Stand Mixer Review
- KitchenAid Artisan
- Cuisinart SM-55
- Breville Scraper Pro
While the mixer is heavy, its weight is perfectly balanced with very little noise and vibration when running at full power. The Artisan is aesthetically pleasingly and is available in over 2 dozen stunning colors. KitchenAid has enhanced its versatility by developing a huge range of attachments to complement the three standard attachments that come with the mixer.
It does have a couple of cons, but these are very minor. Unlike the Cuisinart SM-55, the KitchenAid Artisan does lack motor overload protection. You will need to keep an eye on the machine, especially when mixing heavy bread doughs. Maybe its a demonstration of KitchenAid's faith in its motor technology as all tests so far have shown its motor to be more than capable of handling anything a home or profession kitchen requires of it.
The test of any stand mixer is how it stands up to heavy dough, and the Artisan powers through it effortlessly. Considering the Artisan has a 5-quart capacity (equating to 4 loaves), that is no mean feat. This mixer is driven by an exceptionally powerful and reliable motor, capable of working heavy bread doughs without compromising performance or power consumption. The Artisan has ten different mixing speeds, very important in providing versatility, so you can do everything from beating eggs to kneading dough. The power of the motor is complemented nicely by planetary mixing action. Its 59 point action covers the entire bowl, meaning ingredients are combined much faster and there is nothing left over in the bowl.
It beats more air into eggs than any other machine and does it faster too. It can fold chocolate chips expertly into large volumes of cookie dough and produces strong, stretchy bread dough that rises perfectly every time.
The Artisan Stand Mixer comes with three standard attachments:
- Coated Flat Beater
- Coated Dough Hook
- 6-wire Whip
These are made to the same high standard as the mixer itself and cover the majority of tasks needed in a home kitchen. Where the Artisan really sets itself apart from its competitors, however, is its huge range of more specialized attachments. You get anything you need to get the kind of functionality you'd normally only expect in a professional kitchen. The Artisan has a meat grinder, an ice cream maker, a shredder and a juicer to name just a few.
It would be easy for KitchenAid to produce cheap sets of all these attachments and ship them with the mixer, but this would detract from the quality build of the mixer. This is a premium product and the attachments, like the mixer, are built to last. These attachments are sold separately so this does allow you to customize your collection to the needs of your kitchen.
The Artisan Tilt-Head Stand Mixer comes with a splashguard with an integrated slide to add in additional ingredients at different points in the process. This kind of well thought out design is found throughout the product and is a nice reassurance that the design team has made this as user-friendly as possible. The splashguard fits very well, and combined with the slow start feature of the Artisan, it eliminates the kind of mess and spill associated with cheaper models.
The Tilt-Head lifts and lowers smoothly, even with repeated use there is no sticking or stiffness. The handle makes for easy locking/unlocking and access for changing accessories.
The Artisan does lack a timer and LCD screen which are becoming more common on other models like the Breville Scraper Mixer Pro, but not really necessary. In any case, they would not fit well with the Artisan's retro design.
Stylish Color Selections
Visually, the Artisan Stand Mixer is a beautifully designed appliance. It will remind you of the 50s retro style of Smeg refrigerators, not entirely surprising as KitchenAid created this design in 1936. It fits very well into contemporary kitchens, as well as more traditional ones.
It's a good idea to give the Artisan its own place on a worktop to save yourself from having to move it around due to its weight - and it deserves that center of eye-catching attention. The most popular Empire Red color, in particular, is very visually arresting and goes great with both wood and granite surfaces. But again, you have over 2 dozen unique colors to perfectly match with your kitchen.
Warranty and Support
KitchenAid's product support is fantastic by all accounts. They offer a one year, no hassle warranty and their service department have been found to be very friendly and helpful when dealing with any issue. The build quality of the Artisan is excellent so it's very unlikely you will have any issues. However, it is nice to know that KitchenAid is prepared to stand over its products and look after you if there is a problem.