How we test stand mixersby Christina Woodger
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From dedicated stand mixers to all-in-one kitchen machines that mix, chop and blend, we've tested the big models from popular brands - as well as cheaper alternatives - and we've found that you don't need to spend a small fortune to get a good mixer.
Our independent test results reveal how well each mixer kneads, whips and mixes - as well as if they are easy to use and clean - to help you to be sure that the model you buy will be a help in the kitchen, rather than a hindrance.
Our reviews answer the most crucial questions about stand mixers.
- Does it do a good job of mixing?
- How well does it knead dough?
- How good is it at whisking and whipping?
- Can I also use it for food processing and blending?
- Should I buy it?
Read on to find out more about how we test stand mixers. Alternatively, you can skip straight to our top recommendations by heading to our Best Buy stand mixers.
Does it do a good job of mixing?
For a cake to turn out well risen, ingredients need to be evenly mixed. We test how well stand mixers do this by measuring how quickly and effectively they mix ingredients for a sponge cake into a batter. We also check how many times the sides of the bowl need to be scraped down during mixing to ensure all of the ingredients are incorporated. We then inspect the final baked cake to see how well risen and evenly structured it is.
How well does it knead dough?
To see how well each stand mixer can knead, we make bread dough and then bake it. We check the consistency of both the dough and the bread, to ensure the ingredients are mixed in evenly to the dough, that there aren't large air holes in the bread and that it rises properly. Flatter loaves or those with an uneven structure indicate poor kneading.
How good is it at whisking and whipping?
A good stand mixer takes the hard work out of labour-intensive tasks such as whisking and whipping. We whisk egg whites and cream - kept at a specific temperature - and record how long it takes to achieve a good consistency. We also rate the quality of the final result and measure the increase in volume. The more air that is whipped into the mix, the lighter your desserts.
Can I also use it for food processing and blending?
Some mixers have additional attachments for food processors and jug blenders. With these machines, we also test their slicing, grating, chopping and puréeing capabilities (depending on what extras they have).
We rate how long it takes to slice soft and hard foods, and rate the evenness of the slices created. We also watch out for any chunks that don't get sliced, so you don't end up with an uneven mess of broken and choppy slices.
To test how well the food processor attachment grates, we use carrots and cheese to represent soft and hard foods, which both present different challenges for a food processor. We check how fast it is, how evenly it grates and whether large chunks escape untouched.
We see how quickly and effectively food is puréed, looking at how fine and even the results are, and whether there are any lumps left after puréeing.
Nuts, onions and flat-leaf parsley are chopped to see how speedy the chopping attachments are when coping with different types of food. We rate how well the food has been chopped by checking how even and fine the results are.
We use the blender attachment to make smoothies and soups. We rate how long it takes, whether all the ingredients have been blended well and check that the resulting blend is a smooth consistency.
Should I buy it?
All of the assessments listed above go into making the final overall score for each stand mixer we review. Because they do many of the same jobs, stand mixers are tested using the same core tests as food processors and mini choppers, but the total test score is weighted differently. This is to make sure each machine is scored correctly for the key tasks it is intended to do.The overall score is made up of:
- 75% performance
- 20% ease of use
- 5% weight and noise
For stand mixers and kitchen machines, we weight mixing, kneading, whipping and whisking ability more heavily than additional functions such as chopping, grating and slicing. Food processors are weighted more heavily towards classic food prep tasks such as grating, chopping and slicing.
Only stand mixers that score 73% and above achieve Which? Best Buy status.
If you think you might need a food processor instead, head to our food processor reviews.