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KitchenAid/Business InsiderThe Insider Pick:The best stand mixers make baking bread, cakes, cookies, pies, and more an enjoyable endeavor. You can also buy accessories for making sausage, ice cream, and pasta. Due to its durable construction, iconic design, and strong motor, the KitchenAid Artisan Tilt-Head Stand Mixer with Pouring Shield is our top pick.
Homemade baked goods bring families together. The smell of bread, cake, or cookies baking often punctuates our fondest childhood memories. And, the companion of any good baking project is a high-quality stand mixer. Stand mixers make quick work of the hardest dough kneading tasks while also offering an array of secondary uses that inspire the chef in all of us.
The main considerations when buying a mixer are your budget, how much space you have on your countertop, and what you want to do with your unit. The mixers on our list range from $40 to $300, and you generally get what you pay for.
Also, if you plan on making bread on a daily basis, you will need a more durable mixer. If you are interested in making pasta, sausage, ice cream, or using your mixer for other non-standard uses, make sure you choose a model that offers an array of accessories.
We scoured the reviews and ratings of the top experts and users to see which stand mixers have consistent performance, do what they say they can do, and provide the best bang for your buck. Read on to discover which of our top picks is right for you.Although the KitchenAid KSM150PSER Artisan Tilt-Head Stand Mixer with Pouring Shield is our top pick, for various reasons laid out in the slides below, you should also consider the KitchenAid K45SSOB 4.5-Quart Classic Series Stand Mixer, the Hamilton Beach Eclectrics 63227 All-Metal Stand Mixer, the KitchenAid Professional 5 Plus Series Stand Mixers, and the Sunbeam FPSBHS0302 250-Watt 5-Speed Stand Mixer. View As: One PageSlidesThe best stand mixer overallKitchenAidWhy you'll love it: The KitchenAid Artisan Tilt-Head Stand Mixer with Pouring Shield is designed to take on just about any project from mixing honey to kneading bread dough.
If you are an experienced home baker, you will appreciate the KitchenAid Artisan mixer. You can mix the dough for nine dozen cookies or four loaves of bread in one batch with the five-quart stainless steel bowl. You are certain to find an Artisan mixer in a color that matches your kitchen since there are more than 40 options available on Amazon, including Empire Red, Ice, Bordeaux, and Pistachio.
The Artisan comes with a one-piece pouring shield, six-wire whip, coated dough hook, and a coated flat beater. Also, with KitchenAid’s 59-point planetary mixing action, there are 59 touch points for every rotation the wire whip, beater, or dough hook makes around the bowl. This ensures fast and thorough mixing.
Most of the industry experts agree that the Artisan has impressive power. Foodal ranked the KSM150 as its top mixer and liked that it came with all of the attachments you need to get started. Thanks to its ability to knead bread dough, its solid motor, and the robust, stylish design, the Good Housekeeping Institute gave this model a 93 on a scale of 100. Lastly, the color selection, versatility, and motor led Top Ten Reviews to award the KSM150 best mixer honors. However, the site disliked that it didn’t have advanced features, such as a timer or overload protection.
Some 91% of the reviews of the KitchenAid Artisan mixer on Amazon are for four stars or better. Buyers noted that this rugged mixer can handle heavy duty mixing without waddling along your counter. Buyers did complain that there were too many colors to pick from, and it’s hard to distinguish the tens shades of blue available on Amazon from just the pictures. Also, the polish used for the mixing bowls may need to be removed using Bar Keepers Friend, salt and lemon, or baking soda. Otherwise, you may end up with a gray residue on your dough.
Pros: 47 colors to pick from, pouring shield, durable 325-watt motor
Cons: Lacks advanced features, like overload protectionBuy the KitchenAid KSM150PSER Artisan Tilt-Head Stand Mixer with Pouring Shield on Amazon for $299The best stand mixer for beginnersKitchenAidWhy you'll love it: Since it can handle basic mixing tasks and has an inexpensive price tag, the KitchenAid 4.5-Quart Classic Series Stand Mixer is a smart choice for novice bakers.
KitchenAid does not make cheap mixers. However, the KitchenAid K45SS Classic Series mixer is an affordable alternative. It comes with a wire whip, 4.5-quart bowl, a coated flat beater, a 250-watt motor, and a coated dough hook. There is also a multi-purpose attachment hub that takes fifteen optional attachments for making ice cream, grinding, rolling dough, and much more. You can also attach a food processor that will slice and dice fruits, vegetables, and cheeses. The accessories are sold separately and are compatible with any KitchenAid mixer.
The K45SS is one of the quietest mixers on the market due to its smaller motor. A knob on the side of the appliance lets you shift between the ten speeds. If you are mixing flour or other dry ingredients, they may go flying if you do not have a pouring shield. This model does not come with one and does not do slow start mixing.
Mix It Bake It was one of the many expert sites that rated the K45SS highly for its price and ability to handle moderate mixing tasks. However, it did lose points because it has trouble with large batches of bread dough and other tougher jobs. This concern was also brought up by Mixer Reviews, which cautioned against buying this model for regular bread making. The reviewers did like that this KitchenAid Classic Series mixer had a small footprint on the counter. And, the quality design and dependability of the motor were factors in Ratingle giving the K45SS a positive review.
The Classic Series mixer has more than 1,200 positive reviews on Amazon. Buyers found the stylish design complemented an array of kitchen decors, and they liked the mixer’s versatility. Verified buyers complained about the K45SS having the same gray residue problems as the KSM150. Also, you may want to purchase a bowl with a handle since the bowl that this unit comes with does not have one.
Pros: Tilt-up mixer head, ten speed settings
Cons: Only has a 250-watt motorBuy the KitchenAid Classic K45SSWH 250-Watt 4-1/2-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer on Amazon for $207.99 and up (price varies by color)The best stand mixer for moderate useHamilton BeachWhy you'll love it: Compared to the heavy-hitting KitchenAid mixers, the Hamilton Beach Eclectrics All-Metal Stand Mixer holds its own for lighter tasks at an affordable price.
As the name suggests, the Hamilton Beach Eclectrics All-Metal Stand Mixer is made out of die-cast metal. It comes with a dough hook, two-piece pouring shield, wire whisk, flat beater, recipes, and a helpful user manual. The motor is 400 watts with twelve speed settings. This is a tilt-head mixer that measures 9 by 14 by 14 inches when the head is down. When you put the head up, it is about 18-inches high, which should still fit under the cabinets in most American homes.
Not only does the pouring shield keep ingredients from mucking up your kitchen, the shield, attachments, and bowl are all dishwasher safe for easy cleanup. One of the advanced features is high-performance electronics that keep the power constant at every speed.
Foodal was one of the many expert sites to give the Hamilton Beach Eclectrics mixer a positive review. The site noted that the mixer was more affordable than the competing units of equal power and size and that it provided reliable time-saving performance. However, it proved to be too light for regular bread making. Mix It Bake It echoed Foodal’s observations about the affordable pricing point and concerns about daily bread making. The site also added that Hamilton Beach backs up its Eclectrics mixers with a three-year replacement warranty, compared to the one-year warranty offered by KitchenAid.
Around 87% of the reviewers on Amazon gave the mixer a rating of four stars or higher. Despite what the experts say, the buyers on Amazon were adamant that the Eclectrics is good for bread dough. They recommend following the tips in the user manual, such as never kneading dough at a speed higher than 2. Buyers liked that this mixer could automatically adjust to the thickness of what you are mixing.
Pros: 3-year warranty, good value, 12 speed settings
Cons: May have trouble with tough jobs, like making breadBuy the Hamilton Beach Eclectrics 63227 All-Metal Stand Mixer on Amazon for $174.99 and up (price varies by color)The best stand mixer for breadKitchenAidWhy you'll love it: The KitchenAid Professional 5 Plus Series Stand Mixer is the most powerful mixer on our list with a 450-watt motor, which makes it an excellent option for heavy duty baking tasks.
The KitchenAid Professional 5 Plus comes with a stainless steel mixing bowl that fits five quarts of dough and features a handle. The ten-speed motor has overload protection and slow start mixing. Installing the attachments is simple using the flip-up hinged hub cover. The bowl stays secure with the easy-lift lever. A wire whip, flat beater, and a spiral dough hook all come with the unit. And, it is available on Amazon in thirteen colors, such as Cobalt Blue, Metallic Chrome, Onyx Black, and Empire Red.
I own and regularly use the original Professional 5. It has served me well for the last 15 years. The 5 Plus is a step up from my model with advanced features and a stronger motor (450 watts vs. 350 watts). Even with the smaller motor, the Professional 5 has held up as I use it to make two loaves of bread per week. Mixing pie ingredients, cookie dough, and other easier jobs are a piece of cake. The Professional 5 Plus is an improvement on an already terrific and durable product.
Just My Two Cents, a respected expert site that reviews a broad array of appliances, gave the Professional 5 Plus high ratings for handling larger tasks with ease. The site also liked that it had advanced features, including slow startups and an overload reset. Ratingle put this model near the top of its list of stand mixers. Though the reviewers found the appliance to be rather loud, they liked the flexibility the 450-watt motor and ten speed controls afforded. Cooking Upgrades gave the unit 4.5 stars because of the overload reset and the large capacity.
More than a thousand reviewers on Amazon gave the Professional 5 Plus mixer four or five stars. Buyers remarked that it can fit under most cabinets since it is 16.5 inches in height and it takes up little space on your counter. Buyers also found it had the power to take on just about any baking project.
Pros: 67-point mixing, most powerful mixer on our list, several advanced features
Cons: Loud and heavyBuy the KitchenAid Professional 5 Plus Series Stand Mixer on Amazon for $269.99 and up (price varies by color — originally $419.99)The best budget stand mixerSunbeam/Business InsiderWhy you'll love it: If you are a casual baker who has always wanted a stand mixer but don’t have hundreds of dollars to spend, the Sunbeam 250-Watt 5-Speed Stand Mixer is for you.
The Sunbeam stand mixer is a small wonder. It is a two-in-one hand mixer and stand mixer. You simply detach the head from the base for lighter tasks, such as mashing potatoes. This model features a 250-watt motor with five speed settings.
It comes with a three-quart stainless steel bowl and chrome dough hooks and beaters. At 12 by 8 by 13 inches, it is easy to store and does not take up much space on your counter. The unit is made of plastic and may not be right for bread dough and other tougher tasks.
Mix It Bake It recommends the Sunbeam mixer for people who are willing to do manual mixing, don’t have much storage or counter space, are on a budget, are patient with controls and buttons, and who do not want one of the heavier stand mixers. This unit only weighs seven pounds. They suggest busy bakers who like to work with tough bread doughs buy a heavier duty machine. BestFiveReviewed.com mentioned that this mixer is ideal for people who want something for simple kitchen tasks, but they did not like the plastic construction and unattractive design.
On Amazon, 81%of the reviewers gave the Sunbeam four or five stars. The buyers seem almost guilty for having chosen this affordable mixer over the KitchenAid behemoths. Yet, they note that this unit works great for casual baking and for tasks that require long-duration mixing, like whipped cream and meringues. One user complained that their mixer broke down after making their second batch of bread dough, but they used the medium setting for this task. Most manufacturers suggest you use the low setting for kneading dough.
Pros: Light, inexpensive, two mixers in one
Cons: Emits an odor, few accessoriesBuy the Sunbeam FPSBHS0302 250-Watt 5-Speed Stand Mixer on Amazon for $38.77 or $39.99
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