively little effort.
If you’re ready to buy your first stand mixer – or possibly in the market to replace one – here are some tips to help guide you in your purchase.
What you will use your stand mixer for should be the first item on your list. Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to plan to use your mixture a lot to justify the expense. In fact, having one on hand for a large gathering like Thanksgiving or being in the middle of a baking project will make it pay for itself many times over.
Motor: Part of the use discussion has to do with motor power and the size of the bowl you will need. If you think you’re going to use your mixer a lot, get one that has at least 600 watts of power and a 6 quart bowl or larger.
Capacity: While a powerful motor is important, your decision should also hinge on capacity. The capacity will tell you how many cups of flour a stand mixer bowl can hold and that will be important especially if you find you’re baking several loaves of bread per week or you have to bake for a large bake sale.
There are two kinds of mixers: Ones that have the head tilt back and others that lift the head up with a crank. The latter tends to be the larger one but a tilt head is also perfectly acceptable even for large batches.
You will want to find a mixer that is all metal because that will give you more durability and stability. There should be three attachments that come with your mixer: A whisk, a dough hook and a beater.
There are other attachments you can purchase but they won’t be standard with your mixer. A meat grinder and a pasta attachment are two of the more common you will find.
Try also to find a mixer that has something called overload protection. This will keep the motor from overheating during long sessions.
Even the heaviest duty stand mixer will have its limitations. For instance, it may have trouble kneading a very stiff dough. If you find that the motor is starting to slow down or even stall, it can’t handle what you are asking it to do.
The most common and popular stand mixer on the market today is KitchenAid. Yes, there are others that work equally well but KitchenAid has cornered the market in this regard.
There are beginning models that start at around $220 and go all the way up to the pro series which can be anywhere from $400 to $500.
Treat yourself and do some window shopping when it comes to stand mixers. Take a look at a lot of models and see which one would fit your needs best. Make sure to choose the one that will have the longest life and give you the most satisfaction.
What kind of stand mixer will you get?
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