Baking cookies or brownies or something sweet is a weekend ritual at my house. I never met a baked good I didn’t like. And while all of these goodies can be accomplished if you mix by hand, if you bake with any frequency you’ll want a great kitchen mixer in your small appliance arsenal. Trust me, your arms will thank you for the break. Hand mixer,stand mixer… Which is right for you? There are a ton of options in the housewares market, and the costs and features vary wildly. Let’s look at a small, medium, and large mixer options, and see which might help you mix things up in your kitchen.
SMALL – Hand Mixer
A small handheld mixer is my go-to for small weekday tasks because it’s easy to grab, and I’ve come to realize it does more than I expected. With a 220-watt motor and 7 speeds, it kneads a light bread dough surprisingly well, but I mostly use it for mixing weeknight sauces, or artichoke dip for a party. Here, I’m using it to bring my favorite cookie dough together. It didn’t disappoint. When I’m done, a quick clean, and all the attachments fit back into a clear case, and the mixer snaps on top like a convenient lid.
MEDIUM – Stand Mixer
This mixer gives my kitchen— and it’s meals— so much character. SMEG is known for it’s 50’s retro style, it’s architectural shapes, and it’s soft colors that would compliment any kitchen decor. Their stand mixer definitely throws back, but isn’t short on modern amenities. 10-speeds (including a “smooth start” function, so you don’t splatter batter everywhere), a 500 watt motor to tackle even the densest bread doughs, and a safety lock on it’s mixing head will let you tend to other aspects of the meal while it whips cream for desert. Weighing in at 19 lbs, we’ve definitely moved out of the “small” category, but that weight gives you the power and stability to tackle pretty much any mixing project in the kitchen.
LARGE – Kitchen Machine
It’s called a “Kitchen Machine” and it lives up to its name: You won’t believe what this mixer — and its avalanche of attachments — can do. Boasting a powerful 800-watt motor, and weighing a whopping 41 lbs., it’s got the heft and the power to stand up to anything you want to assemble for dinner. But it’s capacities go far beyond mixing: Attachments turn it into a food processor or a blender, so your mixer becomes a one-stop shop chopping, pureeing, slicing, blending and shredding. Most strikingly, it’s the first stand mixer to integrate induction cooking directly into the mixing bowl, which means it cooks as it stirs. Free yourself from endlessly stirring risotto over a hot oven. You could use the bowl to steam, and then mix, potatoes for a truffle mash. Or free up a stove burner by making a warm soup right in the mixing bowl. I’m gearing up to make polenta here, and I can’t wait to eat the results.