Have you ever tried to make your own meringue cream before, only to have your hand had get awfully tired after whipping the egg whites for five minutes straight? Or maybe you were working with really chunky or tough dough and you had a hard time kneading it? Lucky for you, there is one machine that can take care of all that: a stand mixer.
Many people have one sitting right on their counter or in a cabinet, but others choose to save money and even find it pointless to make a investment in a mixer when they can accomplish the same things by hand.
To be honest, I didn’t invest in a stand mixer until last September because I didn’t think it was worth it, but now I can’t live without it.
Most stand mixers, regardless of the brand, come with four attachments included with the machine when purchased: a paddle/beater, a dough hook, a round metal bowl, and a wire whip.
The paddle attachment is used for making practically everything from cookie dough to cake batter. It’s perfect for creaming butter and sugar, and it does a nice job of combining everything inside of the bowl together.
The dough hook, on the other hand, kneads dough. If you’re making pizza dough for instance, add flour, yeast, and everything else in the bowl, set the dough hook on and let it do the work. Once a dough ball is formed, the hook does a nice job of kneading the dough and circulating it around the bowl, leaving your hands and work surface mess-free while the hard work of kneading gets done.
And finally, the wire whip is used to infuse air into a mixture. It’s perfect for whipping up meringue or turning heavy cream into fluffy whipped cream.
I think we all know what purpose the bowl serves, so I don’t have to go into that too much. It’s commonly locked or snapped onto your mixer so that ingredients can be added. Set up the attachment and it will circulate inside of the bowl, mixing everything in its way.
Back to my own story. When I decided to buy my stand mixer several months ago, it was because I had to make bread dough every week, as well as pancakes and cupcakes just as often. It was too time-consuming to grab a mixing bowl, make the recipe, and then have to clean all the utensils and bowls I used or have to get all messy with flour and dough on a work surface.
As fun as it is doing all that, it’s easier to dump everything in a single bowl, set a speed, and let the machine do the rest for, especially since you’ll end up with similar results as if you had done it by hand — all while having saved a lot of time and energy.
If you get a stand mixer, it will most likely reduce your costs on buying other kitchen necessities such as mixing bowls, whisks, and more because now you have a detachable bowl and tools that came with the mixer where you can add all your ingredients and make the recipe!
An average stand mixer can cost you anywhere from $80 to $300 depending on the brand, attachments, and overall quality. Needless to say, that is a lot of money, so if you only cook/bake every now and then or every other week, you’re probably better off getting a cheaper hand mixer or doing it by hand.
For a cheap but durable stand mixer that still manages to get the job done pretty well, I would recommend the 6 speed stand mixer by Hamilton beach, which costs a little more than $70 on Amazon.
But if you’re looking for something well capable, unique, and versatile, definitely go and treat yourself to a well renowned tilt-head stand mixer by KitchenAid for $250-300 on Amazon, depending on the model. I have a bowl lift model by KitchenAid which might cost a tad more, but if you’re looking for quality, this is your brand!
The great thing about KitchenAid or Cuisinart stand mixers are that they come with a attachment hub where you can purchase separate attachments, such as a juicer or meat grinder, and attach them to your machine to go beyond just making dough or cakes.
If you’re an avid cook or baker, or even want to get into culinary arts in the future, consider making an investment and getting a mixer, since a good quality mixer will last for a good 20 to 30 years and will serve you well with years and years of cakes, breads, and more.