Last Updated on February 22, 2023
You’ll easily find KitchenAid mixers proudly displayed on kitchen countertops all over the world. Whether it’s the pandemic-induced baking boom or the rising popularity of bake-off shows, stand mixers are becoming a hot topic once again.
But is a KitchenAid mixer really an indispensable kitchen item? In this article, we’ll tell you all about the KitchenAid craze and its best competitors on the market. Let’s get started!
Why Are KitchenAid Mixers so Popular?
The beautifully designed iconic vintage look of the KitchenAid mixers has been their staple feature for years. It’s one of those things that becomes more seductive the older it gets. A KitchenAid mixer is definitely going to change the look of your countertop. And if you open Instagram, it won’t take long before you find a few millennials showing off their hand-me-down KitchenAid mixers. So what is all the fuss about?
For starters, KitchenAid mixers are hands down very high-quality and very durable. They’re expensive, yet they’re also most likely to be the first and last stand mixer you’ll ever buy. Even the attachments from the older models fit today’s mixers, which proves the brand’s claim that they’ve been made to last.
But the main reason KitchenAid mixers came out of the box very successfully is the way they utilize planetary motion. This is a patented feature where the beater spins in two opposing orbits, i.e., the head and the tool spin in opposite directions from each other.
If you’ve seen a standing mixer in operation, you’re familiar with this spinning motion that makes sure the ingredients are both whipped and folded, resulting in a perfectly homogeneous mixture. Ingenious engineering for its time! However, this technique has been copied by most other mixer brands, so these days, KitchenAid is not the only brand that can promise you a homogenous batter.
The Best Stand Mixers
Good qualities aside, we have to agree that KitchenAid mixers are a bit pricey, and if you’re not an ambitious baker who uses their stand mixer at least a couple of times a week, spending that much money on a KitchenAid mixer might be like pouring money down the drain.
Don’t despair if this mixer breaks your bank, there are definitely good stand mixers on the market today that’ll do the job equally well, even though they don’t have such an iconic vintage look or a devoted fan base – yet!
Let’s take a look at some of these options.
Cuisinart is a respected and established kitchenware brand producing kitchen products since 1971. This Cuisinart stand mixer meets all the criteria of a decent stand mixer. It has a 500-watt motor, which is the typical range of KitchenAid mixers, a 5.5-quart mixing bowl made of polished stainless steel, and a handle. Its non-slip base provides stability, while the tilt-head lets you easily add the ingredients to the bowl.
The mixer comes with a flat mixing paddle for stirring, mixing, and beating, a dough hook to knead yeast dough, and a chef’s whisk that incorporates air into the mixture. It also has a power hub for additional attachments, such as a spiralizer, ice cream maker, grinder, or paste maker that you should buy separately. Plus, its retro look is absolutely gorgeous and on par with that of the KitchenAid mixers.
The only downside of this mixer is that its whisks don’t cover all the area in the bowl as smoothly as the KitchenAid mixers do. So, you might need to stop mixing to incorporate everything in the mixture, which is rather time-consuming. The price of this stand mixer is still a bit on the upper end, but significantly cheaper than a KitchenAid mixer.
On top of that, it comes with a 3-year manufacturer’s guarantee, as opposed to KitchenAid’s one-year warranty. So if you’re looking for an alternative stand mixer that will serve you well in the years to come, the versatile Cuisinart stand mixer is a good bang for your buck.
Being a budget-friendly stand mixer, Facelle SM-1519U delivers what it promises. It’s true that the quality of the material feels cheaper than that of KitchenAid mixers, and it lacks in robustness too. Plus, you’ll notice that some of the batters and doughs won’t be mixed to perfection. However, if you only use the mixer once in a while and are not too much of a perfectionist when it comes to the consistency of your dough, the Facelle will do the job.
The mixer set includes a beater, an egg whisk, a dough hook, and a splash guard. It has suction cups on the bottom instead of a nonslip base, which also securely keeps it in place. The 6-speed settings will do the job, from whisking some eggs to kneading dough. It has a 660-watt motor, and it’s quite noisy. That being said, if you’re not a heavy-duty baker, this mixer will satisfy your needs.
If the KitchenAid and the Cuisinart stand mixers are out of your budget range, this mixer might be for you. It’s not as solid as a KitchenAid stand mixer. Its 7-speed settings and 300-watt motor can mix thick doughs and batters, but not in large amounts. Its speed-setting wheel has guides on it so that you can easily choose the speed at which you want to run the machine. It comes with a dough hook, a flat beater, a whisk, and a splash guard.
The Hamilton Beach stand mixer might not be a statement piece for your countertop like a KitchenAid mixer will be, but it’s a very lightweight product, so you can hide it in the cupboard when you’re done mixing. The suction cups on the bottom keep the mixer from rattling around when working at high speed. Even though it’s a bit unstable when you knead the maximum amount of dough, it’ll do the trick with some manual support.
For not-so-heavy-duty tasks, it’s reasonably good. For example, it gives you lofty egg whites in no time compared to a hand mixer. However, if you’re looking to add more accessories to your stand mixer, this one only comes with a whisk, a flat beater, and a dough hook. Still, it’s inexpensive, easy to use, and gives you decent mixing results.
KitchenAid Refurbished Program
The alternative stand mixers we talked about can all serve you well, depending on what’s your user profile. But for a heavy-duty baker, getting a KitchenAid stand mixer won’t only make their job easier but it will also inspire them to create some culinary masterpieces. So, if you really want to get one, and your budget is the only thing that’s holding you back, there’s always the option to get a refurbished KitchenAid mixer.
The mixers that have been returned or only used lightly are examined thoroughly by a KitchenAid authorized service. The technicians repair and test the products and polish the scratches on the surface. Then the mixers are packaged like a standard KitchenAid mixer with all of the additional accessories and manuals.
Because the KitchenAid mixers are almost rock-solid, this way of repairing and upcycling returned products is a very clever business model. The refurbished KitchenAid products also have a free 30-day return policy and a 6-month limited warranty. You can shop for a refurbished KitchenAid mixer on Amazon, or on KitchenAid.com.
Over and Out!
The KitchenAid mixers are top quality, sturdy and iconic. At the time they were released on the market, they revolutionized the way chefs whisk batter and knead dough. However, since then, technology has been made available through cheaper products. Even though these cheaper alternatives are not as sturdy as a KitchenAid and are not iconic brands with a dedicated fan base, they are great for doing everyday tasks.
All things considered, we still recommend getting a KitchenAid stand mixer if you’re an avid baker who frequently whisks and kneads. And if you don’t want to spend that much money on a KitchenAid, you can check out the brand’s refurbished program.