Gone are the college days where your best baking efforts included a hand mixer and box of Betty Crocker cake mix. You’re ready for more of a challenge! We’re talking homemade biscuits and mini pecan pies. One of the key ingredients to making these baked goods a cinch is to use a stand mixer that can easily perform tasks us mere mortals would spend twice as much time doing like hand kneading dough.
With the holiday season upon us, it’s the perfect time to consider whether you want to be struggling with your hand mixer trying to make that homemade batch of sugar cookies or if you want to be churning them out like hot cakes!
If you fall into the latter group, here are a few things to consider before you invest in a stand mixer:
Do you have the space for a stand mixer?
Stand mixers can take up quite a bit of space on your countertop. Consider the amount of space you have to spare for this appliance since you most likely will not use it every day. If you have a small kitchen or lower hanging cabinets, you will need to consider a more compact version and avoid tilt-head models so you won’t feel so cramped.
How often are you going to use this stand mixer?
Now that you’ve considered spacing challenges, now it’s time to consider how often you are going to use this mixer. The average entry-level stand mixer can run around $250 and with an investment like that, you will want to make sure to get good use out of it. If you only plan to put on your baker’s hat during the holiday season, it may not be worth investing in a brand new mixer. If you plan to use it at least three times a month, then it is a great investment and will save you a lot of time.
Which brand to consider?
KitchenAid is the premiere brand for stand mixers. The company offers dozens of products on the market ranging from tilt-head and bowl-lift models to artisan style and traditional mixers. One of the great things KitchenAid does is offer a variety of bowl sizes and dozens of color choices that blend well in any kitchen. Their price point ranges from $299 to as $500.
Another solid stand mixer brand is Cuisinart. This is a brand known for its quality and stand mixers that have great versatility and stability. One of the things I really like about this brand is that they have a “fold in” feature where flour can be mixed in without overbeating the mixture. Their price points ranges from $299 to $700.
For more brands that could work for you, check out Good Housekeeping’s list of best stand mixers on the market.
This is super important! Your bowl size will determine how many cookies you can bake at one time! If you are a super-baker, then consider opting for a mixer that can hold roughly 15 cups of flour at once. If you are a novice looking to get started, then you should go middle of the road and opt for a bowl that can hold at least 9 cups of flour. I know a bowl that can hold 9 cups of flour may seem like a lot for a beginner, but you want something that you can grow into once you get the hang of it.
When is the best time to buy a new stand mixer?
The best time to buy a stand mixer is during the latter part of the year. Black Friday is perhaps the best shopping time, but Thanksgiving and Christmas also top the list. During this time, you can expect to see sales of anywhere from $50 to $150 off select models. From what I’ve seen, the steeper the discount, the less choice you’ll have over color or size, but we all have to start somewhere, right?! Be sure to scan the Target, Wal-Mart and Overstock.com’s sales papers for the best deals.