With the prospect of socialising again not far off the horizon, now is the perfect time to brush off your recipe books and refresh your cooking and baking skills for any springtime picnics or summer parties! If you are a keen cook, then perhaps it’s time to invest in a stand mixer, or upgrade the one you already have. It will make life in the kitchen much easier.
What are stand mixers used for?
Stand mixers, simply put, are high-powered mixers that will do all the hard work for you, from whipping to kneading, stand mixers can be left to do the job, leaving your hands free for other baking or cooking tasks! You can use your stand mixer for a range of culinary tasks, including classic baking prep, but also whipping up creamy mashed potato or even making your own pasta.
Stand mixers often come with multiple attachments, including a whisk for cream, a beater for eggs and a dough hook for bread. A stand mixer is more powerful than a hand-held mixer, and can cope with a larger quantity of ingredients. Generally, they also create less mess than a hand-held blender too, as they come with large stainless-steel bowls that should keep all of the ingredients contained during mixing.
Best stand mixers: how to choose the one for you
Before buying a stand mixer, Marketing Manager at KitchenAid, Simon Langley, recommends that you ask yourself these questions: ‘How many people am I preparing food for? What kind of cooking do I want to do? How much countertop space do I have? How important is the design and colour to me?’ Don’t be tempted to splash out on a high-end model with an abundance of tech-savvy gadgets if you know you’re not going to use them – consider what you want to use the mixer for and make your decision based on that.
- For the keen cook
If you’re a keen cook who loves a spot of batch baking, you’ll need a mixer with a large bowl capacity and a powerful mechanism to stir more ingredients.
- For the versatile cook
If versatility is important to you, then look for a mixer with plenty of different attachments – there are lots of clever gadgets to choose from, but usually only two or three will comes as standard with the mixer, so you’ll likely have to purchase them separately. Such add-on attachments often include accessories such as a meat grinder, an ice cream maker, a pasta roller and shaper, a vegetable slicer, a juicer, a spiralizer and a food processor, among others.
- For a small kitchen
With regards to counter space, Simon advises, ‘If worktop space is a bit tight in the kitchen, then a mixer with a smaller bowl is the way to go as this will be easier to store away, too. KitchenAid’s 3.3L stand mixer is a good example of this as it’s just as versatile as a larger option but it’s both smaller and lighter than many models and it also features a compact stainless steel bowl.’
Stand mixers: eight of the best
1. Investment buy: 4.8L Artisan Stand Mixer, £499, KitchenAid
- 4.8-litre and 3-litre bowls
- Pouring shield
- Tilt-head design
- Attachments include a six-wire whip, flat beater, flex-edge beater and a dough hook
- A further 15 optional attachments
This stand mixer is certainly at the higher end of the budget, but if you’re a keen cook or baker then you won’t be disappointed with your purchase. The KitchenAid Artisan mixer has all of the components you need and then some with two mixing bowls, numerous attachments and a pouring shield.
2. Hassle-free: Misterchef Professional Electric Kitchen, 1,400W food stand mixer, £135.99, Robert Dyas
- 5.5-litre stainless steel bowl
- Attachments include a beater, dough hook and whisk
- Six speed settings
- Dishwasher safe
- Transparent cover included to prevent splashes
Take the hassle out of preparing your next meal with the MisterChef mixer. It has an incredibly quiet 800-watt motor, three useful attachments and it’s also dishwasher-friendly, which makes cleaning up afterwards a breeze.
Stand mixer terminology
Tilt-head This type of mixer has a head that raises so you can easily change the attachments, remove the bowl or add ingredients before locking it back into place.
Bowl-lift These mixers tend to be taller and the head is fixed. The bowl has clamps on each side that allow it to be raised and lowered by turning the notch on the side so you can add ingredients to the bowl with ease.
Pouring shield This fits onto your mixing bowl so you can add ingredients without any Jargon, busted spills. It also prevents messier ingredients such as flour dust and icing sugar from spreading over your kitchen.
3. Fashion meets function: Kenwood kMix KMX760.GD Kitchen Machine, Rose Gold, £549, Currys
- 5 litre capacity
- Includes 3 accessories for mixing, beating, whipping, kneading and whisking
- 6 speed settings with pulse function
- Also includes a splash guard and feeding tube for easily adding ingredients
- 1,000 watt motor
For the style-savvy baker, this rose gold Kenwood stand mixer is a winner. It’s pricey yes, but is built to last and comes with an array of clever functions, such as the innovative fold function to help you achieve a smooth texture in your bakes, and smart speed control to keep your ingredients from splashing everywhere.
4. For retro lovers: Smeg SMF03RD Stand Mixer, Red, £399.99, Donaghy Bros
- 4.9-litre stainless steel bowl
- Three metal attachments
- 10 speed settings
- Soft-start control
- Comes with flex-edge beater, suitable for creaming ingredients
For a safe bet, you can’t go wrong with this stylish stand mixer from Smeg. It includes three attachments, and its retro design will look stunning on your worktop.
5. For big batches: Cuisinart SM50BU Stand Mixer, black, £273, AO
- 5.2-litre stainless steel bowl
- 12 speed settings
- Splash guard with a pour spout
- Flat paddle for mixing included
If you’re mixing large quantities, this 5.2-litre bowl might fit the bill. The splash guard will prevent spillages, while the many speed settings will give you plenty of control.
Stand mixer terminology
Flat beater or paddle Essentially the equivalent of a wooden spoon, this helps to
fold the ingredients for gentle mixing.
Flex-edge beater or paddle This
tool combines a flat beater with a spatula and
is great for creaming and beating ingredients.
Dough hook This hook-shaped
attachment is best when a lot of force is
needed to mix the ingredients, which is often
the case when kneading bread dough.
6. Bargain buy: Kenwood Chefette Stand and Hand Mixer, £84.99, Argos
- 3-litre bowl
- Five speed settings
- Includes whisk, dough hook
- Pulse control
- 350-watt motor
For a mixer that gets the job done efficiently, choose the Kenwood. Its five speed settings and pulse function will ensure you blend ingredients with minimal mess.
7. Multipurpose: JLSM628 Stand Food Mixer, silver, £180, John Lewis & Partners
- 6-litre stainless steel bowl
- 9 speed settings
- Splash guard
- Three attachments including a beater, dough hook and whisk
- 1.5-litre blender
This mixer has a generous six-litre bowl that comes with a handy splash guard to prevent spills. What’s more, this mixer includes a 1.5-litre blender, which you won’t find with many other models.
8. Editor’s choice: Mix Tilt-Head 3.3L 5KSM3311X, Almond Cream, £349, KitchenAid
- 3.3-litre stainless steel bowl
- Includes a whisk, dough hook and beater
- Compact design
- Planetary action: pushes the ingredients to the middle of the bowl
- Available in nine different colourways
For anyone who has limited space in the kitchen, this mini mixer is your calling. Although it might be small, that doesn’t mean it compromises on the key features. The smooth, tilt-head model not only comes with all of the most frequently used attachments, but it also has a specially engineered beater that pushes the ingredients to the centre of the bowl so that whipping is mess-free and creates a consistent mixture.