VonShef 1000W Black Food Stand Mixer – 4.5 Litre Mixing Bowl with Splash Guard £64.99
A great stand mixer for its price. When you first get it it may feel a little flimsy but it will get the job done.
So after kneading doughs and whipping creams by hand for many a long year I finally decided to make a small investment into a stand mixer. And while we would all like to get a KitchenAid or Kenwood they’re not exactly in the budget range, so I decided to start by testing out the VonShef 1000w stand mixer which retails for under £100 / $100.
When I unpacked the mixer the first thing I noticed was that it seemed a little flimsy, both in terms of the body and the attachments, but I decided to put it to the test and judge on performance. I first made the dough for the zaatar manakeesh, which is a relatively wet dough: while it’s not a as tough as a bagel dough it does challenge a mixer. Overall the VonShef did a good job of kneading, but you do have to stop it after about a minute to scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure all the ingredients are incorporated.
Because with a stand mixer the motor’s wattage isn’t as important as the torque, the VonShef does struggle a little when faced with dough, and the whole mixer shakes as it’s kneading. While it shakes you notice that the dough is getting warmer, which you don’t really want either.
However, the overall quality of the finished dough is actually pretty impressive, It forms the correct gluten structure, so the dough is good and stretchy. Yes, you do need to keep an eye on it; I recommend that when you use it for kneading any kind of dough to go slow for the first 3-4 minutes and then let the dough rest for about 10 minutes before continuing to knead for a further 3-4 minutes.
The other attachments, the whisk and the paddles, work well also but as with the dough hook you do need to scrape the sides to ensure that all elements are fully incorporated. So for example, when I was making the lemon raspberry thyme cheesecake, there was quite a bit of cream cheese stuck to the sides of the bowl. But once you scrape round, and you only need to do this once, it does a great job.
The mixing bowl overall is good; it’s stainless steel, which is particularly useful if you want to chill it before you start (when working with butter) and it’s very easy to clean. I do have two issues with it but they’re not deal breakers. First, there is no handle on the bowl, so when you’re trying to get the dough out or scraping the last bits of cake mix it can be a bit tricky, I found that putting it into a head lock was the easiest option. The second, in the center of the bowl there’s a small peak which helps with the overall motion of the mixture around the bowl, however this peak also creates a shallow “moat” around itself which, due to the narrow design of the bowl, the attachments can’t quite reach (i.e. you need to make sure to scrape out the moat half way through). In addition, this mixer is not ideal for working with smaller quantities, for example if you were making a single portion of whipped cream; but then again that is not such a frequent occurrence.
My parent’s have a Kenwood stand mixer which they bought back in the early 80s and that beast is still going strong while being used on a weekly basis. Do I think the VonShef 1000w stand mixer is going to last that long? I wouldn’t bet on it. But do I think it’s value for money? Absolutely, in terms of value for money this a great product. You’re not going to be able to start a bakery with it, but for general home use it’s a good choice.