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Do I really need a stand mixer? Sure, I WANT one, but I do my bread kneading by hand and it usually works out. What else will I do with it?

Is it just going to sit on my already limited counter space? What do you make with yours? Please inspire me!

asked by saenyc almost 5 years ago
27 answers 6024 views
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added almost 5 years ago

I remember asking this very question to a food network exec at a Facebook Q&A session just last week.. his answer, unless you're a compulsive baker , !NOT REALLY!!, a hand mixer will suffice!

22b9ddc9 fc61 48a3 949e dee341974288  liz and dad
added almost 5 years ago

I have one. No, you don't really need one, BUT it's my favorite kitchen gadget ever. I use my Kitchenaid mostly for cookies/cakes. I've had my present model for over 15 yrs. It's still great, but I need a larger bowl capacity now, so this year I've asked Santa for the 7 qt. model.

Some other things I like using the stand mixer for: pie dough - I like that it doesn't heat up the dough like the Cuisinart sometimes does. Speedy fast whipped cream - in the blink of an eye. It kneads bread dough, too, although I rarely use it for that because i just do it by hand; more fun.

I think any serious cook would really enjoy playing with this fabulous toy. And, yes, it is large and in charge - I've got a tiny kitchen w/ very limited counter space and this baby is on my counter 24/7.

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added almost 5 years ago

Just a little info on the 7 quart. I bought one a couple of weeks ago and I absolutely love it. My advice is do not get rid of your smaller one like I did because the 7 quart is much too large for most jobs. I have now bought another 5 quart to replace the one I sold to a friend.

22b9ddc9 fc61 48a3 949e dee341974288  liz and dad
added almost 5 years ago

thanks rocrow29. good advice. My only problem with that is I lack closet/cabinet space to store old mixer. I think in the situation of the 7 qt mixer, this is where the hand mixer could come to the rescue for smaller jobs.

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drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added almost 5 years ago

I love mine, too, and I have it on a cart that rolls into a closet so it's out of the way when I don't use it.

But I love to bake and use it for blending dough for cakes and cookies, whipping egg whites (meringues) and cream, and for kneading bread dough. (I just got a dough hook recently.)

I've had mine for 25 years and I credit it and Maida Heatter's cookbooks for helping me learn to bake.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 5 years ago

I'd say no. I have a Kitchenaid and love it, but you can definitely get by with a hand mixer. Deb from Smitten Kitchen notes, I believe under her FAQ page, that she can do without her mixer but would not say the same of her food processor, which she considers essential. She's in a small NYC kitchen and coming to the question from a space-issue angle. But I think the bottom line is, the stand mixer is not essential. Does allow you to do other things while butter is creaming for 5 minutes, though.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 5 years ago

I love it but I rarely use it and mostly for certain dough recipes, mine is red and customized with airbrushed yellow/purple flames, cause i fell in love with the one on alton brown's show, maybe 7 years ago... It's still basically brand-new... :)

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 5 years ago

I have one and use it a lot. Sure I *can* do everything without it, and i used to knead by hand always. Now i use it for all breads, most especially breafs based on very wet doughs 80% and higher hydration, like ciabatta.

I have had to replace the drive train because i use it so much. Daily bread for 3 years and it finally revolted.

Whipping cream i do by hand. Egg whites in the mixer. Cookies, creaming method - in the mixer too. It helps that it works away and i can be doing something else - like cleaning up.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 5 years ago

Yeah this is definitely a "you CAN do without it" item- the question is whether you want to do without it. I love it for whipping egg whites- otherwise you just waste time standing there. Also love it for really getting cookie dough mixed, pretty mug anything is just made easier.... Not a necessary item- But it will make your life easier.

84baef1b 1614 4c3d a895 e859c9d40bd1  chris in oslo
Greenstuff

Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking

added almost 5 years ago

I got by without one for decades but finally took the plunge when my daughter was in her middle teens and baking. While I still don't need it, I like it. If you have the money to buy it and a place to store it, then go ahead. But you can do a lot of serious cooking without.

69d2403d 88f4 4b72 b0b9 84a21f4d0561  img 1445
added almost 5 years ago

I agree with everyone above, it's not necessary, but it's a fabulous tool. I use mine all the time for making cookie dough, bread dough, whipped cream, beating egg whites, and, best of all, mashing potatoes!

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gt9
added almost 5 years ago

I have had one for 20 years. And lots of great eats and treats as memories. Mostly "Never Fail Chocolate cake", but this time of the year cookies, cookies and more cookies. I have a space in a cupboard to keep it rathe that the limited counter space.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 5 years ago

I was in Kabul for a year with a very limited kitchen. Just took my hand mixer and food processor. What I missed making: Mashed potatoes. Ice cream (I have the attachment.). Larger quantities of bread and other baked goods. I also grumbled about being slowed down. With just the food processor, I couldn't have a couple of things going at the same time.

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added almost 5 years ago

I have one, but rarely used it, so, when I loved to a place with a smaller kitchen, I left it in storage. I bake a lot and don't find it necessary, except when I am making something big like a wedding cake with buttercream. Other than that, I don't miss it at all.

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ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added almost 5 years ago

No, you don't NEED one. I go for weeks without using mine. But I would never make my "famous" Coconut Pound Cake without it. That recipe calls for creaming the butter and sugar until it's "as fluffy as a shampooed cat," and I just wouldn't stand holding a hand-held mixer that long! I do agree that I find my Cuisinart food processor the indispensible item in my kitchen.

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added almost 5 years ago

I didn't think I wanted one and my husband bought me one 10 years ago for Christmas. I like to make cookies and it is really great for doubling batches and as ChefJune says getting creamed butter and sugar really fluffy. When I bake bread I start it in the stand mixer and do the last kneading by hand. Egg whites can be whipped while you do other things.
Do you know someone who might lend you theirs for a day or two to try out? One issue is they are quite heavy, so keeping it off the counter is an issue. I store mine in a cabinet under the counter but it is not ideal. I like drbabs idea of the rolling cart.

8a5161fb 3215 4036 ad80 9f60a53189da  buddhacat
SKK
added almost 5 years ago

I have had my Kitchen Aid for 17 years and it just keeps on going. Indispensable for baking and also use the attachments, particularly the meat grinder. Sadassa_Ulna has a great idea of borrowing one for a couple of days.

8a5161fb 3215 4036 ad80 9f60a53189da  buddhacat
SKK
added almost 5 years ago

I have had my Kitchen Aid for 17 years and it just keeps on going. Indispensable for baking and also use the attachments, particularly the meat grinder. Sadassa_Ulna has a great idea of borrowing one for a couple of days.

E62e0bbe 150b 48ec b798 be466aea638b  landing
added almost 5 years ago

You guys are all great, thanks for answering... still not sure what I'll do, but I think the "borrowing" suggestion is a great one!

E057f656 d59a 41e5 9040 b908d9ba5186  stringio
added almost 5 years ago

I love my kitchen aid standing mixer. I use it all the time for cookies, pie filling, cakes and bread.

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added almost 5 years ago

I have one and love it when I use it, but most of the time it sits on a shelf in my hall closet. It seems to me more trouble than it's worth to take it down, get it going, and clean it up than its worth. Hand mixer works just fine for most baking projects.

5590ce29 aa2e 417c 94ba 2fbc61134171  174060 100000008404888 3554258 n
added almost 5 years ago

I was amazed when i counted back and realized my Kitchen Aid mixer is over 30 years old--yikes! For Christmas one year my mom gave my sister and me each a mixer, and ours are both still going strong. I have the juicer attachment, which is great when you need a cup or two of citrus juice, and two bowls, great for recipes calling for adding beaten egg whites to batter.
My mixer and I have been together for a long time, and we've had our ups and downs ( I forgive you for spewing flour all over my laptop--it wasn't your fault...) and our fair share of baking satisfaction. Here's to you, my faithful mixer, and thanks again, Mom.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 5 years ago

I adore my Kitchen Aid mixer. I got a refurbished one for a great price. I use it every chance I get. I whip my egg whites and wash dishes as it's doing the work. It's fabulous for bread doughs, cookies, and you can get the different attachments for pastas, ice creams, etc.
It's literally my favorite kitchen toy!

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 5 years ago

Where did you get it refurbished? I would like to look for a trusty site for refurbished ones.
Thanks

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added almost 5 years ago

i've used mine mostly for baking cookies, especially when i've forgotten to take butter out of the fridge for warming up. i just plop it in the mixer and let it go until it comes up to temperature then add the sugar for creaming. it's cheating a bit, but it works great!

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creamtea

Lisanne is a trusted home cook.

added almost 5 years ago

mine is for cakes, specifically, "beat until batter forms the ribbon." Much easier than holding my rinky-dink hand mixer. Next time I make sdebrango's Tender Yellow Cake, it'll be with my KitchenAid (the batter crept up the beaters using my little old hand-mixer so I need to use a mixer with more oomph). Egg whites are a breeze too.

8a5161fb 3215 4036 ad80 9f60a53189da  buddhacat
SKK
added almost 5 years ago

Love this question and the answers, saenyc. So many memories associated with our KitchenAid's and so many years we have had them!