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Georgia reviews '8 best kitchen mixers' for The Independent


Read the original article for The Independent.

"A good kitchen mixer can transform the way you cook. Suddenly whipping up a cake, the perfect meringues or homemade dough for fresh bread is almost as quick and simple as weighing a few ingredients. No more beating the butter and sugar with a wooden spoon until both arms have lost all feeling. In fact, one of the hardest things is getting used to how quick all the processes suddenly are and not over whipping.

There is a big range of mixers on the market and the two main things you need to consider are what you’re going to be using it for and how much space you have to store it. The more expensive mixers have heavy, die-cast metal frames to stop them from moving around on the kitchen top when they are mixing at high speeds. This is brilliant but if you don’t have the space to keep one on a kitchen top then it is worth considering a cheaper or smaller model, otherwise you will likely end up not using it at all.

As a standard, almost all mixers come with three attachments; a wire whisk for gently folding air into eggs and egg whites, whipping cream and some sauces, a dough hook for cake mixtures, frostings, or even mash potato and a dough hook for kneading bread, pizza and pasta doughs.

Before buying you need to think carefully about what you would use it for and how often. If you just want it for baking cakes you can save a lot of money by going for a simple model. Alternatively if you are going to use it every day and experiment it’s totally worth investing in some of the higher end appliance which you can add all kinds of attachments onto and do far more than just mixing with.

KitchenAid Mini Stand Mixer, £449 John Lewis

This stylish, artisan mini mixer is an amazing piece of kit. The solid metal build means it doesn’t move around when in use, even at high speeds, it’s easy to clean and will last a lifetime.

The 3.3 litre brushed stainless steel bowl is a perfectly decent size, and it comes with a wire whisk, dough hook and flat beater so you aren’t limited to what you can make.

If space is tight in your kitchen, this could be the best option for you. It has the same mighty motor as its bigger brother but is 25 per cent lighter and 20 per cent smaller, so is much easier to store.

All of Kitchen Aid’s mixers are undeniably good looking – perhaps one of the reasons they are so popular. There's matte black and matte grey models to choose from. 

Cuisinart SM50U Precision 5.2L Stand Mixer: £199.99, Lakeland

This Cuisinart mixer is a modern design that would look great in most kitchens. It has a huge 5.2 litre stainless steel bowl that’s great for anyone with a big family who is going to be mixing large quantities of ingredients.

There are 12 speed settings and the robust die-cast metal body means it doesn’t move around even at top speeds. It comes with the three essential attachments; a whisk, flat paddle and dough hook and everything except the whisk is dishwasher safe.

Bosch Kitchen Machine Food Mixer with ThermoSafeglass Blender: £624.99, John Lewis

This kitchen stand mixer by Bosch has everything you need from integrated scales and a built in timer to a range of attachments and an incredibly powerful 1500-watt motor.

It’s expensive but as well as a kitchen mixer you’re getting a blender and food processor – so you won’t need to buy any other machines in your kitchen and if you need all three, it’s an excellent space saver. 

The integrated scales mean less washing up as you can put everything straight into the mixer and the lid has a silicone seal so if you’re blending soup it’s airtight.

The 5.5 litre brushed stainless steel bowl is fitted with two handles which make it easy to lift up and carry and an integrated timer means no more standing over the machine – you can pre-set the running time and the machine will automatically switch off.

Kenwood HM680 Chefette Metal Bowl Hand Mixer: £55, Argos

This Chefette is designed around cake mixing and perfect for anyone who wants to save on space and have a small mixer to help out with the occasional home baking.

It has a small 2 litre bowl but the brilliant design means it can be used either as a hand mixer for quick tasks or on a mountable stand with a rotating bowl for longer jobs.

Choose from five different speeds and a safeguard lid will keep everything inside the bowl when mixing at high speeds. 

Smeg SMF01 Stand Mixer: £249.99, Lakeland

This retro 50s style Smeg mixer has all the standard kitchen mixer features; a 4.8 litre high polished stainless steel bowl which is easy to lock into place and an aluminium frame to keep it from moving when mixing.

It also has 10 different speed settings and the three standard attachments. It is quite a heavy machine so not one if you are going to be moving it around a lot.

KitchenAid 6.9L Artisan Stand Mixer: £779.95, John Lewis

Take things to the next level with this KitchenAid mixer. With a 6.9 litre clean stainless steel bowl, it’s one of the biggest for the home market, and great for people who are like to make big cakes or knead up to 1.5kg of bread dough. 

Defining itself as KitchenAid’s best performing, longest lasting and the quietest stand mixer in its class, the mixer works in a distinctive planetary motion that helps thoroughly mix larger quantities of ingredients quickly.

Choose from 10 speed settings and the power hub fits a range of other attachments for versatility. If you are going for this model you are probably quite a accomplished cook, so will probably enjoy the extra gadgets from pasta rollers, to graters and spiralizers.

Morphy Richards 400020 Stand Mixer: £79.99, Argos

This Morphy Richards mixer is great value. It’s designed for ease of use with the added benefit of being lightweight and easy to manoeuvre.

The 1000w motor is as powerful as many of the much more expensive mixers and it includes all the other standard features; 10 different speed settings, a 5.5 litre stainless steel bowl and the three attachments and a safeguard.

The bowl can go in a dishwasher and the body is easy to wipe clean. One of the only drawbacks is that you occasionally need to use a spatula to scrape the mixture off the sides of the bowl, but for the price you can hardly complain!

Russell Hobbs Your Creations 4-in-1 Stand Mixer 23480: £110, Debenhams

This mixer from Russell Hobbs is a large machine but it’s a mixer and blender in one, so if you need both you do save on space and it’s great value for money.

The mixer has a 5 litre stainless steel bowl and comes with the three standard attachments. It’s easy to use, everything can go in the dishwasher so quick to clean and the suction feet mean it doesn’t move at all in use.

The Verdict: Best kitchen mixers

Our top pick for those wanting a machine that is going to be used weekly and kept on your kitchen top is the KitchenAid Mini Stand 4.8L Mixer.

It’s expensive but it’s such a great size (not too big), looks great, is really easy to use and keep clean. Once you’ve got the hang of using it, you can buy a variety of additional parts for extra functions (pasta maker, grater etc).

However, if you don’t want to spend that much money and instead want a mixer to keep in a cupboard that you bring out for occasional use, the Russell Hobbs 4-in-1 mixer is a brilliant choice. It’s much lighter and great value for money.