You can’t go wrong with a KitchenAid. After all, the brand name constantly turns up in a slew top telly programmes such as The Great British Bake Off, MasterChef and others; if it’s good enough for the pros, it’s good enough for us. Indeed, the US company’s iconic Artisan stand mixer has remained mostly unchanged for 83 years (its original K mix machine was introduced in 1937). But then why change a good thing?
KitchenAid mixers, especially their iconic stand mixers, appeal on several fronts: they’re robustly made, are consistently reliable, expertly efficient and, above all, a doddle to use. Also, their appealing, timeless design and wide choice of attractive colours ensure they blend in with most styles of kitchen decor.
As even the briefest visit to its website will testify, KitchenAid produces a bewildering choice of stand mixers, hand mixers, hand blenders and food processors. But luckily for you we’ve selected the key models of 2020 to make your baking, mixing, blending, chopping and general food prep tasks go with a bit more zing.
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What is the best KitchenAid food-prep device?
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KitchenAid’s impressive portfolio makes it difficult to choose one model over another, but in our mind the best stand mixer is the 3.3-litre mini-sized 5KSM3311X hotly followed by the larger 5KSM175PS, which is available in a smorgasbord of 15 colours. When it comes to smaller hand-held alternatives, the five-speed 5KHM5110 is a surefire winner.
The best KitchenAid mixers, blenders and food processors you can buy
This is the model to opt for if you need more capacity – the 4.8 litres maximum is enough for about 12 egg whites and 2.7kgs of cake mix – and, above all, want the widest choice of colours available. How many colours are we talking about? Fifteen glorious shades from classic deep red though purple, puce pink, yellow, apple green and bronze to pastel blues, pistachio green and good old fashioned almond cream.
Even better, it can also be personalised for free by yourself at check out (but only on the KitchenAid website). Simply click on the ‘personalise it’ tab and choose your base colour and an extra bowl – there’s a choice of 10 in different materials and sizes from 3-litres to 4.8-litres. The next stage is to have the slim metal strip on the side engraved with your own personal message like ‘Oi, keep your grubby mitts off my mixer’ – or something to that effect.
The 5KSM175PS comes with two stainless steel bowls (4.8 litres and a smaller, 3.3-litre one), a whisk, a dough hook and two flat beaters, one equipped with a flat rubber scraper on the edge for removing any obstreperous floury bits from the wall of the bowl. If you don’t mind the extra spend, this is unarguably the most versatile model of the bunch.
All KitchenAid stand mixers are equipped with a front-mounted 'socket' where you can attach a wide range of other food-prep accessories that can be bought separately. These include a pasta maker, a meat grinder, a spiralizer for coring and peeling fruit and veg, a shredder, a citrus juicer and a ravioli maker. In short order, a KitchenAid Artisan stand mixer can become not so much a kitchen gadget as a way of life…
Also consider: KitchenAid Artisan 5KSM125BSN
This has the same body and 4.8-litre bowl as the 5KSM175, save for a few very minor visual differences. It doesn't have the handy scraper beater and there's no 3.3-litre bowl thrown in but if you can live without them (or buy them separately) the 5KSM125 range is often significantly cheaper.
If you only bake in fairly small batches and don’t fancy forking out more than £400 on a stand mixer (which, let’s face it, is still a lot of dosh), then this is the model to opt for. Available in five colours (cream, black, grey and two shades of red), the Mini Mixer (as KitchenAid also calls it) comes with a 250w motor, eight spindle speeds, a small 3.3-litre brushed aluminium bowl and three attachments (wire whisk, dough hook and flat beater). As is the case with all KitchenAid stand mixers, it utilises an offset attachment holder that makes either the whisker or dough hook move around the bowl in an elliptical planetary motion. This ensures that all areas of the bowl receive a thorough seeing to and no flour is left unturned.
Being a shade under 20cm in width, 31cm in height and just 26cm in depth, you should easily find space on the worktop to accommodate it. What’s more, because it looks so classically gorgeous, it’s not something you’ll want to hide away in cupboard.
The 5KSM3311X’s 3.3-litre bowl is good for up to 0.7kg of cake mix or eight egg whites so perhaps consider a bigger model like the one at #3 if you’re planning on baking larger cakes or pastries en masse.
For exactly the same retail price as our #2 model above, you could up the ante and opt instead for this larger 4.3-litre version which has 25 extra watts of oomph. This model is available in black, white and the stunning new Honey colour (image above) introduced for 2021. The same rich and tasty colour has also been applied to KitchenAid's K400 Variable Speed Blender.
Despite the extra capacity, the 5K45SS model is only 4cm taller than its Mini stablemate, yet its 275w direct drive motor has a faster maximum rotation speed of 220rpm vs 200rpm. Also, its stainless steel bowl has a capacity for up to 12 egg whites and 2.5kgs of cake mix.
If you don’t mind a paucity of available colours and you have a few more mouths to feed, consider plonking this one on the worktop instead.
Right, now we’re getting into serious baking territory. We’re talking the kind of model that looks like it could mix concrete. The specs are certainly impressive enough. The Pros’s direct drive motor, for instance, has 325 watts of power, equating to 1.3 horse power. That’s more than enough vigour to mix the stiffest of ingredients without bogging down. It’s remarkably quiet, too.
The massive stainless steel bowl’s capacity, meanwhile, is a whopping 6.9 litres which is good for 2.2kgs of flour, 4.5kgs of cake mix or 19 egg whites – enough meal estate, in other words, to produce a lemon meringue pie of gargantuan proportions. The bowl itself sits on a cradle that can be lifted and lowered using a rear-mounted stainless steel lever; apparently this makes removing the bowl easier, especially if it’s filled with liquid. Given its commercial credentials, the bowl also comes with a protection guard that swivels over the top towards the back when not in use.
The Pro comes with three high-grade stainless steel attachments – a dough hook, whisk and beater – and is available in three colours, silver, red and white. If you have the financial wherewithal, enough worktop space to accommodate it (it’s 42cm tall) and bake cakes on an industrial scale, then this is the mixer for you.
And so we come to arguably the prettiest stand mixer in the KitchenAid range. Launched in celebration of 100 years of mixing heritage, this elegant 300-watt Limited Edition all-zinc model is clad in a gorgeous baby-blue matt-finish livery, replete with a unique trim-band logo. Its dimpled 4.8-litre white ceramic bowl, meanwhile, adds an extra touch of class though you wouldn’t want to drop it on a tiled kitchen floor.
You get the usual package of attachment here – whisk, dough hook, flat beater – plus an extra beater with a flexible rubber edge to ensure that no buttery flour is left untouched. This model is well up there with the flagship models while being of much more manageable size (36cm in height x 37cm in depth).
Granted, you’re forking out £200 more for what is essentially the same model as the 15-colour 5KSM175PS reviewed above – but just look at that stunning matt finish!
If you can’t stretch the budget to the over-engineered Pro model above, consider this 315-watt edition which is almost as powerful and about the same height, but with a smaller, more manageable 4.8-litre stainless steel bowl. It’s also about £350 cheaper.
The Heavy Duty also comes equipped with a bowl lift but no bowl guard, which is a bit unnecessary anyway. Like all KitchenAid stand mixers, the body is fashioned from zinc which gives it a long life and stability on the worktop. The same type of silent direct-drive motor is employed for effortless mixing while you go about doing other important stuff like watching telly or putting the kids to bed.
According to the blurb, its 4.8-litre bowl will ‘handle the equivalent of nine batches of cookies or 2.7kgs of mashed potatoes or 2kgs of bread dough’. And, as is the case with all KitchenAid stand mixers, the front multi-purpose attachment will fit a multitude of other KitchenAid attachments.
That's enough stand mixers, how about something smaller? Occasional bakers and food-prep merchants with no need or space for a permanent stand mixer should consider stocking the kitchen with one of these instead.
Available in black or white, it’s the perfect tool for the quick whipping of eggs, and light cake-mixing duties. Powered by a small 85-watt motor that spins the whisk at up to 2,300rpm, this baby will beat a clutch of egg whites into quick submission, making it a top choice for meringue making and the whipping of much cream.
Weighing in at 1.17 kilos, it’s perhaps not the lightest hand model on the market but because it’s so quick and efficient, you shouldn’t have to hold it for too long a period. The 1.6-metre cable, meanwhile, ensures you’re not tied to just one section of the worktop. A top choice for quick hand jobs.
Rugged, unswervingly retro in design and available in three colours (cream, red and black), the heavyweight Artisan Power Blender looks stylish in any kitchen. And, at 45cm, it’s short enough to fit under most worktop cupboards.
The 5KSB7068 comes with a large 2.6-litre shatter-resistant, dishwasher-safe pitcher and a lid cap with integral measurement scale for ingredients – and that’s about it. On the power front, its 3.5-horsepower motor spins its proprietary star blade up to a substantial 24,000rpm, making light work of anything you throw in it, including ice and hard vegetables.
You get 11 speeds with this blender, plus the obligatory pulse feature. It’s easy to clean, too, by simply filling it with water and whacking the speed dial to full bore for a second or two.
Granted, at a smidge under £500, this blender is anything but cheap, but if you’re in the market for a high-quality model to rival the likes of market leaders Vitamix and Blendec, then step right this way. Experience has taught us that you're well advised to hold the lid on while using it. It's not always necessary, but you don't want to find out the hard way when it is.
For those quick one-off tasks that don’t require a worktop blender, consider this excellent hand-operated option. The powerful two-speed Classic comes equipped with a 20cm do-it-all twist-lock stainless steel arm with fixed blade assembly and a small 700ml plastic blending cup for single-serve smoothies.
However, as is the case with most KitchenAid hand blenders, this is a really tall beast (40cm) that may be too unwieldy for some. Also, despite the soft rubberised handle, the on/off finger switch can be quite fatiguing to hold in for long periods of time.
Nevertheless, if you have large hands and zero arthritis, then this model will efficiently tackle everything from purées and smoothies to whipped cream and soup preparation with little fuss.
Fed up with spending ages slicing cucumbers, carrots tomatoes and other veg to wafer thin proportions? You’ll save a hell of a lot of time (and your fingertips) by installing this handsome hunk on the worktop.
A shade under £250 buys you 300 watts of raw food processing power, 3.1-litres of ingredient capacity, a slicing disc, a set of chopping blades and two plastic bowls. The great thing about the slicing disc is that it can be adjusted to cut thick or thin without having to remove it – and that’s well handy in our book.
Granted, food processors aren’t the most essential of small kitchen appliances and they are a pain to clean afterwards, but they do save a lot of prep time and are perfect for making soups, salsas, sauces, chopping herbs and slicing fruit and veg. This particular model not only looks the part, its simple two speed and pulse operation makes it a cinch to use.