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Why a KitchenAid Isn't the Only Mixer You Need

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Dawn is a baker and former restaurant owner. Her years in the kitchen provide a wealth of experience to share.

You'll need more than just a KitchenAid in your kitchen.

You'll need more than just a KitchenAid in your kitchen.

KitchenAid Vs. Mixmaster

The iconic KitchenAid mixer is deservedly known as being the dependable workhorse of home kitchens far and wide. There's hardly a dough sufficiently kneaded or potatoes perfectly whipped by the KitchenAid mixer. What the KitchenAid is good at, it is exceptionally good at.

However, when the task at hand is a thoroughly (but not overly) mixed maple pumpkin pie filling or stiff whipped cinnamon cream, I prefer the delicate capabilities of the tried and true Sunbeam Mixmaster; Heritage or Legacy edition. Each has its place and both are remarkable in their abilities. While the KitchenAid mixer is known for being a pricier countertop essential, the Mixmaster Heritage/Legacy is an affordable mixer that delivers a quality bang for the buck. In my kitchen, I have both and I wouldn't want it any other way.

KitchenAid Mixer: The Work Horse

Hands down, the KitchenAid mixer is a worthy investment in any home kitchen. Its dependability is noteworthy. My sister is still using the KitchenAid mixer we used as kids and it still produces the creamiest buttercream frosting and powers through sticky cinnamon roll dough without issue. I'd be hard-pressed to give mine up for any reason. My kitchen will always have a KitchenAid, it's the workhorse I turn to for long-running, heavy-duty, and paddling tasks. If I have potatoes to whip, butter to cream, dough to knead, or a pate a choux to paddle, my KitchenAid is indispensable.

I've had my KitchenAid Professional 6000 HD for years. It served its time in my restaurant kitchen and never let me down. Its knob is broken off, it's been dented and dropped and it still hums along like a champ; it's dang near indestructible. This is an absolutely quality machine, built for the ages. I'm sure that like my Mother, in time, I'll be passing down my KitchenAid to the next generation. But the KitchenAid is not without its weaknesses. For instance, there are no "in-between" speeds, it only has a single paddle, whisk and hook attachment, and the bowl is stationary. I found these to be a drawback when using the KitchenAid for more delicate, precise tasks like making custard, ice cream, cream pies, whipped cream, mousse, or meringue. For those reasons, my kitchen is not complete without a Sunbeam Mixmaster on the counter next to my KitchenAid.

Mixmaster: The Classic Kitchen Essential

The Sunbeam Mixmaster is, as far as I'm concerned, the original, iconic stand mixer. As a child, I watched my Great Grandmother, every Thanksgiving, unveil from beneath a burnt orange, macrame cover her trusty, brown Mixmaster and whip up the most divine and luscious pie filings. As the years passed by, my Great Grandmother handed down her Mixmaster to my Mother and that's when I came to learn and love the virtues of this timeless, tried and true, kitchen staple. It was the perfect addition to the KitchenAid, it was the flexible and delicate ballerina to the KitchenAid's strong and rigid workhorse. My Mother kept my Great Grandmother's Mixmaster when she handed down her KitchenAid to my sister and both are still being used to this day. Years ago, I purchased the Sunbeam Mixmaster Heritage. It was affordable, it looked, felt, and operated nearly identical to my Great Grandmother's old brown Mixmaster (except silver). It has consistently lived up to my expectations.

I prefer the Sunbeam Mixmaster Heritage or Legacy edition (model # 2346) and it's the model I have in my own kitchen. The Mixmaster has a synchronized, rotating bowl and dual-beater attachment for a faster, more efficient, and more thorough mix. This is essential for producing well-whipped, not over-whipped custards and whipped creams. The variable speed adjustment that the Mixmaster boasts allows for "in-between" speeds, soft starts, and precision speed control. All of these are invaluable when mixing dry ingredients and tempering in hot liquids, where caution and control are essential. The adjustable positioning of the bowl allows for perfect beater placement with less scraping and more control, ideal for delicate meringues. Like the KitchenAid, what the Mixmaster is good at, it's exceptionally good at. The Mixmaster is an affordable and reliable kitchen essential that has been around for as long as it has for good reason. Every home baker's kitchen should have a Mixmaster sitting next to their KitchenAid.

© 2018 Dawn M