Mixers are immensely helpful at all kinds of baking tasks - kneading bread dough, mixing up batters and more. Not only that, but they can be outfitted with a number of different attachments to allow everything from meat mincing to can opening! It’s an appliance every baker kneads in their arsenal, and so today we’re looking at 4 of the best.
Let’s start with an excellent mid-range option: the Kenwood kMix 754. This mixer isn’t nearly as expensive as the others on the list, but that doesn’t hold it back at all. A 1000W motor allows the mixer to tackle most ingredients, and there are 5 speed levels, ranging from a gentle mix to extra-fast. The build quality is great too - even on high speeds it’s very sturdy, and hardly moves at all.
The kMix has a simple, clean look and is very easy to both use and clean - plus it’s one of the lighter mixers on our list. It comes with a selection of standard beaters and tools, as well as a nice large 5L jug - a welcome addition for larger families.
There’s not much negative to say about the kMix 754 - it can be rather noisy at high speeds though, which may get annoying if you plan on using it alot. Also it lacks some of the more interesting extras found on the more expensive models, and there is a more limited selection of attachments compared to the larger Kenwood mixer reviewed below. However these are fairly minor problems - all-in-all this is an excellent mid-range model for any baker wanting to get some help in the kitchen without breaking the bank.
KitchenAid’s Artisan mixer is iconic - the rounded design and the bright colours are instantly recognisable. However this is far more than just a pretty face - the Artisan is an excellent mixer in it’s own right.
First off, the design - the curves and colours look excellent, and it’s a well-built machine. Sturdy and unmoving, though unfortunately the weight also can make it difficult to shift around, and a pain to move from cupboard to work surface. It’s a good thing it looks so good then - you’ll want to keep it out to show off!
When it comes to mixing, the Artisan suffers from a relatively weak motor - only 300W, compared to the 1000+ seen on other models. However it still handles most baking tasks with aplomb, and comes equipped with a number of helpful tools and accessories. Chief amongst these is a spacious 5L bowl, and KitchenAid’s ‘flex-edge beater’, which combines a beater and a scraper to make sure nothing gets stuck to the side of the bowl while mixing.
One of the real pros of the Artisan is the range of attachments available - KitchenAid have a massive selection of add-ons you can buy, including a pasta roller, a mincer and a mini-blender. However none of these come as standard, and they can be quite pricey - once you get your hands on one though, their sturdy build means they’ll last a lifetime!
That’s the main problem of the Artisan - the price. It’s a very expensive machine, and lacks the power of the Chef or the OptiMUM. In many ways you’re paying a premium for the design - many people will be fine with that (like my wife, who has her heart set on one!) - but it can make it hard to justify when compared with cheaper models that do just as much. However if you do decide to buy one, you’ll get a mixer that will last a lifetime, and that’ll have the potential to be expanded into a machine that’ll replace much of your kitchen!
If you looked at the kMix and thought it wasn’t anywhere big enough, then take a look at the Chef Titanium XL. Everything about this mixer is super-sized: it has an enormous 1700W motor that will handle anything you throw at it, and a gigantic 6.7L capacity. There is both a low and high-power outlet for attachments, and Kenwood has over 20 of them to choose from.
It’s good at what it does as well: the Chef has a ‘planetary mixing system’, which causes the mixing arm to move in a circle as it mixes, in order to provide a more even coverage and stop anything getting stuck in awkward corners out of the range of the mixer. It also boasts a small but helpful addition - ‘in-bowl illumination’, to make sure you can clearly see what you’re cooking, even in lower light.
The Chef is indeed a beast, and that creates some problems - the machine is very heavy, and has the largest footprint of the mixers reviewed here. This means you may have problems finding a space for it on your kitchen counter, and moving it in and out of the cupboard may make even the strongest back twinge! It also has a rather uninspiring design - nothing like the colours of the KitchenAid models. Finally, as you’d expect, this much power and size is expensive. The Chef Titanium XL is indeed very costly, though you get a lot of bang for your buck.
All told, your buying decision with the Chef Titanium XL will be coloured by how much baking you do. If you find yourself cooking large amounts every week, and a standard mixer isn’t large enough, then this guy will definitely be worth the investment! For everyone else, a smaller mixer may be a better purchase.
Finally we have Bosch’s OptiMUM mixer. Much like the Chef Titanium XL, this is an expensive piece of gear, but it has a lot to recommend it.
Starting off, the OptiMUM comes with a 5.5L jug and boasts a 1500W motor. It has a ‘3D Planetary Mixing System’, which is an improved version of the technology found on the Kenwood Chef, and is very good at all kinds of mixing and kneading.
However the real pro of this mixer is all the extras. The OptiMUM comes with a 2.3L blender as a food processor attachment as standard - you don’t have to buy them separately as with other mixers. This alone is worth the price, since it means the OptiMUM can replace multiple appliances in your kitchen right out of the box. That isn’t all though - there are a number of other helpful features built into the mixer, such as a timer function, and an integrated set of scales for measuring out ingredients.
All of this comes together to form a really high-quality mixer with a lot of positive points. There isn’t too much to say against it to be honest - it can be quite noisy at high speeds, and it is expensive - comparative to the Chef Titanium XL. However considering the OptiMUM is effectively 3 appliances in 1, the extra cost is easier to stomach. If you’re looking to upgrade your kitchen appliances, and can afford it, this is a great mixer to buy!
Bosch OptiMUM (MUM9GX5S21)
4.5 / 5
Includes blender and food processor
Built-in scales and timer
Noisy at high speeds
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