Most home chefs can make a great meal with just a good kitchen knife and a quality pot or pan. But when you’re ready to make the next leap up the culinary ladder, a stand mixer is a good place to start. Unlike hand mixers or immersion blenders, a stand mixer is built to take the elbow grease out of the biggest stirring chores. When working with heavier mixes - bread and cookie dough for example - or when facing a task that requires repetitive wisking (whipped cream and meringues come to mind), a stand mixer is your best option. If you’re thinking it’s time to upgrade your kitchen tools, here are three stand mixers we recommend.