post off: do you own a stand mixer?

standmixer

Is it just me, or are more and more recipes calling for a stand mixer? I don’t own one, so when I see using a stand mixer as part of the directions, I get a little irritated. I tend to read more recipes than I do actually make them, so on the one hand, it’s fine. And it’s also easy enough to just pull out the hand mixer instead. But all reasonableness aside, what gets me is the assumption that a $250 piece of kitchen equipment is commonplace. Especially one that, let’s face it, doesn’t tuck away as easily as toaster. Sound off. Do you own a stand mixer? If not, why? — Sarah L.

From our partners
Kyli

I do own one – and while I do think it’s great for some tasks (especially those where you can do something else while it works) it’s really not an essential. I bake enough that I don’t mind taking up a large portion of my counter but for someone who won’t use it on a regular basis it really isn’t worth the price.

kayduh

I have one and I love it. It is so nice to be able to turn it on and walk away to measure the next ingredient, etc. And the attachments are great too!

keeks

yes! i had been wanting one for years and recently saved up enough to get one. i didn’t even have a decent hand mixer, so all my recipes involved the use of a wooden spoon! i agree it’s a little expensive, but i absolutely love it – and it might not tuck away, but it looks pretty great on my countertop.

Angela M.

My husband bought me one for xmas and we all love it. I would say that having it has increased our baking 100%! It’s so easy to toss things in the bowl and mix. I think you can live without one (I used a hand electric mix for years) but this does make things easier, and suddenly all recipes are less intimidating!

dj

you don’t need one of those fancy Kitchenaid ones…next time you’re at a big-box store, check out the cheaper brands. I have one and it works just fine. It may have not have as many special attachments, but 95 percent of the time, a stand mixer is used in a recipe to mix up a batter. I think I might have paid less than fifty bucks for mine.

I absolutely love my Kitchenaid stand mixer and can’t imagine living without it. I got my first one in college and used it so much that I just got another (larger) one for my b-day some 15 years later. My original mixer was still going strong but now that I’m doubling recipes with my family of 5 I needed something larger. I use it every week at least and it is probably the most used piece of equipment in my kitchen other than the toaster oven.

I have a handheld mixer too that I got when I got married 11 years ago, and it’s still in the original box because I can’t imagine why I would want to use it when my (admittedly heavy) kitchenaid is available.

dlvogler

I have one and I love it, BUT . . . our kitchen counter space is tight and my husband can’t stand it sitting out, so I lug it out every time I need it I find myself using the hand mixer more and more.

Jennifer

I have one and it is great. There are less expensive options out there too. My kitchenaid is a workhorse though and the attachments are great.

I don’t own one yet. I make recipes that call for it – and I just use my hand mixer. It works just fine!

js

I have one, but only because my mother died and I got hers. I had wanted one for years before that but was too cheap to shell out the dough. I used to make a Martha Stewart ginger chocolate something or other cookie recipe that REQUIRED the big mixer – the dough was way too tough to do by hand and nearly killed my hand mixer.

Allison

Yes, and it’s been such a great investment. It makes baking a lot easier. My old handheld was very messy, and with thicker doughs, the dough would creep its way up until it was touching the mixer. And thicker doughs made the motor work so hard I could often smell it starting to burn. Gross!

We have a Kenmore mixer, and it was much cheaper than a Kitchenaid, has a more powerful motor, and is compatible with all the Kitchenaid attachments. It was a no brainer. And if you buy one, get it on sale at Christmas or some holiday blowout where you’ll save a lot more money.

AGirlNamedMe

I got one around the holidays in 2009 and really thought I’d only use it now and again. I use it so much more than I thought I would and even though it uses up valuable counter space and is oh-so-heavy, I cannot imagine giving it up and going back to a handheld. Best small appliance purchase. Ever.

Lauesen (T)

Yep, I have one…
A VERY old Kenwood Chef..
The speeds have kinda gone, so it only does it’s thing at one speed; Fast. -But that’s ok.. I know it, it knows me and we get on just fine (I have my faults as well).
I would not be without it.. Especially for those sponge-cakes..
It means I am “hands-free” and can leave it to whisk and mix whilst I get out other ingredients or wash up.
I have looked at a new one (shhh.. don’t tell).. but then I changed my mind, as I knew that I would not make better cakes with a younger model.. But *if* I should ever get another (e.g. when this one goes to the eternal fields of appliances) it would be a Kenwood again.

I confess I received mine as a gift, but I’d definitely spend the money if I had to. It’s great. It’s out on the counter all the time, but I’ve got flames on it, so it looks cool.

olga

i have one too! i got it at a yard sale (of all places), brand new, for about 1/4 of the price. i love it and it sits out on the counter, always ready to be used.

i had a non-brand one prior to the kitchenaid. if you are going in that direction because of the price, i suggest to get the one where the attachments are similar to the kitchenaid, otherwise they dont mix very well.

the main reason that i love it is when im making recipes that require egg whites to be done separately from the yolks, its nice to have the kitchenaid do them and do the rest by hand. it gets the best stiff peaks that my arm cannot do. its also great for whipped cream! and saves half the time. hope this helps!

I completely agree….when I got married a couple years ago everyone was surprised I didn’t register for one. I know a lot of people that have on and love it, but if you do not cook a lot it seems like a waste. It does take up a lot of space in your kitchen especially if you are like me and don’t like a lot of clutter on your counters, but there are some people that like to show their mixers off and leave them sitting on the counter with pride.

Beth Ellen

I love my big ole kitchen aid mixer–it makes everything easier. It was expensive, but I have already had it for about 15 years, and it has definitely been used and abused. I will have it forever.

Daffodil

I don’t own one. I love to bake and, if it ever stops being eleventy billion degrees outside all the time, might even take up baking bread on a regular basis. A stand mixer would be a help with this, no doubt. But I have limited countertop real estate, limited cupboard real estate, and a cheapskate streak a mile long. So I remain stand-mixerless, and I, too, avoid recipes that specify I must use a stand mixer.

i feel the same way about a food processor … i’ve been seeing them a lot more lately with dough recipes (for one) and it makes me a little sad that i dont know how to convert the recipe to work without one.

but, i DO have a stand mixer that santa bought for me a few years ago, and i love it. it’s NOT a necessity tho … you can do just about everything with a hand mixer (except knead dough), just with more effort. dont worry!

Agree with Angela … not a necessity, as I managed in Sweden for 5 years without my U.S. one, but definitely inspires me to bake more.

riye

Never had one growing up and don’t own one now (and I do cook and do a little baking). Maybe because we didn’t bake much. Mom had a little hand mixer but it only came out during thanksgiving (twice baked potatoes!).

I don’t, and it’s a source of frustration for me. There are plenty of recipes I would like to make that use a stand mixer, but I simply can’t afford $250 for one (and since I know I want a KitchenAid, I’d rather not go off-brand). These days, a girl has to get married to get any quality kitchen appliances, so those of us who are single are out of luck!

Ann

I used a hand mixer for years, and it worked fine. I was lucky enough to be given an industrial stand mixer and most of the attachments, which is just awesome, especially when doing things like stiffening egg whites and such. I have limited counter space that is filled with other appliances (Kuerig, toaster, and small pizza oven – another gift), so it’s sitting on the end of the dinner table until I can make/find a rolling prep cart that can roll over the garbage can.

Definitely not a necessity, but it is nice to have.

DJ

No, because they are crazy expensive. I sure wish I did, but I make do beating things with my old beaters and my own arms.

when ours dies, we will replace it. it mixes doughs, kneads bread, and grinds meat (with the attachment)…i’m also intrigued by the pasta maker attachment.

and yes – we grind our own meat.

Mary T.

I have both! For the simple things, I still use my hand mixer. The stand mixer I probably would never have purchased, but my mother-in-law got one for our wedding. That was seven years ago, and it’s still going strong. I don’t need it all that often, so like someone else mentioned, I keep mine on top of the fridge until I need it (and boy, it’s heavy to lift down…) but I absolutely love it. It’s just so much easier to do things like beat eggs or mix up something where maybe the butter isn’t quite as soft as it was supposed to be. I can prep other parts of the recipe while it’s working.

I’d recommend you also keep an eye out for sales at places like Sur La Table AND check the outlet stores — I recall seeing a lot of KitchenAid mixers at, I think, the Pottery Barn outlet when we still lived in Ohio!

My household is gluten-free and I bake a lot of our bread. I was debating buying a stand mixer, but a friend talked me into trying a Sunbeam hand mixer first… the one with hook attachments to knead dough. It works great for all my baking needs. It takes a little more attention (you have to hold it), but it takes up zero counter space and cost about $24, if I remember correctly (maybe less than that).

smith

have a dlx electrolux stand mixer- very heavy and strong! pricey but beautiful too!

should last a lifetime. i have a small kitchen, so it gets moved under a small island after each use. once i get too old to move it, it will have a permanent place on the countertop.

has a huge steel bowl for making double/quadruple plus batches of whatever you desire. i make 100% whole wheat bread, the kitchen aid couldn’t handle it.

smee

I bake and cook. A lot. After years of purchasing a hand mixer every six months (burning the little motors up especially with buttercream), we finally screwed our courage and “invested” in a kitchen aide. Actually we still couldn’t afford the real McCoy, so we went to the outlet and got a “reconditioned” model…over ten years ago! It has served me well. As others have testified “I can’t imagine working in a kitchen without one!” I have the world’s smallest kitchen, with almost no counter space, but I don’t care, she gets top billing and prime location! I still have a small hand mixer that gets used (maybe) once a year, and do much hand whisking. I have since added many of the attachments (can opener, grinder, etc.) Now, as my children go off on their own one by one or two by two in marriage, this is the gift of choice: A (new!) mid sized Kitchen Aide!
Feel you can’t afford a new one? Consider a reconditioned model and just go for it!

smee

recalculating…. make that over 15 years ago! wow times flies! I LOVE my (reconditioned) kitchen aide!

No, I can’t justify the price. Every time I even begin to consider one I think about all the other things I can get with the money and talk my self out of it. :) I do like to cook and bake but so far with the exception of the occasional bread recipe I haven’t really wished I had a stand mixer on hand.

Pencils

Yes, I own a stand mixer, a tangerine Kitchenmaid. It was a wedding present–I actually got two, somehow two people ordered it at almost exactly the same time so it didn’t go off the registry in time to prevent me getting two. And they were ordered around 4am, too, which is funny. So now both people think they gave it to me (us, sorry, although my husband has never used it) and I have to pretend that one didn’t go back. Anyway, I do use it for recipes that call for it, and it’s definitely useful. I like to make a cake that takes over ten minutes of beating the sugar and butter, which would be a pain in the butt with a hand mixer. however, I still use my handy-dandy hand mixer all the time, I don’t see the point of using the stand mixer for simple brownies or even whipping cream–yeah, I’ve seen people do that. And I use a pastry cutter for making pie crust, it seems silly to use the mixer for it, and I can control the crust better with a pastry cutter. Still, it’s a very useful kitchen appliance, and the bright color looks fab in my dreary kitchen (a remodel is coming!)

Christina

I have one and love it. We didn’t register for one because I am gluten-free. But similar to what others have said, more and more recipes need the horsepower of the stand mixer. I happily purchased mine on Overstock after watching the price and models for a bit. We’re looking forward to making a huge batch of tamales around the holidays, so this baby is really going to be abused!

i have one (in red!) and i love it. i don’t bake every day but when i do, i love the convenience of it. and the fact that it’s a cute color means that i don’t mind it sitting on my counter. if you have the counter space and can snag one in a fun color, they can be worth it. (we got ours at costco during a special and with a mail-in rebate – significantly cheaper! keep your eye out for it…)
many recipes that call for a stand mixer can be done with a hand mixer or just some plain old elbow grease.

rosebengal

Have one and love it even though it resides in the basement and I have to lug it out to use it. On the other hand my secret-killer frosting recipe requires pouring hot sugar while mixing continuously for 8-10 minutes and my hand mixer burned out after two tries! Also: marshmallows!

I don’t because they’re expensive, and I wouldn’t use it enough to justify the purchase. But if they were falling from the sky, I’d totally take one.

jenny

I hate the Kitchen-aid mixer. You can’t microwave the metal bowl, it has only one bowl size, you can’t stir while it is mixing, it is hard to just drop in ingredients while it is running, and it is incredibly heavy to move around.

The $80 Sunbeam mixer works great at a much more reasonable price. Comes with two glass bowls, a variety of beaters, and several speed settings.

Jen

No, I don’t have one. I have about 4 square feet of counter space and a mixer would cover all of it! It also drives me crazy that so many recipes call for one, like it’s impossible to bake without one!? I’ve survived this long without it.

jenny

I got mine as a gift and I love it. After years of living with no electricity, it was so exciting to make all the recipes I had never been able to make. I love to bake and I agree, more and more recipes call for one. It is interesting that even in the 1980’s a lot of cookbooks did not assume people had any particular small appliance.
I use it at least once a week. It is heavy, but every time I get it out, it reminds me why I work out.

Susan

I’ve had the same Kitchen Aid mixer for almost 12 years now. It still works great and it’s one of the few kitchen appliances I absolutely couldn’t do without. I bake a lot and my husband uses it to make pizza dough.

Mike Johnson

I have a KitchenAid, the classic model. Lots of people make a mistake thinking they need the bigger, heavier, more expensive Artisan model. I bake bread frequently, and my mixer works well with doughs containing up to about 5.5 cups of flour — in other words, enough for three normal-sized loaves of bread, or 4 large pizza crusts. We also use the ice cream maker attachment, and it has plenty of horsepower for that. In 15 years of using it, I’ve never once needed a bigger mixer.

The Artisan is a lot more money. It’s also a lot taller, and wouldn’t fit on the counter under my cabinets. It’s heavy, so if I had to keep it in a cabinet and lug it out, I’d find reasons not to use it.

The reality is there are some recipes that just need a stand mixer. It’s the same as a food processor or an immersion blender. Do you have to have it? No. But it performs a function that a lot of people like. If you aren’t sure you’re gonna use it all the time then there’s no point spending $250 dollars in my view. Unless you plan on utilizing the attachments or you just think the KitchenAid is pretty to look at, there are definitely other options out there (I’ve come across a bunch in the classifieds). My sister bought me a Sunbeam for Mother’s day one year. While I’m sure it wouldn’t outperform the KitchenAid in a contest, it’s perfectly fine for what I need. It cost less than a hundred dollars and I like the retro look of it. I bake far more than the average person so I don’t understand why people feel they have to have a KitchenAid since my mixer is such a workhorse. Of course I’d throw it out the window in a heartbeat for one of those pretty flower versions KitchenAid came out with. Also, I only have one small counter worth of space so I keep my mixer on the fridge. Works well enough.

Kelly

I have one and LOVE it. I use it every single day (family of six, we don’t eat out much and I make everything from scratch…). I got my red one at Bed Bath and Beyond and was able to use one of the 40% off coupons they are always sending out. So I didn’t feel like I spent too much.

The non-microwaveable bowl has never been an issue since I don’t, gasp, own a microwave. They creep me out.

Gave my kids my old KitchenAid stand mixer when we moved overseas, because I was concerned I couldn’t use it because of the 110/220 difference. BUT… my husband set me up with a big transformer in the kitchen so I can use small appliances like a crockpot, yogurt maker, etc.
After living three years without a stand mixer, I could not wait to buy one! We’re in the U.S. for a few months and I just ordered another KitchenAid and am anxiously awaiting its arrival :) Pretty pumped about being able to choose a cool color (I picked Ice) and once again be able to do some tasks a hand mixer just can’t handle.
I plan on taking it home in my carry-on — I’m not trusting enough to put it in the checked in luggage!

miss_msry

After burning through 3 hand mixers over 7 years, I broke down and bought the most powerful stand mixer Kitchenaid makes. Worth every penny and I make bread weekly, pasta about every week and grind meat now and then (it’s hard to get ground pork around here). The Citrus attachment saves my wrists when all our grapefruit and lemons come ripe at the same time and I freeze the juice. Of course, it counted as my birthday and Christmas present for over 2 years, but it’s still going strong 12 years later.