Few kitchen appliances are as touted as the KitchenAid Stand Mixer. It has been in American homes for over 100 years and is the cornerstone of a complete kitchen to this day. However, a KitchenAid stand mixer can’t really do everything, as pastry chef Clarice Lam learned. She switched to stand mixer Waring Luna in her own kitchen and vowed never to go back – and for all the pandemic bakers who have raised the bar on your skill levels, neither can you.
The Luna is technically a commercial stand mixer, but it’s an attractive upgrade for a seriously appointed home kitchen. The 7-quart size offers more capacity than the standard 4.5 or 5-quart KitchenAid (no more overflowing stainless steel bowls), and it has the kind of power a full-time baker like Lam appreciates.
Before making the switch, Lam was having trouble with her KitchenAid when she used it to mix dough. “It would just shut down because it would overheat, or it would go crazy and roll off the counter.” By comparison, the Luna’s 350-watt motor easily powers through very springy or enriched doughs that require a lot of mixing, like brioche, milk bread, or panettone, without issue.
But what Lam really fell in love with was the sound of the Luna, or lack thereof. “The first thing that’s important to me is that it’s quiet. There is no loud buzzing,” she says. “I don’t want my neighbors to hear it through the walls.” Lam says KitchenAids has gone from strength to strength (a complaint others have mentioned online), which has made the Luna’s understated whirlwind all the more appealing.
Now on to the specs: the Luna has 11 variable blending speeds controlled by a simple front dial. It has a tilting head and works with several compatible attachments, including a whisk, paddle, dough hook, and clear splash guard. In case you do something such dense that the Luna really can’t handle (please no cement), it has thermal overload protection to prevent the motor from burning out.
For the average home baker, a Luna may be unnecessary. Don’t forget that Lam is a professional pastry chef, and a damn good one. We’ve always loved the KitchenAid, which continues to beat its peers in our product test every year, but we also limit this test to non-commercial appliances. The pandemic has wiped more than a few baking businesses out of home kitchens, and appliances aren’t always enough. For those who feel like they’ve pushed their own KitchenAid stand mixer to its limits, burned its gears, or are driven mad by the cacophony it produces, the Luna is a mixer that can deliver the results you desire.