Why choose a KitchenAid mixer?
KitchenAid mixers have been around for a long time. The first version of the KitchenAid home mixer was made back in 1919 when the company was called Hobart Manufacturing and has since become a symbol of fine craftsmanship and long-term durability.
Features to consider before buying a mixer
There are some important things to think about when you’re trying to decide what type of mixer you want for your home. Let’s take a look at some of the specific features so you have a better idea of what to look for.
Type and design
There are a few different design features to consider when looking for the best KitchenAid mixer for you.
While we did include the handheld KitchenAid KHM926 for those who prefer portability, all of our other selections are stand mixers. Stand mixers are much more powerful than hand mixers. They have a mounting base for the mixing bowl that locks it into place, so it doesn’t move around during mixing. Plus, other than turning the machine on and making some initial adjustments, stand mixers are practically hands-free.
Stand mixers meant for a home kitchen are designed to sit on a countertop. Bear in mind that most of them are pretty heavy and have a large footprint so they’re not always easy to store and can take up a lot of room on your kitchen counter.
Another thing to consider is a tilt head versus a bowl-lift mixer. Most professional and commercial stand mixers, like the KitchenAid Pro Line, are bowl-lift mixers. They usually have a very simple handle that is used to raise and lower the bowl relative to the beater. This helps the mixer reach every area of the bowl, so it can mix even thick batters and doughs quickly and effectively. This design does make it a little hard to add ingredients to the mixing bowl while the mixer is running.
A tilt head mixer lifts up at the top, so you can slide the bowl under the beater without making a mess. There’s a hinge that allows it to move that is then locked in place when the mixer is in use. Tilt heads give you easy access to the mixing bowl, but they don’t reach everywhere. There’s often space between the beater and the sides and bottom of the bowl that don’t get mixed as thoroughly.
Another thing to keep in mind is whether or not a mixer as planetary or stationary. Stationary means that the beater just spins in a circle while planetary mixers have a beater that spins in a circle and moves in an orbital pattern around the center of the bowl.
Planetary style mixers are much more effective because they cover a lot more area.
When it comes to capacity, you have a lot of options. For example, the KitchenAid Professional 6000 HD has a mixing bowl that can hold enough dough for 13 dozen cookies whereas the KitchenAid Artisan Mini makes up to 5 dozen in one batch. Quite a difference.
This is really something that you have to think about because the capacity you need in a mixer is directly determined by how much and how often you bake. If you only get the mixer out for holiday cookies or to make cakes for birthdays even year, you should ask yourself if you really need a mixer that can mix dough for 13 dozen cookies. The opposite is true, too. If you’re the go-to person that everyone asks for cookies or if you are constantly making things for bake sales, it might make sense to get a large mixer than can get all your dough mixed up in one go.
Motor and power
A good stand mixer should have at least 250 watts of power, like the KitchenAid Classic Series. Any less than that and you won’t be able to mix dough or anything thicker than cake batter, really.
Now, some of the larger models have motors that are as powerful as 1 to 1.4 horsepower. This comes in handy if you’re making large batches of dough because the mixer has enough power to keep it moving as you build the recipe.
A large amount of dough will quickly bog down an engine that doesn’t have enough power to handle it which could cause additional problems in the future.
Speeds and speed selection
The number of speeds is important because the more speeds there are, the more versatile the mixer is. For example, you would obviously use a slower speed to add macadamia nuts to cookie dough than you would to make whipped cream.
You should consider the power of the mixer along with the speeds. A 250W mixer turned up to the highest speed isn’t going to be as effective as a 1 hp engine on the highest speed. It’s all relative to the design but if you want something that can whip up a meringue quickly and easily, you should use something that’s powerful and fast.
Speed selection is standard on all KitchenAid mixers. There’s usually a lever on the side that easily adjusts between the various speeds the model offers.
Another reason that KitchenAid mixers are so popular is that they’re so easy to use. While there are some variations from model to model, they have a lot of the same simple and easy to use controls.
A small lever located on the side of the mixer slides from the off position and through the various settings. That’s the only way of controlling the power and speed. Pretty simple.
In tilt-head models, there’s another lever or pin on the opposite side that locks and unlocks the head, so you can move in up and down as needed.
For bowl lift designs, there are two arms that come out from the mixer and cradle the bowl. On the front of the arms are points that slide into brackets on the sides of the bowl to hold it in place. The bowl is moved up and down using a hand crank.
The only design that’s a little different is the handheld mixer which is just as simple. Button controls are situated at the top of the handle, designed to be operated quickly and easily with your thumbs.
The stand mixers all come with three standard beater attachments: a flat mixer, dough hook, and wire whip. In higher-end versions of these mixers, these accessories are all stainless steel. Other models have a stainless-steel whip, but the dough hook and flat beater are coated.
These beaters really give you everything you need. The hook is made for kneading dough, the whip is perfect for things like whipped butter or cream, and the flat beater is great for things like cookie dough and thinner batters.
The hand mixer has its own smaller version of these attachments along with a blending rod to mix drinks and smoothies.
Size is something to really consider. Most of the stand mixers are very heavy and take up a lot of room on your counter. Unless you use it a few times a week, leaving it out on your counter might take up too much valuable counter space. Storing it is another problem because it’s not easy to lift and carry from one place to another. In fact, the size is one reason why some people prefer handheld mixtures in the first place.
These mixers are certainly worth their size. After all, that’s part of what makes them so effective and why they last as long as they do.
We mentioned the Power Hub a lot in our reviews because it’s something that makes KitchenAid mixers special. Not all of the attachments are compatible with every model, which is why some of our reviews say that there are 15 while others only have 10.
Previously, we talked about size and how it might not be worth leaving your mixer out on the counter all the time because they take up so much room. The optional accessories for the Power Hub make these mixers so versatile, you might find a way to use it every day which would certainly justify making it a permanent fixture on your countertop.
Here are just some of the attachments available: a sifter and scale combo, a slicer/shredder for food prep, an all-metal grain mill, spiralizer, vegetable sheet cutter, meat grinder, food processor, and pasta cutter.
These accessories are easy to attach to the mixer. On the front of the mixer is a port. All you have to do is remove the cover and insert the attachment. That’s it.
Just remember, these attachments are sold separately so you can pick and choose the ones that you’ll get the most use out of.
Warranties vary from model to model. Some of the upscale models are covered for as much as 5 years while others are covered for 1 or 2 years. When you decide what model is right for you, take a good look at the warranty. It’s always important to know what’s covered and what isn’t so you’re prepared if something goes wrong.