wikiHow to Buy a Kitchen Mixer

Stand mixers are some of the most expensive small kitchen appliances available. Because a mixer can represent such a large investment, and because it will take up a good amount of space in your kitchen, planning the purchase carefully is important. Deciding to buy a kitchen mixer is a matter of assessing your needs, comparing different makes and models, and choosing the right mixer for you. A good stand mixer will allow you perform many tasks with ease and will last a lifetime.


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    Determine whether you need a stand mixer. Stands mixers are expensive, heavy, and large, so it is important to assess whether you really need one. Consider your baking habits to make this decision. If you bake several times per month, make bread often (or want to), or bake for large gatherings, a stand mixer is usually a good investment.
    • A smaller investment that is more appropriate for lighter baking loads is a hand mixer. Hand mixers are cheaper, smaller, and lighter than stand mixers. Electric models typically have several speeds, and can easily handle light tasks such as bringing batter together or whipping egg whites.
    • An even smaller investment is a manual whisk. A whisk is an essential kitchen tool, and is very inexpensive and lightweight. A whisk may be perfectly adequate if you bake and mix infrequently, or only mix small amounts.
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    Assess your power and capacity needs. Stand mixers are available in a range of different power levels and bowl capacities. The more frequently you bake and the larger amount of ingredients you mix at once, the more power and capacity you need.
    • The most important aspect is the mixing bowl capacity. If you intend to mix large amounts of ingredients, a large bowl (on the order of 6 quarts / 5.7 liters) is a necessity. However, if you will be mixing small amounts, a larger bowl can actually be more cumbersome and difficult to use.
    • Power levels correspond with the mixing ability of the beaters. A high power level of around 600 watts is best for heavy use. Note, however, that the correlation is not precise. Some stand mixers will consume more power due to inefficient design, so the power consumption does not directly indicate motor strength.
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    Evaluate the construction quality of different stand mixer models. A good stand mixer should be able to handle some abuse, both from user handling and from the resistance of the ingredients being mixed.
    • Choose a mixer with a hefty weight. Heavy mixers can be more difficult to lift out of cabinets and onto the counter top, but they minimize movement during use. This is especially useful when mixing thick bread or cookie dough.
    • Look for a stand mixer with metal gears. The gears that set the ratio between the motor and the beaters should be made from metal, not nylon or another synthetic material. Metal gears are louder, but are much less prone to stripping and deterioration than nylon ones.
    • Consider the exterior finish of the stand mixer. The finish will not affect performance, but it impacts the appliance's aesthetic appeal. A metal exterior will resist scratching and deformation better than a plastic exterior. If different paint colors are available for a particular model, you will be better able to coordinate it with your d├ęcor.
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    Consider any additional features that you want. All stand mixers will feature a range of speed settings, but some will offer additional features.
    • A range of different mixing motions can be very helpful. Inexpensive mixers will have a stationary beater shaft, but some models will feature options such as "planetary" motion, in which the beaters rotate while the shaft moves over a large circle. This helps keep ingredients from sticking to the sides of the mixing bowl.
    • A locking mechanism is also useful. Stand mixers that have heads that lock into place will prevent ingredients from being scattered if the mixer is jarred.


  • Before buying a stand mixer, you can check to see what types of attachments are available from that manufacturer. Some manufacturers produce attachments varying from cheese graters to food processors.

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Categories: Care and Use of Cooking Equipment