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What mixer do I want?


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I've decided to buy a mixer for my almost 13yo daughter for Christmas.  She likes to cook and bake, and we don't own a mixer.

Well as I am not a cook, I don't know what kind of mixer I should buy.  Something reasonable but not junky.  Modern but straightforward to use.  Purple color is a bonus (my kid loves purple).

Suggestions?

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I have a Kitchenaid Artisan that I've used once or twice a week for about ten years now.  There are only four in my family, so it's a good size for us.  My sister has a big family and got a bigger mixer.  She think's mine is little and cute. 🙂  I use it for cake, bread, cookies, whipping cream, and all sorts of other things.  They make more powerful and more expensive mixers, but this one has suited all of my needs for a while now and it doesn't look like I'm going to kill it anytime soon.

It's a heavy machine and it's one of the smaller ones out there.  You might want to designate some counter space for whatever you decide to get.  It comes in lots of colors.  I'll bet purple is one of them.  

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10 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Are you wanting a hand mixer or a stand mixer? I could probably go either way with a 13 yo. If you don't have a hand mixer, she'd get a lot of use out of it. You can get an amazing one for sub-$50. 

I think just the standard mixer that a normal family would have.  I was not thinking hand mixer because sometimes you want to use both hands for something else.  Though of course the storage is easier ....  I think the kids would be more likely to use a stand mixer because it seems like less work.  😛

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Well the nice kitchen aid artisan stand mixers are like $279.  So I just suspect a lot of people would consider that not reasonable for a single niche gift for a 13 year old.  That said, if you don't have one at your house, well worth having!   I have a kitchen aid that is 20 years old and going strong.  

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33 minutes ago, SKL said:

I was not thinking hand mixer because sometimes you want to use both hands for something else.  Though of course the storage is easier ....  I think the kids would be more likely to use a stand mixer because it seems like less work.

Fwiw, a hand mixer is easier for a child to use, safer with adding ingredients and stirring, and something she can take to college. It's a great way to start. The ONLY major, really important thing she can't do with a hand mixer is make mashed potatoes in quantity, and she can work around that with a $16 potato ricer.

33 minutes ago, SKL said:

I think just the standard mixer that a normal family would have.

Then buy yourself the stand mixer and her the hand mixer. :biggrin:

Fwiw, if you go with the hand mixer, get her a set of bowls that will be hers and some nice spatulas and wooden spoons. She could even have her own measuring cups and measuring spoons, the good stuff.

That way you're always buying GOOD stuff, stuff that will last her a long time. My dd is an avid cook. She hosts dinner parties in college with tons of kids and has them cooking holiday meals, sauerkraut, etc. It's her total relaxation. 

Edited by PeterPan
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1 minute ago, SKL said:

SO maybe I should look for one that easily converts from hand to stand ....

That's not going to be sturdy for the long haul.

You can check amazon and see if there are some reviews for machines in the $100-150 range that are doing well. I bought my cousin one a few years ago when she married. She doesn't cook a lot and she wanted a KA. That was overkill for her, so a less $$ machine was appropriate. But if someone cooks a lot, you can know they're going to be dreaming, lol.

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That $30 on the KA handheld is a buy price btw. It's normally more like $50.

I think maybe there's also a cuisinart that's ok. 

The KA is a beautiful machine, will do a brilliant job, and she'll LOVE it.

Edited by PeterPan
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Just now, PeterPan said:

The nice thing about the black & decker is it can stand up on the counter.

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3 minutes ago, SKL said:

The nice thing about the black & decker is it can stand up on the counter.

But why??? There is no advantage to that. The unit is going to burn out and isn't strong enough to do what a stand mixer does. It's a total nothing to use a bowl with a hand mixer. I do it all the time. I LOVE my KA hand mixer and use it frequently. I also have a KA stand mixer. This is a legit, nice present. The stand means less money into the quality of the motor.

Edited by PeterPan
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1 minute ago, PeterPan said:

But why??? There is no advantage to that. The unit is going to burn out and isn't strong enough to do what a stand mixer does. It's a total nothing to use a bowl with a hand mixer. I do it all the time. I LOVE my KA hand mixer and use it frequently. I also have a stand mixer and all kinds of nice things. This is a legit, nice present. The stand means less money into the quality of the motor.

I mean the design of the mixer itself can stand on the counter like a pitcher.

Rated same as KA, so I am looking into the specifics of the ratings.

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1 minute ago, SKL said:

I mean the design of the mixer itself can stand on the counter like a pitcher.

Rated same as KA, so I am looking into the specifics of the ratings.

The reviews when I pull it up are poor. B&D is a disposable, entry level brand. The motor will burn out. The KA will last her many years. And 3,500 reviews for the KA vs. 500 for the B&D. Huge difference. 

Any time a product has VINE reviews, I run. Vine means they were giving it away to stack up good reviews. So ignore all the vine reviews and then see what you think. 

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I think a hand held mixer is more dangerous. They can get away from you and break if you do much more than cake mix.
 

If she loves to bake, just buy her the real kitchen aid (in purple). The smaller size is great for most thing. I’d rather spend $300 on a gift a teen will love and use for years than $150 for AirPods that will get lost and become outdated overnight. 
 

then you can add attachments or other baking supplies and classes and books over the next few years!

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I lied, mine is the 9 speed KA hand mixer, just checked. 

But still, that baby is gonna power through frosting, banana bread, etc. Now I do cookies in my stand mixer *or* I start them with the hand mixer and finish by hand. But that's not going to change with having a stand/hand combo unit, as the motor is the same. I make smaller batches of mashed sweet potatoes, etc. with my hand mixer. 

Have you considered a Sunbeam Mixmaster? It's what I got my cousin when she married, and they're sub $100 right now

                                            Sunbeam 002371-000-NPO MixMaster 350 Watt, White | Soft-Start Technology Stand Mixer                                     

Edited by PeterPan
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3 minutes ago, WendyLady said:

I think a hand held mixer is more dangerous. They can get away from you and break if you do much more than cake mix.

Yes, they definitely have limits. My dd was fine with one and my ds, at the same age, requires extreme supervision.

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1 hour ago, SKL said:

I think just the standard mixer that a normal family would have.  I was not thinking hand mixer because sometimes you want to use both hands for something else.  Though of course the storage is easier ....  I think the kids would be more likely to use a stand mixer because it seems like less work.  😛

I cook almost every day and have never had a stand mixer or a desire for one. We’ve had the same KA hand mixer for thirty years. My mom has both because her severe arthritis now makes it difficult to do some things with the hand mixer or by hand.

She recently offered me her KA stand mixer because she’s moving to a senior apartment, but I declined.

Edited by Frances
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OK, I ordered thd $30 KA hand mixer.  Unfortunately none of the available colors are colors she likes, so I ordered white, and I ordered a couple of bowls with purple accents.  I hope it gets some good use.  🙂

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I honestly think the hand mixer that you posted is fine, @SKL. I've been using a basic, non premium hand mixer for years and years and years -- the same one, and it has not broken. I don't know the brand. I would not invest in a KA for a 12 year old. I actually have my mom's old KA stand mixer, and I rarely use it -- perhaps once a year -- because it is extremely heavy and hard to manipulate. For 99% of my baking, I use my hand mixer.

Buy the purple Black and Decker. It will be a lovely choice for her for the teen years, and if she remains enthusiastic about baking, buy her a stand mixer when she gets her first apartment.

ETA: I see you made a choice -- I'm sure she will like the purple bowls!

Edited by Storygirl
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LOL my mom had a mixer for I don't know how long ... decades for sure ... it was the only one I ever used really.  It could be pulled off the stand and used as a hand mixer.  I see they still have that style in some brands, but I have never heard of those brands and have no desire to experiment.  😛

I bought a really cheap hand mixer when I was a poor young adult.  It worked fine for as often as I baked, but we lost one of the spinny things.

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38 minutes ago, Frances said:

I cook almost every day and have never had a stand mixer or a desire for one. We’ve had the same KA hand mixer for thirty years. My mom has both because her severe arthritis now makes it difficult to do some things with the hand mixer or by hand.

She recently offered me her KA stand mixer because she’s moving to a senior apartment, but I declined.

 

Our Old trusty Kitchen Aid started grinding while making pies this Thanksgiving.

 

Your post really makes me rethink spending ANY money on replacing it. Maybe we get a good quality hand mixer and that will be sufficient for the things we do (mostly bananas bread and making cookies/pies. My husband does make rolls at holidays in the Kitchen Aid -- can a hand mixer mix dough at all?)  AND it will free up the counter space to be used for the poor vegetable and fruit basket that keeps falling off our microwave.

 

Edited by vonfirmath
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39 minutes ago, parent said:

I don't like the KA stand mixer.  It doesn't clean the bowl well, and I hate the guard... always makes a mess. 

 

I have one of these and I rarely have to stop the bowl to scrape. You do need to avoid trying to beat frozen butter using the BeaterBlade though. It will break the paddle...

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25 minutes ago, vonfirmath said:

 

Our Old trusty Kitchen Aid started grinding while making pies this Thanksgiving.

 

I haven't read all the replies in the thread, but you can put new grease in your KA motor and it will likely run fine again. It is a cheap but messy process that takes about an hour or so. There's videos on YouTube that show how. I had to do this to mine because I got it too hot making marshmallows one year and the grease in the motor separated and started slowly leaking out over time.

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21 minutes ago, EmseB said:

I haven't read all the replies in the thread, but you can put new grease in your KA motor and it will likely run fine again. It is a cheap but messy process that takes about an hour or so. There's videos on YouTube that show how. I had to do this to mine because I got it too hot making marshmallows one year and the grease in the motor separated and started slowly leaking out over time.

Thank you!! This happened with my first one because SOMEONE (ahem) was doing something stupid with it. We still have it, put it in a less used location, but I didn't realize it could be fixed! Snazzy!!! That one was the bomb, my first KA hand held. 

34 minutes ago, Margaret in CO said:

College is WHEN my girls wanted their stand mixers!

Well happily, the choice of a hand mixer does not preclude this girl saving up and getting her dream Bosch/KA before she goes away. :biggrin: What would get in the way is having an in between stand mixer, something too nice to toss and not up to what she wanted to do. 

My dd took all her knives with her to college. :biggrin: I wonder if the dorms know she has them? Or did she leave them with my friend in the town there? I'll bet they're in town, surely not in the dorms. I mean they're huge knives, F Dick brand with long handles to fit her large hands. But yeah, people who like to cook like having their tools. 

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