The Swan Retro stand mixer is a fantastic looking thing, with an iconic vintage style that ensures it stands out against its competitors in this price range, such as the Andrew James AJ000194 and Kenwood KM336. As well as looking cool, it also packs a powerful punch, with excellent functionality and impressive results in the kitchen.
- Fantastic Appearance
- Large 4.5L Stainless Steel bowl
- Planetary Mixing Action
- 8 speed settings
- Dough can cling to the hook occasionally
The Swan Retro comes with three attachments that make up the main armada of your mixing force. Firstly, you have the Teflon die cast aluminium dough hook, which will effortlessly knead ingredients to create dough that you can turn into delicious bread, without using any elbow grease. Secondly, you are also provided with a Teflon beater, which is perfect for when you want to mix things like batter and pastry. Lastly, you also get a Stainless Steel whisk, which will whip up ingredients like egg whites in a matter of seconds. With these three attachments, you’ll be able to tackle all of the regular food preparation tasks necessary for baking, as well as a few of the more advanced ones that shows like The Great British Bake Off inspire.
One of the first things we noticed about this mixer is that it is definitely on the heavy side, requiring firm use of both arms to remove from the box and place on the worksurface. Therefore, if you are planning on storing your mixer in a cupboard or other space when you’re not using it, you may want to consider something a little lighter. However, for those who plan on leaving it in its own place on the kitchen surface, it’s not really much of an issue. Many actually prefer products that have a little weight to them as it is usually a nod to superior build quality. Furthermore, it is also worth noting that Swan have placed some clever suction pads at the bottom of the machine, to keep it firmly rooted in one place whilst it is running.
Speed and Performance
There are 8 different speed settings on this machine, meaning that you can easily control the pace of your mix and avoid any inconsistent batches or messy spillages. The rotary dial for controlling the speed is located on the side of the mixer and is quite large, which we really liked because you can quickly find it with your hand and select the setting that you are after. Also located on the side is a lever that pops the head of the machine open, allowing you to change the mixing attachments, which slide in and out easily and without any strain. In fact, we were even able to clip on these attachments one handed, which is perfect for when you have some messy ingredients on your other hand and don’t want to spread it around! It is worth noting at this point that we did experience some of the dough clinging to the hook whilst we were testing it out on a large batch but it is a small downside as all it requires is to scrape it off with your fingers and manually throw it back into the bowl, to be mixed again.
The motor powering this mixer definitely packs quite a punch, providing 1000w of reliable and vigorous mixing power that will tackle even the toughest ingredients that you can throw at it. There are a lot of stand mixers on the market with much smaller motors, which are usually absolutely adequate for most mixing tasks. However, this motor will really let you take your mixing up a notch, able to tackle large batches for big groups of people, without slowing down and losing any efficiency. As an added bonus, the noise produced by this motor is remarkably low, meaning that you won’t disturb the rest of the household while you are busy in the kitchen, or drive yourself mad with the whirring noise.
One of the best features of this machine is something that ensures the best possible mix consistency and that is the planetary mixing action. This modern innovation is common amongst the more expensive machines and it refers to the way that the attachment moves inside the bowl, which is in the opposite direction to that which the socket moves, resulting in an even better consistency. This was a nice feature to see present on a machine that is hovering just above the budget range.
Ease of Cleaning
When you have finished mixing all of your ingredient and the time has come to clean, don’t worry too much because this arduous task has at least been sped up with the Swan Retro, with a bowl and attachments that can easily be detached and washed by hand, in hot soapy water. Some of the older mixer machines were nightmares when it came to cleaning, with parts that were cumbersome and fixed in place.
Conclusion and Where to Buy the Swan Retro
In conclusion, the Swan Retro stand mixer is a machine that was designed with functionality in mind, with controls that are easy to use and a range of functions that ensure you are always in complete control of your mix, whilst avoiding any confusing settings and features that get in the way of hassle-free food preparation. If you like a machine that does what it says on the tin, which also looks beautiful, this is the mixer for you.