Finding the Best Stand Mixer
But do you know if your stand mixer is truly the best option for stirring up all those family favorites? That’s where Taste of Home‘s Test Kitchen comes in. Our culinary team just had to know which stand mixer would do the best job of testing out the recipes sent in by our readers (you should submit one!).
So to find our Best Loved Brand (what’s that?), our culinary team collected the biggest names in mixers and used them in our Test Kitchen for several months. But to really get a feel for these mixers’ performance, our cooks put them head to head in a series of challenges:
- Whipping: How long did it take to whip two egg whites into stiff peaks? Did the whisk attachments reach the bottom of the bowl?
- Creaming: How well could the paddle attachment cream a cup of sugar with a half cup of butter? Did the bowl need to be scraped down to incorporate the ingredients?
- Blending: How long did it take to blend drops of yellow and blue dye to make green (using a base of cream cheese)?
- Price: Is the product affordable? Was the performance reflected in the price?
The Best Stand Mixer: KitchenAid Artisan 5-Quart Stand Mixer
KitchenAid is the most iconic mixer brand out there, and our Test Kitchen proved it’s the best performing one, too! See why these candy-colored mixers are so well loved, and why our staffers give this mixer five out of five stars.
Features We Loved
- Powerful motor: The KitchenAid Artisan ($380) is a powerful small appliance. It easily stirs up even the stiffest of cookie doughs and kneads homemade breads like it’s whipping air. When you’re a serious baker, you need a machine that can handle any recipe you toss its way.
- Variable speed: This mixer offers 10 speeds, which means you can stir at the precise speed you need.
- Versatile attachments: In the box, you’ll get a paddle attachment, whisk and dough hook. However, KitchenAid attachments don’t stop there. The strong motor can power all sorts of attachments like a veggie spiralizer, pasta machine and more.
- The colors: We know that the hue of your appliance doesn’t have anything to do with its performance, but isn’t having a mixer that matches your kitchen or your personality infinitely more fun? We love 2018’s KitchenAid color of the year, but if that tropical melon shade isn’t for you, KitchenAid offers more than 40 colors to suit any style.
How It Performed
KitchenAid’s Artisan Stand Mixer—the most popular model—earned every one of its five stars. It made quick work of each task. Egg whites whipped into stiff peaks in about 90 seconds. The butter and sugar also creamed together quickly and evenly—we only scraped down the bowl once. As for blending together the food coloring, the mixer also made swift work of that task. In 35 seconds, the cream cheese was perfectly green.
This, however, just confirmed what our culinary team knew to be true: The KitchenAid is the ultimate kitchen superstar. It’s the standard mixer used in our Test Kitchen to whip up reader-submitted recipes every day!
Though this mixer performs expertly, it does come with a hefty price tag—about $380. The KitchenAid Artisan is an investment, but first-time buyers can take comfort knowing that every KitchenAid stand mixer comes with a lifetime warranty (psst: these brands offer excellent warranties, too!).
We Also Recommend…
KitchenAid’s Artisan wowed our test team, but it wasn’t the only strong stand mixer. Our testers agree these brands also will help you mix with ease.
- Cuisinart Precision Master 5.5-Quart Stand Mixer ($200, left): This stand mixer has a start-up feature that slowly ramps up to your desired speed, which helps keep the ingredients from splashing out of the bowl. It’s quiet, mixes evenly and has a useful tilt feature that locks in place both up and down. It’s less expensive than the KitchenAid, too, so if you aren’t sure how often you’d use a stand mixer, it might be right for you.
- Hamilton Beach Stand Mixer ($100, right): This mixer is lightweight with suction cups that help hold it snugly on the counter. Two side handles on the mixing bowl and a handle at the top make it easy to keep your grip on what you’re making. The whisk rotation was fast, second only to the KitchenAid, but you need two hands to lower the head, which was a drawback. The price is right at $100 if you’re wanting something for lighter use.
What to Make with Your Stand Mixer
When you have a pretty KitchenAid on your countertop, chances are you’ll be reaching for it all the time. The paddle attachment makes quick work of all kinds of cookie doughs while the whisk can help you make whipped cream and meringue in a hurry. In fact, use it to beat up egg whites in no time—less than 90 seconds!
That’s the foundation of this old-fashioned divinity recipe straight from Grandma’s kitchen. The KitchenAid whisks up the egg whites, then provides the candy with its light, airy texture. This treat is truly heaven, just like these other recipes!
How to Take Care of Your Stand Mixer
To keep your mixer whipping up divinity and so many other fabulous bakes, you’ll have to give it a bit of care. The attachments are best washed by hand, though the bowl is dishwasher-safe. Occasionally, though, you’ll want to give the entire machine a deep clean. Your secret weapon? A toothbrush! Use it to sweep away dust from the motor vents and more.
After putting loads of stand mixers to the test, our Test Kitchen knows the truth: The KitchenAid really does live up to its reputation.
Now, go mix up some new recipes!
About Best Loved Brands
If you’re like us, you want all your favorite recipes to turn out fabulous every single time you make them. That means opting for the best tasting ingredients and the best tools. While picking your favorite brand of chocolate chips or bacon is a task, it’s a delicious one to be relished. Choosing the best gadgets and gear for your kitchen, though, is another story. Unless you buy several stand mixers or food processors and put them through their paces, how can you ever know which will make your recipes turn out their best? That’s where our Test Kitchen comes in. Our culinary experts tried dozens of products our Test Kitchen—testing your recipes—to find out which brands came out on top.