Kitchenaid artisan stand mixers
When discussing kitchen equipment of any type, I only review quality brands based on personal experience.

Why should you trust me?
For the past 40 years, I have worked as a chef in some of the worlds top restaurants and hotels, my own Michelin star restaurant and personal chef to Sir Elton John.

Stand mixers for the home kitchen:
My first stand mixer was myself, mixing cake mixture by hand, over forty years ago.

Since then I have worked with dozens of food mixers ranging from table-top models to huge industrial beasts

Who is this for?
A great stand mixer will make your baking and cooking life a lot easier and can accomplish tasks that would be harder or impossible to do by hand. A well-made stand mixer can help you turn out rustic bread loaves, moist cake layers, and dozens upon dozens of cookies. It can make quick work of whipping egg whites into meringue and heavy cream into an airy dessert topping. Great mixers also have power hubs for extra accessories that can roll out pasta dough and grind meat,

Why I nominate the Kitchenaid

Our two stand mixer picks, the KitchenAid Artisan and the KitchenAid Pro 600, side by side atop a kitchen counter

The KitchenAid Artisan, left, has a tilt-head design; the Pro 600, right, has a bowl-lift design. Photo: Sarah Kobos

Stand mixers can be categorized in two ways: by the design of the base or by mixing action. The design of the base determines how the beater attachment meets the bowl and comes in one of two styles:

  • Tilt-head design: The top of the machine tilts up so that you can attach or remove the mixing attachment and bowl. Most stand mixers for home cooks—including the popular KitchenAid Artisan—are made in this style. Tilt-head mixers tend to be more compact than bowl-lift mixers, and they make it easy to swap out beaters or to remove the bowl while the beaters are still attached.
  • Bowl-lift design: With this style, you snap the bowl into place on the base of the mixer, then lift it toward the mixing attachment using a lever. Many professional mixers mainly use this design, but so do some domestic mixers, like the KitchenAid Pro 600 Series. They tend to be larger than tilt-head mixers (since you need clearance to raise and lower the bowl), and they’re also typically sturdier and more stable so they can better handle thick dough. It’s a bit easier to add ingredients to a bowl-lift mixer than a tilt-head mixer when the bowl is lowered, but it’s also impossible to remove the bowl without also removing the beater attachment, which is a mildly annoying extra step.

Power and range: A great mixer should be powerful, with a range of low and high speeds to handle a variety of recipes and baking needs. Starting on a low speed will help prevent contents from splashing out of the bowl and is better for handling delicate batters; high speeds will whip cream and egg whites quickly, and cream butter and sugar to a pale and fluffy consistency. When mixing heartier dough, a stand mixer shouldn’t strain, smoke, or “walk” even when on its highest speed.

Simple controls: Stand mixers are bulky appliances, but they should be simple and intuitive to use. It should be easy to lift or lock the head, add or remove beater attachments, attach splash guards, and secure the bowl to the base. A handle on the included bowl is extremely convenient when you’re pouring cake batter, cooking Swiss meringue over a bain-marie, or scooping cookie dough.

Interchangeable beaters: Most stand mixers come with multiple beater attachments that are meant to handle different types of recipes. Ideally, the mixer should include a paddle for beating most batters and cookie dough, a dough hook for kneading bread, and a whisk for aerating things like egg whites or whipping cream. These attachments are usually metal, sometimes with a nylon coating, and most are dishwasher safe. Although nylon coating runs a small risk of chipping, I’ve never had that happen with my coated KitchenAid attachments, so I think either style is fine as long as it does its job effectively.

The KitchenAid Pro 600 comes with a beater, whisk, and dough hook, as well as a pouring shield. Photo: Sarah Kobos

Size and heft: A quality mixer should be heavy enough to handle its own force—which means it won’t rock around on the counter on a high speed setting. Some cooks complain about the heavyweight of stand mixers, which is understandable if you have to pull one out of a cabinet or down from a shelf every time you need to use it. But stand mixers are really designed to be left on the counter. The added heft of a stand mixer is crucial to keeping it stable and prevent it from rocking on a counter during more intensive tasks.
As for bowl size, I recommend 5 to 6 quarts, which is big enough to make about four dozen standard-size cookies or handle just about any home baking task you might want to tackle. With a larger bowl, the beaters will make less contact with small amounts of liquids or foods

Stand mixer accessories: Many mixers come with a power hub that allows you to attach additional accessories, like a meat grinder or pasta maker (which you have to buy separately). While this feature is not essential, I like having the option to get even more use out of what is usually a large, expensive machine. I absolutely hate those grinder, grater, blender, shredder accessories that come with some brands. Add to clutter and seldom used

Kitchenaid stand mixers sale:Avoid on sale second hand offers on Amazon and eBay. I once bought a Kitchenaid second hand from Amazon and it did not work. It took 3 months to repair at a local Kitchenaid dealer waiting for a part to come from Germany!
You might be tempted to go for a cheap option if you’re shopping for your first stand mixer, but I think that more expensive machines are worth it for the added mixing power, stability, and versatility.

Another brilliant machine to consider?

You can find Kitchenaid here

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