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I Tried ALDI’s $60 Stand Mixer, And It’s Pretty Good |

I Tried ALDI’s $60 Stand Mixer, And It’s Pretty Good


Photo: A.A. Newton

Everyone’s favorite budget-friendly grocery store is at it again. Beginning October 18th, you can buy a six-speed Ambiano classic stand mixer at any ALDI store for sixty American dollars. I was sent one to review, and I’m so happy I got to try it out. Not only was it fun to test, it performed pretty admirably—and I put it through its paces.

When the package arrived, the first thing I noticed was how light it was: my KitchenAid mixer weighs 22 pounds, but the Ambiano is just under 10. In my opinion, this is a net positive. Lighter mixers struggle with heavy loads but, in my experience, so do all consumer-grade countertop mixers. Plus, if you have to store your stand mixer after each use—which most people do—it’s easier to do so with a lighter mixer. People who frequently move house or struggle to lift more than 10 pounds are likely to enjoy this mixer as well.


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As far as accessories go, the Ambiano mixer comes with a four-quart mixing bowl, a balloon whisk, a paddle, a dough hook, and a plastic bowl cover with a slot so you can add ingredients while mixing. The bowl cover is great in theory, but I regularly miss bigger targets than its roughly three-inch-long slot; using this would end in disaster. All of the other attachments are made of either stainless steel or coated aluminum and feel sturdy. They claim to be dishwasher-safe, but the attachment joints are uncoated aluminum, so dishwasher at your own risk.

I wanted to put this mixer through a thorough yet realistic set of tests. In other words, if a KitchenAid or commercial planetary mixer would struggle with a recipe, it was out. This meant no pizza or bagel dough and none of Christina Tosi’s absolutely bonkers cookie recipes. I chose four diverse and reasonable recipes: enriched yeasted dough, simple cake batter, mashed potatoes, and a layered sponge cake. The mixer handled some tasks better than others, but overall, it did well. Here’s what I learned.

Enriched Yeasted Dough


Photo: A.A. Newton. Guess who included the salt in the mise shot but forgot to add it to the dough?

As a rule, I don’t recommend stand mixers for kneading bread dough because even the expensive, heavy-duty ones can’t handle it. Enriched doughs are the exception to this rule, so I figured some sweet potato rolls would be a good first test.

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I chose a King Arthur Flour recipe and prepared a mise en place—this is a “dump everything in all at once” recipe, so having the ingredients measured and ready to go is helpful. Once I’d bloomed the yeast, I added the rest of the ingredients into the mixing bowl and turned the mixer on for the very first time.

The verdict? Not great, but not horrible either. The mixer struggled with the dough a bit and got a little warm, but it managed all right—and whatever mixing-related struggles it had were not evident in the finished product. Still, I think this is as stiff a dough as the Ambiano should be expected to handle.


Photo: A.A. Newton. Did I end up overcompensating for the forgotten salt? Of course.

Grade: C+

Simple Cake Batter


Photo: A.A. Newton

Next, I wanted to see how the mixer dealt with a very basic cake batter—like, say, the one in apple sharlotka, which I’d been craving for weeks.

Once you’ve peeled, cored, and sliced six or eight apples, apple sharlotka is the easiest cake I know how to make: pile the fruit in the baking vessel, smush an extremely simple batter over the top, and bake. (Seriously, the batter has four ingredients: three eggs, a cup of sugar, a cup of flour, and a glug of vanilla.) Beating the eggs and the sugar by hand is just enough of a pain in the ass that I rarely do it, and I was excited to see if the ALDI mixer could help out.

Unsurprisingly, it totally did; the mixer beat the eggs and sugar together thoroughly and quickly. I know this was a soft challenge, but I have zero complaints with how it went down.

Grade: A

Mashed Potatoes


Photo: A.A. Newton

I make mashed potatoes by whipping them in a stand mixer with butter, cream, and garlic; naturally, I wanted to see how the Ambiano handled this task.

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First, I put two cups of half-and-half and eight cloves of peeled garlic in a saucepan over low heat; I let this simmer while I peeled, cubed, and cooked two big russet potatoes and a pound of celeriac. By the time the vegetables were soft enough to whip, the cream and garlic had reduced to a sludge, and I was ready to make some dang purée.

I’m pleased to report that I had no major complaints here either. My one quibble: the vegetables collected around the sides of the bowl more than I’m used to, which I suspect is because the top half of the Ambiano’s bowl has completely straight sides. Still, it’s nothing a rubber spatula can’t fix.

Grade: B+

Layered Sponge Cake


Photo: A.A. Newton.

Now for a real challenge: could the Ambiano handle the constant beating required to make a layered sponge cake? I went all out and chose a recipe that included both whipped egg whites and buttercream frosting.

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The mixer did a competent job creaming the butter and sugar, beating in the egg yolks, and mixing in the flour and buttermilk. I had to scrape the sides of the bowl more frequently than I do with a KitchenAid, but not by much; besides, the mashed potatoes had already prepared me for this, so it wasn’t a big deal.

It fared the same with whipped egg whites, which is to say, it got the job done. The center of the bowl was more whipped than the sides and there was a bit of unbeaten white left on the whisk afterwards; I’ve had both better and worse experiences whipping egg whites. That said, it did produce firm peaks in about ten minutes.

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