The 10 Best Stand Mixers for a Mini-Culinary Center

red-stand-mixer-mixing-cream

The best stand mixers are like Swiss army knives. You can perform a wide range of prep with these appliances, allowing you to concentrate on the fun elements of cooking.

Whatever you’re baking or mixing, from cakes and cookies to pizza or meatballs.

Most stand mixers are broadly similar in terms of form and function. You get a large mixing bowl and a number of attachments for specific mixing tasks.

One of the main drawbacks of these mixers is their size and weight, but we review plenty of smaller and more compact mixers for you today, as well as some beefy units ideal for preparing large batches of food.

The benefits of stand mixers, though, dramatically outweigh the downside. You’ll get much more power than you get with a hand mixer, giving you quicker results, as well as more consistency. The standalone nature of these mixers lets you work on other food prep while the machine does its work.

If you’ve never considered buying a stand mixer before, you should bear the following pointers in mind before whipping out your credit card.

  • Your intended usage: Think about the recipes you plan to make in the mixer, and also give due consideration to the quantities of food you need to prepare. Taking a moment to get this nailed down could save you from making a costly mistake
  • Size: You need to think about the size of the mixers on your shortlist in two ways. Firstly and most importantly, do you have enough space on the kitchen counter to accommodate? Make sure of this before anything else. Beyond this, you should think about who you will be catering for you when you use your mixer. Singles, couples, and small families will all be OK with smaller and more compact stand mixers offering reduced capacity. If you frequently entertain for large gatherings, or you have a bigger family, opt for one of the more substantial mixers on our shortlist. As you would expect, larger mixers tend to be more expensive
  • Speed settings: Different ingredients respond to different speeds of mixing. The bulk of the best stand mixers have 10 speed settings. Some have as few as 3, while others offer 12 speeds
  • Weight: Unlike when you’re shopping for a lightweight hand mixer, the heavier the better when it comes to stand mixers. We break down the weight of each mixer we review in the features tab so you can quickly compare them like-for-like
  • Attachments: Most stand mixers come with some simple attachments bundled. A dough hook is a spiral or C-shaped attachment that’s ideal for use when you’re kneading bread or pizza dough. Wire whips, also known as balloon whisks, allow you to produce the whipping movement you need to create frosting, meringue, and whipped cream in your stand mixer. A flat beater is perhaps the most commonly-used of all attachments, ideal for making batter, cookie dough, or delicate and fluffy mashed potato
  • Other attachments: Many of the best stand mixers come with accessory hubs allowing you to attach a variety of additional attachments like meat grinders. Rather than chasing needless extras, you should instead take the time to double down and think about how you would like to use your new stand mixer. If you never plan to veer beyond the basics, most of the standard mixers with just three attachments will be more than enough for your needs. How about if you intend to branch out more, though? If you fancy making meatballs and ravioli, look out for mixers allowing you to grind your own meat at home
  • Price/performance ratio: We seldom mention price when we’re compiling buying guides, but in the case of stand mixers it rates a mention. As with every step of your buying decision, you should laser in on your own specific needs, as well as your intended usage. If you only plan to occasionally whip up some batter or cookie dough, you could easily get away with one of the smaller and cheaper stand mixers we review. If you’re intending to use your mixer on the regular, though, it’s worth looking at some of the more expensive and upscale stand mixers. These might cost more initially, but they will be much better placed to cope with regular and sustained use. Look beyond the price tag to establish a more accurate idea of overall value for money

Right, with those basics in place, you have everything you need to know to accurately compare the best stand mixers and determine if any make the right fit for your home kitchen.

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I. The 10 Best Stand Mixers

1. Our #1 Pick: KitchenAid Stand Mixer

KitchenAid-KSM150PSON-Stand-Mixers,-5-quart,-Ocean-Drive

Features

  • Wattage: 325
  • Weight: 22 pounds
  • Dimensions: 14.3 x 9.3 x 14 inches

KitchenAid has a hard-won reputation for producing some of the best stand mixers out there, and this is our top pick of all the mixers we review today.

You get a huge choice of colors, so there’s no excuse not to get something that perfectly complements your design scheme.

At just 325 watts, this is one of the least powerful models on our shortlist in terms of wattage, but that does not translate to a mixer that will leave you short of firepower.

An ergonomic sliding control gives you a choice of 10 speeds. Adjust these at any stage of mixing, from a very slow stir right through to a quick whip.

The 5-quart mixing bowl is made from hardwearing stainless steel and gives you more than enough latitude to whip up mid-sized batches of ingredients for a smaller family. If you have more substantial capacity requirements, we review plenty of beefier stand mixers below.

In common with many larger companies making great products, KitchenAid has a poor reputation for customer care. This gripe set aside, there’s not much else to knock about this stand mixer from the brand’s enduringly popular Artisan Series.

For some people, stand mixers are synonymous with KitchenAid, and this is certainly a safe bet for anyone looking for a smaller stand mixer.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Generous mixing bowl
  • 10 variable speeds
  • Impeccable brand heritage
  • Some issues with customer care

2. Cuisinart Stand Mixer

Cuisinart-SM-50-5.5-Quart-Stand-Mixer,-White

Features

  • Wattage: 500
  • Weight: 20.75 pounds
  • Dimensions: 14.17 x 7.87 x 14.13 inches

Alongside KitchenAid, Cuisinart is the other powerful player in this crowded market segment, and this highly capable stand mixer is another great option.

Made from a robust aluminum, this is one of the lighter mixers on our shortlist, making it an attractive travel model.

The motor is more powerful than that found on many competing small mixers in this class.

Capacity is 5.5 quarts, so you’re getting more than enough space considering the compact form factor. This mixer is a great bet if you live in an apartment or have limited space in your kitchen. It would also work well in a dorm room.

Attachments include:

  • Dough hook
  • Chef’s whisk
  • Flat mixing paddle splash guard

While this is not the most generous bundle, you’ll have all main bases covered, and you can’t ask for much more considering the overall performance on offer here. There is also a power outlet for attaching optional extras a required. These are available separately, so explore the rest of the Cuisinart range.

12 variable speeds allow you to stay in total control, matching the pace of mixing to the food in the generous bowl. Put simply, this is one of the best stand mixers you can find from a brand you can trust implicitly.

A few customers complain about dry ingredients smearing onto the sides of this mixer, but that’s about the extent of the blowback in a sea of positive user testimony.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Rugged but lightweight aluminum
  • Potent 500-watt motor
  • Basic attachments included
  • Dry ingredients stick to sides

3. Hamilton Beach Stand Mixer

Hamilton-Beach-6-Speed-Electric-Stand-Mixer-with-Stainless-Steel-3.5-Quart-Bowl

Features

  • Wattage: 300
  • Weight: 11.05 pounds
  • Dimensions: 14 x 14.5 x 14.5 inches

Hamilton Beach make a wide variety of affordable kitchenware and robust appliances that are always among the cheapest in the sector, but without ever stiffing you on the performance front.

This stand mixer is quite small, so avoid this if you’re looking to bake larger batches for the whole family. For singles, couples, or anyone making smaller batches of cookies or pizza, the limited capacity is offset by space-saving dimensions.

The head is designed to tilt up so you can more easily access the bowl. This streamlines both adding ingredients to the bowl and changing attachments.

You get the following attachments included:

  • Dough hook
  • Flat beater
  • Whisk

The bowl is stainless steel, so it will withstand plenty of punishment, and it’s also super-simple to keep clean. The detachable extras above are all safe to slide in the dishwasher for hands-free cleanup.

As an added kicker, despite the budget pricing, you get the same mixing mechanism here as you find on KitchenAid blenders, giving you enviable performance at a fraction of the cost. The planetary mixing action channels the ingredients all around the bowl, while minimizing the amount of food that sticks to the sides. What’s not to love?

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Stainless steel bowl
  • Dishwasher-safe attachments
  • Great price/performance ratio
  • 6 speeds limits your options

4. KitchenAid Professional Stand Mixer

KitchenAid-KP26M1XIC-Professional-600-Stand-Mixers,-6-quart,-Ice

Features

  • Wattage: 575
  • Weight: 25 pounds
  • Dimensions: 14.5 x 11.25 x 16.5 inches

Next up is another KitchenAid mixer in the form of the Professional 600. This is the slightly more powerful of a pair of similar options with a 575-watt motor.

You get 10 variable speeds, and you can tweak the speed of mixing at any stage of operations for a completely flexible experience.

As with all KitchenAid stand mixers, you can choose from a broad spread of colors to suit. While you’re not likely to be buying a mixer based primarily on aesthetics, it doesn’t hurt when they look this good.

The mixing bowl has a handle and is made from stainless steel, so it’s super-simple to wield, and it’s also built to last.

There is a nifty bowl-lift function baked in, ideal when you’re working with bigger batches or especially heavy ingredients.

While the vast bulk of user reviews for the KitchenAid Professional 600 stand mixer are positive, we found a few complaints about this model struggling with dough.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • 10 attachments available
  • Variable speed with 10 settings
  • Oversized mixing bowl
  • Doesn’t cope with dough confidently

5. Wolf Gourmet High-Performance Stand Mixer

Wolf-Gourmet-High-Performance-Stand-Mixer

Features

  • Horsepower: 1/3
  • Weight: 35.6 pounds
  • Dimensions: 20 x 19.5 x 13.3 inches

If you’re looking for an upscale stand mixer and you don’t mind digging deep for the privilege, you should investigate the mighty Wolf Gourmet. What do you get for your money, then?

Unlike many cheaper stand mixers with a preponderance of plastic, this model is made from stainless steel throughout. This mixer not only makes a commanding statement on the kitchen counter. Once you fire up the Wolf, you’ll be powering through even stubborn ingredients without resistance.

With a variable infinite speed dial, controlling a mixer has never been easier. Take advantage of the pulse feature to slowly and methodically incorporate your ingredients.

An attachment port allows you to attach a bunch of accessories like meat grinders. These are available separately and at extra cost. As standard, you receive the following:

  • Dough hook
  • Whisk
  • Flat beater
  • Pouring shield and splash

Thanks to the motor and gearing on this stand mixer, you’ll find working with dough a cinch, something that can’t be said for all the mixers on our shortlist.

With one easy turn of a handle, you can lift the mixing up and it locks neatly into place. Using this thing is a cakewalk.

While this is certainly not the cheapest stand mixer you can find, it stands right up there with the very best. If you can afford it, you won’t be disappointed.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Rugged stainless steel chassis and bowl
  • Very powerful motor
  • Seamless attachment changing
  • Ruthlessly expensive

6. KitchenAid Pro Line Stand Mixer

KitchenAid-KSM7586POB-7-Quart-Pro-Line-Stand-Mixer-Onyx-Black

Features

  • Horsepower: 1/3
  • Weight: 31 pounds
  • Dimensions: 16.5 x 14 x 11.5 inches

As you’ll now see quite clearly, KitchenAid dominate this vertical with a deep bench of highly effective stand mixers, including this powerful model from the Pro Line. How does it stack up, then?

Firstly, you get a combination of the rugged build and precision engineering KitchenAid blenders are famous for.

Made from stainless steel, you’ll get an impressive lifespan from this mixer, and you’ll also get a generous mixing bowl capacity with the room for 16 cups of flour. At 7 quarts, this bulbous bowl is ideal for baking bigger batches. The bowl has a handle to simplify shifting it around.

This is the largest residential stand mixer in this class with a bowl lift and you should make sure you have the space on the kitchen counter to accommodate. If you do, you’ll be getting one of the best stand mixers on the market, even if it’s quite costly.

Attachments are limited to the three core basics bundled with most blenders:

  • Dough hook
  • Flat beater
  • Wire whip

Take advantage of the power hub to attach these or any of the other 15 optional attachments allowing you to create your own mini culinary center.

While we can’t pretend this KitchenAid mixer is cheap, it represents outstanding overall value if you look beyond the sticker price.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Efficient bowl-lift mechanism
  • Generous capacity
  • Exceptional build quality
  • Certainly not cheap

7. Hamilton Beach Electric Stand Mixer

Hamilton-Beach-Electric-Stand-Mixer,-4-Quarts

Features

  • Wattage: 300
  • Weight: 12.48 pounds
  • Dimensions: 10.4 x 15.55 x 16.3 inches

If you like the look of the above KitchenAid model but can’t quite stretch to the steep price tag, the first of another pair of blenders from Hamilton Beach is up next at a much less aggressive price.

While most Hamilton Beach gear is solidly built, this blender has a lot of plastic parts, and several users have complained about build quality issues.

From a design standpoint, you’ll have no complaints here, with the aesthetics belying the budget pricing.

7 variable speeds gives you just enough choice, while stopping short of the 10 speeds or more available on superior stand mixers.

The 300-watt motor generates more than enough power for a compact stand mixer like this. The 4-quart capacity is impressive considering the scaled-down dimensions of this thing.

The planetary mixing mechanism ensures all your ingredients are evenly mixed rather than smeared around the sides of the bowl.

Hamilton Beach markets this model heavily on the basis of it featuring the same mechanism as KitchenAid mixers. This is no way implies an affiliation between these two companies, and you shouldn’t be overly hung up on this claim.

Overall, despite not being the perfect stand mixer, this model is not without merit, and it’s also one of the most affordable models in this market segment.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Sleek design
  • Multiple colorways
  • Great value for money
  • Build quality could be improved

8. Hamilton Beach Classic Hand and Stand Mixer

Hamilton-Beach-Classic-Hand-and-Stand-Mixer

Features

  • Wattage: 250
  • Weight: 6.78 pounds
  • Dimensions: 13.25 x 8.2 x 14.25 inches

Next up for something slightly different with another entry from the Hamilton Beach stable. This combination hand and stand mixer is the new and improved version of a discontinued alternative.

While you’re getting a lightweight, portable, and space-saving mixer here, the mixing bowl offers a spacious 4-quart capacity, making this model ideal for singles, couples, or small families.

The 250-watt motor is small compared to some of the beefier mixers on our shortlist, but relative to the size of this unit, it’s more than fit for purpose.

The stainless steel mixing bowl is large enough to accommodate all your favorite ingredients, and it’s also safe to slide in the dishwasher when you’re done.

While most user reviews of this model are pretty positive, we found several gripes about both the noise and the mess. We feel you need to make some concessions at this price point, and neither of these issues are liable to be deal breakers, unless you live somewhere that noise is a pressing issue.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Combination stand and hand mixer
  • Compact footprint
  • Generous mixing bowl capacity
  • Mixer is loud and messy

9. SMEG Retro Stand Mixer

Smeg-1950's-Retro-Style-Aesthetic-Stand-Mixer-(Cream)

Features

  • Wattage: 600
  • Weight: 19.42 pounds
  • Dimensions: 8.86 x 15.94 x 14.88 inches

SMEG are perhaps best known for their iconic refrigerators, and this stand mixer continues that retro styling with a modern twist. What are you getting aside from that brand heritage and those show-stopping good looks, though?

The first thing that stands out about this mixer is the rock-solid build quality. Once you look beyond this, you’ll then appreciate the attention to detail extending throughout. The most notable example of this is the non-stick treatment applied to the accessories to make your mixing experience even more seamless.

With a powerful 600-watt motor under the hood, you’ll have ample power in reserve, even if you’re working with more demanding ingredients.

This motor is direct drive, and it’s married to 10 variable speeds. Alter these as you work with a range of ingredients, always generating the texture and consistency you want.

You can choose this SMEG is a wide range of colors to suit your kitchen, and if you look beyond the bottom line, we feel you’ll find this stand mixer is great value over the course of its lengthy lifespan.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Unbeatable brand image
  • Non-stick coating on accessories
  • Highly efficient mechanism
  • Quite costlyV

10. COOKLEE Stand Mixer

COOKLEE-Stand-Mixer,-9.5-Qt.-660W-10-Speed-Electric-Kitchen-Mixer

Features

  • Wattage: 660
  • Weight: 19.42 pounds
  • Dimensions: 16.6 x 10.6 x 14.2 inches

Last but not least in our curated list of the best stand mixers comes a pocket-friendly model from COOKLEE, so how does it shape up?

In terms of both wattage and capacity, this affordable stand mixer delivers in fine style. Rated at 660 watts, the mixer gives you all the firepower you need for even the most challenging ingredients.

The 9.5-quart capacity allows you the scope to whip up larger batches of dough and batter in one go.

As with all the best stand mixers, you benefit from variable speed. Tweak the pace of this mixer to suit the ingredients you’re working with using a simple dial numbered from 1 through 10.

Many people are put off investing in a stand mixer because of the perceived mess generated and the difficulty of cleanup. COOKLEE get around this by ensuring that all the components are removable and dishwasher-friendly.

You’ll get the following accessories bundled:

  • Dough hook
  • Wire whip
  • Flat beater
  • Pouring shield

While no stand mixer runs whisper-quiet, this unit has a few complaints concerning the amount of noise it generates. If you are living in an environment where noise is problematic, explore one of the others mixers on our shortlist. If you’re prepared to tolerate this racket for the capacity and power on offer, you’ll be delighted with the COOKLEE.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • 10 variable speeds
  • Impressive 9.5-quart capacity
  • Dishwasher-safe attachments
  • Makes a fair amount of noise

II. FAQs

1) What is the importance of speed settings on stand mixers, and how many speeds should I look out for?

Most stand mixers have between 3 and 12 speed settings, with 10 the sweet spot. Every good mixer in this class will come with a slow start function. This allows you to slowly incorporate your ingredients without making a huge mess in the kitchen. Slow speed or 1 is ideal for starting up your mixer and for combining any dry ingredients. Low speed (2) is perfect for cutting in butter or slowly mixing any heavy batter. When you step up to medium-low (4), you’ll be able to beat up egg whites or mix cookie dough. Medium speed (6) is great for beating frostings or creaming butter. Medium-high (8) is great for beating more rapidly, or for whipping cream or meringues. High speed (10+) is ideal if you need to quickly whip a small amount of cream or eggs.

2) How do I most effectively incorporate ingredients in my stand mixer?

As a general benchmark, add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. With flour, add this in stages, per the recipe. This allows the fat to properly coat the flour, and stops the gluten from developing. Resultantly, you’ll get light, fluffy baked goods with tender insides.

3) How do I maintain my stand mixer?

You should always ensure that the bottom of your attachments are touching the mixing bowl at all times. Periodically sweep your mixer for loose screws, and tighten these as required. After each use, wipe down the exterior of the mixer with a damp cloth. Remove any detachable parts and either pop them in the dishwasher if indicated, or wash with some warm soapy water by hand. Allow to dry naturally before replacing. Take care of these basics, and you’ll get plenty of faithful service from your stand mixer.


III. Conclusion

Maybe you arrived here today after being intrigued by our look at Vitamix blenders. Perhaps you’ve been looking to replace an existing stand mixer and you’re hunting for inspiration. Whatever your reasons for buying, you’ll now be in a position to quickly and easily compare all the best mixers in this class to maximize your chances of finding the right one for you.

Before you head off, bookmark Madiba and make a point of coming back very soon!

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