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The best stand mixer 2017 |

The best stand mixer 2017

Stand mixers are the golden boys of the kitchen tech world. With the recent, reasonably inexplicable, explosion in the popularity of baking, many people are even buying them and ACTUALLY USING THEM, rather than having them serve their traditional purpose: looking nice and impressing visitors to your kitchen, who went away thinking you were baking all the time, even though you actually were not.

Our favourite stand mixer at the moment is the Sage The Scrape Mixer Pro. It may not be the most beautiful, but it’s fantastic as well as being quiet.


How to buy the best stand mixer

These industrial-strength ingredient wranglers are expensive beasts, but a good one should last many years, and they do make the creation of breads and cakes considerably more painless, as well as being able to whip up cream, meringues and the like with their whisk attachments.

Oh, and if you want to get into advanced studies, the Kenwoods and Kitchenaids of this world also take attachments that do everything from mincing meat to spiralising veg to making pasta. Ridiculous, frankly, but somebody out there must be buying them…

Stand mixers are serious bits of kit, and can be a serious investment. That’s why our man Derek and his good lady wife have spent the last six months trying the following eight stand mixers, in order to rank them from first to last. The first four options are all extremely strong and none of them are bad. Here’s our verdict, then…

The best stand mixers you can buy

1. Sage The Bakery Boss by Heston Blumenthal

Best stand mixer a baker can buy

Replacing the Sage Scraper Pro, this new entry is in with a bullet at #1. 

Unlike its (admittedly excellent) predecessor, this doesn’t go out of its way to look unlike a traditional stand mixer, but it still boasts a host of natty design flourishes. 

These include a very handy handle on the front of the articulated mixer arm, an LED-lit bowl, an LCD timer and a handy strip light that displays the speed setting you’ve selected, just in case you’ve forgotten. 

The 1,200-watt motor is automatically ramped up when heavier ingredients are added. It really has been exceedingly well thought-through and designed. 

The Bakery Boss comes loaded with everything required of the Mary Berry-wannabe: a 4.7-litre glass borosilicate microwave-safe bowl, an additional 3.8 litre stainless steel bowl and an abundance of tools, including a scraper beater with rubber edges to catch errant ingredients on the side of the bowl, a dough hook, a flat beater for heavier batters and a huge whisk. It’s also available in five subtle colours.

By right, this machine should usurp KitchenAid (and Kenwood) in the product placement battle for the next Great British Bake Off series.

2. KitchenAid 4.8L Artisan

The Mary Berry of stand mixers

The brand of mixer that sets the standard KitchenAid’s stand mixers are the mainstay of many a TV cookery show – including the Great British Bake Off.

KitchenAid’s ‘K’ model mixer was originally designed in the 1930s and not much has changed since then. It still has the same, pleasingly old fashioned 10-speed lever with nice big lettering and a similar lever on the back to lift up the heavy-duty arm. Aside from a sloot for adding pasta-cum-meat grinder type attachments on the front, that’s about it.

The 300-watt Artisan is available in 26 tantalising colours and comes with a 4.8-litre stainless steel bowl, a balloon whisk, dough hook and flat beater for heavier mixes. It couldn’t be easier to use. Simply throw in the ingredients, lower the arm and slide the speed controller a few notches to the right. The motor fires up and much mixing is done.

A clear, removable plastic lid protects against splash back and features a large portal for the addition of extra ingredients during the mixing process. Few modern mixers match this handsome retro beauty for style or blending efficiency.

Granted, the KitchenAid Artisan costs more than its competitors but you’ll reap the benefits in reliability, durability, efficiency and, above all, ease of use. Whether you prefer it or the Sage largely comes down to whether you prefer a modern or classic look.

3. Magimix Patissier Multifunction

A very different take on the stand mixer

If you want to go beyond just bread and cake baking, consider this pricy but hugely efficient stand mixer-cum-food processor from Magimix. 

The Patissier is available in black, silver, red, creme and pink and pretty much covers all baking and food preparation eventualities, whether it’s kneading dough, whipping cream, whisking eggs, slicing, dicing and grating vegetation or chopping nuts. It’s also capable of making smoothies and fresh juices.

The Patissier is comprised of a heavy-duty main unit replete with a whopping 1,500-watt motor  that is guaranteed for 30 years. No, that’s not a misprint

A plethora of accessories too long to list here means you will need a lot of space. Highlights include a 4.9-litre stainless steel bowl, three extra plastic bowls and a whole bunch of cutting and slicing implements. 

The main unit is easy enough to use as it has just three big buttons – stop, auto and pulse – but you can be sure your head will be buried in the substantially comprehensive manual for quite some time, if only to work out which accessory is best for the task in hand.

If you have the financial wherewithal and the space to store it all, you won’t be disappointed with this machine’s performance since it excels at almost any job you throw at it.

4. Smeg SMF01 Stand Mixer

Reminiscent of a Boeing 737 engine

The SMF01 is striking showpiece of cod 1950s splendour. Visitors will probably ignore your greetings and head straight towards the counter top for a quick stroke of its smooth, glossy die-cast aluminium head – reminiscent of a Boeing 737 engine – and beautifully machined base.

Then they’ll ask you to bake a cake.

The Smeg has a 10-speed, soft-start 800-watt motor – 500 more watts than the KitchenAid, although we actually question the usefulness of that – which makes light work of anything you throw into its equally gorgeous 4.8-litre polished steel bowl. One area where it arguably surpasses the Kitchenaid is that adding and removing tools is easier.

Given that the Smeg is now a tad chaper than the KitchenAid, it’s a genuine toss up between the two. In many respects the Smeg seems the better buy as it’s equally well built and it comes in a similar range of striking colours. However, one can’t discount the renowned reliability of the KitchenAid motor and other moving parts.

We also don’t like the look of this one as much, and feel it’s also less likely to fit into most kitchens. That’s just us, though. And, of course, if you’ve already filled your kitchenette with other bits from Smeg’s art deco-influenced design roster, dive right in. It’s a cracking cake companion.

5. Kenwood kMix

Remember that kerfuffle (a few years ago now) in the land of the Great British Bake Off, when the Twittersphere lit up with a bombardment of angry tweets from viewers who had seen something they did not like. No, not Paul Hollywood’s shiny hairdo but the sight of a new stand mixer in place of the loyal KitchenAid model spied in so many previous series.

Well this was the culprit that’s had the KitchenAid cognoscenti up in arms. The Kenwood kMix has many modern design flourishes, including a varispeed 500 watt motor, a huge 5-litre mixing bowl and a big control knob that includes a reverse gear no less. But is it any better than the KitchenAid?

The kMix stands taller than the KitchenAid and is only slightly less sturdy. This particular variant comes with a choice of either a glass or stainless steel bowl. We’d opt for the stainless steel version which is much lighter in the hand, prettier to look at and it won’t smash into a million shards if dropped.

Where the KitchenAid’s clear plastic lid can be added and removed with the mixing arm down, this one’s cover is clipped into the mixer head and fits flush with the bowl when the arm is lowered. It’s a neat concept in theory but in practice it means having to add extra ingredients mid-mix through a small portal with an annoying flap. The big control knob can be considered a wonderfully tactile thing but its dial is far too hard to read in low light.

On the plus side, the kMix’s 500-watt motor is fairly quiet and we like the way it slowly accelerates instead of starting off at full pelt. The unit also comes with the full gamut of accessories: a huge balloon whisk for creams and cakes, a K-beater for dry ingredients, a dough hook and a creaming beater that scrapes the side of the bowl like a spatula. The kMix looks grand in any modern kitchen and does the job well. It’s cheaper than the KitchenAid and similarly well built, but the KitchenAid stills wins for effortless operation and simplicity.

6. Tefal Kitchen Machine

Great name, great mixing (with added blending)

You get a bit more for your money with this mixer. A 1.5-litre blender attachment for smoothie making and a shredder-cum-slicer for knocking up a quick salad.

For a mid-priced machine, the planetary-action equipped Tefal performs exceedingly well. It comes with a hefty 900-watt motor, a 4.6-litre stainless steel mixing bowl, six speed settings and the usual trio of mixing tools.

True, some ingredients tended to stick to the side of the bowl during our sponge test but that’s the case with most mixers bar those fitted with spatula-based beaters.

The addition of a blender attachment can be considered a major bonus, especially for those who haven’t already got one. It’s easy to fit – simply pull off the rotor housing on top and attach – and works surprisingly well. The veggie slicer, though, is a bit of a faff to fit and probably the one item in this package that will rapidly be consigned to the back of the cupboard.

The Kitchen Machine – clearly the boardroom bods at Tefal gave up finding a sexy name for it – isn’t the most attractive machine on the worktop but it does the job well enough for its price.

7. AEG UltraMix KM4000

High-powered Scandinavian engineering

This monumental 1,000-watter has the most powerful motor in the roundup, and could feasibly mix concrete. However, you may wish to wear ear muffs when firing it up because it makes a bit of a racket.

That aside, the ultraMix has two main USPs: it comes with a pair stainless steel bowls (one large, one small) and an LED that bathes the contents of the bowl in a cool blue hue. No question, the AEG is an extremely attractive hunk and being of Teutonic/Swedish origin, you can be sure it’s superbly built too.

Design wise it looks somewhere between the KitchenAid’s unabashed retroness and the post modern clout of the Kenwood kMix. The AEG comes with the usual range of accessories (spiral dough hook, whisk and flat beater) and a large, well-lit, 10-speed knob on the side. It handled a banana cake mix with aplomb, its whisky thing making light, airy work of the ingredients. In the pantheon of smart stand mixers, the AEG does the deed well but the jury’s out on the noise it makes in the process.

8. Morphy Richards Folding Stand Mixer

Best stand mixer for smaller kitchens

Here’s a neat angle – a folding mixer for those with worktop space restraints.

The MR is ideal for the casual cook who bakes once in a while and isn’t remotely interested in having a status symbol on the kitchen worktop. Build quality and efficiency can’t compete with the prestigious players – this one’s all plastic and the twin whisk attachment is titchy by comparison – but it will muster up a huddle of decent cupcakes and the odd loaf.

The folding mechanism, however, is a stroke of genius. After a clean up, both the arm and the vertical column fold down into a neat package for storing in the nearest cupboard. But you will need to find somewhere to stash the bowl. And speaking of bowls, this one actually spins while the whisk (or dough hook) does its stuff. We’re pretty sure that’s not a good sign, in terms of potential longevity or efficient mixing. The kids will certainly enjoy it, though.

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