Many people think that kitchen appliances are simply kitchen appliances. One stand mixer’s pretty much the same as another, right? After all, they’re all designed to do the same thing. But in reality, buying a mixer is one of those things where you really do get what you pay for. Any professional chef or baker can tell you the right commercial kitchen equipment can make the difference between a lavish spread or an inedible mess. Some recipes require treatment that only a commercial or professional stand mixer can provide to achieve the desired effect, and specialized kitchen appliances tend to last longer, be of much higher quality, and be less prone to breakage or malfunction.
So what kind of mixer best suits your home or business needs? If you’re a professional baker, chances are a five-quart stand mixer isn’t going to cut the mustard. For the casual user or someone who bakes small amounts quite a bit, a five-quart (or less) might be just the ticket. So, just for fun when you search online for stand mixers, you’ll notice hundreds or thousands of results. It is important to note that not all of these are actually stand mixers; many of these results are for mixing cookbooks and tchotchkes such as whimsical mixer pins. But there’s still more than enough information there to be getting on with. So let’s take a closer look at what’s available.
Commercial & Professional Stand Mixers in the Home Kitchen
For the home baker, an industrial stand mixer may not be necessary or even appropriate. You may not even need a professional “name brand” such as KitchenAid or Cuinsinart. These run from under a hundred dollars for a low-end home kitchen model like the Sunbeam 2371 MixMaster to over four hundred dollars for a professional-series KitchenAid mixer like the KitchenAid six-quart Pro Line Mixer. When considering what kind of mixer best suits your needs, you should first determine what you’re most likely to use it for. Whether you need it for light baking, heavy home baking such as for a school bake sale or church social, or if you’re running a baking business out of your home will all determine what kind of stand mixer and financial outlay you need to look into. Many stand mixers feature a variety of multi-use attachments. These attachments are generally intended for home use, so you may need to purchase more durable attachments separately. This can elevate the price of your mixer by as much as double just to make it suitable for your intended usage and needs to be factored into your budgeting considerations.
If you have a commercial kitchen, it only stands to reason that you would spend a little more to get a higher-quality product which can stand up to the demands of your business needs. After all, any chef can tell you that spending money upfront often saves expensive repairs and other problems on the back end. However, there’s one other element that needs to be considered, and that’s the attachments.
No matter what your baking needs, a stand mixer is a useful tool to have in your kitchen. Many bakers regard a professional stand mixer as essential to their kitchen as a mixing bowl and spatula! But when you decide it’s time to look into a stand mixer, make sure you do your homework. Information is important, so you don’t wind up with an expensive mixer that looks great and like it will do everything you need it to but doesn’t have the right attachments you need to send fifteen cakes out the door in two hours. When shopping online, “Let the buyer beware” should always be your motto!
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