In fact, I saved energy by pulling out my stand mixer anytime a recipe even hinted at long mixing times or kneading of any kind. Michael Gray don + Nicole HerriottBut enough about my love for the stand mixer: Let’s nail down what exactly it is, how it works, and, most importantly, whether you need one.
These three attachments cover most of the bases for an average home baker, from creaming butter to beating egg whites to kneading dough. Stand mixers come in an array of sizes, generally distinguished by the volume of the mixing bowl: Some brands even offer miniature sizes for more compact kitchens, smaller yields, and people who have trouble moving the heavier, more unwieldy models.
Generally, the bowl-lift varieties are better for people working with large batches, as they’re typically equipped with larger bowls While stand mixers are often dismissed as an unnecessary baking splurge (and, yes, they’ll put you out anywhere from $200 to $500), they can be real game changers.
They’re essential for anyone baking with an injury or disability, and they also make life easier for people who just prefer to avoid the intensive work of kneading or creaming for long periods of time (ahem, me). Save up for the ice cream maker, or the pasta roller, or the spiralizer and that’s three fewer appliances to add to your wish list.
But if you’re looking to make pillow brioche, towering peaks of stiff meringue, sweeping spreads of focaccia, or decadent buttercream frosting, you can’t do without it. If you’re intrigued by the idea of owning one but worry about whether you’ll make the most of it, here’s a good test : Start with a trusty hand mixer.
You can make anything from bread, cake, homemade guacamole, and even fresh pasta with the right attachments. Kitchen stand mixers are considered top of the line now and it’s easy to see why.
They have strong motors that are fantastic for mixing cookies and cakes, the planetary mixing action ensures even ingredient distribution, and they are highly versatile (check out our article on 15 Creative Stand Mixer Uses to see how much you can do!). On average, Kitchen has more speeds, features, and attachments than either Hamilton Beach or Cuisinart.
Most KitchenAidmixers have a tilt-head that makes it easy to load and remove the mixing bowl. One of the best things is that Kitchen has a power hub where you can add various attachments to grind meat, make pasta, and much more.
Kitchen is also consistently rated as one of the best on Amazon (we compared the best vs worst stand mixer if you’re curious). In terms of Kitchen vs Hamilton Beach, these mixers are stronger, more versatile, have more accessories, and they look better.
We suggest choosing one of the stronger mixers if you’re looking for homemade bread (especially if it’s a hearty rustic loaf). The bodies are strong, the motors are powerful, and you get a lot of bang for your buck.
The Artisan Design is a powerhouse, plus it’s very versatile with the Kitchen hub and its numerous attachments. The glass 5-quart mixing bowl is large enough for 9 dozen cookies and there are five different mixer colors to choose from.
As the name suggests, this is a professional mixer best for those who bake for a living or are serious about their breads, cakes, and cookies. You get all the standard Kitchen attachments along with a massive 6-quart mixing bowl, which is large enough for 13 dozen cookies.
If you intend on moving your stand mixer a lot (like from cabinet to counter), then this could be perfect for you. This means the unit struggles to keep up with the motor, which can sometimes result in uneven mixing.
However, if you’re patient and watch the mixer, it should deliver middle of the road results. The lighter body might cause the mixer to shake at higher speeds, so be careful of this.
This affordable mixer boasts a powerful 350-watt motor and a sizable 3.5-quart metal mixing bowl. Available with 12 speeds, a variety of attachments, and die-cast metal design, this is a surprisingly robust model for such a cheap price.
This mid-tier mixer has a strong 500-watt motor that can power through breads, cookies, and cakes with ease. By far the strongest stand mixer on this list, the Cuisinart SM-55 clocks in at 800 watts, which should make easy work of rustic bread dough and anything else you can throw at it.
Along with 12 speed settings, a die-cast metal body, and a large 5.5-quart stainless steel mixing bowl, this also has a built-in timer and all the attachments you need for making the best homemade dough. Despite its weaker motor and lower price, Hamilton Beach stand mixers are usually good for small to medium batches and some users even claim you can make bread if you’re careful.
In terms of Hamilton Beach vs Cuisinart mixers, these are both light but the compact body allows Hamilton Beach to avoid the shaking issue associated with Cuisinart mixers. At the same time, Hamilton Beach motors are weaker and best for softer dough.
While some users swear they can make bread with Hamilton Beach, it’s probably best to stay away from tough jobs like this. You’ll likely have to stop mixing, open the mixer, add your ingredients, and then turn it back on.
This compact stand mixer will easily fit on your counter and it’s great for softer dough. The 3.5-quart stainless steel mixing bowl hold a good amount of ingredients and this is great for couples or even small families.
This is just like the other Hamilton Beach mixer, but a little bigger, stronger, and with an extra speed setting. With a tilt-head design and dial for setting speeds, this is both a versatile and intuitive mixer you’re sure to love.
The Electrics mixer boasts the same mixing action as Kitchen, plus it has 12 speed settings and a strong 400-watt motor. If you want a more affordable stand mixer with premium features and lots of power, then give the Hamilton Beach Electrics a try.
These mixers deliver fantastic power, even distribution, are strong enough for bread dough, and have the most speeds, attachments, and accessories. It is marred somewhat by the lighter body since it can’t keep up with the motor, but they’re lower price mitigates that issue.
Just keep a watchful eye on the mixer and you’ll be mixing any dough with ease. Hamilton Beach is surprisingly versatile considering their low price.
Kohl's, Target, and Amazon have been known to offer steep discounts on KitchenAidmixers over holiday weekends and on Black Friday. Also, check the Kitchen website for rebates and other discounts, and if you don't mind a secondhand machine, look out for a refurbished model.
That doesn't count limited-edition shades, store exclusives, partnerships (like the pink machine that supports Susan G. Women's fight to cure breast cancer), or different models. There are two key styles of Kitchen stand mixer: the tilt-head model, where you push the top of the mixer back to pour ingredients directly into the bowl, and the bowl-lift design, which essentially picks up the bowl and brings it to the beaters.
Greenville, Ohio, has two claims to fame: It's the birthplace of Annie Oakley, and it's home to the Kitchen factory. The latter brings in droves of tourists who come to see the production lines, watch cooking demos, take baking classes, and shop the rainbow of mixers at the Kitchen Retail Experience.
Most people are familiar with the 4.5-quart and 5-quart Artisan mixers or the big brothers, the 6-quart to 7-quart Professional series. Georgetown Cupcake has a Swarovski crystal-covered mixer in just about every store, and Etsy is chock-full of decals you can buy to add polka dots, chevron print, or a Mickey Mouse cutout to your machine.
Candace Braun Davison Deputy Editor Candace Braun Davison writes, edits, and produces lifestyle content that ranges from celebrity features to roll-up-your-sleeves Days, all while relentlessly pursuing the noblest of causes: the quest for the world's best chocolate chip cookie. This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses.
Plus, there are tons of options to choose from, ranging from budget-friendly basics to feature-rich models with stylish hues and designs. We combed through dozens of best-selling stand mixers to see which tools not only garnered top-notch ratings, but also have thousands of reviews from people who've actually used them.
The brand introduced the stand mixer to American homes back in 1919 and has held a devoted following ever since. Its celebrated Artisan Series 5-Quart Stand Mixer is a kitchen classic, designed with ten speeds and a powerful motor to easily whip, knead, and mix ingredients.
It features a 300-watt motor and the same planetary mixing rotation as a Kitchen to thoroughly incorporate ingredients into batter and dough. Choose between seven different speeds, including a gentle folding setting; the gadget’s non-slip feet keep the mixer from rocking as it works.
Additionally, the Hamilton Beach comes with a splash guard, dough hook, whisk, and flat beater for a variety of baking projects, and its four-quart stainless steel bowl is dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning. Thousands of shoppers, including hundreds who gave the mixers five stars on Amazon, swear by the appliance’s effectiveness.
“I just didn’t want to pay $400 plus for another Kitchen, and was excited to find the Hamilton Beach for a fifth the price,” one reviewer said. More than 2,900 Amazon shoppers have given the Dash Stand Mixer a perfect rating, saying it’s ideal for simple baking projects.
If you’re ready for a top-of-the-line mixer for superior baking, Ankarsrum’s Original Kitchen Machine is an excellent choice. Made of incredibly sturdy chrome and steel, the 600-watt mixer is strong enough to mix heavy dough and feasted breads without overheating.
Additionally, the Ankarsrum’s unique motor-in-base design gives several advantages: It keeps the mixer from rocking as it works, makes it much easier to add ingredients to the bowl, and means the machine fits conveniently under overhead cabinets. What’s more, the base turns on its side to transform into a wide variety of other kitchen tools, including a juicer, a blender, a meat grinder, and a pasta maker.
The Ankarsrum Original Kitchen Machine is so popular that it’s earned a noteworthy 4.7-star rating from hundreds of reviewers who say the device is powerful, durable, and high-quality. “After burning up my third Kitchen for home use, mainly bread making, I gave up,” a reviewer who is a professional baker wrote.
New bakers who want fluffy dinner rolls or stunning layer cakes should start with a versatile, reliable mixer. The machine is Amazon’s choice for stand mixers and features a heavy-duty motor and easy-to-use speed dial for exceptional results.
From slowly mixing in chunky ingredients like nuts to quickly whipping egg whites, ACMA’s stand mixer is flexible enough for a wide range of recipes. Its double-handed stainless steel bowl is roomy enough for big batches, and the appliance comes with a beater, dough hook, and whisk for all your baking projects.
For a phenomenal machine that even professional bakers turn to, check out Kitchen ’s Commercial Countertop Mixer. Built to hold up to 16 cups of flour, this appliance is big enough to handle even your most substantial projects with ease.
Unlike its Artisan line, Kitchen ’s commercial model has a bowl-lift design, where the mixer head remains stationary. You’ll find tons of happy customers who’ve left reviews on Kitchen ’s site, including one who said, “I have a cottage baking business and make a lot of products, especially artisan bread, and needed a large capacity mixer that can handle six to eight loaves at a time.
The mighty appliance features a 660-watt motor, a tilt-head design, and even a pouring shield to prevent splatters and messes. Amazon reviewers say the stand mixer is a great size for big baking projects and compliment the machine’s thoughtful design features.
It also comes with a variety of attachments, including a chef’s whisk, dough hook, and a flat mixing paddle. Users confirm that the Cuisinart appliance is sturdy, precise, and able to tackle a wide range of recipes.
Its 3.5-quart stainless steel bowl is outfitted with a handle for convenient pouring and can hold enough dough for five dozen cookies. “I’m an everyday cook, but I didn’t need my large and heavy mixer,” one SUR La Table customer wrote.
Meg’s sleek stand mixer features the brand’s characteristic bright colors and retro ’50s style, in addition to impressive engineering. “It can start at a low speed, which means there is less mess especially when using flour or icing sugar which can usually make a dust cloud when using a hand mixer.