For an avid home baker, a stand mixer is a must-have. This kitchen gadget makes baking a breeze, simplifying dough prep and beating egg whites, whipping cream and more without tiring out your arm. Even regular cooks can appreciate a stand mixer’s ability to make the fluffiest mashed potatoes, perfectly combine ingredients for meatballs and shred chicken or pork.
Here’s a look at the variety of stand-mixer sizes, price ranges and features you’ll encounter.
Our Stand Mixer Buying Guide
Now that you’ve decided to add a stand mixer to your arsenal of kitchen gadgets, there are a few things to consider:
Size and Weight
Large mixers are a winner for anyone who bakes throughout the week or needs to feed a hungry family. If you opt for a larger stand mixer, it’s important to remember it needs a powerful motor to properly knead dough. Your new mixer should also be fairly heavy to keep from shimmying around on your countertop.
If you cook for two or have a small kitchen with limited counter space, you’ll definitely want to consider a smaller model. The standard size bowl is between 4.5 and 5.5 quarts, which is perfect for most cakes and homemade frostings. Smaller models are easier to move from cupboard to countertop, an absolute essential if you don’t plan on using your mixer on a regular basis.
Larger sizes can range from 6 to 8 quarts, which is ideal for all the bake sale heroes out there!
Stand mixers are available at all price levels and the best of the best will set you back hundreds of dollars. The price of these machines is based on factors like brand name, capacity and features, plus any special attachments. The good news is that you can pick up a quality stand mixer for around $100. Some are available at lower prices; however, these mixers tend to be less sturdy and may break down with repeated heavy use.
A great stand mixer is an investment for your kitchen, so it might be worth spending the extra cash.
A general guideline is to pick up the most powerful mixer in your budget range. The higher the wattage, the more powerful the motor, which means you can safely mix sturdier dough. (Keep our best recipes for homemade bread handy!)
Test Kitchen tip: Aim for 300 watts and higher.
Features and Accessories
From speed settings to attachments, you’ll want to compare the available features on the models you’re considering. Opt for a stand mixer that has multiple speed settings and comes with whisks, a dough hook and a paddle for the best value.
Every stand mixer on the market has a wide selection of accessories you can buy to get the most out of this brilliant gadget. There’s a KitchenAid attachment for everything, including homemade ice cream and fresh pasta.