Home bakers usually all have a portable hand mixer in their equipment pantry; it is an essential tool since it makes the task of beating mixtures a snap. But hand mixers, which are perfect for whipping a cup of heavy cream, frosting for one cake, or mashed potatoes for six, have their limits due to their low power output. You can’t mix stiff cookie and bread doughs, or a large quantity of batter, or the mixer will slowly labor until overheating. Once you get to the point requiring a larger, stronger mixer, and get over the feeling you might never figure out how to use it, you won’t be satisfied until you own one.
It is not unusual with the first upgrade to reach for a familiar name brand, such as Sunbeam or Cuisinart. But even though these are mixers attached to a stand, their capabilities are still in the lower power range of hand mixers. That means looking to the world of the higher-end, more durable mixer: the heavy-duty, professional quality electric stand mixer. A mixer of this caliper will not only make your baking more pleasurable and efficient performance-wise because of its powerful motor and larger bowl capacity, but since it is high quality, the machine has a long, long life. That means you will only have to buy one.
Heavy-duty stand mixers not only whip the cream and mashed potatoes with ease, but perform versatile duties from beating the most delicate egg whites to kneading bulky, sticky bread doughs with all the cookies, cakes, biscuits, fluffy buttercream, pastry doughs, stiff marzipan, and quick bread batters you can imagine in between. Professional pastry chef Regan Daley says a stand mixer will “whip faster, beat longer, knead more evenly, cream tirelessly, and basically do everything you do” with your hands or hand mixer, while freeing up your hands to do a second job. Whether it be greasing your baking pans and chopping nuts, or just cleaning up, once you start using a stand mixer, you will wonder how you ever managed in the kitchen without one.
There are several brands available on the market from which to choose. One of the qualities worth seeking in good everyday kitchen equipment design is understated efficiency melded with ease of use. These mixers provide that along with a striking visual design form, and often lovely pungent or tranquil colors, contributing to the purpose of the cooking and baking preparation at hand, at the same time demanding and stimulating attention in the workplace. They also boast alot of power. The Kitchen Aid is the most familiar and widely available, but the British Kenwood and Swedish Magic Mill DLX are in the same category. Each differs in design, functionality, and capacity, so it is important to know what your needs are to choose the proper machine. Each comes with three mixing attachments, consisting of a flat beater (for mixing cakes and cookies), balloon wire whisk (for whipping cream and meringues) and bread dough hook (specifically for kneading yeast doughs), which is all you will ever need to do a full range of tasks. All offer a staggering array of attachments that have you stuffing your own sausage, grinding whole grains and meat, juicing, or making pasta and baby food, if you so desire.
The American-made KitchenAid stand mixer has been around for decades. Anyone who works in a commercial restaurant or bakery kitchen of any size knows the name Hobart. Today’s KitchenAid electric stand mixer was designed in the 1930s and dubbed the “little pro.” It has become one of the most beloved cross-over kitchen tools in the history of small kitchen appliances. People who love to bake and are considered “amateur professionals” consider buying one of these Kitchen Aids immediately when shopping for a mixer. It is not unusual to see a KitchenAid from the 40s or 50s still working in a home kitchen, although looking a little beat up.
The stand mixer is reasonably priced and widely available with a new sweep of marketing into upscale culinary equipment venues like
Macy’s and Williams-Sonoma, even warehouse shopping stops like Costco. All of the mixers are similar in their functionality, but differ in motor power and bowl size. One model now has a glass mixing bowl.
The Classic 250-watt K45SS 5-speed mixer, descendant of the first mixer, has a 4 1/2-quart screw-in stainless steel bowl and tilt-back head that makes for easy access to the beaters and the mixture in the bowl. This was my first stand mixer, in ulitarian white. In the same line, the Ultra Power KSM103, the Custom KSM110PS, and the Ultra Power KSM90 go up a notch with a 300-watt motor, same bowl size but include a second 3-quart bowl for second jobs, which is tremendously convenient for cutting down on washing in between multiple tasks. They are all equipped with the trio of basic mixing attachments. They look real pretty sitting on the counter, coming in an array of colors like flat gray, cobalt blue, empire red, and onyx. The KSM 90 comes in stunning cooper, chrome or brushed nickel models.
The next step up is the 5-quart 325-watt K5SS and 350-watt KSMC50S Commercial. These are designed more like a miniature pro mixer with the bowl with a handle and brackets for snapping onto the stand and a lever that raises and lowers the bowl. This style is good for manipulating very heavy mixtures, like bread doughs, and are a common addition to small restaurant kitchens. For the gourmet, there is a beautiful copper mixing bowl insert just for egg whites and a water jacket that fits under the mixing bowl, that is great for filling with hot water to beat the eggs for a genoise batter. The original 5-quart Kitchen Aids, the runaway popular stand mixer recommended for all-purpose baking and the smallest budget, run about $125 to $150 retail. But Kitchen Aid didn’t stop there with their most popular and functional models.
The latest additions to the KitchenAid family are the state-of-the-art Epicurian (Model KT2651X), with a 475-watt motor, and the PRO 6 (Model KP2671X), with a 525-watt motor and lovely burnished steel attachments, 10-speed control, hinged attachment hub cover, and an ergonomically designed bowl lift handle that is unbelievable smooth to operate. Both have a built in sensor that adjusts the precise speed in relation to the load so while you are mixing a heavy dough, your mixer won’t slow down. The bowl snaps onto the stand commercial-style. The extra-large 6-quart work bowl has a handle that is softly rounded; there are no sharp edges and is delightfully easy to grasp and pull off the base with slippery hands. The plastic pour shield has a new design; it is extra wide so you can easily fit your hand while maneuvering the measuring cup. These machines hold double the volume than smaller models and are most efficient for larger jobs rather than smaller ones with only a few cups total. The professional line of KitchenAids are priced about $370 to $400.
Europe’s version of the KitchenAid is the Kenwood KM800 Major Classic or Chef Classic. If you shop in cookware shops and department stores in Great Britain, France, or Germany, the Kenwood Major or Chef line is what you will find. Delonghi acquired Kenwood and expanded the line to include their own label tilt-head DSM-7 manufactured in Italy with 1,000 watts and a 7 quart mixing bowl. Bakers with home businesses love this countertop mixer.
You will ooh and ahh when you see this sturdy gunmetal-gray (it also comes in white and an array of colors now) cast aluminum body with its 650-watt motor. Where the Kitchen Aid and the Anskaram have rounded bodies, the design on the Kenwood is more square–it absolutely looks like the ulitarian tool it is meant to be. The engineering on the flat paddle, called a K-beater since it has a K design cast in the center, and the flexible balloon wire whisk, are most impressive, as well as downright sculpturally beautiful. The unique
mixing action (called “planetary action”) is the motion where the beater moves in one direction while the shaft rotates in the opposite direction, mixing the entire batter evenly. The near 7-quart capacity mixing bowl that screws onto the base can whip 2 quarts of whipping cream into a fluff in minutes. There is a stainless steel bowl, but two Kenlyte plastic mixing bowls, one with handles and contoured like the steel bowl, the other in a “D” shape for easy pouring access; with this mixer all three bowls would be nice.
The Kenwood makes mixing enjoyable and can efficiently handle small, medium, and large batches of cake batters, cookies, and heavier doughs with ease just like the KitchenAid. The speed dial is located on the side of the machine body. It can beat 16 eggs whites into a meringue as perfectly as it will one egg white, which is because the bowl is long and deep with a dimple on the bottom. Where the Kitchen Aid enables you to double standard recipes, the Kenwood lets you triple them. You can make 4 large loaves of bread (13 cups of flour total), 10 pounds of fruitcake dough (obviously important in merry old England), a triple batch of cookie dough, and up to 15 cups of flour in a cake mix or cookie dough. In addition to the standard fixture for inserting beater, whisk, and dough hook, Kenwood mixers have three other outlets (concealed when not in use) to accommodate some 25 attachments such as a potato peeler, juicer, slicer/shredder, pasta maker, and sausage maker, and a transparent, hinged splash guard (and dust cover) for easily adding ingredients during mixing. The Kenwood tested as having the loudest motor noise of the three machines. It is the machine of choice at the New England Culinary Academy.
Electrolux Ankarsrum Original Mixer (formerly known as the DLX-2000 Magic Mill Assistant Stand Mixer, Verona, Electrolux Assistant and the DLX) is a superb bread dough kneader and that is what I use it for. The Magic Mill “Assistant” has been manufactured since the 1930s by Electrolux (of vacuum cleaner fame). It is for serious bakers who want the largest quantity capabilities. Relatively unfamiliar in America, it is a beloved appliance in Scandinavian kitchens and is just getting wider marketing in this country, mostly by word of mouth. It has a lot of extra power like a mini industrial Hobart, a capacity that can feed a family of 16, and a surprisingly quiet motor. It is a mixer in a category of its own because it is the largest capacity machine on the market today for the home baker, sort of an intermediary step between a professional kitchen and the ambitious home cook.
There is one stainless steel bowl at a full 8-quarts that is as deep as it is wide. It has a totally different look than other electric mixers because the transmission is set on the bottom of the unit, instead of overhead, and the attachments are shaped differently. The bowl moves while the steel arm on top positions the roller-beater attachment, which looks like a grooved pestle for massage, and moves back and forth with the dough as it mixes. It has a sensor that automatically adjusts the torque to the load. There is a separate rubber spatula scraper that sits alongside the inner edge constantly cleans the sides of the bowl and prevents splattering while the mixer is working. You will love the 12-minute automatic timer; all you do is load the bowl, then set the speed and time.
The beater attachment is completely unique and is designed to replicate hand kneading, making small, medium, and large batches of yeast doughs with equal efficiency. It has a capacity that easily handles a full 7-pounds of flour and 23 cups of flour. It accommodates recipes for four to six loaves of yeast bread in a snap. There is usually a bit of hand kneading to finish off a load of yeast dough, but not here. It also creams cookie and cake batters just as beautifully. There is a secondary mixing bowl made of hard plastic with a deeper design especially for whipping. The plastic bowl stays stationary while a set of double beaters makes quarts of whipped cream and dozens of egg whites in meringue in minutes. The mixer is turned on its side for the multiple attachments. The Kenwood and Ankarsrum each run about $500 retail.
Each machine at about 10 inches in width takes up about the same space on the counter, are 13- to 16-inches in height, and weigh between 25 (the Ankarsrum and Kitchen Aid) and 29 pounds (Kenwood). Kitchen Aid and Kenwood have 1-year warranties, and the DLX has a 3-year.
Heavy-duty stand mixers are available in department stores, telemarketing commercials, modest kitchenware shop and well-stocked hardware stores, specialty high-end kitchen cookware shops like Williams-Sonoma and Sur La Table, and at restaurant supply stores (check your local yellow pages). They are also conveniently available through online mail-order companies like King Arthur’s Baker’s Catalog (800-827-6836/www.KingArthurFlour.com), Chef’s Catalog (800-338-3232/www.chefscatalog.com), and Sur La Table (800-243-0852). There are new models constantly entering the field, so you might want to upgrade, or own two machines. The best holiday or birthday or Mother’s Day gift ever to a cook.
New and exciting….
Other brands of stand mixers that have entered the market include Viking, Hamilton Beach, Cuisinart, and the Bosch Universal:
Hamilton Beach Electrics Carmine Red All-Metal Stand Mixer
Professional 2-Way Rotating Mixing Action:
- Mixing head orbits around the bowl as beater rotates in the opposite direction for thorough hands-free mixing of ingredients
Stainless steel 4.5 quart bowl
Quick-release tilt-up head
- Ensure constant power for consistent mixing as ingredients are added
- 12 settings offering mixing flexibility and precise control at every speed
3 mixing accessories: flat beater, whisk, and dough hook
400 watts of power
3 year warranty
Dimensions (inches): 14.37 H x 9.44 W x 13.79
BISTRO Stand Mixer
The BISTRO Stand Mixer features a powerful 700 watt motor and six speed settings, ideal for all mixing needs. It comes with three separate attachments: a dough hook for mixing and kneading dense bread, roll and bun dough; a flat beater for stirring and beating normal to heavy cake, cookie, pastry and similar mixtures and an egg beater for whipping and aerating eggs, heavy cream, frosting and other concoctions. The stainless steel mixing bowl features a silicone-covered handle for steady control and, for added convenience, the removable splash-guard attachment allows users to neatly and easily add ingredients into the bowl while the mixer is operating. For easy cleaning, the dough hook, flat beater, egg beater, splash guard and bowl are dishwasher safe. Available in multiple colors. MSRP: $400.00 USD
Information for BISTRO Electric stand mixer, 4.7 l, 160 oz Black:
Perfect for the design-conscious baker, the BISTRO Stand Mixer is a stylish addition to any countertop.
• Compact for convenient under-counter storage
• Powerful 7 speed motor delivers up to twice the power of traditional stand mixers
• Removable splash-guard and funnel attachment allows users to safely and easily add ingredients into the bowl while mixer is operating. Eliminates countertop mess.
• Lift-assist mixer head locks into place during use with lever for easy release
• Rotating attachment head provides orbital movement, maximizing capture surface for thorough mixing
• Stainless steel mixing bowls hold 4.7L/160oz and features a rubber-covered handle for steady pouring and easy transport
• Base suction cups ensure secure countertop fixation and stability while mixer is in use
• Dishwasher safe mixing bowl and attachments
• Includes non-stick coated dough hook, beater, and whisk attachments. Additional attachments sold separately
BODUM’s history dates back to 1944, when Peter Bodum launched the company in Copenhagen, Denmark. Renowned for its iconic French Press coffeemaker and signature Scandinavian design aesthetic, BODUM has grown into a global housewares brand, with distribution in more than 55 countries. Headquartered in Switzerland, the company continues to develop all products in-house under its core principle that good design should be both functional and affordable. The range of products extends from coffee, tea and glassware to kitchen electrics and gadgets. A family-owned company, the brand is directed today by the founder’s son, Jørgen Bodum.
1944: Peter Bodum starts a new company in Copenhagen, Denmark following World War II, and establishes the brand’s core philosophy that form should follow function.
1958: BODUM® introduces its first product, the SANTOS vacuum coffee maker. Internationally acclaimed for its unique design, it remains one of the most popular coffee makers throughout the 50s, 60s, and 70s.
1974: Jørgen Bodum, the founder’s son, takes over as CEO of the company at age 26. In the same year he introduced BODUM®’s first French Press coffee maker, the BISTRO. The French Press method has been internationally recognized as the most environmentally friendly coffee maker.
1978: The company home office is relocated to Switzerland.
1980: BODUM®’s design unit, Pi-Design AG is established. This in-house team of designers, engineers, graphic designers, and architects, develops all of BODUM®’s products; focusing on functionality, quality and innovation.
Text copyright Beth Hensperger 2015.
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Mockmill Kitchen Aid Attachment for grinding small amounts of grain. Perfect for the home baker.
The Mockmill KitchenAid Grain Mill Attachment is made by world renowned grain mill designer and manufacturer, Wolfgang Mock. It turns your KitchenAid stand mixer into a household flour mill in seconds. Easily adjust it to grind grain to the exact texture needed.
The Mockmill will grind from course to very fine and will handle all wheat grains and non oily grains, medium sized beans, corn and non oily spices. Corn (aka field or dent corn) is probably about as large a grain as you’d want to feed it. When set at the finest milling setting, the flour feels as fine as what you get at the finest setting on the higher end KoMo mills.
At full speed the mill will operate at about 70% of the output of the KoMo Fidibus mill which puts it at about 2.4 ounces/minute. Also at full speed, it will not heat the flour to more than about 105 degrees Fahrenheit, well below the level where flour can be damaged.
The stones are self sharpening and designed to last for decades. It’s easy to disassemble for cleaning if needed. When tasked with “killing” (burning out) the standard size KitchenAid mixer, Mockmill engineers were unable to so. The mill is specifically designed to not put excessive load on the mixer. Even milling nearly 50 lbs of grain continuously over a 6 hour span resulted in only a few degree above normal rise in temperature of the KitchenAid mixer.