Some people swear by their expensive stand mixers and would never think about being without one. Others who don’t bake as often consider them an unnecessary luxury and depend on good old-fashioned elbow grease to make their cakes and other baked goods.
My personal view is that if you are baking on a weekly basis, or even more often than that, then you could be forgiven for investing in a stand mixer. The other view is that you can substitute several industrial-strength food processors for their stand-mixer equivalents, and they will work just as well. I consider myself in the later category, but have thought about it and do have a small stand mixer that has proven to be very useful.
It’s probably best to define a stand mixer in terms of what it is NOT rather than what it IS. A stand mixer is not actually a tool for mixing. It’s just an appliance. What happens when you attach the beaters or bowl to the motor is that the rotating shaft spins the blades and these leaves Jello-like patterns on your batter or dough as they whisk away, just like an electric hand mixer does with egg whites for example.
The great thing about the stand mixer, the thing that is so advantageous over an electric hand mixer or even an old-fashioned wooden paddle, is that the motor can handle a load much greater than what an individual person can do by hand. Therefore you can make bigger batches of a mixture – and of course more quickly too.
The main advantage I have for using a stand mixer over other methods is not about speed of making bread or cake batter – although that is certainly better – but because it makes doughs and batters less likely to become stiff and difficult to work with. This can happen with a heavy hand on the beater or paddle. With my stand mixer I have found that when I make things like cookie dough and drop cookies, they are a whole lot easier to handle.
Is it worth it to buy a stand mixer?
If you haven’t considered buying a stand mixer yet, or are still wondering if you need one or not, ask yourself this question:
Do You Baked Goods On A Regular Basis?
If you bake sweet things on a regular basis then a stand mixer is really going to make your life easier. With its unique ability to handle high volumes of ingredients and its dough hooks, it will make light work of the toughest doughs. Plus, it’s fun to use. I can whip up cakes and cookies quickly and easily with my stand mixer but slower by hand as well.
Do You Bake More Than Once A Week?
If you bake more than once a week then the time savings of a stand mixer will ensure you have more time to spend on those other important things. You’ll also start to see the money going further in your pocket.
If you are preparing batches of cake batter and dough, say for a wedding, then you should consider investing in a stand mixer. Otherwise I would suggest that you stick with the method that you find comfortable and most affordable. With trial and error, baking success will come sooner or later.
Can you make pastry with a KitchAid hand mixer?
Yes, you can use a kitchenaid hand mixer for pastry. They are not the most efficient tool for this, but it works. You need to make sure that you have a good ratio of flour to fat in order to get the best and flakiest results.
What bowl size do I need for stand mixer?
The bowl size needed depends on what you will be using it for. If you’re just making bread dough, you’ll probably need a 5 qt (5 L) bowl. For cakes and other yeast-based cakes, you’ll need a more generous 8 qt (8 L).
The only real drawback to the stand mixer is that it takes up more space on your counter than an old-fashioned hand mixer.
Is KitchenAid considered high end?
Kitchenaid is not what someone would call a high-end kitchen appliance. It is a mid-range brand, and I have found the quality of those they make to be very good indeed.
I have had several KitchenAid stand mixers over the years, including the Artisan models (those with 250 watts), and they are very well made. I have avoided cheaper models as I didn’t feel that they were up to the same standard.
KitchenAid makes some high-end models as well, but you’re probably not going to see these in households other than those of professional bakers.
Is Kitchen Aid worth the price?
That depends on your point of view. If you’re a true novice just starting out and looking for something basic, there are cheaper models on the market that will do the job just as well.
If you have a larger kitchen and are looking to make heavy batches of dough, or need something that can handle a lot of use, then I would recommend Kitchen Aid. It is worth paying more for something that has been tried and tested over several years.
What kind of yeast is used in a stand mixer?
The stand mixer uses instant dry yeast. It’s very quick to dissolve and needs absolutely no warm water.
A note on the type of flour used:
When using a stand mixer you can use all purpose flour as well as bread flour or cake flour. The reason for this is that most people don’t have a dedicated kitchen for baking. There are times when I need to do something in the middle of the day, so I will mix up a batch of cookie dough and then bake them at night when I get home from work, or put some muffins in the oven in the afternoon.
What are the best things to bake with a stand mixer?
I stick to making cakes, cookies, breads and some savory items. These are the things that I bake most often, therefore I use a stand mixer a lot.
Whether it’s for holiday baking or for weeknight cooking, the advantages of the stand mixer over hand-mixing are almost limitless and make life easier in so many ways.
A note from KitchenAid:
KitchenAid is proud of its heritage and takes its position as one of the world’s leading kitchen appliance companies very seriously.
We stand behind every KitchenAid appliance with an impressive assortment of service plans and support options, along with years of valuable expertise on how to get continuous performance and satisfaction from your kitchen appliance.
What’s so great about KitchenAid mixer?
KitchenAid mixers are made for bakers and the benefits of a stand mixer are many. When I was making my first cake, I did what so many people do when they are learning to bake – I just went for it using my old hand-mixer.
With the KitchenAid I had a lovely cake come out of its pan without any tears or any other sign of difficulty. You see, with a hand-mixer you have to be careful not to over-beat the batter because once it is stirred up enough, it will start to get tough and sticky.
With a stand mixer it isn’t like that. You can let it mix the cake ingredients for as long as you want and it will keep going, even when you’re doing other things.
I also find that with a hand-mixer I get tired right away and have to set it down or stop. With the KitchenAid I can just keep stirring or mixing and still be comfortable after 20 minutes.
Can you use a stand mixer to cut butter into flour?
Yes you can use a stand mixer to cut in butter. When you’re mixing anything by hand, it’s hard to get the butter to a small enough size that the flour sticks to it.
But when you use a stand mixer, you can put the butter in one of the bowls and let it mix for awhile. After a few minutes, it will be done and ready for the next step in your recipe.
There are a couple of mixed opinions on stand mixers. If you’re looking to spend less, there are some very good hand mixers on the market. If you are working with dairy, then I would consider spending a little more money on a stand mixer.
As long as you use it correctly and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully (don’t overheat, don’t make sure it’s clean), it should serve you well for many years to come.