HOW WE TESTED:
We evaluated six stand mixers for how well they mixed, kneaded and whisked. We also looked at ease of use: controls, assembling, cleaning, additional functions and other practicalities.
KENWOOD CHEF XL
6.7L, 1 700W; R7 999 YUPPIECHEF.COM This mixer combines power and versatility, and its performance was outstanding. It whipped, whisked and kneaded quickly and efficiently. Whisked egg white was smooth and glossy, and the texture of kneaded dough was perfectly soft. It coped well with both maximum and minimum quantities, but was slightly noisy on full power. It cleaned easily and features a good range of speeds. The splash guard worked effectively.
VERDICT: This mixer is a great all-round performer that excels in every task.
SMEG ’50S RETRO
4.8L, 800W; R8 499 WWW.HIRSCHS.CO.ZA This well-designed appliance creamed beautifully and whisked egg white to soft-peak stage quickly. It had to work hard when kneading dough, but it got the job done – the dough was smooth and elastic. It mostly did a great job mixing, but the hollandaise sauce was a bit lumpy due to uneven mixing. The whisks didn’t make good contact with the contents, so we had to keep scraping down the bowl to incorporate the ingredients. The controls are intuitive and cleaning is a breeze.
VERDICT: This stand mixer offers style and functionality.
4L, 600W; R2 999,95, WWW.CREATIVEHOUSEWARES.CO.ZA This mixer performed relatively well. It whipped and mixed ingredients into a stiff consistency, but it wasn’t as speedy compared with other mixers we tested. The attachments aligned well enough to engage with every part of the bowl, but they weren’t very robust. Mixing results were good but not quick, as was kneading – we found the dough paddle a bit fiddly – and the results were adequate. This mixer is easy to operate and relatively easy to clean.
VERDICT: An affordable buy for the occasional baker.
4.8L, 300W; R9 990 KITCHENAIDAFRICA.COM This retro-looking appliance creamed and mixed quietly and efficiently – the attachments made good contact with the contents in the bowl, producing good results. Egg white quickly reached stiff-peak stage, and hollandaise sauce had a satiny texture. The dough hook is robust, but it took a little longer than expected to knead dough – although the dough did turn out with great elasticity. The narrow head allows you to add ingredients without having to stop mixing.
VERDICT: This mixer is powerful, efficient and versatile.
FOOD FUSION (409855SA)
5.5L, 600W; R6 999,99 WWW.CREATIVEHOUSEWARES.CO.ZA This is an excellent all-rounder. Whisking and creaming results were good, with egg white and cream whisked into a glossy, stiff and voluminous consistency. The dough hook worked efficiently and kneaded dough into a smooth texture. The hollandaise sauce was mixed into a light sauce without coagulation or lumps. But cleaning was tricky: there are a lot of areas that can trap dirt.
VERDICT: This is a sturdy mixer with good functionality and a range of attachments.
4.2L, 600W; R1 999 WWW.CREATIVEHOUSEWARES.CO.ZA This mixer was not as efficient and strong as some of the others tested, but it fared well with delicate tasks. Performance was good with tasks like whisking and creaming, and it whipped cream and whisked egg white into a stiff consistency quite quickly. It struggled more with kneading, although the dough turned out elastic. The hollandaise sauce mixed and emulsified well. This mixer is lightweight and less sturdy than others, but it is simple to operate and cleaning was fairly easy.
VERDICT: A budget-friendly mixer that got the job done.