Smeg Smooth Start Retro Stand Mixer
Last updated date: September 15, 2022
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We looked at the top Stand Mixers and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Stand Mixer you should buy.
Update as September 29, 2022:
Checkout The Best Stand Mixer for a detailed review of all the top stand mixers.
In our analysis of 36 expert reviews, the Smeg Smooth Start Retro Stand Mixer placed 14th when we looked at the top 17 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.
From The Manufacturer
50s Retro Style Stand Mixer. 10 variable speed with Smooth start function. Planetary action. Direct drive motor.
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Our Expert Consultant
Julie Chernoff is a long-time member of Les Dames d’Escoffier (past president of the Chicago Chapter, and current co-chair of the LDEI Legacy Awards Committee), the Association of Food Journalists (AFJ) and the International Association of Culinary Professionals.
Chernoff is the dining editor of Better, a lifestyle website and print magazine. Her journalism started in the test kitchens of Weight Watchers Magazine. She holds a BA in English from Yale University and is a graduate of the California Culinary Academy. She has spent the last few decades styling, photographing, teaching, developing recipes, editing, thinking and writing about food.
Overall Product Rankings
An Overview On Stand Mixers
The stand mixer has long been a kitchen staple and has more recently become a wedding registry must-have for home chefs and bakers of all abilities. This one kitchen appliance holds the power to transform arduous recipes into delicious baked goods in a snap.
As such, stand mixers can seem complex, and they do feature multiple parts. They have a powerful motorized base that connects to beater attachments and a bow beneath. Because of its size and power, it generally comes with a higher price tag, which can be intimidating. The alternative is a hand beater, which is less powerful and can be used to mix in a variety of different bowls. But they are no match for heavier substances, like bread dough. Once you understand the full capabilities of a stand mixer, you’ll realize the incredible value they actually bring to any kitchen.
“The stand mixer is the workhorse of my kitchen, so I want one that is durable, multi-functional, consistent, and easy to use and clean,” says culinary expert Julie Chernoff, food journalist, dining editor of Better magazine and member of Les Dames d’Escoffier.
The main advantage of the stand mixer is a powerful motor. Since it sits on a solid base, a stand mixer can handle a much stronger motor than any handheld beater. This motor can tackle stiff doughs with ease. From thick cookie dough to kneading bread dough, it is the supreme mix master.
Additionally, some stand mixers come with a wide range of accessories and beater options. For example, the KitchenAid stand mixer does much more than mix dough. There are ice cream churning attachments, pasta-making attachments and more. The innovative company continues adding to the attachment repertoire.
Stand mixers are heavier than most other small kitchen appliances, weighing in around 20 pounds. As a result, many new owners display them proudly and prominently on the kitchen counter, primarily to avoid moving them. They can be difficult and unwieldy to move from storage to a useful spot and back.
“These mixers are well made and built to last, which translates to weight,” explains Chernoff. “They are heavy, so make sure you have dedicated space on your counter, or else be prepared to haul it back and forth from the pantry to the kitchen.”
The most well-known brand among the recommended models is KitchenAid. It comes as no surprise because the company essentially created the category back in 1919. KitchenAid introduced the first stand mixer made for the home 100 years ago. KitchenAid now offers a range of mixers, starting with the Classic Series all the way up to the Professional and Commercial collections, with price points to match.
“My daughter, an avid baker, now uses the KitchenAid Stand Mixer that I received as a wedding gift 30 years ago, and it’s still going strong,” Chernoff says. “It’s just so versatile: whipping cream and egg whites, making batter, kneading dough … it does it all. Best of all, the attachments you can purchase do a bang-up job of rolling pasta and grinding meat.”
Since then, many other viable options have come onto the market. That competition also saw inexpensive stand mixers introduced for under $50. However, you get what you pay for with many of these bargain mixers. They are not as sturdy and come with smaller work bowls. In general, they also can’t handle the same types of dough that heavy-duty workhorses can. In fact, sometimes they can move along the counter if the beaters encounter dough that is too tough for the motor.
When it comes to purchasing a durable stand mixer, there are several things you’ll want to look for. First, compare bowl capacity. Most stand mixers include a bowl between 4.5 and 5.5 quarts. This is ideal for making an average batch of cookies or a loaf of bread. However, if you think you’ll embark on larger quantities, the larger bowl size makes more sense. Incredibly, the KitchenAid boasts its 6-quart mixer can make 13 batches of cookies or more than 8 loaves of bread at once.
“If you’re the kind of cook who bakes a few times a week, a 5-quart stand mixer is a perfect solution,” says Chernoff. “If you’re more of a high-volume baker, regularly doubling recipes, you might look into the KitchenAid professional series.”
Next, think about counter and storage space. While most stand mixers are roughly the same size, there is some variability. You’ll want to measure your cabinet and counter to ensure the stand mixer will fit. Don’t forget to measure the mixer with the head tilted up to its highest point to ensure you can use it in the space you have.
Also, consider how powerful the motor is. If the recipes you like to make include thick doughs, a more powerful motor will be well worth any additional cost. Viking boasts one of the most powerful motors on the market at 1000 watts and weighs more than 20 pounds. For the average baker, that’s way more power than you’ll ever need.
Some come loaded with digital technology, like timers to keep your recipes on track and kitchen moving smoothly. For example, you can set the timer on certain models to knead for 10 minutes, and the mixer will whir along until the timer shuts it off automatically. That leaves your hands free to focus on other tasks around the kitchen.
Look for a mixer that features a universal plug on the top of the head. This is where clever attachments, like citrus juicers, sausage grinders, pasta makers and ice cream makers, fit and elevate the functionality of the appliance. Regardless of the year that the stand mixer was produced, this plug remains the same so it will fit every attachment.
Stand mixers come standard with three basic attachments: a paddle, a whisk and a dough hook. The paddle is the multi-tasker, whipping up most batters. The whisk is primarily for beating cream into whipped cream or egg whites. The dough hook kneads bread dough. You can also buy additional attachments, though, including those that roll pasta and grind meat.
“My new favorite accessory allows you to make all manner of frozen desserts, with a special paddle attachment and insulated bowl that you pre-chill overnight in the freezer,” Chernoff notes.
Most stand mixers feature a tilt-head on a hinge that tips up to lift the beaters out of the stationary bowl. KitchenAid offers this as well as models in which the bowl lifts to meet the beaters. This was incorporated in higher-end models and primarily used in commercial and professional kitchens. The tilt-head design offers a bit more access to the bowl. However, it can be difficult to fit under cabinets, and the bowl is generally a bit smaller than the bowl-lift version.
Whatever specific model you choose or customization options you include, you can rest assured these stand mixers will deliver in your kitchen.
The Stand Mixer Buying Guide
- Stand mixers can transform into multi-use appliances with clever attachments, such as citrus juicers, sausage grinders, pasta makers and ice cream makers. These extras fit and elevate the functionality of the appliance. Some stand mixers feature a universal plug for these attachments on top of the head, which remains the same regardless of the year the mixer was produced.
- If making bread is your primary need for a stand mixer, pay close attention to features like the motor wattage, bowl size and dough hook. These features are worth paying extra for in order to have the proper power for kneading dough with ease.
- Some stand mixers are notoriously heavy, so be sure to measure your kitchen and storage space carefully before purchasing. You’ll be glad you did when you don’t have to lug the 20-pound machine around the kitchen constantly or strain to lift the beaters while adding ingredients to the bowl.
- There are two main variations of stand mixers. Most at-home stand mixers include a tilt-head design. The professional and commercial grade stand mixers generally use a bowl-lift design instead. Both work well, and it’s more of a personal preference which one you go with.
- While there are many separate attachments that you can buy, you can expect three main beater attachments to come standard with most stand mixers. These include a paddle, a whisk and a dough hook. The paddle is the multi-tasker, whipping up most batters. The whisk is primarily for beating cream into whipped cream or egg whites. The dough hook serves to knead bread dough.
- KitchenAid sells millions of stand mixers annually. In fact, during 2018, the company sold more than 2 million.
- There are decorative decals available for purchase on Etsy that will allow you to personalize your mixer so that it’s unlike any other model on the shelf.
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