The Best Stand Mixers for Every Type of Baker

16 Jan.,2023


There are people who genuinely love kneading bread dough—the whole rhythmic, focused athleticism of it. For everyone else, there’s a stand mixer. The best stand mixers will knead, whip, and whisk with ease—and that’s before you consider the additional attachments, which can transform the kitchen appliance into a pasta maker, meat grinder, ice cream maker, citrus juicer, and more. If it needs to be pulverized, sliced, or churned, your stand mixer might be able to do it. Still, most stellar stand mixers start around $350 and use up a sizable chunk of your countertop, so if you do decide you need a stand mixer, make sure it’s the right one for your needs. (Don’t worry, there’s a rec here for small kitchens too.) Read on to find the best stand mixer for you—and then get to baking, without the sore post-kneading arms.

The Best Stand Mixer for Most People: KitchenAid Artisan 5-Quart Tilt-Head

I’ll get right to it: Any KitchenAid stand mixer will make an excellent choice for most home bakers. They feature heavy-duty, powerful motors and are long-lasting; there’s a reason this is the brand of choice in plenty of professional kitchens. While you have an array of models to choose from, the Artisan 5-Quart Tilt-Head is the best KitchenAid for most.

There are two main kinds of KitchenAid stand mixers: tilt-head and bowl-lift. Tilt-head stand mixers are smaller, standing at about 14 inches and weighing 23 pounds. To access the bowl easily, you lift up the head of the machine from a hinge. Bowl-lift stand mixers are taller at 17 inches and weigh 29–32 pounds—that extra room means a bigger bowl, slightly further away from the head of the machine, which makes for easier scraping. Both kinds come with all the high-quality attachments, but the latter is really best suited to frequent or big-batch bakers who want to leave their machine on the countertop. In contrast, the KitchenAid Artisan 5-quart tilt-head can be stored in a cupboard pretty easily. One other perk? Shades. The tilt-head boasts 40 color options, while the bowl-lift comes in 10.

With a 325-watt motor, the KitchenAid Artisan 5-quart whips, kneads, and whisks powerfully; doesn’t “walk” across the countertop the way cheaper stand mixers can when set to high speeds; and is pleasantly easy to clean thanks to the streamlined shape and tilt-head design. Frequent bakers might find the bowl shape annoying (if so, check out the high-end professional-grade machine, below) but for most, this machine can handle all the routine mixing you might need for cookie dough and cake batter, plus all the jazzy extras with the addition of KitchenAid mixer attachments.

The Best Stand Mixer for Frequent Bakers and Big Households: KitchenAid 6-Quart Professional Stand Mixer

This KitchenAid bowl-lift stand mixer has won my heart, thanks to its professional-grade mixing bowl size and shape. Unlike the bowl of the tilt-head mixer which screws into the base, this guy’s stainless-steel bowl is held along the sides, which eliminates the divot at the bottom of the bowl. That means you’re less likely to end up with a clump of raw butter when you’re trying to cream it into a cup of sugar. The base is also a bit wider, making it easier to scrape a silicone spatula around the sides of the bowl.

Five-quart bowls are popular, but a 6-quart barely takes up more counter space and prevents flour sprays and butter splatter when you’re making pizza dough or chocolate chip cookies for a crowd. It also sports a more powerful 575-watt motor. One more perk of the flat-bottomed, wide bowl? You can use it in a double boiler setup as well, as it will conduct heat evenly (as opposed to one with a bump in the bottom.) Next time your recipe calls for a little melted chocolate or heated egg whites for Swiss meringue, avoid extra cleanup and set your KitchenAid bowl atop a pot of simmering water. (All KitchenAid stainless-steel bowls are dishwasher-safe, so clean up is quite nearly effortless.)