Do I Really Need A…Stand Mixer?

December 6, 2012

By Raleigh-Elizabeth.

There are few things in this world I need as much as I need my arms and legs. Air, of course. Butter. Sunshine, a good book, and my best friend. My best friend, the stand mixer.

You might think it strange to proclaim an inanimate object a best friend. In fact, my actual best friend might agree with you, but I have a feeling she could be swayed into understanding by the love and absolute devotion she feels for her own stand mixer. And if you have one too, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Maybe it’s a slight exaggeration, but when it comes to arms and legs in my actual kitchen, my stand mixer is doing at least half the work all the time. And that’s because your stand mixer isn’t just another kitchen appliance. It’s your other half. You rely on it for all manner of household miracles, kitchen spectaculars, and dull daily chores that you quite honestly don’t have the time (or inclination) to do without it.

Here are things I honestly cannot do without my stand mixer:

1) Make a fancy french baguette loaf every week without spending three hours losing my mind to the bread making process.
2) Make homemade pasta. On weeknights. As a last-minute dinner idea.
3) Grind my own meat for sausages.
4) Stuff my own sausages.
5) Beat eggs into submission.
6) Make meringue in a minute, buttercream without blinking, churn my own butter in a hurry. (And yes, it’s particularly good if you’re a compound butter person.)

Here are things I cannot pretend to do without my stand mixer:

1) Be an awesome baker. (I’m actually quite middling.)
2) Claim my kitchen looks reasonably presentable. (Don’t look at the mess, look at the pretty stand mixer!)
3) Bring obnoxiously nice homemade presents to friends’ homes as hostess gifts. (“I just whipped you up this homemade orange bourbon butter and brought along an epi loaf made with T55 flour I imported from France. It’s no trouble, really.”)
4) Win friends, influence people, be a domestic goddess.

Without my stand mixer, I would have to give up all hope of ever becoming a domestic goddess. And it’s important to go through life with goals. Once you have a stand mixer, you start seeing yourself that way.  Domestic goddess? Reasonable life goal! You have no idea what you did without it.

Did I bake baguettes before? Yes, and the whole kneading process not only made my kitchen a mess, but it generally drove me half crazy. Did I whip egg whites into submission? Sort of, but I’ll be frank that my hand mixer never really achieved a “firm peak.” Ever. And when it came to making mashed potatoes, let’s just say that I decided lumpy was very en vogue.

And then I got a stand mixer, and life as I knew it ceased to exist. The world was suddenly full of rainbows, unicorns, and delicious baked goods I actually made myself.

It doesn’t even matter which brand you use. I adore my KitchenAid, but think the Cuisinart one with its smartly-shapped bowl is also a brilliant acquisition. And if someone had shown me a reasonably priced, less-expensive model made by Brand X, I would have jumped at that ages ago. It’s not about brand name. It’s about performance. And maybe also prettiness. And this time of year, it’s the only reason my kitchen moves along at the jingle-jangly pace the season requires.

Do you really need a stand mixer? Do I? I got by once, I know. But that was Before. And now — like my arms, legs, butter, sunshine, and a really good book — I simply cannot imagine life without it.

Which color KitchenAid is your favorite?

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{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Aline December 6, 2012 at 10:12 am

Ok, I have I confession: I don’t have a stand mixer. But gosh, I miss her so much when I’m baking my cupcakes and cookies!


2 Raleigh-Elizabeth December 6, 2012 at 12:01 pm

It’s so hard to miss good friends. And stand mixers.


3 mary December 6, 2012 at 10:21 am

My gosh how do you do all that, how do you have the time to do all that? I have a stand mixer, and it sits in m cupboard, accompanied by the blender, griddle and waffle iron I never have time for.


4 Raleigh-Elizabeth December 6, 2012 at 11:52 am

I confess: I am easily convinced that things are “easy.” All you have to do is tell me “you can do it in a snap!” and I assume I can, well, do it in a snap. But let me tell you: these things are all things you CAN do it in a snap. Move that monster out of your cupboard and give it a home on your counter. If it’s easy to use, you WILL use it! I promise! If not, I will come over and make fresh ravioli with you until you do. : )


5 Gea December 6, 2012 at 10:24 am

I am happy to read there are more “stand mixer crazy girls” in the world. I’ve wanted to have one forever, but alas can’t afford one. So I mix and knead most of my breads, cake etc. by hand. It is just the meringues I find impossible to do that way. Oh well, I will keep on dreaming… maybe one day Santa will bring me a cream one, or a lime or …


6 Raleigh-Elizabeth December 6, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Gea! I started a Big Wish jar when I wanted one! I’d have my mind all set to go to, say, the new Batman movie, and then I’d look at my jar and SKIP IT. I’d take the $10 it would take to go see the movie, put away the inevitable $5 I’d spend to watch it on on demand, and then put the other $5 in the jar. It took about a year, but eventually, I had enough! (And in the end I blew that on a new winter coat, but we’ll ignore that part of the story.)


7 Gina December 6, 2012 at 10:56 am

Um… maybe this is not appreciated here, but after breaking 5 kitchen aids we gave up. We hope one day to get a bosch mixer. But I would always love pink anything!


8 Raleigh-Elizabeth December 6, 2012 at 12:26 pm

oh my goodness! Gina, five whole mixers?!? what happened! there’s bound to be a GREAT story in there…


9 Pamela December 6, 2012 at 11:20 am

i miss my kitchen aid! we just moved to paris and it did not make the trip with us. i read that using a transformer is not good for the motor. so now i’m contemplating buying one here..we’ll be here for 3-4 years. maybe a used one? i’m on the hunt. missing my cuisinart too!
and i’m thinking i’d go orange this time. :)


10 Raleigh-Elizabeth December 6, 2012 at 12:28 pm

I hope you find a terrific one! There’s bound to be one on craigslist somewhere… bonne chance!


11 anna December 6, 2012 at 11:24 am

it’s true. i, too, cannot live without my stand mixer. now that i make my own bread, i really can’t live without it. my husband bought it for me when we were dating…it’s how i knew he was the one.


12 Lauren December 6, 2012 at 11:25 am

Recipe for that fancy french baguette loaf please?


13 Raleigh-Elizabeth December 6, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Lauren – Recipe here:



14 April O. December 6, 2012 at 11:31 am

They are wonderful . . . IF they actually work. Sigh.

My KitchenAid developed mechanical problems 18 months after purchase. This machine was never abused and only used every other month or so. I wish they would honor their customer’s rather large investments for life; we now have to look at forking over a lot of shipping just to get it there, see how much we owe them for a repair, then pay shipping to return it. It doesn’t seem right.

We were deciding between a Bosch or a KitchenAid, now we wish we had gone Bosch.


15 Heather December 6, 2012 at 11:37 am

wow. I never ever coveted a stand mixer before, and did not really understand why people put them on their wedding registries.

I stand corrected, and have a new thing on my christmas wish list this year!


16 KellliO December 6, 2012 at 11:39 am

I love my Bosch. The KitchenAid colors sure are lovely. My roommates, a group of sisters, took their mother’s old 20-year-old Bosch to college. I plan on mine lasting even longer. I got super lucky that I convinced my new husband to use the gift money for it. Now I whip up bread so easily. Someday, it’ll be lemon meringue pie with perfect whips.


17 Sarah Barksdale Design December 6, 2012 at 12:41 pm

I love my stand mixer! I think it was my favorite thing that I got for my wedding, except, well.. my husband of course.


18 Lori H December 6, 2012 at 12:53 pm

I have the white. My 21-year-old daughter requested one in ice blue (it’s both birthday and Christmas present).


19 Sue December 6, 2012 at 3:22 pm

I have a cobalt blue one circa 2002. My mother’s original “harvest gold” edition, circa 1972, is at the cabin now and still going strong! Couldn’t do without it. Well, could, but wouldn’t want to.


20 Jenni Bailey December 6, 2012 at 3:38 pm

For seven years I’ve been trying to convince myself that I actually prefer baking with nothing but my bare hands a wooden mixing spoon. I’ve put every possible spin on it – “I feel like a pioneer!” “The cake is truly MINE when I do it this way, no machine to take the credit!” “As if I would use up precious countertop real estate on a mixer!” But I want one. I really really really do. And in my (soon to be) remodeled kitchen, I think it’s a necessity. I would love a Pistachio one, just for a little wink of green in what will otherwise be a very tone-on-tone palette.


21 Sarah December 6, 2012 at 3:39 pm

i love mine, and love that they come in so many colors (mine is “wasabi!”)… it’s one appliance i don’t mind having out on the counter, it’s so pretty!


22 julia [life on churchill] December 6, 2012 at 4:02 pm

my stand mixer mostly mixes up m&m cookies and cake mixes. but I still love it. now shelf space, thats always an issue..


23 Katherine December 6, 2012 at 4:21 pm

I love mine! I keep telling my husband that I need a larger one. Mine lives on my counter since it gets so much use. I have the stainless steel one and my Mom has an ancient white one that is still going strong!


24 Dee Young December 6, 2012 at 6:27 pm

Mine is lime green. Several years ago I won gift certificate for Amazon for answering a survey from a publisher. I immediately bought my Kitchen Aid stand mixer. I actually use it very little (with just two of us in the house) but I like to bake for parties and I just love having it on my counter.


25 Heidi December 6, 2012 at 9:56 pm

Bosch all the way! I can make 6 loaves of bread in one bowl!


26 Patricia | unfounddoor December 7, 2012 at 5:05 am

Now I just want a chromatically arranged shelf FULL of kitchen aids…


27 Deborah December 7, 2012 at 5:06 am

I don’t have one. Didn’t think I neeeded one. Actually thought until very recently, that they were for baking, only. I still don’t think I need one, but I know I want one. ;) A cream one or maybe a stainless one….


28 Kimberly December 7, 2012 at 6:07 am

I received the white one for Christmas in 2003 and it’s still going strong. We just used it last night to make twice-baked potatoes, and now that the holidays are afoot it’ll stay on the counter ’til New Year’s. I don’t even mind heaving it back up onto the top of the refrigerator when I’m done with it.


29 Kim @ design + life + kids December 7, 2012 at 6:39 am

We are lucky owners of a lovely black mixer that was given to us as a wedding present 5 1/2 years ago. It’s one of those pieces that are not only helpful, but also beautiful! Makes for great counter decor too. It always inspires us to get cooking!


30 susan December 7, 2012 at 6:54 am

My kitchenaid is 59 years old. I inheirited it from my mother who got it as a wedding gift. It doesnt work like it used to. The motor is slowing down. But i cant give up on it and what it has brought to the table for generations of our family.


31 Cafe Johnsonia December 7, 2012 at 9:51 am

Oh, I adore my KitchenAid! I got it over 10 years ago as a gift. It’s the really big one. I don’t have room for it on the counter, so it doesn’t get used as often as it used to. (Also because I’m gluten-free now.)

I also own a Bosch. I prefer it when I’m making bread, but never use it for anything else, except for the blender attachment.

All those new colors have me wanting a new KA. :)


32 bdaiss December 7, 2012 at 10:11 am

Yup. Love my minty green kitchen aid. Yule Kag would be the death of me without it. (Amongst other things…)

(I do admit I find this the hilarious polar opposite to the you-don’t-need-a-crockpot post. I expected more “nah, it’s over rated” comments! Personally they are both staples at my house!)


33 Joan December 7, 2012 at 10:13 am

Yes, yes, unequivocably, YES! I didn’t think I needed one either, but boy, oh boy, was I mistaken. It makes things SO MUCH easier. Buy the biggest, strongest one you can afford; Kitchen-Aid only. You won’t regret it.


34 mylien December 8, 2012 at 7:29 am

I have a black Kitchen-Aid and use it every week, I would love to have the sparkley one that DC Cupcakes has! Mine was purchased at Costco , so didn’t have color options- but the price point was great!


35 Monica Flegg December 9, 2012 at 7:40 pm

Yes. I manage with my hand mixer and hand whisk. After reading these
posts, I now think I might need one! The pistachio color is perfect!


36 Audra Bollard December 9, 2012 at 11:00 pm

When I was pregnant with my first child, my co-workers (who were sick of hearing about my obsession with the purple kitchen-aid on display at Williams-Sonoma) gave me one for my baby shower. They included a book on making homemade baby food as a way to make it a legit baby gift :). Never made the baby food, but three kids and 9 years later it’s still the very best gift I ever received “for baby.”


37 Corinne December 10, 2012 at 3:48 pm

I can’t manage without mine! I love that I can be hands-free while whatever-it-is is mixing! And so easy to clean compared to my Mom’s old Bosch (a good machine, but not easy to clean). By the way, I ordered a couple of the recipe books you suggested in an earlier post as gifts for family and I am very impressed! Thanks!


38 Tania January 3, 2013 at 11:20 pm

I have an apple green kitchen aid that I love but I confess I don’t use it! I hardly make anything. But my man uses it all the time, so I think I’m a lucky gal.

I love the picture of all the different color mixers, awesome.


39 Maria Baker February 8, 2013 at 7:34 am

I’ve wanted one for years. I finally got one for Christmas this year, just after I’d convinced myself I didn’t need one. Now I’m not sure how I ever made it without one! I’d LOVE a butter cream yellow one, but my red one is pretty great too. Have you seen the copper one?? SWOON! I also saw a site once that sold decals to put on your kitchen aid…flowers, chevrons, etc. Pretty neat.


40 Kay August 4, 2013 at 4:46 pm

I have the pink Cook For The Cure edition. I love it but sadly won’t be bringing it with me when I move to France in a few months. I’ll likely buy a new one then sell it if I return to the US.


41 Heather April 12, 2014 at 7:34 pm

I stumbled across this post while googling reasons to keep my KA stand mixer. It was a gift & I was soooo excited, but it just sits on my counter. In my 2 years of owning it, I have NEVER used it.


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