A friend asked me on twitter to recommend stand mixers. I asked about her baking habits.
I LOVE my stand mixer. I find that it makes baking easier, most recipes are written with a stand mixer in mind, and it makes the magic of frosting easier as well. But, it takes up significant kitchen real estate, which is a problem for me in my tiny Brooklyn kitchen, so it is only for serious bakers, or those who do quite a bit of baking.
Last year (actually, before last thanksgiving, so happy one year stand mixer anniversary to me!) I asked for the Red KitchenAid Five Quart Model for my Christmas gift. Since I was baking for Thanksgiving, I asked for it early.
I ordered it from the KitchenAid Outlet. It is a refurbished model, and only has a six month warranty, but otherwise the same model as new.
I do think that the KitchenAid was a good investment, because not only do I use it weekly or more, there are also additional accessories that you can get. I am looking at the Pasta Roller/Cutters, or Food Grinder Attachments, Slicer/Shredder Attachments , or even Ice Cream Maker Attachment (The latter would probably take up too much space in my freezer, however, I thought about using it as a cooler bowl for egg based meringue icings that have to cool. Just a thought.)
I know other people have other types of mixers. I do recommend (if you can afford it) to go with a brand name such as KitchenAid or Cuisinart. If you do bread, and want to use the mixer to knead, I would not think about a smaller or less powerful mode. If you do gluten free baking, you want a more powerful stand mixer. If you do the occasional cake, and want to just not have to stand there for 2 minutes mixing the mix (nothing wrong with that!) you may be able to get away with a cheaper and less powerful model.
Lastly, I would not buy a stand mixer the first time you bake. I would rather buy a (very) cheap hand mixer to use for a month or two while my frustration builds, than to spend 200+ on a mixer that I may not use. \
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