Which Home Mixer is Best for Your Needs?
If you are thinking of buying a new stand mixer you want one that will do everything you need it to from bread to meringue. Which home mixer is best?
That is a difficult question to answer because each brand has its own strengths and weaknesses. Even the mighty Kitchen Aid is not the best choice for some people.
Generally it is important to look for quality products that are made to last. You want metal parts, not plastic. Plastic breaks much more easily and plastic parts seem to be harder to replace than metal. Plastic housings melt down when it gets too hot. If you do a lot of cooking and baking it is worth your money to invest in a commercial stand mixer. They were meant to hold up to heavy use.
Keeping that in mind, there are several good quality stand mixers to consider.
Kitchen Aid is probably the kitchen appliance that everyone recognizes. It has been an important part of serious kitchens for decades. The Kitchen Aid just seems to last and last and most people assume that it is the best.
It is one of the best, although there are differing opinions as to whether it should hold the title of THE best. Some of the benefits of the Kitchen Aid:
575 watt motor- most descriptions claim it will allow you to handle the heaviest doughs. This is almost true. It will handle about two loaves of whole wheat bread, however there are those people who feed small nations on a daily basis (like me, big family) and the Kitchen Aide will wither and die under the six loaf sized batches of whole wheat bread that I make.
The commercial Kitchen Aid does have metal parts but those metal parts are enclosed in a plastic housing. That is poor design, ask any engineer.
It comes with a six quart stainless bowl. No complaints here. Stainless is nearly indestructible and easy to clean.
The Pro600 is the heavy duty, commercial top of the line mixer for Kitchen Aid. It has the most power, and the most durability. You can buy extra bowls in smaller sizes for whipping small amounts of eggs or cream. This is a real benefit. With some mixers that do not have interchangeable bowls you may have to hold the mixer sideways to get the eggs whipped properly.
Hobart is expensive. It is made for restaurants and it will hold up to anything you want to put in it. Most of you will not be interested in the thirty quart floor model but they do make a mixer sized for the home kitchen.
The Hobart N50 will handle whole grain doughs in larger proportions than Kitchen Aid but the cost is generally well over one thousand dollars, if you can find it on sale.
Other benefits of the Hobart are that it has a much better single speed motor and the gears shift between the three speeds. You do have to stop the mixer to change speeds but the op speed is much higher than other home mixers for the lightest, fastest meringues ever. Because of the way it is put together it is going to last for a long time. The beaters do get all the way to the bottom of the bowl better than Kitchen Aid.
Because the Hobart has been used mostly comercially not many home bakers know about this mixer, however it is the top pick of many bakers and pastry chefs, regardless of what Kitchen AId would have you believe.
Making Bread with a Bosch
Bosch makes power tools and when they moved into the realm of kitchen appliances they did it well. They brought a lot of the same technology that they had used in the shop to the kitchen. What was produced was a mixer that beats eggs whites perfectly while still having the power to take on up to twelve pounds of whole grain bread dough.
The Bosch outperforms the Kitchen Aid by a mile with bread dough, so if that is what you are going to be making a lot of, and you can't afford a Hobart then the Bosch is your best choice.
With a 700 watt motor it can do nearly anything you need it to.
- Bosch has metal parts, rather than plastic.
- Stainless steel six quart bowl,
- The Bosch has several attachments and has come out with a permanently attached stainless steel counter model.
Cuisinart has also come out with a large stand mixer that boasts 800 watts of power.
It has 12 speeds and comes with a five and a half quart stainless steel bowl. It has some neat bells and whistles like a countdown timer and three power cord attachments for different functions.
The Cuisinart carries a three year product warranty as well as a five year warranty on the motor
Choosing the Best Mixer
Having the best mixer for a job can make a huge difference and most people cannot afford more than one.
The Best Overall
If money is no object the Hobart is the clear winner.
The Best for Breadmaking
If you make more bread than pastry and cake then the Bosch is the mixer you want.
The Best for Pastry and Cakes
If you are making cookies and cakes and pies then the Kitchen Aid has been the clear winner for generations.
Cuisinart just has not gotten enough good reviews to make it a worthwhile purchase. It cannot handle bread doughs without overheating, although it does a bit better than Kitchen Aid with light batters.
Ultimately get the best you can afford, and the mixer that best fits the way you cook.
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