Best food mixers 2018

If you love baking, a stand mixer is an ideal investment. They're also good for general whipping, mixing and kneading tasks. We picked our five favourite machines.

Find out more about our BBC Good Food reviews.
 

Tefal Kitchen Machine

Tefal machine in white

Best bits: Versatile, small kitchen footprint and plenty of functions. 

This compact food mixer tackled the basics with ease. Cake batter was a breeze and the splash guard fits well so you don't get any big clouds of flour. The revolving attachments don’t get in the way when pouring in liquids unlike some machines. The only negative came when kneading bread dough – a little too much clearance between dough hook and bowl hindered efficiency. The blender, grating and slicing attachments were an unexpected bonus and were easy to attach and use. The 4.6l bowl and 900W motor are great for making big batches too.

 

Kenwood HM680 Chefette hand/stand mixer
Kenwood food mixer

Best bits: Easy to use and handy pulse function.

If you’re after a machine for simply whipping egg whites or light batters this is a good starter model. An updated version of a 1970’s classic, this is a hand mixer with a stand and rotating bowl. It isn’t hugely powerful, although you can whip up a huge amount of mixture as the bowl has a 3L capacity. The hand mixer attachment has five speeds and a pulse function for folding, which is particularly useful for making meringues. It's great for whipping up pancake batters too, but anything thicker such as fruitcake will require a dedicated stand mixer.

 

Sage by Heston Blumenthal, The Scraper Mixer Pro
Sage blender

Best bits: Innovative functions. 

This contraption is called a scraper mixer due to its special ‘scraper beater’, which cleans the sides and bottom of the bowl in order to incorporate as much as air as possible – ideal for cake-making. The variable speed setting means the 1000W of power is tough enough for dough and nimble enough for whipping up peaks in a meringue. The controls are easy to use and see, thanks to the light-up display, and automatic sensors detect when heavy batters are being mixed and automatically adjust power to maintain the right speed.

 

 
 

KitchenAid Artisan stand mixer 
Copper food mixer

Best bits: Quiet motor, chic design and easy to navigate.

An iconic kitchen gadget, this is a serious piece of kit. The 5½L  bowl can accommodate up to 1.2kg of flour and the metal beaters made deft work of everything we threw at it, from meringues to burger mix. While the motor isn’t the most powerful, it has ten speed settings. The solid cast zinc casing means it’s heavy and large so do take this into consideration if you're short on space. Gadget fiends can supplement their basic mixer with all manner of accessories, from mincers to spiralizers.

 


Morphy Richards folding stand mixer
Red folding food mixer

Best bits: Folds down for storage and is easy to clean. 

Great for the smaller kitchen, the arm of this clever mixer folds down to a third of its assembled height. The motor is only 300W, however, which means that while it will make fluffy meringues and a light sponge, it may struggle when making something like a heavy bread dough. It's incredibly easy to put together and you can manually change the direction of the bowl as it rotates. We had to scrape the bowl down a few times, but this is a minor moan for a great value machine.

 

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How to buy a food mixer

Why buy?

A stand mixer's main tasks are mixing cakes, kneading dough, whipping and whisking. Stand mixers excel at these tasks – much more so than food processors, due to their large capacities and big, metal balloon whisks. Essentially they take the hard work out of making large batches of cakes, doughs or batters.

What should I buy?

Get the biggest machine you can afford so you don’t have to do several batches for one recipe, but remember to think about whether you’ll be able to store attachments and the equipment itself. Every model should come with a dough hook, a balloon whisk attachment and a beater tool. Popular attachments like meat grinders and electric pasta machines are useful but can be tricky to use and don’t utilise the mixer’s powerful motor or large bowl.

What we looked for

1. A sturdy mixer. That didn’t jump around the worksurface when mixing heavy dough.

2. Incorporating all ingredients. A machine that efficiently mixed all the ingredients at the same time. 

3. Washing up. Washing your stand mixer's attachments by hand can be a real pain so we looked for dishwasher-safe accessories to make cleaning less of a headache.

This review was last updated in August 2018. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at goodfoodwebsite@bbc.com

Are you a fan of food mixers? Share your product recommendations with us below...

Comments, questions and tips

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flexi31
8th Oct, 2018
Why no price indication as many of us can not afford hundred of pounds on kitchen aids!!
togyftaki
11th Sep, 2016
I have a Kitchen Aid Classic and I love it. It was a present from my mother-in-law for our wedding and we, a family of four, use it every weekend when we are at home and actually it is the only two days that we cook and bake like maniacs. So far so good, no problems and my husband who is particularly picky with his gadgets, makes the most of it without any complaint. A friend of mine gave me to try her Thermomix , the latest TM5. Wow! It does everything you dream of with the least effort. Actually, having a robot like TM5 means that you don't need to have any other equipment other than the mandolin that I read here. AMAZING! and not only amazing as a mixer, but also you can have a huge selection of recipes at hand not only from the newly launched cookidoo.co.uk but also from all the Thermomix users recipes platforms and websites. It is quite expensive but if you think how much money you need to buy all the kitchen equipment you need, then you will be surprised to find out that it is the money you need for a TM5. In my next Santa Claus list I will include, definitely, a TM5.
Shellbelle14
16th Jul, 2016
I can't live without my good old Kenwood Chef. My mum let me have hers when she got a newer model and I don't care if it's over 20 years old! I make bread, I have several attachments like the mincer and spice mill. I love it ! Barely a weekend goes by when it isn't called into service
annierhee
6th Jul, 2016
Thermomix is the very best product on the market, albeit rather expensive. I really don't understand why it hasn't been embraced by the British public as much as it has on the continent. You can throw away blenders, mixers, dough hooks and so forth. It makes perfect bread mixes, perfect pastry, perfect egg white mixes for pavlova and meringues, not to mention soups, stews and it even shreds and cleans lettuce. And it cooks whatever you want to make, for example, a cottage pie, in one hit. I'm a total convert. The only piece of equipment I've had to buy is a mandolin as it doesn't slice. Thermomix can only be bought via an agent, but you get such good 'after care' with recipes and cookery schools always on tap.
jenclews's picture
jenclews
3rd Jun, 2016
I have had a KitchenAid Artisan for 4 years. It's never missed a beat, and I am a serious cake maker and (home) artisan bread maker - I haven't bought bread in years. I regularly make heavy doughs using 1kg of flour and wet doughs like ciabatta, where the mixer gets a serious workout and I haven't had a problem. I had to contact KitchenAid a couple of years ago when I had an issue with the dough hook, they replaced it without charge as my mixer was still under warranty. I was so impressed with the KA I've since bought a KA toaster, coffee maker and kettle! :-)
rebeccalevasseur
30th Apr, 2016
I love my KitchenAid mixer. I have had same mixer for over 31 years. I use it and attachments often, sometimes daily, and it's still going strong.
Edrini
6th Dec, 2015
Where can I buy a Swan SP20140SSN professional mixer ? Edrin
rozy
15th Oct, 2015
I like to buy Kitchenaid and I live in India. You have mentioned about Kitchenaid Uk website. Could you please tell me about India website?
Chef Kevin Ashton's picture
Chef Kevin Ashton
19th Jan, 2015
Being a chef and food writer myself, I'm suprised you didn't take a look at the two Andrew James table top mixers. Yes, Kitchen Aid still has a good reputation but not everyone can afford to spend £389 on a mixer. If you do a little research you'd find many good reviews of these already on the internet, which begs the question how you arrived a your choice of machines to review? Putting the name BBC Good Food adds credence and value to any review but only if the writer properly researches the current choices.
beamuffin
19th Oct, 2014
no Thermomix mentioned, what a shame! It's my most essential kitchen gadget for 14 years now!

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farpoint
2nd Jan, 2014
Has anyone tested the Andrew James stand mixer
cartel_molloy
20th May, 2014
I have an Andrew James stand mixer. Very sturdy, several speeds plus pulse, large mixing bowl. I make my own bread using this mixer 2/3 times a week, and it is man enough for the job. When mixing batters for cakes, you do have to stop a few times to mix all the ingredients, and only use it for very large batters. Whisking meringues is easy too, but you need at least 4 egg whites.
darlingeric
1st Jan, 2014
Loved this review as I am trying to decide whether to buy a food mixer or processor. I want something that will do everything but because I'm not really into making cakes ( I have a bread maker) but I do cook often, so have you a review on processors?
bacon-n-egg
29th Aug, 2014
Magimix is a fantastic reliable processor - any processor where you can add or buy replacement parts is a must.
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