The stand mixer has become nearly irreplaceable in the kitchen, allowing you to whip egg whites, mix bread dough, shred cheese, and even make ice cream. The KitchenAid brand often comes up when talking about mixers, but there are other brands available as well, such as Hamilton Beach and Cuisinart, and each stand mixer is compatible with multiple attachments, turning a simple mixer into a multifunctional kitchen necessity. Various models differ in their features, power, and bowl capacity, so it is important to know your cooking needs before purchasing a stand mixer.What power, size, and speed stand mixer is needed?
- Power: Power ratings are measured in watts, and it is essential to be sure your stand mixer has at least 250 watts of power. Any rating lower than this will result in issues mixing most things. Some stand mixers, especially larger-sized models, can have up to 1,000 watts of power.
- Capacity: Most stand mixers have a 4.5-quart or 5.5-quart bowl, which is enough to make dough for cookies or to use the dough hook to knead a loaf of bread. Some stand mixers can fit a six-quart bowl or larger if you often prepare food in larger batches.
- Speed Settings: It is common for many stand mixers to have between 10 and 12-speed settings, as this allows you to fine-tune your speed control while preparing various food items. Some mixers also include a locking tilt head, which is useful to prevent the head of the mixer from popping up during use and making a mess.
All KitchenAid, Hamilton Beach, and Cuisinart models, as well as most other stand mixers, come equipped with a dough hook, wire whisk, and flat beater. These three attachments are generally sufficient for most cooking needs, but other beaters and accessories are available as well, such as slicers and shredders, grinders, juicers, an ice cream maker, and more.What's the difference between a stand and a hand mixer?
A hand mixer is hand-held and can either be rotary or electric. Both of these options are usable with any bowl and are faster than mixing by hand, and the mixer can be moved around to ensure even mixing. Hand mixers are also smaller and do not take up much space compared to a stand mixer. However, it can be difficult to mix thick dough, such as pizza, cookie, or bread dough, with a hand-held mixer compared to using a mixer attached to a stand. A stand mixer is more powerful and generally has more attachments available.