Stand Mixers--are they worth it?
- chowser Nov 22, 2006 04:17 PM
I do a lot of baking but never (or rarely) make dough for bread and now with the no knead bread probably won't. I have a small kitchen and am happy with my little hand held kitchen aid mixer. Are there advantages to the stand mixer? There are a few times I think I would like it, like making meringues, whipping cream, chocolate mousse cake (this is the hardest one-- you mix for over 10 minutes straight so it's time consuming to stand there holding it) but I can deal with it. I've had a lot of people tell me I should get one because I bake so much. I don't know about lugging it out. I have borrowed one years ago and hated having to stop and scrape the edges. It seems like so many people use them that there might be advantages I haven't thought of. Do you have one? Is it worth it and why?
I have 2 Kitchen Aid stand mixers, and can say without a doubt they are worth every penny! They mix every thing quite well, and much faster than some other options. They are built to last a long time, based on making bread dough. I think you may be far more inclined to make bread the traditional way with one of these since it is quick and painless. You will also discover other things to make with one of these that you wouldn't even consider with another type of mixer, such as emulsified potatoes etc. You also have the option of making sausages, shredding vegetables and the like with the other attachments that go with one of these. Now there are so many finishes available that you will want to keep it out where you can see it!
I agree with mattrapp. It's not that you can't be a fantastic cook without one. But once you have one, you'll start finding yourself doing things you never would have bothered to before.
Someone just posted the 5 qt. Artisan (what most first time buyers have) for $155 on Amazon.com after coupon code NOSAVER. That's probably the cheapest I've ever seen a new Artisan.
If I had a real KitchenAid, I think I would love it. I also think I would find a way to leave it out on my counter all the time. On the other hand, I had a WestBend stand mixer for a while and could not abide it. It just made a well in the middle of whatever I was trying to mix, and then sat there beating air. And, I couldn't get a spoon/spatula in there easily to push it towards the beaters. What a total waste of $200!!
It was totally worth it for me... of course, mine was a present, but knowing what I know now, I would buy one again in a heartbeat! (I just bought one for my parents for their Christmas present, and I can barely stand to wait to give it to them!! It's the new cinnamon color and it's BEAUTIFUL!) A while back, I was baking at my parent's house and I had thought about bringing my mixer with me but didn't, and I really regretted it... I about had a nervous breakdown using a hand mixer again... I know that sounds dramatic, but I was stressed! And no, I didn't just buy them a mixer so I could use it when I came home... well, not completely anyway! ;-)
re: Katie Nell
I definitely bring my mixer with me when baking elsewhere! This is a purchase that has been worth every penny! I can see that one might have a reluctance to use it if it was stored away & had to be brought out every time, but I keep mine on the counter & find that I can whip up all sorts of goodies so quickly, that just seeing it tempts me into baking. I can have chocolate chip cookie dough ready to go into the oven in minutes!
You'll be amazed how much quicker everything goes. It's not just because you're beating/whipping/blending everything more quickly. It's also that you can keep it going while you reaching for and adding other ingredients, instead of stopping a hand mixer, laying it down carefully, getting whatever you need, adding it, picking up the hand mixer, starting it up again. It's just more efficient. When I got mine, my roommate couldn't get over it. "Brownies in 5 minutes! Five minutes!" she kept saying.
Get a second bowl if you can, and get the highest wattage you can afford.