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Things to consider before buying a stand mixer
- It has to be KitchenAid, doesn't it?
The KitchenAid is the queen of mixers – that much seems irrefutable after reading what lots of Mumsnetters have to say on the topic. 'Love' is a common term bandied about by Mumsnet users – for their power, efficiency and even what one MNer called 'strokeability'. They come in a range of models, with the Artisan and Classic among the most popular. They also come with top-notch accessories – bowls, shields (to prevent mess), whisks and beaters. Best of all perhaps, they look great, coming in an array of colours for you to choose from.
- How much do you want to spend?
There are decent alternatives to KitchenAid, with Kenwood inspiring devotion from plenty of Mumsnet users who swear by their Prosperos and kMixs. There are also a few budget options on the market, with big brands offering models at a lower price point (even Lidl got in on the act a while back with a £50 model that won over one Great British Bake Off contestant). When it comes to the more expensive mixers, expect heavier and more solid models, which helps with stability. They also have quieter motors, bigger capacities and more specialised mixing attachments, as well as better quality bowls and other accoutrements.
- What will you make with your stand mixer?
What's on your menu? Cake? Bread? Something outré? The reason we ask is that, while the best mixers should be able to do everything, the rest have strengths and weaknesses (don't we all). For example, one machine might be great at kneading but not so great at whisking or beating. Decide on your priorities – what do you like making/eating? Do you just want a machine that will make life easier for you or do you want one that will give you the chance to expand your repertoire? What about your other family members – do they enjoy baking and what will they want from this machine?
If you go for a KitchenAid then you'll probably want to keep it out on the worktop so that you can gaze at it lovingly, and your friends can admire it when they come over. But not everyone has the space for that, so if you're going to have to put your mixer away in a cupboard, make sure you measure the space and always note the dimensions of a product before buying. Sounds obvious but, honestly, who hasn't occasionally got swept up in the excitement of buying a new piece of kit and only really realised afterwards they didn't have room for it?
KitchenAid 5KSM125BBM stand mixer, from £449
This is the classic, the red Ferrari, the Rolex, the Burberry raincoat, the Manolo Blahnik Carolyne napa mid-heel, the Gibson Les Paul, the Mont Blanc fountain pen (insert other timeless marvels here) of stand mixers and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Mumsnet users certainly don't, as KitchenAid makes some of the most lusted-after appliances on-site thanks to their vast variety of uses, quiet motors and reputation for reliability. With 10 speeds and more than 10 available attachments, the KitchenAid Classic or Artisan can whip up everything from pasta to ice cream, sausages to salsa and much more.
The beater rotates in one direction while whisking and turning in the other, pushing ingredients towards the centre of the bowl. Mixing is fast, thorough and precise. The large 4.8l stainless steel bowl lets you process small to large batches of food. Attachments include a flat beater, dough hook and wire whisk for all your baking needs, but other accessories can simply be plugged into the multi-purpose hub which will allow you to mince meat, slice vegetables, roll and cut pasta, squeeze, chop and process.
“I treated myself to a KitchenAid recently and I love it. I make the best cakes I've ever made in it, and it folds in flour perfectly at a slow speed. My husband uses it for bread making and he is very impressed with the motor. I just love the classic look of the KitchenAid."
“No question – if you’re buying a stand mixer, it's got to be a KitchenAid.”
“I use my KitchenAid stand mixer for cakes, meringues, etc and Magimix for chopping and grating. If I had to choose between the two I'd keep the KitchenAid as it's brilliant for cakes.”
“I absolutely love my KitchenAid stand mixer. I insisted on getting custody of it when I got divorced. I use it every day, and all the bowls and bits go in the dishwasher – bliss.”
“I love the KitchenAid in pistachio, beautiful colour, although I ended up with a cream one. Not very exciting, but it won't date and will work with whatever colour I decide to paint my kitchen. It makes me smile that almost every woman who comes into my kitchen has to stroke it. KitchenAid stand mixers are very stroke-able.”
Kenwood kMix stand mixer, from £299
Plenty of Mumsnet users enthuse about the kMix stand mixer and it's notable that this new model looks more elegant than its predecessors. The accompanying bowl tools, beater, whisk and dough hook will help you create flavoured breads, cakes and pavlovas, while the fold function is handy if you’re preparing soufflés, mousses or meringues. The electronic speed control reduces the risk of spillage and the glass bowl, which has a splashguard, has a generous five litre capacity with graduations up the side to assist with measuring ingredients. There are more than 20 additional attachments available, too.
“I have a kMix and use it at least times a week. Love it. I don't want/need the food processor side, it suits me. And it's pretty.”
“I have a kMix and I love it. I got the Prospero when everyone on Mumsnet did, like a sheep, but I returned it and got a kMix instead. I have used it lots more than I thought I would. It has made me fatter.”
“I love my kMix, three years and squillions of sponges and meringues later it's still going strong!”
“I have a KMix and it’s great. I went for it over a Kenwood Chef, even though mum’s Chef was brilliant and lasted 30 years. I’m glad I plumped for the Kmix because I love it.”
Bosch MUM46A1 Food Mixer, £159.99
With its multi-motion drive, this is built for optimum power, so it's a good job it has rubber suction feet for extra stability if things get a bit wobbly. The accessory holder houses all the attachments – a dough hook, beater, whisk, continuous shredder with three stainless steel discs, a reversible slicing disc for thick and thin, and a reversible shredding disc for coarse medium or fine. It also comes with a citrus press and liquidiser. Versatility is key for the Bosch MUM, which has all the things you could need in one appliance.
“Bosch make really good stand mixers. I love my Bosch MUM46A1 which is great for dough, making cakes etc.”
“I bought the Bosch MUM a few years ago. It's good, and does the job.”
Kenwood KVC3100S Chef Premier stand mixer, from £359
If you find cooking too time-consuming but still enjoy it, this stand mixer, with its generous capacity of 4.6l and 1000w motor, will be a welcome helping hand, no matter what you're making. Thanks to the variable speed and pulse option, it lets you choose exactly how fast you'd like it to perform, allowing you to achieve perfect results. For added flexibility, the Chef Premier comes with Kenwood's K-Beater, whisk and dough hook so you can create a range of different dishes with confidence. There are over 20 additional attachments available.
“I have a Kenwood chef premier, which I love. Comes with the blender, beater, whisk, dough hook and flexible beater. There always seems to be good offers on it, too.”
“We have a Kenwood Chef Premier which is excellent. It took over after our original Kenwood Chef burned out (after about 15 years). It cost about one third the price of a KitchenAid. I did use a KitchenAid at a cookery class once and it was good, but not three times as good!”
Morphy Richards stand mixer, £75.75
If you want an easier kitchen life, but are reluctant to shell out for an expensive stand mixer, then this reasonably priced model might be for you. With its 800w motor, it’s ideal for cake mixes, bread and pastry dough, as well as whisking. It has six speeds and a pulse setting, as well as a 4l stainless steel mixing bowl, dust cover and splashguard to ensure all your ingredients remain in the bowl. At this price, you might think it would only stand up to occasional use, but Mumsnet users say they use it frequently with excellent results.
“I have a Morphy Richards stand mixer, it was under £100 and is actually more powerful than a KitchenAid. I make bread with it most days and (crossed fingers) it has never faltered in the two years I've had it.”
“I have a cheap Morphy Richards that I got from Amazon. It's used daily, sometimes twice a day, and has never let me down.”
Kenwood Prospero Plus KHC29.A0SI stand mixer, £110
The Prospero has a massive following on Mumsnet who love the fact that it's (reasonably) affordable, easy to use and, crucially if your kitchen's on the smaller side, compact. It will help you with any food mixing task, from kneading dough to whipping up a batch of icing. It comes with three bowl tools featuring Kenwood’s planetary mixing action to perform different tasks: a dough hook, K beater and whisk. With dimensions of 31.3 × 24.3 × 29.2 cm, it won't take over your kitchen space, but it could transform how you spend your time in the kitchen.
“The Kenwood Prospero will give you better results for dough, whisking and whipping than a food processor and it's easier to clean. I'm well chuffed with mine. I've never had a stand mixer before and it's amazing.”
“I've got a Kenwood Prospero and love it. They are quite often reduced and I think we paid £110 with all the gadgets.”
“I use a Kenwood Prospero for cakes but it also makes dough and has a blender. I find it great as it's just there on the counter ready to go and doesn't take up much space.”
Wilko stand mixer, £60
OK, it’s not strictly true to say Mumsnet users swear by this one but there has been curiosity about it as an example of a really cheap option, albeit from a brand with a reputation for reliability. At 1000w, its power is not in doubt. It has six speeds and integrated planetary mixing action. The stainless steel mixing bowl is 4.5l and attachments include a dough hook for making bread and pastries, a beater for cake and cookie mixtures, and a whisk to make meringue. For the price, that sounds pretty good.
“If you’re looking for a cheaper stand mixer then a friend recommended the Wilko one.”