(Pocket-lint) - Whether you're an aspiring amateur baker or kneading pizza dough by hand has started to get old for you, a quality stand mixer is an essential piece of kitchen kit.
With various attachments on offer for many models, you can find yourself making food of all sorts with them, too. These great devices will save you time and effort and expand your culinary horizons. Better yet, many of them will look great on your counter, too.
We've taken a hard look at the best mixers on the market right now, so that you don't have to and we've whittled them down to a great shortlist of options for you to pick from. Take a look, below.
Our guide to the best kitchen stand mixers to buy today
If you're anything like us, chances are that when you envisage a kitchen mixer in your head, you're imagining something very similar to KitchenAid's classic Artisan mixer. It's a design that's fully earned the label "iconic", and a range of colours can give it a retro look or a more modern, sleek tone like the matte black option above.
It's also really powerful, with 10 speeds to choose from, and immensely reliable — we know people who've been using the same machine for over a decade now. This is far from a cheap choice, but the combination of timeless style and brute efficiency make it a superb pick if you want a new mixer.
Sage Bakery Boss
If you want a few more modern smarts in the bundle when you pick up a new mixer, though, and are happy to still spend plenty of dough, Sage's partnership with Heston Blumenthal has yielded up one heck of a mixer in the form of the Bakery Boss. As its name suggests, this is a mixer that's perfect for making baked goods.
With LED lighting and a little LCD display to manage timers, plus a lighstrip to tell you what speed you're on, there are some modcons to go with your straightforwardly excellent mixer and powerful motor. If you're more into stainless steel appliances than ceramics, this could be the perfect mixer for you.
Kenwood Chef KVC3100
If you're looking for something a little more compact, and little less countertop-dominating, Kenwood's (also iconic) Chef mixer could be a great bet. It's dead simple, with just a dial to control power. Where it comes into its own is in the customisation — there are more than 25 different attachments that you can find for this model, letting you knead, mix, stir and more. That means it could do a lot more than you might initially assume.
Stand mixers seem to be magnets for retro designs, possibly because the essentials of their technology hasn't changed that much down the years. Smeg's SMF02CRUK is another timeless classic, with a look and feel that could almost be mistaken for that of a vintage motorcycle.
It might look svelte, but it's a powerful mixer, more powerful than the KitchenAid up top by some margin, actually. The difference between them is pretty minimal, in fact, but if you're a Smeg fan and have other appliances from its range, like kettles and toasters, this will likely suit your aesthetic slightly better.
Sage The Scraper
Sage swoops in with a second mixer to round out our list, and this one's a little simpler than the Bakery Boss we've already looked at. Effectively a stripped-back version of that machine, the Scraper is a slightly smaller but still very punchy mixer.
It's a bit cheaper than some of the others on this list, it's impressively quiet in use, and will do the job whatever you're hoping for, without necessarily breaking the bank.