Baking is fun, but without the right equipment, even simple tasks can become tedious. Stand mixers quickly and easily whip egg whites to stiff peaks, knead dough to perfection and mix up cake batter in a jiffy. However, not all of them are equally impressive.
The Hamilton Beach Electric Stand Mixer is a compact, affordable model that claims to make kitchen tasks easier. According to Hamilton Beach, it "effortlessly mixes ingredients for every baking recipe from thick batters to dense doughs." It's said to do a better job than hand mixers, which are popular with buyers looking for a more affordable alternative to high-end stand mixers.
We wanted to test out these claims, so we brought in an experienced baker to try the Hamilton Beach Electric Stand Mixer and report back. We've got the low-down for you here, so you can decide if this electric mixer is the right choice for you.
At BestReviews, we have a pool of testers who use products in their day-to-day lives over extended periods. This gives us a better idea of how items perform in the real world rather than during quick lab tests. It lets us look into all the claims made by manufacturers to see if they really hold up.
Our tester has regularly used KitchenAid stand mixers in the past and even has commercial baking experience. They used it the Hamilton Beach stand mixer for a full 2 weeks, trying out a range of dessert recipes.
The Hamilton Beach Electric Stand Mixer is a type of mixer for baking. It gets its name from the fact that the mixing paddle is on a stand, so you can use it hands-free. This feature sets stand mixers apart from electric hand mixers, which you have to hold onto while you mix your ingredients. Like most stand mixers, the Hamilton Beach model has a single interchangeable mixing attachment rather than two beaters, which lets it mix evenly and effectively.
You'll find two slightly different versions are available, one with a top handle and one without. The one with a top handle costs roughly $120 and the one without roughly $100. You can buy both at Amazon.
This stand mixer is extremely easy to use. All you have to do is unpack it, plug it into an outlet and it's ready to go — although you should wash the bowl and mixer attachments before you use them. It has a dial control with seven speed settings and even comes with a guide explaining when you should use each setting. This makes the produce great for both novice and experienced bakers.
Three mixing attachments are included: a whisk, a flat beater and a dough hook. The whisk whips up egg whites as well as whipping heavy cream and butter for buttercream. The flat beater is perfect for mixing up all kinds of batters and doughs that don't require kneading, such as cookie dough. The dough hook is for kneading dough so it's handy for bread recipes and recipes that use yeasted dough, such as cinnamon rolls.
We found the 4-quart bowl capacity ideal for casual home use. This size is perfect for everyday recipes and makes the mixer relatively compact overall. However, anyone who likes to bake in large batches might find it limiting.
With seven speed settings, you can easily adjust this mixer to get the desired results. We used the highest setting to whip egg whites, for instance, while the lower settings are great for kneading doughs. You can also start on lower settings to incorporate ingredients before increasing the power.
We loved the addition of the top handle and found it worth the extra $20 cost. This made it easy to lift and move the mixer, which is convenient if you want to store it in a cabinet when you aren't using it.
On first impressions, we thought the Hamilton Beach Electric Stand Mixer looks good. It has a similar style to a KitchenAid mixer but at a fraction of the price. Where KitchenAid mixers are heavy and can be a pain to move and store, this mixer is much lighter, which was a bonus.
The U-shape of the beater paddle captures much more dough from the sides of the bowl when mixing compared to the V-shaped beaters found on many mixers. This meant we didn't have to keep stopping and scraping down the sides of the bowl to make sure our batters and doughs were well-mixed.
We also found the mixing capabilities relatively powerful, whipping up egg whites for meringues in just 3 minutes.
While we like how light it is, the downside to this is it feels slightly flimsy and like it wouldn't last as long as a heavier mixer. When mixing a stiff cookie dough, the mixer jiggled around a lot and seemed unstable. While we didn't test out any bread recipes, it would presumably jiggle around in a similar way when kneading bread dough, too.
The dial is positioned in a spot that makes it prone to getting splattered by ingredients and has ridges that make it difficult to clean. What's more, the small capacity may be limiting for some users, especially people who regularly cook or bake for a crowd.
Whether you should buy this Hamilton Beach stand mixer really depends on what you need from a mixer and how you'll use it. It's a solid, affordable model that's great for buyers on a budget. If you want a mixer for occasional use it's a great choice, though it might not last long if you use it regularly, especially for heavier tasks, such as mixing and kneading dough.
It lives up to Hamilton Beach's claims that it makes home baking easier and it performs better than a hand mixer. However, we wouldn't say that it effortlessly mixes dense doughs, as it rattles around and seems to struggle a bit when dealing with cookie dough.
From the biggest name in stand mixers, this model is sturdy, highly durable and will stand the test of time. It's perfect for serious home bakers but may be too pricey for casual bakers.
With a 5.5-quart capacity, this is a great choice for anyone who thinks 4 quarts may be too small for them. It has simple-to-use digital dial controls and a powerful 500-watt motor.
Considering its 6.5-quart capacity and highly durable all-metal construction, this mixer offers exceptional value for the money. It mixes in a planetary style for better bowl coverage and more even results.
Sold by Amazon
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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.