Although KitchenAid is credited with revolutionizing the world of mixers, and produces perhaps the most famous of all stand mixer models, there are a number of companies who provide quality machines that will simplify the cooking experience of both the master and hobby chef or baker. However, as with any small appliance - or any appliance in general, really - it is important that you do some research before you make your purchase. To ensure you end up with a unit that will meet your needs, and one that is of the quality you require, ask yourself the following questions before you head to the store:
Since the late 1930's, most mass produced mixers have come with heads that can readily accept interchangeable attachments. Most models also have heads that tilt for extra convenience and easy access to your cake mix, bread dough or other concoction. Interchangeable heads allow you to convert your mixer into a juicer or a blender, and may also have attachments to make ice cream, vegetable purees and many other foods.
Other convenient add-ons that can save you from making several small appliance purchases include can openers, food grinders, food trays, fruit and vegetable strainers and grinders, fruit and vegetable strainer parts. Top of the line models may even include gourmet attachment packs, grain mills, pasta excellence kits, pasta rollers and sets that make fettuccini, spaghetti, ravioli, as well as a roto slicer with a shredder and sausage stuffer.
Cheap mixers start at under $100 but prices can soar to over $600 for high end machines. If you are a frequent user, you may want to consider investing in a quality mixer - their simplicity and capabilities are often worth the higher price tag. If you plan to have the mixer as a permanent feature on your countertop, it's a good idea to ensure that it will fit well with your current kitchen design and decor.
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