Which stand mixer should I get?
December 2, 2021 1:15 AM   Subscribe

I'm buying my wife and I a stand mixer for the holidays. We've always wanted one, and have decided to plunk down a bunch of monies. But I don't know which one to get. I'm trying to decide between a Kitchen Aid, or Kenwood, because of all of the available attachments. My budget is €500, without extra attachments. I also live in Germany, if that matters. Halp?

From everything I've read, Kitchen-Aid and Kenwood have the best selection of attachments, and these attachments are guaranteed to be compatible for a long time.

Whichever one I decide on, I'm not sure which size to get. I do like to make breads that require stiff doughs sometimes. But do I really need the largest one for that?

My main goals are:
- easier and better breadmaking (I'm developing issues with my hands, and I can't really knead anymore without pain :/)
- the ability to whip and cream the hell out of things
- cool attachments. Namely, the slow juicer, paster maker, food grinder and grain mill.

posted by Cat Pie Hurts to Food & Drink (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: We opted for a Kenwood Chef, which we bought back when there weren't a dozen different versions. We also picked up a few attachments. As far as mixing and kneading go, it performs solidly. The attachments, when we used them, worked very well, although perhaps not quite as wll as dedicated equipment.

The various attachments we bought are now all collecting dust. I'd say that unless you're someone who already makes their own pasta every week, and likewise already does a lot of juicing and milling, your attachments will probably share the fate of ours, once the initial enthusiasm wanes. We use the mixer pretty much every day, though. I'd buy it again.
posted by pipeski at 2:09 AM on December 2, 2021

Lift-bowl-style KitchenAid is never a bad choice. I don’t regret going with a tilt-head Artisan (it’s made it almost ten years!) but man there are times I wish I had a little more power and another quart of capacity. Hardier internals too. (Caveat: I rarely make bread but do high-hydration pizza dough, usually two batches back to back, pretty frequently.)

The plastic grinder attachment is fine for non-meat stuff but get the metal one if you’re doing meat in it. If you’re grinding meat more than… once a month maybe? a dedicated grinder will be even better. That’s the only attachment I have for it.
posted by supercres at 2:16 AM on December 2, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The price of these varies hugely depending where you live, in the US Kitchen-Aid is better value, in Europe it's the Kenwood, just don't buy the entry level Kenwood Chef model which nowadays is built like a kids toy with plastic gears and a weak motor, the one you want is the Kenwood Major.
posted by Lanark at 2:29 AM on December 2, 2021 [3 favorites]

I bought myself a KitchenAid Artisan at the start of the first lockdown and it handles standard 500g-of-flour bread doughs and bagel doughs like a champ. I love it. If you go that route, I recommend buying the beater attachment with the rubber blade - the one it comes with doesn’t touch the sides of the bowl and is basically useless for creaming.
posted by corvine at 2:30 AM on December 2, 2021 [3 favorites]

I also have a Kenwood Chef, just the standard model, and can vouch for its mixing and kneading. My mother and grandmother would vouch for them too. Mine's about ten years old, and the only things I've had to replace are one aluminium K-beater (don't put it through the dishwasher, it eventually goes black) and one rubber-bladed beater attachment for creaming (I used it in too stiff a dough, and part of the blade sheared off).

As someone who's not always paying quite enough attention to the task at hand, I'm glad of the integral lid on my Kenwood, which stops flour from going everywhere if I start it off too fast.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 2:56 AM on December 2, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I’d buy one designed from the ground up in Germany, because KitchenAid is an American manufacturer and line voltage in the US is ~110V, as opposed to 220V in Germany, so the US design has to be adapted to work in Germany.

Because you get 4X the wattage if you double the voltage when the resistance is the same (and the current only doubles), European appliances tend to have higher wattages and therefore greater power than comparable American appliances in my experience, but can be less weighty and easier to handle at the same time.

And even if the Euro-adapted KitchenAid is as powerful as European alternatives, I doubt KitchenAid makes the power train and the attachments more robust to cope with greater power and torque, because that would require expensive retooling and reduce economies of scale.
posted by jamjam at 3:06 AM on December 2, 2021 [7 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks all. Given my location, it does sound like the Kenwood is the best. I'm plannign on ordering the Chef XL 1700 watt model.

@jamjam - thanks for the great info; it's not something I would have considered.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 5:26 AM on December 2, 2021

Just to confirm your choice: I have two homes, and in one the KitchenAid Artisan, in the other the Kenwood Chef. I love them both. The KitchenAid is so beautifully designed, and I love that and it works just fine, but the Kenwood has much better functionality if it is a hard task like a heavy dough, + there are more attachments in the initial package in Europe at least.
(Since you are in Germany, rye doughs might be a thing, and Kenwood is much better for them).
posted by mumimor at 6:14 AM on December 2, 2021 [2 favorites]

I've had a Kenwood for more than 30 years - still works well and I bake bread most weeks using it and have for most of those years. It's a workhorse.
posted by leslies at 6:57 AM on December 2, 2021 [1 favorite]

It sounds like the Kenwood is probably the best one for you, but for future reference: I recently upgraded from a head-tilt KitchenAid to a bowl-lift KitchenAid and it is like night and day for making bread. The bowl-lift model is stronger, it doesn’t “walk” across the counter, and it accommodates a spiral dough hook, which is worlds better for kneading (the head-tilt model only accommodates a C-dough hook).
posted by CtrlAltDelete at 7:33 AM on December 2, 2021 [3 favorites]

Yes, for anyone else who may go Kitchen-Aid, the bowl-lift is a must if you're planning to make bread or large batches of cookie dough--anything stiff and heavy. Artisan is just fine if you're planning to do lighter-weight things, but it will walk across the counter with bread dough after a while.
posted by assenav at 9:33 AM on December 2, 2021 [1 favorite]

KitchenAid in Europe doesn't have a great reputation. I'd go with Kenwood.
posted by essexjan at 1:15 PM on December 2, 2021 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Hey everyone. I ended up with the Chef XL 1700. I love it. I also got the pasta attachments (lasagna, spaghetti, fettuccini), and the juicer. I love it, and it has changed the way I do everything in the kitchen. Making dough is so stupid easy now (and so easy on my aching hands!). So far, I've made pizza dough, focaccia, ciabatta, scones, various kinds of pasta, buckwheat soba, the stiffest aquafaba I've ever managed to create, roti, tortillas and a fairly decent attempt at puff pastry (the pasta roller is a joy)! So thanks!
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 4:39 AM on December 15, 2021 [1 favorite]

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