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 29 March 2021 15:30
<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.

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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Sage bakery boss stand mixer

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 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 pricy, but you get what you pay for.

Morphy Richards mixstar stand mixer

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.

KitchenAid 4.8l stand mixer

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).

Russell Hobbs go create stand mixer

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

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

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 a front-facing attachment hook for accessories like a Smeg pasta roller, fettuccine cutter, multi-food grinder, and more (sold separately). It does 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.

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.

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