Do you love to bake? Does your Christmas cookie list cover an entire page?
Anyone who cooks or bakes needs a stand mixer in their kitchen. Sure, you can mix things by hand, but when you’re making a large batch of cookies or cakes, it’s just that much easier to use a stand mixer for the kneading and mixing.
If you’re balancing on an edge and wondering if a stand mixer is worth it, this is a good read. We’ve discussed the pros and cons of stand mixers, so you’re able to decide whether it’s worth it or not.
What is a stand mixer?
Lots of appliances carry the name “mixer” on them, but stand mixers are special.
They generally consist of a large base with a big bowl attached to it, and the entire thing is both heavy and bulky.
The stand mixer is generally considered a motorized set of hands, because of how well it mixes things together, kneads a dough, and much, much more.
Advantages of stand mixers
A stand mixer offers many advantages over handheld mixers, food processors, and other types of kitchen appliances made for mixing:
- Stand mixers are sturdy. They are made for heavy-duty tasks. While most of the handheld mixers are made of plastic, most stand mixers are made from metal. They will not crack, overheat, or break easily. They will not fall off your counter or tip over when not in use.
- Multitaskers, rejoice. The stand mixer is your friend. It will free your hands so you can do other things. While your mixer is mixing you can be measuring other ingredients, or even cooking something else. You can easily set a timer while the mixer is doing what it’s supposed to, and then check back with it from time to time.
- You can easily add ingredients while the mixer is still operating. This is a big advantage of stand mixers over handheld mixers. Does the recipe ask you to add the eggs one at a time? No longer do you need to turn off the mixer for each egg, wash your hands, turn the mixer back on, and repeat for each egg. Turn the mixer on and let it continue to mix as you add the eggs. You will save a good amount of time. While the mixer is still mixing, you can add in your other ingredients.
- Stand mixers often have attachments available to make your mixer more versatile. Many stand mixers come with a flat beater, a wire whisk, and a dough hook. Some have other attachments available for additional purchase. Some attachments will cut pasta, spiralize vegetables, even grind meat. One stand mixer comes with an attachment to make ice cream. Any small kitchen appliance should be able to multi-task.
- Your stand mixer has a more powerful motor than a handheld mixer. That extra power allows you to mix even thick cookie dough without worrying about burning out the motor. These powerful motors have no problem dealing with a double batch of cookie dough. I have burned out the motors on several handheld mixers trying to mix up stiff cookie dough. My stand mixer handles it without a problem.
- Have you ever taken out a handheld mixer, looked at the beaters, and found they were broken? Maybe they rusted through. Perhaps a wire in the beater broke off the base of the beater. You won’t have that problem with a stand mixer. The flat beater of a stand mixer is far more durable than the beaters used in handheld mixers.
- Your stand mixer is convenient. It sits on your counter, just waiting for you to put it to work. You walk past and it begs you to make cookies. No need to dig through your cupboards looking for the beaters to the handheld mixer. Your stand mixer is there, all ready for you.
- What happens when you add flour to your wet ingredients in a mixing bowl and then start your hand mixer? Too often you end up with flour flying everywhere. Because the bowls of stand mixers are deeper than most mixing bowls, you won’t have that problem with your stand mixer. Less mess is always a good thing.
- Do you suffer from arthritis pain or shoulder pain? A stand mixer will simplify the mixing task for you. You can mix without adding to your pain levels. Let the machine do the work for you.
- A stand mixer will mix ingredients thoroughly and consistently every time.
Disadvantages of stand mixers
Stand mixers may not be for everyone. They come with their own set of disadvantages.
- They are expensive. Stand mixers are significantly more expensive than handheld mixers. The cost factor can easily be a problem for many people. If you want a stand mixer, but don’t think you can afford one, watch for sales or look into getting a used one. Look for significant price cuts and deals. They might be cheaper over the summer, because that’s generally the “low season” of stand mixers.
- Stand mixers are heavy. They are not something you want to move around your kitchen very often. A stand mixer needs to have its own space. It is not something you want to be hauling out of cupboards every time you want to mix up a cake batter, that’s for sure.
- Any stand mixer takes up valuable counter space. Since they are so heavy, your stand mixer needs a dedicated space on your kitchen counter. If you have limited counter space, this may be a problem for you.
- They may be too tall for your under-cabinet counter space. Because the stand mixer becomes a permanent resident of your kitchen countertop area, you have to think about whether it will fit in the space underneath your upper cabinets. The size of your stand mixer may be an issue for you. You can think of a way to work around the size issue. Be creative – maybe a narrow table against a kitchen will work as a permanent and convenient home for your stand mixer.
- A stand mixer is not necessary for every mixing job. You will probably want to have a handheld mixer as well, for those small, little mixing tasks. Then you have two mixers in your kitchen.
How will a stand mixer benefit you?
What benefits will a stand mixer give you? Is it worth the extra cost? I was surprised by the benefits I found from using a stand mixer:
- What if the butter for your recipe isn’t soft enough when you start mixing? A stand mixer has enough power to beat through that firm butter and get it creamy. Some cookie doughs are extremely stiff. When using a handheld mixer you wonder if there is enough power for the mixer to get through the dough. You don’t have to worry about that with a good stand mixer!
- Do you ever make bread? Do you enjoy kneading the bread dough? I know that some people do, but what if your mixer could do that for you? One feature of stand mixers is the ability to knead bread dough. No need to get your hands all covered in dough and flour. Let the mixer handle all that dough.
- I love that my stand mixer can shred meat. I sometimes cook some boneless chicken breasts, put them in the mixer, and in just a few minutes I have shredded chicken. I would much rather do that instead of standing in front of a cutting board with a couple of forks, trying shred several chicken breasts. This alone makes a stand mixer worth it.
- Stand mixers are expensive, I know. But consider it an investment; it will pay for itself over time. I burned out the motors of several handheld mixers before I got my stand mixer. For the cost of all those handheld mixers (which always broke at the most inconvenient time), I could have had a stand mixer that would last for a decade (or more!).
- What is the longest amount of time you have ever had to beat some ingredients for a recipe? Whipping cream takes eight or nine minutes to get the right texture. Holding a handheld mixer for that length of time can be tiresome. Not a pleasant thought? Now, imagine that same whipping cream in a stand mixer. You can just stand there and watch the mixer do all the work, and you can even add additional ingredients without stopping. No more aching arms from holding the mixer.
Will a stand mixer benefit you? Is a stand mixer worth it? Is it worth the cost? Can you justify the space a stand mixer will use?
We hope this quick walkthrough of advantages and disadvantages helped you a little bit.
Otherwise you’re welcome to ask any questions you may have in the comment section below. We’ll be happy to answer anything.