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Shopping Guide: Stand Mixers
When you graduated college and moved into your first apartment, your first kitchen purchase was probably a matching set of glasses to replace the red Solo cups from your golden days. You might have bought a few plates for guests, and from there, you started slowly collecting dishes and appliances that made your kitchen whole.
Right out of the gate, you probably couldn’t imagine the different appliances you could fill your countertop with, but as you start expanding your personal recipe book, you realized how many different tools are out there to make your cooking experience easier.
The first step to a kitchen that will make your grandma proud is getting a solid KitchenAid Mixer.
KitchenAid Mixers can land anywhere from $200 to $700, so you don’t want to go about your decision willy-nilly. There’s a difference between larger and smaller capacity models, and choosing the wrong one can leave you frustrated.
The Size of the Bowl is Key
First, take a look at the capacity of the mixer and how much each bowl will hold.
Let’s break this size down into a measurement we can all enjoy cookie batches. A 6-quart mixer can mix together enough ingredients for 13 dozen cookies at a time. With a capacity like this, you’re guaranteed to be the parent of the week when you bring cookies in for all the students and teachers. On the smaller end of the scale (smaller than any of our 5 top picks), you can find “mini” options that have a 3.5-quart capacity. These will hold enough mixing ingredients to make about 5 dozen cookies in a single batch.
Between the two sizes, you’ll commonly see ranges between 4.5 and 5 quarts, which can give you 6 or 7 dozen cookies at a time. For the common household, 4.5 quarts is plenty for a family dinner. With the power of KitchenAid, these mixers are capable of handling one or two loaves of bread at a time.
With small and large sizes, there’s a trade-off. Models with more capacity take up more counter space and can be inefficient for smaller recipes. These models are designed to take on more ingredients, so they might be a bit too powerful for a recipe for a single person.
For the smaller models, it’s no surprise too many ingredients can overload the motor. However, some models have overload protection, and in these cases, you’ll have to divide your recipe to avoid ruining your mixer’s motor.
It Takes Power to Mix
There’s a difference between mixing pancake batter and pizza dough, and if you’ve ever mixed these two by hand, you know that the difference is how much power it takes to mix them.
For the pancake batter, easy, laid-back whisking will do the job just fine. For the dough, your arm tires out a little quicker, and your paddle doesn’t move quite as fast through the ingredients. Even though a stand mixer doesn’t look like it’s doing anything different from one recipe to the next, it’s actually using different amounts of power to mix different ingredients. This is where the wattage comes in.
You’ll notice some of our top picks have their wattage highlighted. This is to emphasize these models are designed to take on denser mixtures that you might be putting together.
With most mixes, you can get by with 200 watts and higher with no problem. For bread like ciabatta or multigrain bread, you could use 450 or more watts. If you plan on baking these types of bread on a weekly basis, heavily consider the higher power models in your decision.
KitchenAid is Designed for Great Results
With its stainless steel materials, KitchenAid adds durability and a solid build to its list of accomplishments with their mixers.
They’ve added an elliptical pattern to their tools when whisking or mixing, which is referred to as the “Planetary Mixing Action.” The more “points” in this pattern means the more times the whisk hits the bowl, integrating more ingredients into the mix.
This is just one of the smaller details in their products that improve the overall cooking experience for anyone from beginner to professional chefs.
There’s no wonder these particular appliances are considered to be top of the line among homeowners.
Take a look at our top stand mixers, and find the countertop wonder that will give your baking that extra pep.
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