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6 best stand mixers that do all the hard work for you

Whether you're whipping up cake batter or kneading bread dough, invest in one of these machines

Lela London
Monday 27 September 2021 17:43
<p>They simply make life easier, tackling laborious tasks like mixing, kneading, whipping and whisking with little more than the turn of a handle</p>

They simply make life easier, tackling laborious tasks like mixing, kneading, whipping and whisking with little more than the turn of a handle

A stand mixer, or food mixer, is one of those kitchen appliances people often come to later in life (then, typically, regret the decades-or-so they’ve spent without one at their side).

At their most basic, stand mixers simply make life easier, tackling laborious and repetitive kitchen tasks like mixing, kneading, whipping and whisking with little more than the turn of a handle.

Of course, all stand mixers aren’t created equal, and if the last month of testing has taught us anything, some are much, much better than others.

How we tested

Over the last four weeks we have made a gold-standard mess of our kitchens creating every conceivable baking mixture (from biscuits to bread) with the UK’s most popular stand mixers, hoping to find the best of the bunch.

And thus, six cakes, 47 meringues and god-knows-how-many cookies later, here they are – the best stand mixers you can buy now.

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The best stand mixers for 2021 are:

  • Best overall – Sage bakery boss stand mixer: £329, Ao.com
  • Best for compact and powerful – Morphy Richards mixstar stand mixer: £169.99, Morphyrichards.co.uk
  • Best budget buy – Russell Hobbs go create stand mixer: £79.99, Argos.co.uk
  • Best for batch baking – Cuisinart 5.2l stand mixer: £269, Ao.com
  • Best for aesthetics – Smeg stand mixer: £419, Ao.com
  • Best for Bake Off quality – KitchenAid 4.8l stand mixer: £499, Kitchenaid.co.uk

Sage bakery boss stand mixer

Best: Overall

To misquote Tina Turner, Sage’s rather gorgeous bakery boss stand mixer is simply the best. It outperforms its stand-mixing competition in almost every sense, including power (a massive 1200W), build, and performance.

It has been thoughtfully and intuitively designed to make easy work of mixing, whisking, and beating for first-timers and professional bakers alike. In fact, it actually illuminates a panel to let you know whether you’re folding/kneading, lightly mixing, creaming/beating, or aerating/whipping as you move through its variable speed settings. And the beater, dough hook, spatula, splash guard, wire whisk and scraper beater (which makes the bowl coverage second to none) are all of the highest-quality.

Unique touches like a glass measuring-cum-mixing bowl, tilting head, LED light (which illuminates the 4.7l mixing bowl below) and built-in timer streamline the experience, too. It is pricey, but you get what you pay for.

Morphy Richards mixstar stand mixer

Best: For compact and powerful

This compact little kitchen gadget was the biggest surprise of the bunch. Though it’s a small stand mixer (and arguably, not all that attractive), it put up as good a fight as those twice its size. With a few added bonuses.

The six-speed Mixstar is designed for small kitchens with big demands, you see, meaning it doesn’t look or act like anything else on the market. Instead of large, difficult-to-store attachments, the mixer’s beaters, whisks and dough hooks come in tiny pairs that not only spin and scrape the sides of the bowl as they circle it, but store away inside the bowl itself.

It’s space-saving properties do compromise a few things, like its 650W power or 4l bowl (a tad smaller than the 4.8l norm), but such reductions don’t affect the average cake or family bake. As it doesn’t have a traditional stand mixer head, its open-top design, through which you can add ingredients in with ease, can actually improve the experience. We particularly liked that it came with a small recipe book and attachment explainers are included, too, offering a bit of extra help to first-time stand mixer buyers.

Russell Hobbs go create stand mixer

Best: Budget buy

As the cheapest stand mixer on the list, Russell Hobbs’ go create will delight as a powerful alternative to the KitchenAid (1000W, compared to 300W) with a few minor flaws.

In many ways, it is as good as those four times as expensive. It has 10-speed settings, a generous 5l bowl, pulse control, and comes with a whisk attachment, dough hook, beaters, splash guard, and plastic beater, all of which yielded particularly great results in making bread. Its trade-offs, however, are its plastic body (which feels odd compared with the metal chassis of its competitors) and its suction feet, which don’t feel incredibly stable on wood surfaces.

Still, it does the job, and with the whisk attachment already attached on arrival, it’s basically ready to plug and play from the moment you open the box.

Cuisinart 5.2l stand mixer

Best: For batch baking

With the biggest bowl of the lot, Cuisinart’s affordable 5.2l stand mixer offers something special right off the bat. Particularly for large families. It covers more than big batch baking, of course, with the help of three standard attachments, a tilt-head and a splash guard, and its twelve-speed settings actually give a bit more control and flexibility than other stand mixers at its price. In tests, its 500W output proved more than capable of turning tough jobs – like kneading dough and mixing fruit cake – into light work, too.

Smeg stand mixer

Best: For aesthetics

Let’s get right down to business here – the Smeg stand mixer is the best-looking kitchen appliance on the market. And, despite looking like some kind of gorgeous Fifties collectable, the die-cast aluminium beauty rivals modern stand mixers, too.

It boasts a 4.8l stainless steel bowl, 10 speeds, 800W of power, anti-slip feet, wire whisk, flat beater, dough hook and plastic bowl cover attachments. Plus, there’s a front-facing attachment hook for accessories like a Smeg pasta roller (£159.95, Smeguk.com), fettuccine cutter (£79.95, Smeguk.com), multi-food grinder (£79.95, Smeguk.com), and more.

It does come, however, come with a slight niggle – in so far as, the accessories are a bit more fiddly to attach than those on other stand mixers – but that will only prove a minor inconvenience to home bakers.

KitchenAid 4.8l stand mixer

Best: For Bake Off quality

There is a reason the KitchenAid is so highly regarded, and it’s not just because they line all the worktops in Bake Off. As the best-selling stand mixer in the world, KitchenAid has built its reputation as a tried and trusted faithful – and, as its attachment empire grows, one you can utilize for just about every kitchen need.

The average set comes with the tilt-head mixer, 4.8l stainless steel bowl, wire whisk, dough hook, flat beater, flex edge beater and pouring shield, but optional accessories like grinders, sausage stuffers, pasta cutters, and more cover a wide range of home cook impulses. KitchenAid’s own site boasts a wide range of unique model colours, decorated mixing bowls, and engraving services, as well, so you’re sure to find one that matches your kitchen perfectly (and, as the most expensive stand mixer on the list, personalisation is much appreciated).

Stand mixer FAQ’s

What to look for in a stand mixer?

First things first, consider the capacity you will need. Stand mixers can range from around 2qts of capacity, with larger stand mixers offering around 8qts of capacity. Somewhere halfway is sufficient for everyday meals and recipes.

Generally, a stand mixer can weigh anywhere from around 10–35lbs, but, the weights will also depend on their design and can vary widely. As a result, it’s important to consider how and where you will store your mixer –we recommend picking a lighter model if you are planning on storing it on a top shelf.

As all those listed here come with numerous different attachments, specific to their purpose you should also carefully consider what you will be using your appliance most for. That way you can be sure to pick one with attachments tailor-made to your specific needs rather than those that barely make it out of the box.

Stand mixer vs hand mixer

Why pick a stand mixer?

Pros: If you are an avid baker, or need a multi-tasking kitchen appliance, a stand mixer may be a better fit for you. Especially if you frequently try your hand at making breads and pastries, then these can withstand tougher mixing tasks such as kneading dough.

Naturally, you get the mixing bowl included with your stand mixer alongside larger attachments which get the job done a lot quicker. These also use a planetary mixing action – this means the mixer doesn’t just mix ingredients in the middle of the bowl but instead moves around the mixing bowl, reaching the edges for a more thorough mixing.

Perhaps most handy though is that there is little to no effort involved in the mixing process. Simply leave your ingredients to mix while you get on with the rest of your recipe.

Cons: However, stand mixers will take up a lot more of your all-important cupboard space. They are, also, usually considerably more expensive, so are better suited to those who are more experienced in the kitchen and looking to make an investment. You may also find you struggle to mix smaller quantities and that they can be a pain to clean.

Why pick a hand mixer?

Pros: If you are more of an occasional baker, a hand mixer may be a better fit for you. They are small, saving you cupboard space, and cheap – you can pick one up for under £20. The are perfectly suited to smaller, occasional baking tasks like whipping up cake batter, whisking cream and egg whites.

Cons: Put simply, these can’t do as much as a stand mixer. They are less powerful, and perhaps, most noticeably, they are considerably more tiring to use especially for thicker mixes.

The verdict: Stand mixers

The Sage bakery boss stand mixer is the king of kings, as far as we’re concerned, but the super-innovative Morphy Richards mixstar offers a massive return on investment for bakers on a budget.

Voucher codes

For offers on stand mixers and kitchen appliances, try our discount code pages:

If you like these you’ll love our round up of the best air fryers for cooking up a storm in the kitchen

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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