AmazonBasics Multi-Speed Stand Mixer with Attachments, Red
There are pluses and minuses to this model’s design. Its body casing is plastic, making it several pounds lighter than our metal-bodied winner from KitchenAid. While it’s easier to carry, it lacks anchoring weight, so it uses suction-cup feet to prevent “walking” while mixing, which have to be wrenched up whenever you move it. Its tilting head has a simple toggle-style lock conveniently located next to the speed dial. Its bowl lacks handles, which we’d prefer to help get a firm grip when placing it on or taking it off the machine or scraping out the contents.
To test this model, we whipped a pair of egg whites to stiff peaks, though it took a few minutes longer than usual, since at first the liquid sat slightly beyond the full reach of the whisk. This was a sign that ingredients may not be fully incorporated even when mixing larger amounts. Next we made cake batter, creaming butter into the flour, and again the mixer was inefficient: The rotating action of its paddle never fully reached the sides of the bowl. Between stopping and scraping down the sides multiple times and extending mixing times to incorporate dry ingredients, it took far longer than the recipe instructed and led to undesirable gluten development in what should have been a tender cake. The batter still had large lumps when we gave up and stopped mixing; the cake didn’t rise well in the oven, and it baked up heavy and slightly chewy instead of light and fluffy. Finally, we tested the mixer’s kneading power with stiff Bagel Bread dough, and we were disappointed again: Wet ingredients stayed in the middle of the bowl, leaving the sides lined with ¾-inch-deep accumulations of dry flour. After we repeatedly stopped, scraped, and folded the contents by hand, the machine began kneading as the recipe instructed, but when we checked the dough ball, we found unmixed dry flour in the bottom of the bowl. During the 10-minute kneading time, the mixer clearly struggled, rocking and whining and periodically slowing as it worked. We had to stop it three times to remove the dough ball from the hook, but it eventually got the kneading done. However, the lack of power raised doubts about this machine’s long-term durability, and its inefficiency made using it more difficult than necessary. Given that it struggled with essential tasks, we can’t recommend it.
Model: MJ-KM8001W-Red Price: $82.15 Size: 4.5 L (4.8 qt) Weight: 10.14 lb Actual Capacity: 3.25 qt Distance from Bowl to Hook: 10.6 mm Distance from Bowl to Whisk: 8.3 mm Distance from Bowl to Paddle: 6.4 mm