PROS / This mixer aced every test we put it through due to its powerful motor.
CONS / There is no overload protection on this machine.
VERDICT / This stand mixer from KitchenAid’s Artisan series gives you more choice than any other mixer – more than two dozen colors to choose from and more than a dozen additional attachments you can purchase – and it was the strongest performer in the benchmark tests we put it through.
“KitchenAid” is nearly synonymous with “stand mixer” – this mixer’s classic design was patented in 1936, and it has hardly changed since. Beyond the powerful motor and generous capacity that this KitchenAid mixer offers you, it can do more than any other unit on our lineup thanks to the wide variety of additional attachments you can purchase. According to the wedding magazine and website The Knot, this mixer is the most requested item on wedding gift registries. It earned the Top Ten Reviews Gold Award on its own merit, and it didn’t get extra credit for its 34 color options, though that may be the biggest selling point for some buyers.
Not all stand mixers can handle heavy bread dough, but this KitchenAid mixer could strictly be a dough mixer and have no problem at all. We put this electric mixer through its paces, and it lived up to the hype. After 10 minutes of kneading, the resulting bread dough was smooth and resilient. There wasn’t a trace of dough leftover in the bowl at all.
When we tested this mixer and its paddle attachment with chocolate chip cookie dough, we found that the KitchenAid managed to mix most of the ingredients together fairly well. There was a little bit of butter on the side of the bowl, but it was negligible. When we folded in the chocolate chips at the end of the mixing process, we were surprised by how quickly they were fully incorporated and that the chips stayed intact.
Most impressive was what the KitchenAid stand mixer and its whisk attachment were able to do with egg whites. The machine was able to incorporate more air into the egg whites than any other mixer, and it did it faster, too. In fact, the egg whites fluffed up about 10 times their original volume, which means you can get tall meringues on top of your lemon meringue pies with fewer eggs.
If you compare the wattage of this mixer with others on our lineup that have higher wattage, all you’ll be able to determine is that this mixer draws less power than those others do, as this does not indicate the power of the motor. KitchenAid’s Artisan Series sports nine-cup capacity power, which means it can take on up to nine cups of all-purpose flour in a recipe along with other ingredients, which equates to about four-and-a-half loaves of bread.
You need to keep an eye on your mixer when it’s pushing around that much dough because the KitchenAid Artisan does not include overload protection. This means it won’t shut off to prevent motor burnout. The mixer has 10 different speeds, so you can fold, mix, beat, whip or aerate, and the planetary mixing action of its agitator ensures thorough mixing.
Although KitchenAid offers a variety of color options inspired by the color authority Pantone, it remains fairly simple and straightforward in its design. As such, you won’t find newfangled options like a timer or LCD screen on this model.
The best stand mixers start slowly so that ingredients don’t get knocked out of the bowl and onto the counter, floor or you. KitchenAid’s splashguard fits snugly on the rim of the bowl and works well at corralling ingredients, and it’s simple to slide mix-ins down its plastic ramp.
The handle on the bowl makes it easy to lock and unlock it in place, and the locking tilt head gives you easy access to the accessory ports. The bowl, white beater and white dough hook are all dishwasher safe, but the whisk and any burnished attachments need to be hand washed.
As is the case with most of the stand mixers on our list, the KitchenAid Artisan mixer includes a paddle, dough hook and whisk in the box. All other attachments and accessories are sold separately, but KitchenAid takes the cake when it comes to the choices it gives you. You can get almost any accessory you can imagine, including an ice cream maker, pasta maker, meat grinder, flexible edge beater, juicer and shredder.
Warranties & Support
KitchenAid may only offer a one-year warranty, but that warranty ensures you get a replacement mixer if yours doesn't work as intended. The manufacturer is easy to get a hold of, whether you call, email or chat with one of the company's support staff on the KitchenAid website. The user manual with instructions, recipes and warranty information is available online in case you lose your physical copy.
This stand mixer by KitchenAid gives you everything you want in a mixer – a powerful motor and solid, tested results. It doesn't offer advanced features like overload protection or a timer, but it's a strong mixer that does what it claims, and it offers versatility in its variety of accessories and color options.