Monday, September 29, 2014

Equipment Review: Best Stand Mixers

Buying a stand mixer can be expensive, then add to that the uncertainty of how well the mixer actually performs can make you queasy. The only information you can go by is the manufacturers propaganda or personal biased reviews that are not truly comparison reviews because they only deal with one brand.
I found this comparison test while looking through my favorite cooking magazine "Cooks Illustrated" (you need to buy a subscription) and TV show "America's Test Kitchen". I think you will find it helpful mixer if you are planning the purchase of a stand mixer. They explain and test the needed capabilities of a stand mixer.

The Test:
Published on Oct 1, 2013

Video of the Test:
Also at this link are dozens more tests of various kitchen equipment you may want.

Read full testing details on Cook's Illustrated:
Buy our winning stand mixer:

A stand mixer is one of the most expensive appliances in your kitchen, so it had better do it all—from whipping a single egg white to kneading thick pizza dough. We ordered nine models, priced from nearly $230 to a jaw-dropping $849, to find out which one performed best.

Products tested (listed alphabetically):
Bosch Universal Plus Mixer
Breville Scraper Mixer Pro
Cuisinart 5.5 Quart Stand Mixer
Cuisinart 7.0 Quart 12-Speed Stand Mixer
KitchenAid Classic Plus Series 4.5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer
KitchenAid Pro Line Series 7-Qt Bowl Lift Stand Mixer
KitchenAid Professional 600 Series 6-Quart Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer
Vollrath 7-Quart Countertop Commercial Mixer
Waring Commercial Professional 7-Quart Stand Mixer

About America's Test Kitchen:
America's Test Kitchen is a real 2,500 square foot test kitchen located just outside of Boston that is home to more than three dozen full-time cooks and product testers. Our mission is simple: to develop the absolute best recipes for all of your favorite foods. To do this, we test each recipe 30, 40, sometimes as many as 70 times, until we arrive at the combination of ingredients, technique, temperature, cooking time, and equipment that yields the best, most-foolproof recipe.

Each week, the cast of America's Test Kitchen brings the recipes, testings, and tastings from Cook's Illustrated magazine to life on our public television series. With more than 2 million viewers per episode, we are the most-watched cooking show on public television.

More than 1.3 million home cooks rely on Cook's Illustrated and Cook's Country magazines to provide trusted recipes that work, honest ratings of equipment and supermarket ingredients, and kitchen tips.


  1. I am working on my 3rd Kitchen Aid mixer. Not because they gave out on me, but because each time I wanted a bigger machine than the one I had. Now I have the big Professional 600 6 Qt 575 watt. model. This one has the best splash guard, but I liked my last one better, It was a 350 watt Millennium edition. . It mixes the best, IMHO. The Professional model is a direct drive machine and makes a lot of noise; another reason I liked my last one better. They are awesome machines and will last a lifetime.

    1. I'm on my 4th and last one and I'm afraid they don't last a life time unless they're a 'pantry queen'. You are right about the noise level, on high it is unbearable. My current and last one is the "Commercial" version @ $899.00. It is very quiet and has good power, just need to see if it will last kneading 100% whole wheat bread dough.

  2. I'm going to have to check out their links. I'm sure you recall all the trouble I had with my Kitchen Aid. I STILL don't mix 100% whole wheat bread in it....seems like such a waste :(

    1. Check them out, it is a good test and brings up the weaknesses of many so called good brands.
      I remember when Paul replaced the gears in it.
      Yes, it is a shame these mixers can't handle 100% whole wheat bread dough. You would think by now and all the preppers out there trying to make 100% whole wheat KA would fix their issues with them. This isn't rocket science. But then again they gave up making the mixers in the USA all in the make of profit so there's in no interest in investing money to make it better.

  3. I thought you had given up on Kitchen Aid mixers.

    1. Joyful, I have! I'm on my fourth one and when it breaks then I will change brands, probably go with a Hobart ($$$) and get it over with.

      I posted this test to help other make good decisions on purchasing expensive items. As you can see some of these stand mixers would be a real disappointment when you go to use them.

    2. Hi Mike, I appreciate your reply and your test information. I currently have a Kitchen Aid mixer myself and so far it has stood me well for a few years but it doesn't seem that it would stand up to constant use. Mine doesn't get used every week or even every month. When I do use it I use it several times in a row and then it sits unused again for awhile. If I ever get the chance I would like to get a Kitchen Aid Pro. Have you used one of those? I haven't heard of a Hobart. I should check into that one.

    3. Joyful, I did own the KA Pro, in fact two of them. The first one I had for 1 month, was so noisy it would hurt your ears when on high milling grain. I called KA and they sent me another new one free including all the return shipping doc's. Sadly it was the same as the one I returned, it was screaming loud, the motor would over heat and just after warrantee the gear box broke. So out to the curb it went! I then purchased the "Commercial" model and so far (almost 2 years) it has been fine and it is very quiet.

      Please remember I bake 100% whole wheat bread by milling my own long term stored wheat grain. That dough is very stiff and the motor works very hard, that's why I over heat and break the machines, even though KA say's the machine can handle it... I know of only one other person who bakes home milled 100% whole wheat bread (Krazo Acres) and she recently broke her gear box also.

      I think for normal baking and mixing the KA's are fine and if you view the video the testers confirm it does everything better than the others. Plus I like all their attachments KA makes and sells for them.

      Hope this helps!

      The Hobart link:

  4. You know, nothing seems to be made as well as 30 or 40 years ago. Everything seems cheaper and more flimsy and now mostly made in another country. No pride in making an outstanding product anymore.. My Kitchen Aids are not pantry queens; I use mine almost every day and do bake 100% whole wheat bread. However, I grease the gears periodically, and do not overload the machine. My 30 year old KA tilt top seems more robust than my new one. I am glad I still have it.

  5. Thank you very much for the wonderful article.

    I have shared it on my social media accounts.