When you are in the kitchen, and you are cooking up your newest culinary masterpiece, you will need a good assortment of appliances to ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible. For example, you will find it very difficult to make a good pair of fried eggs without a pan which will ensure that they don’t stick and burn.
While cookware and utensils are essential, you will find that they are a little more replaceable than some of the larger, more expensive appliances that you will come across.
When you are equipping your kitchen, you will want to ensure that you can get the best possible appliances for the most reasonable price possible.
In today’s article, we are going to be looking at a kitchen appliance which is far more versatile than some of the competing products that you will come across.
This machine is capable of doing it all. From making ice cream to mixing a cake batter, you will find that stand mixers are some of the best kitchen appliances around.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, we should ensure that all of our readers are on the same page when it comes to what a stand mixer is. A stand mixer is not one of those kitchen appliances with a wildly misleading name. These products are precisely what they sound like: they are mixers which are attached to a stand, but they are also so much more than that.
You may be wondering why you would need a stand for your kitchen mixer. There are a few reasons why attaching a mixer to a stand makes it far more convenient to use while you are cooking, but we will take a look at those reasons in a few moments. First, we would like to go over what makes a stand mixer worth the price.
While stand mixers are usually much more expensive than handheld mixers and other types of mixers, you will find that they are also far more capable in exchange for this price. Stand mixers are capable of so much more than a regular mixer because they are compatible with a wide range of accessories.
These accessories are not simple pieces of equipment that will make your mixer slightly more accessible to the average user. The things that you can purchase and attach to a stand mixer tend to be varied and capable of a wide range of applications. This is what makes these products so versatile.
We would argue that one of the best qualities of a stand mixer is the wide range of applications in which it may be used. If you are just getting started with your kitchen and you want a product which is sure to provide the most value for money possible, you will find that a stand mixer is an excellent choice.
Comparison Between Stand Mixer And Hand Mixer
As you may have guessed, a stand mixer is quite similar to a hand mixer which is attached to a stand for greater stability and the elimination of the need to hold it. You may be wondering just how much more useful a mixer can become when you don’t have to hold it while it is in use.
The fact of the matter is that a stand mixer is not only more convenient than a hand mixer due to the stand, but it is also far more capable. Since you no longer need to hold your stand mixer, you will find that it can be considerably heavier than your average hand mixer, which means that it can also be far more capable.
In addition to the extra power that you can get out of a heavier mixer, you will find that models which are based on stands can accommodate a much wider range of extras. For example, most of the accessories that we will be discussing for stand mixers would be impossible to implement on a hand mixer.
While we will not speak about the specifics of these particular attachments in this section (refer to our detailed attachment list further down), keep in mind that they help your cooking immensely. Of course, there is also the matter of sheer convenience. You will find that a stand mixer is immensely more comfortable to use than a hand mixer.
Since you will no longer need to hold the mixer and ensure that every part of your food is mixed, you can focus your attention on another part of the cooking process. Being able to do something else while your batter is mixing will increase the speed and efficiency with which you can cook.
Stand mixers also tend to be more reliable than hand mixers since they can mount larger electric motors which will drive the mixing action. A larger motor will need to cram fewer parts into a small space which means that it will be more powerful and less susceptible to overheating than a small motor.
Of course, there is always the matter of cost to account for. When comparing a hand mixer and a stand mixer, you will usually find that the stand mixer is more expensive, but you should also consider its improved capabilities.
While a stand mixer will cost more, it can also do more, which may result in you saving money on other kitchen appliances. It is also important to keep in mind that your stand mixer has a good chance of lasting far longer than most hand mixers due to its superior reliability.
Before investing in stand mixer, you should have a fair idea about the types of stand mixers.
These are the most common stand mixers because they are more versatile than the other variety. You will find that planetary mixers are an excellent choice for customers who plan on making a wide range of meals in their stand mixer. The main difference between planetary mixers and spiral mixers is in how they operate.
A planetary mixer features a fixed bowl which does not move during the mixing process. This means that the mixing arm is responsible for doing all of the work in one of these mixers.
These mixers are also capable of utilizing a more extensive range of attachments than you will find available on spiral mixing models.
We will take a look at the way these mixers attach their bowl further on in this section, but you will find that the bowl lift variety of planetary mixer tends to be a little more convenient.
While KitchenAid has undoubtedly popularized the tilt-head variation, you will see that it is a bit more challenging to design and build.
Spiral mixers are almost an opposite design to planetary mixers. Unlike the previous stand mixer design, you will find that spiral mixers have a bowl that rotates along with the mixing head. This results in a lower RPM than planetary mixers. You may be wondering why you would want to mix slower, and the answer lies in what you are mixing.
For example, if you are mixing bread dough, you will want to ensure that the mixer moves relatively slowly to ensure that the dough doesn’t end up damaged. If the dough is damaged during the mixing process, you will find that it makes for inferior bread.
Since these mixers tend to be less versatile than planetary mixers when it comes to what they can mix and the number of attachments which they can use, they tend to be reserved for bakeries. However, if you find that you commonly make larger bread at home and you need a mixer for the dough, this variety is the best choice.
Tilt Head Or Bowl Lift
There are two options when it comes time to select the way that you open up your mixer so you can position the bowl correctly. Both of these methods have their pros and cons, and some of them are better suited for use with specific mixer designs.
Tilt Head Mixers
Mixers which work using a tilt head opening system operate much in the way you would imagine upon first hearing the name. The head of the mixer is designed to tilt over. This allows you to remove the bowl and possibly replace it. This design also facilitates the replacement of the mixing attachment.
A tilt head design may seem complicated, but it is simpler than a bowl lift mixer from a purely mechanical standpoint. You will find few better choices if you are looking for a mixer to be used at home since the tilt head design makes mixers a little easier to use.
Your next option is a bowl lift mixer. These mixers feature a point to which you attach your bowl, which is then lifted up to a sufficient height for the mixer to reach it. This is an excellent choice for a mixer which features a planetary design, but it is almost impossible if you have a spiral mixer.
Bowl lift mixers tend to be more complicated than tilt-head mixers, but they do not require the same care put into the construction of the hinge which holds up the head. While bowl lift mixers tend to be a little more pricey than tilt head models, you will find that they are a bit more convenient when it comes to using.
You may be wondering what the best way to use a stand mixer is. If we are going to be honest, there are hundreds of ways that you can use your stand mixer, depending on the attachments that you have and the food that you are cooking. In this section, we will give you a basic overview of how to use your stand mixer for a typical batter:
Before you do anything, you should take the bowl out of your stand mixer, ensure it is clean and then fill it with the ingredients for your mix. Ensure that you add solid ingredients first and then follow them up with liquid ingredients.
Once you have all of your chosen ingredients in the bowl, feel free to give the bowl a bit of a shake to ensure that all of the ingredients are mixing together and then attach the bowl to your mixer.
If you are using a tilt head mixer, simply unlock it, raise the head of the mixer and slot the bowl into place before hinging the head of the mixer back and relocking it. In the case of a bowl lift mixer, all you have to do is place the bowl in the cradle and then lock it and raise it to the mixer.
At this point, feel free to plug in your mixer. You typically do not want to plug in your mixer until you are sure that it is necessary, so if you need to power it on to lock the bowl in place, go ahead.
Leaving the mixer powered down until as late in the process as possible will ensure that you can avoid any potential accidents.
Once the bowl has been locked into your mixer, you can either raise the bowl into position (on a bowl lift mixer), or you can tilt the head back down (on a tilt head model).
Ensure that your stand mixer is powered on and then proceed to set the speed to the ideal level for your chosen mixture. Leave your batter to mix for the recommended amount of time. Once this time is up, turn the mixer back off.
Open up the mixer by either lowering the bowl or tilting the head backward and then pull the bowl out of it.
Once you have finished with the mixer, ensure that it is thoroughly washed and stored away for future use.
These are some kitchen appliances that may be replaced with a stand mixer.
One of the more common attachments for a stand mixer is one that is meant to slice up fruits and vegetables automatically. These attachments usually attach to the power hub of your mixer and make use of its power to rotate the chopping device. This allows you to replace a traditional fruit slicer.
If you do not have a particular appliance which is used to cut fruits and vegetables, you can reduce your workload, as you will not have to cut your food manually. This attachment is ideal for cooks who like to make a lot of salads, regardless of whether they are fruit- or vegetable-based.
This is one of the more surprising kitchen appliances which can be replaced with a stand mixer, and most people do not believe it when you first tell them. T
he home stand mixer is the best appliance that you can choose to replace an ice cream maker for smaller batches due to their similarity.
An ice cream maker attachment for a stand mixer consists of a unique bowl that is meant to ensure that your ice cream remains cold throughout the mixing process.
An ice cream maker attachment for a stand mixer consists of a unique bowl that is meant to ensure that your ice cream remains cold throughout the mixing process. Once you have mixed the cream that is to be frozen, all you have to do is leave it in your freezer for half a day, and it will be ready.
Another appliance that can be replaced by your stand mixer with a simple attachment is a pasta maker. If you plan on making your pasta at home, you will find that you can do a lot more with it than you can with store-bought pasta. For example, you can choose precisely what grains you use to make it and the flavor that goes into it.
This allows you to optimize the pasta that you make for the particular dish that you wish to make. Depending on the meal, you can adjust the size, flavor, and even the texture of your pasta. Pasta makers are usually attached to the power hub of your stand mixer.
A stand mixer will also allow you to do away with your fruit and vegetable juicer for home. While the juicers which can be attached to stand mixers aren’t usually as quick or as powerful as the dedicated models that you will come across, you will find that they are far more affordable and convenient.
These juicers also tend to be plugged into the power hub of your stand mixer. If you can make your juice at home, you will save money on pre-bottled juices, and they will be far healthier. Even the brands of juice which state that they are the healthiest will usually contain far more added sugar than home juices.
You can also purchase an attachment for your stand mixer that functions as a high-speed grater. These can be used to grate any food, from chocolate and orange peels, all the way to parmesan cheese. These tend to be attached to your mixer's power hub, and they are reasonably affordable.
These graters are a better choice than manual cheese graters since they operate independently, allowing you to tend to something else in the kitchen while they are working. An automatic grater which is positioned on your stand mixer will also tend to grate your chosen food far faster than any other grater.
The next stand mixer attachment on our long list is the can opener. Instead of purchasing a separate automatic can opener, all you will need is one that may be attached to your stand mixer. This is another attachment which makes use of the power hub and only uses your mixer as a source of energy.
These can openers are usually far faster than manual models, which can get tiring to use after a while. If you find yourself opening up a large number of cans when you are cooking, a can opener attachment for your stand mixer is your best option aside from a more expensive automatic can opener.
You can also attach a grain mill to your stand mixer, which allows you mill your grains, as you may have guessed from the name of the accessory. With a grain mill, you can make your bread from scratch using few other appliances than the stand mixer.
A grain mill will also allow you to make cereals and other types of grain-based foods such as pasta. This attachment is best used in conjunction with other products such as the pasta maker.
No list of the major makers of stand mixers would be complete without KitchenAid. This company is the reason for stand mixers being so popular in kitchens around the world. They pioneered the stand mixer design and also implemented the wide range of accessories that can be used with these appliances.
KitchenAid stand mixers tend to be made to more exact specifications than other types of stand mixers and they also usually last longer. Keep in mind that these mixers will come at a price, quite literally. KitchenAid mixers will often be more expensive than models coming from other companies.
Hamilton Beach is one of the world’s leading makers of kitchen appliances, and this includes stand mixers. While they may not be as specialized as KitchenAid when it comes to the making of mixers, you will find that Hamilton Beach is still a company which makes excellent products.
Bosch is a German company that makes all sorts of different appliances, including ones which are meant for the kitchen. Their stand mixers may not be one of their main products, but they are still assembled with the same care and attention to detail that you will find characteristic of all of their products.
Maintenance And Cleaning
Stand mixers usually do not require too much maintenance when they are compared to other kitchen appliances. You will find that it suffices to ensure that your stand mixer is as clean as possible after every use to ensure that it does not end up damaged due to the bits of food which are left on it.
If you are looking to ensure that your next kitchen appliance purchase is as cost-effective as possible, there are few better choices than a stand mixer. Feel free to move on to our buying guide, in which we will take a look at the five best stand mixers which are currently available.