You may not bake for a living, but you probably work at it on a regular basis. Is there a point when it makes sense to invest in a professional or industrial-sized mixer?
If you are baking several batches of an item at one time, on a regular basis, a professional mixer may help you be more consistent. As most bakers know, the right amount of mixing is crucial to the outcome of the finished product.
However, if you're only making one cake or loaf of bread at a time in your home kitchen, a handheld mixer or a smaller stand mixer designed for household use will meet your needs nicely.
Space is No Issue
The best professional stand mixers are not small. You'll need plenty of counter space available to store and use one of these babies, and if you're using it frequently, it should probably be really easy to access.
Spinning Method Matters
Physicists and engineers work to design industrial mixers that can evenly mix huge batches of materials, and the principles they've found for patterns and methods of combining ingredients are incorporated into high-end baking mixers to enhance consistent results.
Typically the design considered best for most types of baking is a planetary design mixer. In this type of mixer, the blades spin while rotating around the bowl in a circular motion. The main alternative, a spiral mixer, keeps the blades in place while the bowl rotates.
You'll Use it Forever
Professional stand mixers are made to last for years, if not decades. They're an investment that can pay for itself if you have a lot of years left in the kitchen, or have a child or grandchild interested in having it after you retire from everyday baking.
There is a quality range in professional mixers. Look for models that are made of all stainless steel parts (no plastic anywhere) and choose the motor with the highest horsepower you can afford. Top professional models can also stay "on" for longer periods of time without getting too warm or needing down time.
You Plan to Use It for Other Activities
Just like you want your mixer to be heavy-duty and constructed of stainless steel parts, you want to make sure that included and available accessories are tough and can stand up to any job. Accessories can make an expensive stand mixer more valuable in the kitchen, assisting with jobs like making pasta, grinding meat and churning ice cream.
Choosing a new mixer, especially one designed for professional or industrial use, can take a good amount of research as well as accurate assessment of just what you'll use the mixer for. Local professional kitchen supply stores like American Baking System can answer questions for you on the available models.