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Having a KitchenAid stand mixer on your kitchen counter means a lot of things. It means you’re ready to face the world of fine cooking regardless of your skill level and experience in the kitchen, that you have a passion for learning more and stretching your skills. In a sense, KitchenAid stand mixers are aspirational, and not only because of their price. These are very solid, strong, useful machines, and they’re a pleasure to use. They’re incredibly adaptable, with a number of attachments to expand their capabilities.
"Having a stand mixer is like having an extra pair of hands," says Jenna Helwig, personal chef and author of the cookbook "Bare Minimum Dinners." "When baking, you can get twice as much done. Whisk together the dry ingredients for a cake by hand while the mixer creams butter and sugar. Prep loaf pans while the mixer kneads bread dough."
There are two different types of KitchenAid stand mixers: the tilt head and the bowl lift. The sizes vary by line. The Artisan Mini is ideal for kitchens lacking space, the Classic and Artisan models have a medium profile that fits perfectly under most cabinets, while the professional lines are the largest, for keeping out on the countertop. All in all, there are 35 custom bowls ranging from 3.5 quarts to 8 quarts. All of them have extra accessories, bowls, and attachments that can be bought separately. There’s a wide range of more than 40 color options, though not all are available in all designs.
Helwig recommends clearing space on your countertop instead of stowing away your KitchenAid stand mixer in a cabinet. "If it’s hidden away in a cabinet, it’s too easy to just skip using it because of how heavy it is," she says. "Get a color you like and let it live out in the open. I guarantee you’ll get way more use out of it."
Here are the best KitchenAid stand mixers for your kitchen.
Best Overall: KitchenAid Artisan Design Series 5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer with Glass Bowl
Dimensions (LxWxH): 14.1 x 8.75 x 13.9 inches | Weight: 25.5 pounds | What's Included: 6-wire whip, dough hook, flat beater
KitchenAid’s 5-quart options are small enough for regular use, but large enough to handle big batches. This tilt-head model from the Artisan Design Series line has a 5-quart clear glass bowl with a handle and pouring spout, and includes a flat beater, a dough hook, and a wire whip.
"This mixer is a workhorse," says Helwig, who uses the model with a stainless steel bowl. “I use it for everything from making chocolate chip cookies to mixing brioche dough, which would take serious elbow grease with a handheld mixer. It has just enough functionality without being overwhelming. It’s very straightforward and intuitive to use. I love that the bowl has a handle, which makes it easy to scrape dough into a baking pan."
This 325-watt model can be easily stored away, but it's attractive enough to have its own dedicated space on your counter. If the latter is your plan, know that this is available in six gorgeous colors including frosted pearl, candy apple red, and silk pink. It has 10 speeds, from a very low stir to a fast beating.
The microwave-safe glass bowl, which has measurement markings, is safe for the dishwasher, but it’s recommended you hand wash the attachments. It comes with a 1-year warranty.
Best Budget: KitchenAid Classic Series 4.5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer
Dimensions (LxWxH): 14.1 x 8.75 x 13.9 inches | Weight: 24.5 pounds | What's Included: 6-wire whip, dough hook, flat beater
KitchenAid has a few different line series to choose from, and its Classic series features tilt-head stand mixers with 4.5-quart stainless steel bowls. An important difference is that these bowls come without a handle or pouring spout. The mixers do include a flat beater, a dough hook, and a 6-wire whip for your baking needs.
This 275-watt model has enough power for all your kitchen needs. It can handle dough for up to 6 dozen cookies or 3 loaves of bread, or up to 6 pounds of mashed potatoes. It does only come in the neutral colors of black and white.
Best for Bread Dough: KitchenAid Pro Line Series 7-Quart Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer
Dimensions (LxWxH): 14.75 x 13.25 x 16.5 inches | Weight: 26 pounds | What's Included: 11-wire elliptical whip, PowerKnead dough hook, flat beater
KitchenAid's Pro Line series features models with advanced motors that can mix large batches without overheating. The series also consists of stand mixers where the bowl is lifted into place.
This model has a polished 7-quart stainless steel bowl with a comfort handle, and includes the powerful spiral dough hook and a professional whip with 11 stainless-steel wires. That professional whip translates to quicker aeration when whipping cream or egg whites. With a 16-cup flour capacity, it’s the largest, most powerful, and quietest KitchenAid stand mixer for home kitchens.
Available in the colors medallion silver and candy apple red, the mixer’s 1.3-horsepower motor can handle up to 8 pounds of dough, or enough for 14 dozen cookies.
Related: The Best Hand Mixers
Best for Small Kitchens: KitchenAid Artisan Mini 3.5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer
Dimensions (LxWxH): 12.5 x 7.75 x 12.5 inches | Weight: 16.5 pounds | What's Included: 6-wire whip, dough hook, flex edge flat beater
This tilt-head Artisan Mini model is the smallest stand mixer made by KitchenAid. It has a 3.5-quart polished stainless-steel bowl with an ergonomic handle and includes a dough hook, a wire whip, and a flex edge beater that scrapes down the sides as it mixes.
With just 250 watts of power, this model is perfect for one or two people with a small kitchen and is just as powerful as other KitchenAid tilt-head mixers. It’s available in six different colors and features a slower start when mixing, in order to avoid the mess from ingredients splashing over the rim.
Best Design: KitchenAid KSM150PS Artisan Series 5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer
Dimensions (LxWxH): 14.1 x 8.75 x 13.9 inches | Weight: 23 pounds | What's Included: 6-wire whip, dough hook, flat beater, pouring shield
This tilt-head Artisan model has a 5-quart polished stainless-steel bowl with an ergonomic handle and includes KitchenAid's dishwasher-safe pouring shield.
The stand mixer, which has 10 speeds, is the best of all worlds, most particularly so when you begin collecting all the accessories and attachments. It comes in more than 45 color options, has a 325-watt motor, and easily makes quick work of dough for 9 dozen cookies or 4 loaves of bread.
Related: The Best Food Processors
Best Professional: KitchenAid NSF Certified Commercial Series 8-Quart Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer
Dimensions (LxWxH): 14.6 x 13.3 x 16.5 inches | Weight: 25 pounds | What's Included: 11-wire elliptical whip, stainless steel spiral dough hook, stainless steel flat beater
Whether you need a mixer for your kitchen side gig or regularly cook in big batches, this commercial countertop bowl-lift model is the best for professional needs. It comes with an 8-quart stainless-steel bowl with a handle, a flat beater, a stainless-steel 11-wire whip, and a spiral dough hook.
This model, which has 500 watts of power and 1.3 horsepower, has the largest capacity offered by KitchenAid, and can easily mix recipes with up to 14 cups of flour or knead dough for 8 loaves of bread. Its energy-efficient DC motor is designed to deliver optimum torque without overheating.
Related: The Best Kitchen Scales
If this is your first KitchenAid stand mixer and you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, the KitchenAid 4.5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer (view at Best Buy) could be the one for you. It was my first home KitchenAid stand mixer, and it’s still as good as new after using it well for many years. Those looking to upgrade and want a mixer that can do it all would be happy for decades to come with the Pro Line Series 7-Quart Bowl-Lift Mixer (view on Williams Sonoma).
What to Look for in a KitchenAid Mixer
Artisan vs. Classic
If you’re looking for a medium-size KitchenAid stand mixer, you’re likely deciding between the Artisan and Classic series. The Artisan Mini may be too small and the Commercial series may be too large.
Both the Artisan and Classic models have tilt-head mixers, stainless steel bowls, 10 speeds, and the same dimensions.
Where they differ, however, is in the color options, features, and price. The Artisan series has 40 color options while the Classic option only has three. The Classic model has a soft start feature that minimizes splash but the Artisan model makes up for it with a pouring shield. In terms of power, the Artisan series is slightly more powerful with 325 watts compared to the 275-watt Classic model.
KitchenAid stand mixers are hefty tools that are bound to take up space on your counter or in your cabinet, so measure your space ahead of time so there are no surprises. The standard-size models can weigh up to 26 pounds, though the miniature models may only weigh 16 pounds.
"Bowl size is also really important when choosing a stand mixer," says Helwig. "If the bowl is too small for some jobs, it’s almost not worth having a mixer. It’s better to have too big a bowl than too small a bowl."
The wattage of KitchenAid stand mixers can range from 250 to 500 watts. Generally speaking, a higher wattage indicates a more powerful machine. If you’re looking for maximum power, the 500-watt commercial mixer is sure to impress. The Artisan Mini comes in at 250 watts, making it the least powerful. For an option in the middle of the road, consider the Artisan or Classic series, which has 325 and 275 watts, respectively.
How long do KitchenAid mixers last?
With proper maintenance and care, a KitchenAid stand mixer can last several decades. Many come with 1-year warranties, but the brand states its mixers should last at least 3-5 years. Some consumers have successfully cared for their mixer for 15-30 years.
How do you knead dough in a KitchenAid mixer?
To knead dough in a KitchenAid mixer, you’ll need a dough hook, flat beater, and ingredients to make dough. All KitchenAid stand mixers include a dough hook and flat beater, so you will have all the equipment needed.
Start with the flat beater attachment and add your ingredients to the bowl. Use the lowest speed setting to combine the ingredients. When the ingredients are combined, change the attachment to the bread hook. Let the mixer run for about 5 minutes on Speed 1 or 2 to avoid overheating the motor.
Why Trust Simply Recipes?
Karen Resta is an NYC-based writer specializing in food culture and history, cooking, pastries, and restaurants. A former executive chef who began her professional journey as a pastry chef, she travels around the globe as a photographer and writer, always finding the best authentic food and pastries along the way. She spends a lot of her free time in her kitchen and is passionate about finding quality within your given budget. Having the right tools and knowing how to use them makes all the difference in baking and cooking, and she curated this list with that in mind.
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