The Best Stand Mixers of 2016- Buying Guide
Stand mixers offers a perfect way to take the whole baking game to its next level, and many consumers agree that 5-quart KitchenAid Artisan is the best brand for home baking. That’s because it can cream sugar and butter for delicious cookies and whip up a cake batter more efficiently compared to other models they try. Another great feature is that this device also kneads healthy whole-wheat bread dough with no straining and traveling around the countertop, which is a widespread problem for many other mixers. But now we want to try newer models that can compete with this one to determine that its price, versatility and performance can’t be beaten.
It’s not surprising that the above-mentioned mixer is on the top, but we expected this competition to be a bit better this time. However, after spending around 16 hours on research, consultations with mixing experts and performing endless tests on different mixers, we honestly claim that this brand is still the best. It was launched in 1919, so it’s hard to beat the classic. Find out more about our best picks below.
It’s a 5-quard stand mixer that can tackle any recipe without traveling around the countertop, and it’s also one of the quietest options available in the market. It’s not surprising that this incredible mixer is on the top, but we expected this competition to be a bit better this time. However, after spending around 16 hours on research, consultations with mixing experts and performing endless tests on different mixers, we honestly claim that this brand is still the best. It was launched in 1919, so it’s hard to beat the classic.
KitchenAid Professional 600 Series
Basically, it’s a 6-quart bowl-lift stand mixer, so it has a bigger mixing bowl and its footprint, and users had better leave it on their countertop. When it comes to smaller tasks, this model is not as good as the above-mentioned one, but it’s still excellent when mixing batters and heavy doughs. If it sells out for any reason, or you need to make thick batters or a lot of bread dough, you should think about getting this one. Besides, it comes with a bigger footprint and works louder than the Artisan. Another consideration is that its price is a bit high now. This mixer is a true workhorse, and this fact is confirmed because it’s often used in professional kitchens.
Good Choices for Tiny Kitchens and Occasional Bakers
Cuisinart Power Advantage Plus 9-Speed
This handheld mixer seems a good choice because it’s a smaller and quite powerful alternative offered by Cuisinart. For occasional baking and tiny kitchens, you should give it a try and you won’t regret it. Of course, this model can’t compete with stand mixers in terms of its strength and speed, but it’s the most efficient hand mixer out there. It also does a good job when blending lofty cakes, frostings and doughs. Consumers also appreciate its compact case for storing that keeps the necessary attachments securely houses with this device, so there is no occasional dropping in drawers.
Quality stand mixers can make your cooking and baking life much easier, so if you prefer to bake on a regular basis and struggle when using low-grade stand mixer or a hand mixer, you should think about upgrading this kitchen equipment. That’s because it can be a true game changer in your kitchen if you know how to use it properly. A great and efficient stand mixer can turn out everything into tasty and rustic bread, cake layers, dozens of cookies and so on. It can also make the fast job of whipping heavy creams into the best dessert topping and egg whites into delicious meringue. Don’t forget that excellent mixers have special power hubs for additional accessories that can grind meat, roll out pasta dough, churn ice cream and do other tasks perfectly.
If you want to invest in one of the best mixers, you should be prepared to use them a few times a week, and it won’t be difficult because of their amazing versatility. The best part is that stand mixers can free up more time in your kitchen as you can simply turn them on and do other things involved in your favorite recipes.
Nowadays, you can find the following types of electric mixers:
- Stand mixers with a tilted head. This type is the most widespread for home use, and the top of these devices tilts up to let users attach and remove a bowl and a special mixing attachment.
- Stand mixers with a bowl lift. This type involves both professional and domestic models, and users can easily snap a bowl into the right place on curved arms and lift it towards a mixing attachment with the help of a lever.
- Hand mixers. This type is quite popular, but consumers should know that it’s handheld and has no bowl. These models can come with a few basic beaters and have several special attachments created for certain purposes, including kneading bread dough and whipping cream. They are quite good for occasional baking and people who want to whip cream and make some cookies.
Nowadays, Artisan is the best mixer in its line on Amazon for a number of reasons that should be considered. It’s the only device that is ahead of others in tests without rocking on countertops. It’s also one of the most effective units when it comes to creaming sugar and butter, and it can also whip perfect cake batter and lofty frosting. Even if you prefer blending small quantities, its well-sized bowl is perfect for you. The motor of this famous mixer runs quieter than in other models tested by consumers, and it keeps mixing mess-free because its pouring shield slides. It’s quite easy to wipe the mess off its smooth casing even if you can’t be clean enough in the kitchen. The only drawback is that this stand mixer is not cheap, but its refurbished elements are widely available, and this aspect makes it more affordable to users.
In terms of bread and cookie tests, Artisan mixes dough without straining and rocking its motor. Cookie recipes may involve more mix-ins than standard drop cookies, so many other models in similar lineups usually strain with efforts, including Breville. It’s true that most mixers manage to make tasty and great loafs of bread, but Artisan does the same job more gracefully. It can be compared to Cuisinart, while the rest can’t hang with bread dough, so they rock quite severely.
When dealing with cookies, Artisan creams sugar and butter perfectly, so there is no scrapping needed. If to compare it with Breville and Kenmore, both brands require many scrapping to fully blend all the ingredients. With Artisan users will need to scrape only once when they add eggs. This stand mixer is also a whipping ace, as 7-minute frosting requires users to cook corn syrup, egg whites and sugar over water baths until this mixture reaches certain temperature before transferring it into a mixer and whipping it. The minimum yield for this recipe is about eight cups, but the more you use the better, as it indicates more the whipping prowess. The tested stand mixer can yield nine cups easily, while others can’t do the same. Such brands as Kenmore and KitchenAid perform well in this process, but they fall short in other important areas.
To provide more evidence of its whipping prowess, Artisan makes amazing genoise cake batter, and this classic and delicious cake is often cooked in round pans if people prefer a layer cake, but it’s possible to use jelly roll pans if you prefer different things. In any case, it’s a great test for a mixer and its ability to incorporate a lot of air into batter. Bakers need this device to incorporate as much air into batter as they can, as the addition of flour in this recipe is usually reduced up to 25%. Moreover, if they don’t have any lofty batter to start with, they won’t be able to end up with tall and fluffy layers. The good news is that Artisan manages to produce a perfect cake with its fine crump. If to compare its functions with Hamilton, this model produces huge air bubbles that lead to air pockets in cakes, while cakes produced by Kenmore tend to sink in the middle.
You should take a case from one of the latest test drives of mixers and decide whether you want to see how tested mixers can manage whipping one egg white with half a cup of cream. Actually, this recipe proposes 2 egg whites and one cup of cream, but you should try pushing boundaries because most stand mixers don’t have an ability to mix small amounts. As a result, Artisan makes fast work of this task, unlike other professional models that can’t handle small numbers of ingredients because of their bigger bowls. In conclusion, it’s also one of the quietest mixers in the market, and its functioning can be compared to Breville in this case. Cuisinart is quite loud, just like KitchenAid, so we still recommend Artisan to all smart consumers.