Buying a Stand Mixer
What You Need to Know about Stand Mixers
With their large-capacity bowls, powerful motors, and wide array of food preparation attachments, standing mixers make a useful addition to any kitchen where baking is a common activity. Bakers appreciate that stand mixers get the job done quicker, even with thick dough or batter. The large mixing bowl helps avoid splashing out of the bowl, and the heavy, stable design keeps the unit steady, allowing you to walk away during an extended mixing period. Additionally, baking mixers often have user-friendly options like programming and auto stop, plus optional attachments that allow food prep activities often associated with food processors. Best Buy's large selection of stand mixers makes it easy for you to find a mixer that both fits in with your kitchen décor and performs like a pro.
Stand Mixer Design
Most stand mixers have a tilt-head design with a stationary bowl and a hinged mixer head and motor that let mixing attachments lift free of the bowl. When lowered, the tilt-head mixer locks into place. This design gives you more access to the bowl during prep time, which is ideal for adding more ingredients without stopping the mixer. KitchenAid mixers, as well as a number of other brands, offer bowl-lift models that lock the bowl onto a frame and then lift it up to meet the mixing attachments. One advantage of a bowl-lift design is that the mixer can fit beneath your cabinets, stored out of the way. Additionally, bowl-lift mixers often have a larger bowl capacity. Many bakers appreciate a slow-start feature that helps to keep ingredients in the bowl at the start and to mix loose ingredients.
More Stand Mixer Considerations
Wattage can also be a consideration, with your requirements determined by how you expect to use your electric mixer. Liquid ingredients, like eggs or cream, require 250 watts of power (most handheld mixers are in the 250-watt range); a cake mixer will provide best results with 450 or more watts. Other specialty needs, like meat grinding, will likely require 700–750 watts. You'll also want to consider capacity, measured in either cups or quarts. Standard capacity is four quarts, but if you plan on mixing larger amounts of ingredients, look for a bowl with up to six quarts of capacity. You'll likely appreciate a locking feature that sets your bowl in place and keeps it there. It's good to be aware that multiple speed options facilitate specific needs, from standard mixing to whipping to gently kneading. Many stand-up mixers have 10 or more speed options.
Mixer Attachments to Consider
Mixing is just the beginning. Once you truly get into the art of baking and food preparation, you'll see a whole new world of opportunities. The right food mixer can help you get there. Keep in mind that you might want to take things further than just mixing, beating and whipping. For instance, mixer accessories to consider include a meat grinder, juicer attachment, pasta maker and roller, ice cream maker, slicer/shredder attachment, food grinder, and sausage stuffer. Mixer covers, shields, trays and extra mixing bowls are also available.