Whatever you make, there’s no doubting that the stand mixer is the most hardworking piece of kitchen equipment. They can be used to knead dough and whisk together glossy, stiff-peaked meringues in addition to whipping up cake batter.
A stand mixer is a must-have equipment for every baker, whether you’re a seasoned baker seeking for an update or you’re just getting started. Don’t get us wrong: we adore hand mixers and have tried and tested a slew of them over the years, but stand mixers provide something extra: power. Stand mixers with high wattages can whizz through creaming and kneading jobs with ease, saving you not just time but also effort.
Stand mixers are available in a variety of sizes. From small and compact versions for individuals with limited room to larger, more professional-looking kits for large families or those who like to bake in volume, there’s something for everyone. Not to mention the medium-sized models, which fill in the gaps and are ideal for folks who want to bake for friends and family on a regular basis. There’s little doubt that you’ll be able to locate a stand mixer that meets your needs, given the variety of sizes available.
We put a variety of stand mixers to the test, including models from well-known brands like KitchenAid and Kenwood, as well as well-known manufacturers like Bosch, Cuisinart, and Russell Hobbs. We looked at the build quality, efficiency, and accessories for each model, then put them to the test using BBC Good Food recipes that had been properly tested.
What is the best way to choose a stand mixer?
What is the definition of a stand mixer?
A stand mixer, often known as a food mixer, is a machine that performs repetitive culinary duties using a spinning motor. They excel in making cakes, kneading dough, whipping and whisking thanks to the many attachments and enormous capacity of the bowl, and perform significantly more successfully than food processors in this regard (although the two are sometimes confused because they have a similar’spinning’ motion).
Stand mixers include a hinged main body with an attachment output for whisks, beaters, and dough hooks, though you can often upgrade and buy a wide selection of attachments. They’re recognized for whipping up dough, whisking egg whites, and creaming butter with sugar in record time. They are usually straightforward to operate and have basic speed settings. They’re a medium-sized device that takes up about the same amount of room as a slow cooker or blender.
What can you do with a stand mixer?
A dough hook, beater, and wire whisk are included in all of the stand mixers we examined. This means they’re great for bread, cakes of all kinds (from chocolate to fairy cakes), and thicker batters like carrot cake and gluten-free cake recipes. For classics like lemon meringue pie and pavlova, as well as innovative recipes like a tiramisu meringue roulade, the wire whisk will make light work of meringue.
Stand mixers, on the other hand, are highly adaptable, so keep a list of their various functions in mind to get the most out of your equipment. If you like dumplings, use the beater to fully combine your ingredients; for ideas, check out our gyoza and pork momos recipes. Even better, you can produce your own butter by beating cream until it splits. Then, once butter is produced, separate the liquid from the particles.
Stand mixer vs. handheld mixer
Many of the same baking chores can be accomplished with a hand mixer as they can with a stand mixer. Hand mixers (also known as beaters) use rotating attachments but are much smaller than stand mixers, making them more inexpensive. They are simple to clean and may be neatly packed away for storage. If you only need a device to do the essentials, the best hand mixer will most likely suffice.
With a higher wattage and larger capacity, a stand mixer is more powerful. They may be more adaptable, as some come with a large range of accessories. One significant benefit is that, unlike hand mixers, they are completely hands-free, allowing you to do other things while they work. The large dishes are designed to keep materials contained and minimize mess. They can also handle heavier doughs like pastry and pizza dough better.
In the end, a stand mixer is a better option than a hand mixer, but it all depends on your budget.
When buying a stand mixer, there are a few things to keep in mind.
- Capacity: do you want to do batch baking for cake sales? You’ll need a bigger bowl and possibly a more powerful motor to go through larger amounts of mixture. Purchase the largest machine that will fit in your kitchen.
- Stand mixers are versatile since they may be used with a variety of attachments, such as pasta rollers and sausage makers. If you want to use your machine for a variety of kitchen duties, look into the various bolt-on attachments available.
- Weight: If you don’t have a lot of counter space and will be moving the stand mixer in and out of storage, keep in mind that some of them are quite heavy. If you have back problems, this is an important factor to consider.
- Value for money: There’s no use in spending a lot of money on a fancy machine with a lot of extras if you’re just going to use it to produce simple cakes once in a while.
Pros: in-bowl lights, integrated weighing scales and warming function, 7-litre EasyWarm bowl
Cons: bulky, costly, and huge footprint
5 out of 5 stars
Kenwood is a front-runner in the area of stand mixers when it comes to modernism. The step up in price from the Chef Titanium XL stand mixer model is justified because this one adapts the original design to make it a game-changer for usage. The deep 7-litre EasyWarm Bowl – which has two handy handles for easy loading and comes with a second 5-litre bowl nested inside – works in unison with the integrated weighing and warming capabilities.
Your chosen metric for weighing is displayed on the touchscreen display. It also has presets for regulating the warming functions, which include things like proofing dough and whisking egg whites. Once the dough is set, you can walk away and peek at it through the clear bowl cover as it progressively doubles in size – the Chelsea buns that resulted were deliciously soft. It’s characteristics like these that give you the best chance of consistently getting the same dough prove and rise.
Aside from the complexity, you get all the essentials you’d expect from a working stand mixer, such as a beater, whisk, and dough hook, except this one has the capacity to make more, better, and with a lot of personalization options. It’s a long-term investment with a 10-year guarantee.
Pros: include built-in scales and a timer, dishwasher-safe attachments, BPA-free plastics, and overheat safety.
Cons: archaic acronym in product name; weighs in five-gram increments; lacks pre-selectable processing time; costly
5 out of 5 stars
It’s difficult to find a stand mixer that also functions as a food processor. However, the Bosch CreationLine machine also includes integrated scales, resulting in a versatile multitasker that is both enjoyable to use and practical. The stand mixer is designed to sit landscape on the counter, so it has a small footprint for a stand mixer. Because of its two-in-one design, it saves space in the cupboard.
The oomph comes from a 1000W motor. All of the accessories come in a two-pocket pouch, which makes storing a breeze. The patisserie set (which includes a silicone-edged stirring whisk, a height-adjustable beating whisk, and a kneading hook with gear protection) is tucked in one side, while four food processor discs for slicing, grating, and shredding are placed in the other. All of them can be washed in the dishwasher.
This stand mixer is an expensive but capable multitasker with modern frills that’s entertaining to operate, thanks to the automated retractile cord storage.
Pros: comes in a range of colors, has a large number of accessories, has 10 speed levels, and consistently produces high-quality results
Cons: wire whisk isn’t dishwasher safe, and some contents at the bottom of the bowl remain unmixed.
4.5 out of 5 stars
This is the most well-known stand mixer from KitchenAid. The 4.8 litre bowl makes it a medium-sized model, and it comes in a variety of colors, including KitchenAid’s annual Color of the Year.
This model, like all KitchenAid mixers, has 10 speed settings on a sliding scale. This model has a beater, dough hook, and balloon whisk; see the complete review for more information on the 175 and 185 variants.
This model performed admirably in all of our pounding, kneading, and whisking tests, consistently producing high-quality results. Our only complaint was that some of the cake mix was left unmixed at the bottom of the bowl, but this was easily remedied with a flexible spatula.
This model is a terrific choice if looks is just as essential as performance.
Pros: two bowls are provided, there are built-in scales, there are a lot of attachments, the head is easy to lift, and the motor is powerful.
Cons: it’s pricey, and it takes up a lot of space.
5 out of 5 stars
Kenwood is a well-known name in the area of stand mixers. They’ve become the go-to brand for both amateur bakers and professional chefs thanks to decades of innovation. This model comes with a strong motor and high-quality, long-lasting accessories. While it isn’t as technologically advanced as the Kenwood Chef Patissier XL, it has several of the same characteristics. It has two bowls (seven and five litres) as well as built-in scales.
This model delivered flawless results in every bake, from our lemon and orange cake to Chelsea buns and meringue.
This model is complex, yet its design is simple and uncomplicated, with simple controls. If you prefer to bake in large quantities, this is a must-have.
Pros: 5.2L stainless steel bowl with convenient handle, clear splash guard, 3-year warranty
Cons: no built-in scales, and the chef’s whisk isn’t dishwasher safe.
4 out of 5 stars
This very inexpensive and large-capacity stand mixer has the strong, professional feel of machines twice its price thanks to the die-case metal body with high-gloss finish. Features like the 5.2-litre stainless steel mixing bowl with handy handle add to the feeling that you’re getting a good deal.
It does a good job with the fundamentals. The flat paddle mixer, dough hook, and big whisk are all massive and hefty, and they sit low in the bowl to gather up all of the ingredients. It had a 500W motor, which is less powerful than the majority of those tested, yet it kneaded away without looking or sounding strained.
With a three-year warranty, this is a wonderful option if you want basic kitchen duties done well without breaking the bank.
Pros: super-lightweight, has four sucker feet for stability, and is dishwasher safe. Stainless steel bowl, 5 litres
Cons: Outside is made of plastic, and it is noisy.
3.5 out of 5 stars
The Haden is a superb value-for-money alternative, retailing for under £100, with many of user-friendly functions if you want a classic mixer design and a useful size for bulk baking.
The exterior is made of plastic rather than die-cast metal, which is one of the features you give up in exchange for the lower price, along with integrated scales and a timer. It’s secured to the counter-top with four industrial suckers. It is, however, sturdy without being substantial, which makes transporting it between a cabinet and the kitchen surface a breeze.
With whisk, beater, and dough hook attachments that can all be put in the dishwasher after use, an 800W motor quickly powers through basic culinary tasks. It’s noisy, especially while kneading dough, so it’s not ideal for open-concept kitchen living rooms, but no stand mixer is completely silent. The Haden is a useful size for anyone looking for an effective stand mixer for cakes and bakes.
Pros: storage caddy allows you to keep accessories inside the bowl, easy-to-reach height and lid design, non-slip suckers for counter top fastening
Cons: a ‘new product’ odor, and the distinctive stand mixer design is gone.
4.5 out of 5 stars
If space is at a premium in your kitchen, Morphy Richards’ revolutionary stand mixer is a space-saving option. It performs all of the typical functions in a space about the size and width of a big mixing bowl.
Dishwasher-safe whisking, kneading, and beating accessories are kept in a caddy that fits snugly into the bowl. It comes fully constructed, so you can see where and how everything fits together right away. Then it’s just a matter of loading your preferred attachment, putting on its cover, and watching it work. This is an excellent one to use with children.
Pros: long-lasting motor with a 10-year warranty, and creative lighting
Cons: it’s pricey, and it takes up a lot of space.
5 out of 5 stars
With its low, square appearance – and for being one of the most costly ones – the Kenwood Chef XL Titanium stood out from the mass of test models we had for our round-up. With an enclosed bowl guard and lighting feature in the attachment head, however, its quality and style come through.
When you try a more deluxe model, much as when you try a flash automobile or a fine pair of shoes, you can truly feel the difference, and mixers are no exception. Smooth motions, spring-loaded movements, and satisfyingly robust attachments made the controls and mechanics on this stand mixer a joy to use.
The whisk, hook, and beater were all substantial and fit snugly into the head, and there are a variety of fascinating attachments to attach to the head’s additional high- and low-speed ports if you want to get more experimental.
This is as good as it gets for a high-volume, powerful kitchen helper, and we’d be pleased to have the Kenwood Chef XL Titanium on hand for bakes, batch cooking, and so much more.
Pros: huge capacity, quiet operation even at maximum power
Cons: difficult to transport, costly
4.5 out of 5 stars
Although the KitchenAid Artisan bowl-lift model has only been around since 2012, it already appears to be a classic. ‘Serious baker,’ it screams.
This will gratify you if you operate in an open plan room or like to listen to the radio over the sound of your kitchen appliances. Regardless of how difficult the mix is, the motor operates quietly.
The 6.9-litre capacity of the handled stainless steel bowl is large enough to whisk almost 2 litres of cream to airy perfection in minutes.
Set aside a rainy afternoon for a batch baking session, and this will be your faithful companion, slicing through pastry, bread, and batters with ease. We particularly liked how well it combined excellent mash for a freezer stockpile, easily tackling a bag of boiled potatoes.
As is customary with KitchenAid, this model is available in a variety of classic colors and looks great in each. Regardless of which option you choose, you’ll quickly wonder how you ever cooked without it.
Pros: it’s easy to move around, and it’s inexpensive.
Cons: include a small mixing bowl and a plastic casing.
3 out of 5 stars
With a 1000W motor, this stand mixer from VonShef can handle tough doughs and whizzes plenty of air into sponge and meringue mixtures. It may take some time to get the best results, but that’s the price you pay for its low price (about £100).
We expect the black plastic casing to accumulate a few scrapes over time, but this model is well-made and is certainly light enough to be stored.
The 3.5-litre basin isn’t big enough for large batches, but it’ll enough if you’re baking a few cakes or mixing dough for one or two loaves.
Pros: reasonable pricing, wide range of speed options
Cons: when working hard, the bowl can move; hand-washing is recommended.
3.5 out of 5 stars
This inexpensive stand mixer has a lot of capacity and power, so it’s a terrific choice if you just want something useful and don’t worry about making a statement. In our tests, we used the dough hook, beater, and balloon whisk to make a variety of recipes, and it handled everything we threw at it, though we did have to push dry ingredients down into the mix at times.
The machine shifted slightly due to tough doughs, but that’s to be expected when you’re not in the heavyweight division.
We loved the simple controls and found the attachments – including the bowl, which can’t be put in the dishwasher – to be simple to twist into place. The beaters can, and the whole apparatus was simple to clean.
Advantages include a smaller kitchen footprint and high-quality construction.
Cons: There is no splashguard, and the smaller bowl size makes it unsuitable for large bakes.
4 out of 5 stars
This KitchenAid stand mixer is a miniature work of art. If you have a large family or want to wow a bake sale with your battenbergs, it may not be the best option because the 3.3-litre bowl can only hold enough batter for about eight cupcakes at a time.
It’s stunning to look at, with all of the design elements you’d expect from such a prestigious brand. The top hinge opens simply with the press of a button to raise the beater out of the bowl, and the sliding speed control is seamless.
Although this model lacks a splash guard, the half-speed control allows you to start each mix slowly and gradually increase the pace without the contents flying everywhere.
Pros: attaching tools are provided, it’s durable, and it’s elegant.
Cons: it’s difficult to remove the splash guard with the beater in place, and the shiny casing displays finger marks.
4.5 out of 5 stars
The Kenwood kMix comes in a variety of colors and metallic finishes, but we believe it looks great in this limited-edition chrome case. Fingermarks and splashes really show up with this kind of jewelry, so it’s a good thing it’s easy to wipe off.
All of the attachments are made of hardwearing steel, so there’s no risk of them chipping in the future. They can also be thrown in the dishwasher, which is convenient while baking because no one wants a sink full of doughy water.
The 1000W motor in this stand mixer is powerful enough to handle even the toughest doughs, such as wholemeal bread. It’s simple to manufacture airy meringue: simply move the dial control straight from min to max, and the machine gently accelerates to minimize splashing.
How do we put stand mixers to the test?
Before making this zesty lemon and orange cake, we tested a representative sample of food mixers, ranging from budget-friendly options to high-end investment models, and used them to whisk egg whites for a chocolate and peanut butter pavlova, make an enriched dough for Chelsea buns, and cream butter and sugar. We put all of the accessories to the test, as well as the finished cooked items, and graded the machines based on the following criteria:
- Stand mixers, like most high-end kitchen gadgets, generally come with a lot of packing. Those with recyclable or biodegradable components received higher marks.
- Overall material quality: Stand mixers that are well-made and use high-quality components should last a long time. We sought for those who were able to stand up to the test of time.
- Function results: A machine that efficiently mixed all of the materials at the same time was a must-have. We were looking for shiny, well-whisked pavlova mixes, light cake mixes with equally distributed zest, and ultimately, well-risen dough that baked soft and light.
- A stand mixer can be purchased for anywhere from £60 to £900. Whatever the performance and functionality, the price must always be in line.
- Stand mixers should be able to do a variety of chores in the kitchen, making life a lot easier. Attachments for whisking, beating, and kneading are essential, and machines with more integrated features, such as weighing scales, timers, and extra attachments, received bonus points.
- Ease of use and cleaning: Modern stand mixers can have sophisticated functions, but they must be simple to use. Hand-washing your stand mixer’s attachments can be time-consuming, so we looked for dishwasher-safe options to make cleanup easier.