Keeping all of these criteria in mind, we scoured the market for the best stand mixers for every kitchen and tested them with various challenges, such as making whipped cream, a batch of oatmeal cookies, and a loaf of whole wheat bread. Our Best Overall choice, the Bakery Chef by Breville , outperforms the competition across all the tests, especially with how easy it is to use and clean. This model's performance is a sure bet for any baker who wants to tackle recipes requiring a stand mixer . Read on for the rest of the best stand mixers on our list and to find which of your favorites made the cut.
When selecting a mixer, a buyer's top considerations should be which dishes are a priority, the batch capacity, design features, attachments, countertop footprint, and ease of cleaning. "I cream the butter for my cookies to the max, so I need one with a good motor," says O'Brien. Stern, a James Beard Award finalist for Outstanding Baker this year, says he looks for solid materials and unfussy mechanics. "I want to buy tools built strong enough to pass down to my kids. I try to avoid all the bells and whistles. Those are typically the first things to break."
Most home kitchens have a stand mixer, and many professional chefs use them both in their bakeries and restaurants as well as at home. "We use a stand mixer in the bakery all the time for small projects, savory and sweet, whipping cream cheese, small batch cookie recipes, research and development," says Zak Stern of Zak the Baker in Miami , Florida. Sarah O'Brien, James Beard semifinalist baker and owner of Little Tart Bakeshop in Atlanta, Georgia, uses stand mixers for small-batch toppings in her bakeries and regularly for baking at home.
Many professional bakers now have cookbooks sharing wisdom, like tricks for making the best cookies or common mistakes to avoid when baking with chocolate . While plenty of recipes do fine with a hand mixer and other essential kitchen tools , many cookbook recipes require a stand mixer.
The KitchenAid 5-Quart Artisan mixer is the classic we all know and love and a high-quality tool ideal for small-to-medium jobs. Larger quantities might be an issue, but this is the perfect tool for regular quintessential baking tasks and the long list of jobs that KitchenAid attachments can assist with. Stern says he loves KitchenAid because the mixers are "classic, strong, and easy to repair if necessary." Testers love how easily the bowl twists in and out for disassembly during cleaning. The stand is sturdy during tasks like making cookies and whipped cream but shakes while kneading the bread dough for an extended time. It did not, however, become too loud or warm during use. It is heavy (typical for this mixer) but attractive enough to take up counter real estate and versatile enough to warrant the price tag.
Cons : The top of the machine wobbles during use and is heavy to lift.
Pros: Not difficult to use, and the hinge feature is very convenient. Attractive and high-quality construction,
The KitchenAid Artisan Mini Plus 3.5-quart mixer is the best for small jobs, such as a batch of cookies or one loaf of bread. Larger batches are challenging for the Mini, but this is the best choice for compact kitchens. The paddle attachment has an excellent rubber edge for scraping the bull during cookies and is an overall well-constructed machine. Although the mixer is on the more compact side for smaller counters, it still has ten speeds, and its light weight makes it easier to handle when taking it in and out of storage. It also works with most of KitchenAid's handy attachments, from pasta makers to spiralizers.
Cons: Larger quantities can be an issue with this mixer, and it can get noisier as mixing tasks become more arduous.
Pros: KitchenAid has plenty of extra attachments that can be purchased separately, and this compact version is useful for any avid baker with tight kitchen space.
The Wolf Gourmet High-Performance Stand Mixer is the total splurge that is also a solid workhorse. The sleek silver exterior feels heavy-duty and is easy to clean, making it a fancy addition to any countertop that need not hide under a decorative mixer cover. The bowl is deep, with a low and high setting. The mixer handles whipped cream and cookies, but testers noted that it struggles slightly with whole-wheat bread. The Wolf is a handsome addition to any kitchen, with plenty of additional attachments for sale, including a meat grinder. The magnetized attachment cover makes switching between functions a matter of seconds.
Cons: The mixer struggles with bread dough and sometimes gets warm and loud as the dough expands.
The KitchenAid 7-Quart Pro Line stand mixer easily handles all of our recipes, and it is our recommendation for bakers looking to make larger batches. O'Brien has had the same machine for 15 years. "I love my KitchenAid," O'Brien says. "I felt like a real grown-up when I got my first one." She has had the same machine at home for 15 years, and her favorite is "the biggest one I can get." While the 7-quart bowl allows the mixer to accommodate more significant jobs, it can also easily handle smaller batches. Testers love how easy the level is to lift the bowl up and down. The ease of the lever also makes it easy to disassemble for cleaning or to move on to the next project. The mixer comes with standard attachments, but more can be purchased separately for various tasks.
Cons: Testers noticed the bowl is difficult to seat when trying to push the back end of the bowl in place.
Pros: The lever to lift the bowl up and down makes it easy to disassemble for cleaning or switching projects
The design of this space-age-looking mixer is especially appealing for modern kitchens, and testers call it an "ideal size" for the average counter. Its silver body is effortless to clean with no nooks or crannies, and some parts can go in the dishwasher. The bowl is broad and deep enough for most jobs, although occasionally rattling at high speeds. Testers love the guard and find having the tools on the top of the machine is handy. There are different hubs around the device for impressive attachments, including a food processor and blender. A dual ventilation system also ensures the motor does not overheat.
Cons: Shutting it, particularly with the dough in the bowl, is difficult, and the bowl is not clear, making it difficult to see what is going on inside.
Pros: It is a perfect size for the counter, and everything comes together quickly and on time according to the recipes.
When it comes to width and depth, this Breville stand mixer is the perfect size for any table. The well-built machine completes every task powerfully with minimal noise and mess. It achieves stiff peaks in 18 seconds, a record time compared to others in our test pool. Testers note that the performance is "amazing" and love the presets for whipped cream and dough. The built-in timer is a fantastic added feature, as it shuts off automatically once the time runs out. The mixer clears the bowl and handles every test with ease. The exterior is durable and easy to keep clean — fingerprints do not show. Our tests proved it to be the best option across the board and an asset to any baker's kitchen.
Cons: It does not allow other attachments like some brands, but the performance makes up for some limits in versatility.
Our Best Overall mixer, the Bakery Chef by Breville, outperformed the competition across all tests. The brand is known for its quality, and this model is a sure bet for any level of baker looking for a quality build with counter aesthetics in mind. Not to be missed, our Best Overall Runner-Up, Kenwood KMC011 5-Quart Chef Titanium Kitchen Machine, has high scores for performance and looks.
In order to test how the stand mixers would stand up to everyday use, our experts tested everyday recipes. We made batches of whipped cream using the whisk, a batch of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies in the stand mixer using the paddle attachment, and whole wheat bread dough using the dough hook. Because stand mixers are notoriously difficult to clean, we also considered ease of use with each. We evaluated each model based on our attributes, including design, performance, size, features, and value.
Factors to Consider
Since every household is different in size and number of people, this list has various capacity options for smaller batch cooking or larger volume projects. Some models even come with two different bowl sizes making them even more versatile, which boosts them higher on our list.
Given that mixers have various uses, we want to ensure that the models we recommend come with enough attachments to tackle everyday recipes. Therefore, they must include necessary attachments such as whisks, dough hooks, and some type of paddle. The more attachments offered, the better. Most manufacturers sell specialty ones for making ice cream, grinding meat, and making pasta.
Kitchen stand mixers are notorious for being counter hogs that are often heavy. We aim to give readers a mix of sizes depending on what kind of footprint they seek. Whether the need is for a smaller household or a large taskmaster to make Christmas cookies, the dimensions and weight of the mixer can be a strong factor in deciding the best choice.
What are stand mixers typically used for? Why do I need one?
Stand mixers are an essential kitchen appliance every household should own for sweet and savory recipes. People even use them for non-culinary purposes such as crafts projects like slime. For many essential recipes, a household that cooks an average amount will eventually require a stand mixer.
How long do typical stand mixers last?
Some manufacturers state that a mixer can last as long as 30 years with proper maintenance. However, regular use leads to a more reasonable 10 to 15-year maximum since the motors can burn out if not properly maintained. As a result, stand mixers can be pricier since they can often last so long. If you bake a lot, we recommend investing a bit more so it will last for years to come.
What types of stand mixers are there?
There are two main types of stand mixers: a tilt-head mixer with a hinged top for more bowl access and a bowl-lift mixer, which uses a level to bring the bowl up towards the attachments. Stand mixers also come in a variety of sizes from two to eight quarts. A medium-capacity mixer will be somewhere in the middle of that range, and the footprint is generally proportionate to the size. You can find mixers in every color under the rainbow, and some manufacturers even release limited-edition colors and collaborations with chefs and artists.
What Didn't Make the List
Results Still Simmering
Jennifer Zyman is a Senior Commerce Writer for Food & Wine and a recovering restaurant critic with a culinary school degree and over 15 years of food writing experience. Her work has appeared in Atlanta Magazine, Bon Appetit, Eater Atlanta, The Kitchn, Local Palate, National Geographic, Southern Living, and Thrillist. To write this story, she used our testers' insights and extensive data, her culinary expertise, and expert advice from Zak Stern of Zak the Baker and Sarah O'Brien, the lead baker and owner of Little Tart Bakeshop.
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