Do you love to cook or bake? If so, you should definitely invest in a stand mixer as part of your baking equipment. Whether you’re whipping up whipped cream or creating delicious cookie dough, a stand mixer is baking equipment any amateur cook or professional baker needs.
If you don’t have a stand mixer, you’re probably wondering how to pick the right one for your culinary projects. With all the options out there, it can be a bit overwhelming to find a stand mixer that’s right for you.
In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about stand mixers and compare and contrast Smeg and KitchenAid, the two leading baking equipment companies.
Want to know more about stand mixers? Read on to find out which stand mixer option is right for you.
A kitchen mixer is a piece of baking equipment that helps you automate the repetitive tasks of stirring, whisking or beating.
It comes in two forms: stand mixers and hand mixers.
A kitchen stand mixer uses a gear-driven motor to rotate one or more beaters in a bowl to mix ingredients. It’s large, has power and speed options, and has an attached secured bowl.
Most basic stand mixers include three blade attachments: a beater, a whisk, and a dough hook. Here are what those attachments let you do:
A beater is great for basic tasks like mixing cookie dough, cake batter and frosting. It’s also great for shredding pulled pork.
A whisk is great for beating eggs and cream. You can even use it to make marshmallow fluff and homemade butter!
A dough hook lets you knead doughs of any kind. You can make cinnamon buns, baguettes, and even soft pizza dough.
The Benefits of a Stand Mixer
If affordability isn’t an issue, a stand mixer is a great option because of all its features! Here are just a few benefits a stand mixer offers:
- Hands-free baking
- Numerous attachments
- Flexibility for different desserts and recipes
- Less energy and time spent
There are certain foods that stand mixers are especially helpful in making.
When making bread, for example, a dough hook saves time by taking the effort out of kneading dough.
Meanwhile, a beater can easily whip cold water, gelatin, and corn syrup to create fluffy marshmallows. You can also use a stand mixer to gently whip egg whites into a delicious meringue.
Need to shred meat? Save some time using a stand mixer beater!
A hand mixer is electric baking equipment that comes with attached beaters for ingredient mixing.
It doesn’t come with an attached bowl, is relatively small, and better for cooks who make smaller batches of things less frequently.
Do I Need a Kitchen Mixer?
A kitchen mixer is great baking equipment for any cook, but there are some things to consider before buying. Before you pick out your kitchen mixer, ask yourself these three questions:
Will I Use This Kitchen Mixer More Than Once a Week?
If you plan on using it often, a kitchen mixer will save you time, stress and clean up effort. If you don’t, you should probably buy a hand mixer instead.
Before buying, think about your typical cooking and baking habits to see if a stand mixer is a good purchase for you.
Do I Have the Space for a Kitchen Mixer?
Stand mixers are heavy and bulky, which means they’re not ideal for small kitchens. If you have limited counter space, you should get a hand mixer, so you don’t have to repeatedly put your stand mixer away.
Do I Have the Money for a Kitchen Mixer?
High-quality kitchen mixers last for years, so they’re a worthwhile investment, but they’re also relatively expensive.
Stand mixers can range anywhere from $50 to $500, so before buying, think about which features you’d need and if you’ll be using it enough to make the cost worth it.
Smeg or KitchenAid?
While there are a variety of mixer options, Smeg and KitchenAid are two of the most famous. So what’s the difference between the two?
Italian-based Smeg is known for their 1950s retro-look appliances that they design in collaboration with world-famous architects. They combine mid-century style with modern features.
The classic Smeg stand mixer comes with the following features:
- Adjustable start speeds
- Stainless-steel bowl with an ergonomic handle
- Planetary mixing action
Smeg stand mixers also generally come with a wire whisk, flat beater, dough, spatula, and plastic bowl cover. The cost of a classic Smeg stand mixer is around $450.
If you’d like to know more about the quality of Smeg stand mixers, there are great reviews of their products.
U.S.-based KitchenAid is arguably one of the most well-known brands for baking equipment. Their mixers are beautifully designed and well-built and come with a number of additional accessories that can perform functions before mixing.
The difference between Smeg and KitchenAid is that KitchenAid has a variety of models and colors to choose from. Almost all KitchenAid models come with the following features:
- Adjustable speeds
- A power hub
- Hassle-free warranty
- Plastic “motor failure” gear to prevent motor burnout
Here is how KitchenAid models can differ:
Tilt-head vs Bowl-Lift Mixers
The bowl-lift mixer is ideal for people making large batches.
On tilt-head mixers, the mixer housing can easily lift so you can remove it from the bowl without difficulty. On bowl-lift mixers, the head remains stationary, so you use a lever to raise the bowl up.
A KitchenAid mixer will include either a 3.5-qt, 4-qt., 5-qt., or 7-qt. mixing bowl. When choosing a model, think about how many batches of cookies or cake you’ll make at a time. If you don’t plan on making multiple batches at once, a 5-qt. bowl is sufficient.
KitchenAid mixers are more expensive than Smeg, and models can range anywhere from $700 to $1200 dollars.
If you want to know more about KitchenAid and its unique features, check out this handy breakdown of KitchenAid attachments.
What to Remember About Baking Equipment
There are many other baking equipment options besides Smeg and KitchenAid. What you should remember, however, is that a stand mixer is more than just a device for bread and desserts.
A stand mixer is a useful and worthwhile investment. You can use one to make a variety of meals and save time and energy in the process.
Do you have a Smeg mixer or a KitchenAid one? Which do you prefer? Let us know in the comments!