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A stand mixer (also sometimes called a food mixer) can be a big investment, but for keen cooks and bakers it’s likely to be a worthwhile one.
Thanks to the multiple attachments and large capacity of the bowl, these machines excel at making cakes, kneading dough, whipping and whisking and work far more effectively than food processors in this respect.
Essentially they take the hard work out of making large batches of cakes, doughs, meringues or batters. Read on to find our best buys.
The best food mixers to buy
Kenwood HM680 Chefette hand/stand mixer
Pros: 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.
Pros: innovative functionsThis 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
Pros: 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.
Which food mixer 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.
How we tested food mixers
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 January 2020. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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