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A few Christmases ago (long before I started my cushy gig as a cookware tester), I wanted to get my girlfriend a stand mixer, after she left me numerous hints while watching “The Great British Baking Show.” The problem, though, was that I was tenuously employed as a freelance writer and more saliently working as a bartender a few nights a week. In other words, I couldn’t  afford the gold-standard KitchenAid stand mixer (which, obviously, is as good as they get). I still wanted to pull through for the holidays, so I figured I’d get her a placeholder version until I could save up enough cash to purchase the real deal — which I eventually did, and she loved it. However, what I originally thought was going to be a not-so-great gift ended up being the perfect addition to our tiny apartment kitchen. In fact, we end up using the Hamilton Beach Classic Stand and Hand Mixer even more than our shiny KitchenAid model.

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It feels like a total no-brainer, but this is the first two-in-one mixer I’ve seen. It’s essentially a lightweight hand mixer that easily detaches from its sturdy base so you can either get hands on for quick egg beating and batter whipping or kick back and let the machine do the work for you. It features a 4-quart bowl with six adjustable speeds (plus a quick burst setting), a bowl rest function that allows the hand mixer to sit on the edge of the bowl to eliminate messy drips, and a “shift and stir” lever that rotates the bowl as it sits for uniform mixing. And, the mixer set comes with a set of traditional beaters, a whisk, and two dough hooks.

Personally, we think the mixer’s best quality is its versatility. In our old apartments, we could never justify having both a stand mixer and a hand mixer, so this is the perfect solution for small spaces or apartment kitchens. This model detaches for all sorts of mixing needs, which means you’re not limited to a fixed bowl size — however, you can also set it and forget it when doing tasks that would otherwise result in a sore arm from holding a stand mixer, such as whipping egg whites. Best of all, the mixer doesn’t take up nearly as much space as larger models. Its sleek and small body fits easily in our Lazy Susan corner cabinet. 

Plus, my girlfriend and I aren’t the only ones who dig this thing. It has over 4,000 five-star ratings on Amazon, and customers love it. “Very nice mixer with all of its speeds. How convenient to have a hands free stand or take it out and operate without the stand,” one reviewer writes. “Love it. Bought one for a gift, too. Wonderful quality product for the price.”

Brooke uses this for pretty much everything she mixes, from cake batters and bread dough to whipped cream, meringues, and more. If you’re looking for a space-saving stand mixer that costs (literally) six to seven times less than the more expensive models on the market, you can’t go wrong with the Hamilton Beach Classic Stand and Hand Mixer



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