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Baking is made so much easier when you have one of the best KitchenAid mixers in your kitchen. But with so many similar-looking mixers available from this household kitchen brand, it can be difficult to decipher exactly what you need. To help you decide, we donned our aprons, put on our baking faces, and bought the most popular KitchenAid mixers to test them out.
During our Great KitchenAid Bake-Off, we measured mixing performance, motor power, and bowl capacity. We also factored in ease of use and clean up. With all these considerations in mind, we selected KitchenAid Artisan Series 5 Quart as our top pick. With a powerful 325-watt motor and included utensils like a dough hook, wire whip, and a 1-piece pouring shield, the Artisan is a great KitchenAid for professional and home use alike. Keep reading to learn more about this mixer and the others we baked with to find the right fit for your kitchen and baking needs. Speaking of the right fit for your kitchen, check out some of the best kitchen appliances on the market.
Award: Top Pick/Best Value
WHY WE LIKE IT: With tons of available colors and the perfect balance between affordability and durability, the KitchenAid Artisan series offers the overall best experience when it comes to these popular stand mixers.
KitchenAid make a lot of Artisan Series mixers, and the most common ones include the Custom Metallic Series, the Artisan Design Series, and our #1 pick, the KitchenAid Artisan Series 5 Quart Mixer, as well as a smaller version, the Artisan Mini Tilt-Head Stand Mizer. The many Artisan Series mixers are all very similar, usually with a 5-quart mixing bowl (except the lower capacity 4.5-quart and Artisan Mini 3.5-quart), and a tilt-head stand mixer, and only differ in color options, mixing bowl design, and accessories that the mixer comes with.
Most bakers don’t need a professional-grade mixer, which is what makes the Artisan KitchenAid mixer one of the most popular units on the market today. This popular stand mixer features a bowl with a handle (a huge convenience to bakers) and a motor with enough power to handle the occasional tough dough. While we don’t recommend you use this mixer for frequent dough mixing, it can handle pretty much any other baking need you can think of. If you like making ice cream and need something that can handle all your needs, check out our guide to the best ice cream maker.
The Artisan has a tilt head design making it sizeable to fit in smaller spaces with the head tilted down, and it further includes a 5-quart stainless steel bowl, which is capable of making batches of 9 dozen cookies. It also includes a flat beater, dough hook, wire whip and pouring shield. The KitchenAid Artisan is our top pick because of the overall value it gives you at such an affordable price. The 325-watt motor is the perfect balance between performance and cost and the include accessories only serve to sweeten the deal. You’ll use this mixer as much as you use the best air fryer.
Award: Honorable Mention/Best Beginner
WHY WE LIKE IT: The KitchenAid Classic is perfect for your everyday mixing with a stainless steel bowl and middle-of-the-line motor power. With its lower price point, this makes for the perfect entry level stand mixer for beginners.
The KitchenAid Classic stand mixer is perfect for small batches of items that require lighter ingredients. Unfortunately, this mixer is not for heavier-duty mixes because of its smaller motor. However, this mixer is best for smaller kitchens or for people who are only cooking for themselves. The 4.5 quart bowl is enough to make up to 6 dozen cookies in a single batch, but not much more than that.
When you buy the KitchenAid Classic, you get the standard attachments: the flat beater, wire ship and dough hook, but anything else you’ll have to purchase for yourself. Of course, the stainless steel bowl and utensils are dishwasher-safe, which allows for a quick and easy clean up. It also features a 59-point planetary mixing action (as do all KitchenAid stand mixers), as well as the typical 10 speed settings you see on other models. If you’re looking for something small and simple, the KitchenAid Classic is a great pick. Also, check out the best microwave.
Award: Best Professional
WHY WE LIKE IT: The KitchenAid Professional stand mixers are designed specifically for the avid baker and is one of the best stand mixers around. Featuring a powerful motor and extra-tough accessories, this KitchenAid mixer can handle even the toughest and stickiest of doughs.
The KitchenAid Professional stand mixer is a workhorse, and that’s an understatement. It’s the most powerful KitchenAid mixer on our list, featuring a 575-watt motor and a large 6-quart bowl. If you’re looking to make large batches of bread or anything else, this is the stand mixer for you. All of this mixer’s design aspects are built for heavy loads, which is most apparent in the bowl locking design. With most other mixers, you have to twist the bowl into the base of the mixer, but the Professional 600 has a bowl lift design to provide more stability. Speaking of stability, you will get that and more from the best masticating juicer. Check out our review!
Simply snap the bowl into the mixer’s handles and pull the lever to raise the bowl to the beater. This provides more efficient contact between the bowl and beater. While other mixers on our list feature the standard 59-point planetary mixing action, the Professional features a 67-point planetary mixing action, which gives you the most thorough ingredient incorporation of all. Of course, with all this extra power, you’ll get a much larger and heavier mixer, able to mix you enough dough for multiple loaves of bread. As such, you’ll want to put it in your kitchen where it’s going to stay so you don’t have to keep moving it. And make room for the best coffee maker too.
Award: Best Glass Bowl
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you’re looking to switch things up with your stand mixer experience, consider the KitchenAid KSM105GBCER. With a unique glass bowl and lightweight design, this stand mixer is great for bakers who want to see their baking in action.
The KitchenAid KSM105GBCER is very similar to the KitchenAid Classic with the exception of the upgraded glass bowl that allows you to see what you’re making and is easier to clean, an excellent feature that increases its overall convenience. It’s also the lightest mixer on our list, making it easy to get out and put away as well as take it with you, if needed.
Another way this KitchenAid stands out from the pack is the included beater attachment, which features a new Flex Edge component. The Flex Edge is simply a plastic sleeve that goes around one side of the beater to effectively scrape the bowl clean during use so you get all the ingredients mixed in. It also makes clean up much easier. You might also want to read about the best toaster oven.
Award: Best Budget
WHY WE LIKE IT: Handheld KitchenAid mixers are also important to consider, and the KitchenAid KHM512ER is the best one available on the market today. With 5 speed settings and easy clean up, this hand mixer is perfect for quick jobs at a much more affordable price.
If you’re looking for mixing at a much more affordable price than what the stand mixers can offer, then the KitchenAid KHM512ER hand mixer is the choice for you. It features 5 different speed settings and an ultra-quiet operation, even at the highest speed.
This KitchenAid hand mixer is also super easy to use and clean. Unfortunately, it’s really only good for small batch applications and cannot handle bread dough at all, but that’s to be expected with such a small mixer. If you’re not worried about mixing large batches of cookies or making bread, then this mixer is a good option overall, especially considering its ultra-low price.
KitchenAids are great utensils because they make mixing a total cake-walk (no pun intended). The more things a KitchenAid can mix, the better it ultimately is.
The versatility of a KitchenAid comes down to the type of accessories available that can fit on it, as well as the power of the motor. For most purposes, a 325-watt motor is more than enough for basic mixing (i.e. cake batters, cookie dough, etc.). All of the KitchenAid Mixers on this list meet or exceed that wattage. Compatibility with additional accessories is also a key selling point of KitchenAid products. All the KitchenAid mixers on this list are compatible with all other KitchenAid accessories, including the aforementioned dough hooks and mixing paddles.
Let’s talk about burnished aluminum versus non-burnished. Whenever a metal is burnished (i.e. another surface is dragged across it) the surface becomes deformed. This can be seen as streaks in the metal. Burnishing deforms the metal and shapes it a certain way, but it also makes the metal stronger and more resistant to fatigue. Most of the accessories and mixers on KitchenAid products are burnished, meaning they are highly resistant to wear and tear.
Lastly, one of the most important things to consider for the best KitchenAid mixer is the “points of rotation.” When the mixer rotates in the bowl, it makes physical contact with the bowl. This is called a touch-point. The more touch-points a stand mixer has, the more thoroughly it mixes the ingredients. So the more points of rotation there are, the better the mix will be. Mixers with around 59 touch-points are considered to be of high enough quality to create a good mix, which is why all the mixers on this list hit at least that much or more.
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KitchenAid offers a lot of great benefits over other brands. Its main competitor, for instance, is Viking. Viking mixers are generally more expensive, but don’t offer many features over KitchenAids. A Viking VSM500, for example, costs about $450. Nothing on this list reaches that cost. A KitchenAid mixer has quality specs that are more than enough for the home, but are more cost effective. KitchenAid mixers are also easier to clean than the competition.
There are plenty of reasons to buy a KitchenAid Mixer. For one, they are very convenient appliances. Manually mixing is a chore, especially when you are working with tough dough for pizza or harder breads such as sourdough. KitchenAid products can quickly and effectively do all of your mixing, and are also much easier to clean than other mixers in this category.
For most situations, you simply need to rinse the bowl and mixer then throw them in the dishwasher. That’s a lot easier than cleaning a whisk. Have you ever cleaned a whisk before? It’s awful.
KitchenAid is also a dependable brand that consistently makes quality products. KitchenAid uses steel to construct its stand mixers, which means they will last through thick and thin. The additional accessories (that only work on KitchenAid products, mind you) also give KitchenAid some advantages over other stand mixers, such as pasta and ice cream making. Those two things alone explain why KitchenAid mixers are so much better than the rest of the competition!
1 Year Hassle-Free Warranty
Purchasing a KitchenAid mixer is a great way to improve your at-home baking experience. Our #1 Pick can handle just about anything you throw at it, and its 20 unique colors means it will match any kitchen. KitchenAid also has a strong reputation for quality products thanks to its premium design. If you really enjoy baking or you make your own bread, don’t buy the cheaper mixer and get upset when it breaks down. This is part of the reason why KitchenAid has developed a following from cooking enthusiasts. They are great devices that serve a multitude of functions in the kitchen.
It’s also about buying the best KitchenAid mixer for you. You may not need the Professional’s powerful motor if you are just making cake batter. Also, always be sure to keep track of your warranty. Sometimes appliances come with faulty parts, and keeping a hold on warranty information can help you get a new one. Lastly, remember that KitchenAid mixers are pricey investments, but they will last you a lifetime.
Buying the best KitchenAid is just the first step in making the ultimate kitchen experience. If you prefer mixing with glass bowls over stainless steel, you can grab a Kitchen Aid glass bowl here. You will also want to get essential accessories like the spiralizer and food grinder. Depending on the accessory, these will cost between $30-$130, but they add a lot more functionality to your appliance.
For more on KitchenAids, general kitchen advice, and cooking gadgets (like this awesome pancake machine), check back regularly to Gadget Review!