To Buy or Not to Buy: The KitchenAid MixerOctober 28, 2018
- Katrina IriberriWords
Ina, Paula and Martha all have one. Nigella even brings hers with her when she’s on holiday. Every home baker either has one or has the color of the one she dreams to buy already picked out. For any serious home baker, the KitchenAid mixer is a must-have piece of equipment.
The KitchenAid Mixer is a powerful tool that makes so many baking tasks much easier and faster. You no longer have to whisk until your arms feel like they’re about to fall off just to get stiff egg whites. You can mix cookie batter without worrying about your hand mixer overheating. All you need to do is to flick on the switch and have it do all the work for you.
While its primary purpose is for making batter and dough, the KitchenAid can be used for so much more. It can be used to mix mashed potatoes, make compound butter, or whisk enough eggs omelets to feed an army.
All this convenience, power, and functionality comes at a price, though, a pretty hefty one. A KitchenAid Mixer costs anywhere between PHP 20,000 to PHP 30,000 locally. If you’re willing to deal with the hassle of buying anything abroad and of owning a 110v appliance in a 220v country, you could get it a little cheaper from the US for around $350 plus any shipping/excess baggage fees (it weighs about twenty-five pounds) it might accrue. It’s still a lot of money, especially if you consider that PHP 2,500 can get you a standard hand mixer. So the question is, is the KitchenAid mixer really worth the price? Should you get one? The answer depends on a few things:
Cost Over Frequency of Use
To get your money’s worth from something expensive, the key is to use it. A lot. If you only bake during family birthdays or Christmas, then it obviously won’t make sense for you to shell out all that money. It will only end up gathering dust on your countertop. If, however, you’re the type who makes cheesecakes on Fridays and cupcakes on Sundays regularly, then the KitchenAid would probably be a wise investment for you.
What Will You Be Making?
Some recipes strictly specify that you need to use a stand mixer. Fortunately, a lot of them don’t. Most brownie and bar batters are better mixed by hand, while most cake batter recipes are flexible when it comes to the mixing method. Heavier batters and dough are admittedly easier to make with a mixer, but not impossible to make by hand. Making whipped cream, cream cheese frosting, or stiff egg whites for meringue/frosting without a dedicated stand mixer, on the other hand, will at least give you a good arm workout.
Your Baking Skills
If you have just started baking, I would suggest holding off on buying a mixer, even if you can afford one that’s totally . Most people start baking with brownies, cookies, and cupcakes, and in most cases (except Christina Tosi’s), you can find recipes for those that don’t require the power of a KitchenAid. I suggest that you get the hang of baking first, see if your interest in it is just a phase or not. If, after a few months, you think that baking is something that you are passionate about and will stick with, then go ahead. Splurge on that $2,000 Swarovski-ed creation.
Beyond Mixing and Baking
Your standard mixer already comes with three attachments: a whisk, a paddle, and a dough hook. But there are other attachments that you can buy to connect to the mixer’s power hub. With the correct accessory, your mixer can become a slicer, a grater, a meat grinder, an ice cream maker, or even a sausage stuffer. If, apart from baking, you’re also into grinding your own beef for burgers or making your own fettuccine, then you’ll be able to make the most out of your KitchenAid Mixer.
Do You Have the Space for It?
Because it weighs as much as a small child, the KitchenAid is not something you could realistically pull in and out of your cupboard as needed. Not only do you risk throwing out your back every time you get a hankering for cookies, you also risk damaging the mixer if you keep carrying it by its motor head. There’s no way around it: the KitchenAid mixer needs its own spot on the countertop. Unfortunately, today’s kitchens are either tiny and/or already filled with microwaves, coffee makers, toasters, and dish drying racks. My own mixer is stored deep in a corner of my mother’s kitchen counter and I have to pull it out (it sits on top of a kitchen towel, to make it pulling it out easier) every time I use it. If you can’t spare the space for this monster piece of equipment, then it might be best to stick with a hand mixer for now.
Can You Afford It?
As much we all love food and the process of making (and writing) about it here on Pepper.ph, we certainly don’t encourage going broke in the pursuit of it. We don’t want you blowing a whole month’s paycheck on a shiny piece of equipment and starving for the next four weeks. It’d be silly to buy a KitchenAid and not have enough left over for the food you’ll make with it or the electricity you need to run it. Luckily, there are ways to soften the blow to your bank account. If you have a relative or friend in the States, have them buy it for you in the US and just make them cookies as a thank you afterwards. Most major stores also offer 0% interest deferred payments for big ticket items like this one. The local distributor of KitchenAid also has an annual warehouse sale around November, so you can also wait for that.
The bottom line is the KitchenAid mixer is a fantastic, high-quality, but very expensive piece of kitchen equipment. While I’ve enthusiastically recommended it to anyone who’s asked about mine, the truth of the matter is that it’s a luxury, not a necessity.
Are you thinking about getting a KitchenAid Mixer? Do you have already have one? Do you think the purchase was worth it? Have you used other brands? Let us know in the comments!