7-quart bowl offers lots of space
Can handle small quantities
More industrial than stylish
We purchased the Wolf Gourmet High-Performance Stand Mixer so our reviewer could put it to the test in her kitchen. Keep reading for our full product review.
Stand mixers have come a long way over the years in terms of power, features, and accessories. They're efficient and highly versatile, tackling tasks from whipping cream and beating eggs to making pasta and spiralizing vegetables. I was anxious to give the Wolf Gourmet High-Performance Stand Mixer a full tour of the mixing, whipping, and blending tasks in the kitchen. Would it perform as well as its price tag suggested, or would I find it lacking? Read on for the full review.
Performance: It’s a beast … with a gentle side
I gave this machine difficult tasks … and then I got really serious with testing. I started by whipping cream using the wire whip and cranked the machine to high speed. When I had the consistency I wanted, I checked the results and I was giddy to see the cream whipped all the way to the bottom of the bowl. Then I continued whipping to make butter. The splatter shield did its job, with just a little spatter on the mixer, but the straight sides were easy to wipe down.
Next, I kneaded bread dough, using the spiral-shaped hook. It produced a lovely large batch of bouncy dough and the machine never got warm. One big surprise was that speed 3 actually seemed fast, so I wasn't tempted to go faster. While the bowl moved a little during kneading, the mixer itself never wobbled, bounced, or threatened to walk around the counter. With the same hook, it handled a dense pasta dough with such ease that I had to check it to see if it was actually as dense as it was supposed to be.
While the bowl moved a little during kneading, the mixer itself never wobbled, bounced, or threatened to walk around the counter.
Then I used the paddle to make an extra-large batch of cookie dough with a massive quantity of chocolate chips and nuts. I was cackling as I dumped the nuts and chips into the machine on top of the cookie dough, wondering how the machine would handle it. The bowl was nearly full, but the machine didn’t seem to care. Shortly after I was done pouring, the ingredients were evenly mixed into the dough.
I also tested its blending ability when I added chocolate to whipped cream and when I added nuts to cake batter. Both times the extra ingredients incorporated quickly and evenly.
Since some large-quantity mixers don’t handle small quantities well, I made dough for a single loaf of bread. The dough came together easily, but the dough looked tiny in the bowl.
But what about whipping small quantities? I measured 1/2 cup of whipping cream, then paused. How low could I go? I poured in just 1/4 cup and turned the machine on, grinning at my evilness. Much to my surprise, it whipped. It wasn’t as efficient as when I made a larger batch, but it produced perfectly whipped cream for our hot chocolate.
Next was a batch of sticky bread dough that required a long kneading time. I periodically checked to see if the motor was running hot, but the surfaces I could safely reach were room temperature. Once the kneading was done—after a full 30 minutes—I removed the bowl and checked all over for warmth. The area near the mixer attachment was gently warm but not at all hot.
Design: Better than expected
When I saw a picture of this mixer, I thought it looked inexpensive. When it arrived, my opinion changed. It looks heavy-duty—built for business rather than decoration, with a serious 7-quart bowl and large attachments to match. As I used it, I came to appreciate the no-nonsense design.
I found it curious that a replacement black knob was included with the mixer accessories. Then I found a card offering a free knob to change the look of the machine. I left the original red knob in place.
This is a bowl-lift mixer, which means the head is fixed in place and the bowl moves up to meet the attachments. That’s accomplished by turning the bowl, which rides up and down like twisting a lid on and off a jar. I was pleased that the bowl never got stuck and it was always easy to move.
This machine is quite tall—I measured it at 17 3/4 inches. It didn’t fit under the oddly low upper cabinets in my kitchen, but there was plenty of space to work with it in front of the cabinets. It may fit better in other kitchens, but it’s worth measuring if the plan is to leave it on the counter.
The included spiral dough hook and paddle are both coated with a material that made them quite nonstick, which I appreciated. I have a small concern that the coating could chip over time, but the coating seemed durable. Both of those attachments, along with the stainless steel wire whip and the plastic splatter guard are dishwasher safe. The bowl should be hand-washed, but I'd likely choose to do that anyway, since it would take quite a bit of space in the dishwasher.
Setup Process: Get the order right
Getting the machine ready to work was simple, but it’s important to do things in the right order. First, I set the bowl into its deep receptacle, leaving it in the lowered position. The chosen attachment can be hiding in the bowl, or it can (somewhat awkwardly) be put in place afterward, but there’s no way the bowl can be put in place or removed with an attachment on. That’s the one downside of bowl-lift machines, but I got used to it.
Features: Pulse! Pulse!
When I first started the mixer, it seemed to pause for a beat before it slowly started. Yes, slowly. No matter what speed we chose, the mixer gave us a soft start, so it didn’t fling ingredients around the way a fast start can do. But even better is the pulse option that allows the mixer to be turned on and off in gentle pulses. Not only does this mix gently and eliminate the chance of a flour eruption, it also made it simple to move the mixer attachment slightly when I wanted to scrape the sides of the bowl.
No matter what speed I chose, the mixer gave a soft start, so it didn’t fling ingredients around the way a fast start can do. But even better is the pulse option that allows the mixer to be turned on and off in gentle pulses.
While the mixer’s dial has numbers on it to indicate the speed, these aren’t hard stops. The speed ramps up as the dial turns and can be set for any speed.
Other: Just one accessory
The mixer has a magnetically-attached front piece that hides a hub for accessories. Currently, there’s just one available: a meat grinder. We hope more will be available in the future.
There’s no doubt about it: This is an expensive appliance, slightly exceeding the cost of the KitchenAid 7-quart bowl-lift model and much more than the ever-popular KitchenAid Artisan tilt-head.
Wolf Gourmet High-Performance Stand Mixer vs. KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer
I have had a decades-long love for the KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer, which I also put through a full product test. I love its design, its dizzying array of colors, and most of all, I love the insane number of accessories that allow it to do everything from peel apples to make ice cream. I wrote an entire bread-baking book using its mixing and kneading abilities, so I know it can handle the work. The Wolf mixer I tested offers a different level of heavy-duty performance but without the bells, whistles, and bling. I love each for different reasons and recommend both for different types of cooks.
Love at first mix.
I admit it: I kept devising more and more difficult tests for the Wolf Gourmet High-Performance Stand Mixer, but it didn’t even blink.
- Product Name High-Performance Stand Mixer
- Product Brand Wolf Gourmet
- MPN WGSM100S
- Price $1149.00
- Color options Red, black, or silver knobs are available
- Material Brushed stainless steel exterior
- Warranty 5 years, limited
- What’s Included Wire whip, coated spiral dough hook, coated paddle, splatter shield, and an extra knob