Truth is, I was pretty intimidated by the bright red KitchenAid Stand Mixer that sat, pristine and unused, on our kitchen counter during the initial years of my marriage. It was too shiny — I pictured dough flying out the sides. I eventually succumbed and turned to it — there was only so much my forearms or a hand mixer could tackle. When my wife and I began baking bread at home, it was time to plug in and hold on. And now, 15 years and two cookbooks later, I’ve discovered that whether you’re baking cookies or attempting to eat better after a few months of raiding your pantry, the Kitchen-Aid Artisan Series Stand Mixer deserves a spot on your counter.
KitchenAid Artisan Series Stand Mixer: The basics
The KitchenAid Stand Mixer typically comes with a stainless steel mixing bowl and three accessories:
- A flat beater for mixing batter (I use it for mashed potatoes)
- A wire whip for whipping cream or beating egg whites
- A dough hook for mixing and kneading bread dough
Some mixers also come with a pouring shield, a useful accessory that helps keep flour from puffing out the top of the bowl when you’re adding it while mixing.
KitchenAid mixer bowl
You’re not just picking a mixer, though: You’ll want to think about the bowl. I prefer stainless steel because it’s durable. There are also glass bowls with built-in measurements and a pouring spout, as well as other alternatives like this watercolor ceramic bowl. Bowls and mixers generally range in size from 3.5 quarts to 7 quarts. I treat it like Goldilocks and opt for the middle option at 5 quarts, which can handle enough batter to make nine dozen cookies.
KitchenAid mixers can tilt
The tilt-head feature is what takes a 22-pound appliance and makes sure it’s not clunky. While a bowl-lift mixer (which comes with a deeper bowl, stronger motor and spiral dough hook) is stationary, the arm of the tilt-head mixer stands can lift up and down, allowing you to swap in a beater or take out the bowl easily.
The race for KitchenAid mixing
When it comes to speed, more options are always better. The Artisan series has 10 speeds. I use the low end to slowly blend in ingredients and crank up the dial if I’m making whipped cream. Here’s a tip: If you’re making whipped cream, chill your bowl and the whip attachment in the freezer for an hour beforehand — it will help your whipped cream set up and stay cold.
The beauty of the KitchenAid Mixer
Having said all that, KitchenAid Stand Mixers aren’t only about function. They’re available in more than 80 colors. Opt for pink, Kyoto Glow (KitchenAid’s color of the year for 2020) or chrome, for example, or go with any of the many other styles to fit your kitchen, your cooking and yourself.
Best KitchenAid Stand Mixer accessories
A stand mixer isn’t just a gateway to baked goods. KitchenAid has a line of attachments and accessories to transform your mixer into a host of different appliances, from a food processor to a meat grinder — you can even sift and weigh flour or make ravioli.
A set of six blades let you spiralize vegetables (think zucchini noodles or curly fries) and core and peel fruits like apples and pears, especially helpful if you need a lot for applesauce or for pies.
This attachment uses your mixer to churn ice cream. The bowl, which has to be pre-chilled in the freezer, holds up to two quarts of ice cream. Soft serve can be ready in under 30 minutes, a great and quick summer-ready feature.
If you’ve ever run a lemonade stand, the novelty of hand-juicing citrus wears off quickly. This attachment comes with a basket to catch pulp and seeds and a spout to pour juice directly into a glass or pitcher.
The flex edge beater has a built-in scraper, which means you don’t have to stop mixing batter to scrape down the sides with a spatula. It’s dishwasher-safe and you can use the edge to scrape out your bowl. Just make sure the size you’re ordering fits the model you own.
Mixing it up your own way
While a five-quart stand mixer is capable of handling small and large batches of dough, you may want to have options if you’re just making a little bit of something for yourself — or baking for a big party.
This hand mixer is versatile and easy to clean. Gently fold together ingredients on the lowest speed and get fluffy peaks with egg whites quickly at the fastest setting. The pro whisk attachment makes homemade whipped cream easy.
The seven-quart, stainless steel bowl can make up to eight pounds of dough and comes with a five-year warranty, which is important if you’re planning on using it many days in that timespan.