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It blends. It whips. It slices. It dices. It even makes ice cream.
The KitchenAid stand mixer is approaching its centennial anniversary as a staple in kitchens around the world. In whatever home it lives, this iconic mixer implies that the folks therein take their cooking seriously.
First built for commercial bakers back in 1914, the KitchenAid mixer has evolved to suit the needs of every kind of cook, from the occasional cookie baker to the professional chef. The company accomplished this feat by developing a variety of models that differ in construction, materials, and size.
At BestReviews, we want to help you find the best KitchenAid stand mixer for your needs, whether you’re a once-a-year cake baker or your home’s head chef.
We take great pride in the objective nature of our reviews, thoroughly researching each topic area and testing some products in our labs for first-hand reactions and insight.
We never accept samples or free products from manufacturers to avoid even the appearance of impropriety.
Moving well past its original model, KitchenAid’s website lists fours types of stand mixers to cover a wide swath of budgets and needs. Individual series are distinguished by the capacity of their mixing bowl, from 3.5 to 7 quarts.
The models differ in how the cook can access the mixing bowl. The priciest units — those generally used by professionals and in commercial kitchens — have a lever which lifts the bowl up and down for easy access.
Within each of these series, KitchenAid offers custom versions from time to time as well as units made specially for individual department stores, kitchen supply stores, and home shopping networks.
If you’re in the market for a new KitchenAid mixer, you’ll enjoy a dizzying array of choices, some of which come in as many as 22 colors. So if your dream kitchen is outfitted in onyx, fear not: there is a KitchenAid mixer that will blend in with your décor.
One of the small options in the KitchenAid line, the Artisan, comes in two models, each of which allows a cook to make five dozen cookies or one loaf of bread.
The KSM3311X comes in five colors, has a brushed stainless steel bowl, and includes a flat beater, wire whip, and dough hook.
All KitchenAid attachments are dishwasher safe except the ones with motors (like the food processor) and the pasta maker.
In this line, there are two Artisan models: the KSM150PS and KSM155GB.
The KSM150PS has a pouring shield, stainless steel bowl, wire whip, white-coated beater, and dough hook.
The pricier KSM155GB comes with a glass bowl and burnished (highly polished) flat beater and dough hook, as well as a wire whip.
Also in the 5-quart-line is the KSM152PS, a custom metallic model with a pouring shield and the same accessories as the KSM150PS.
A major difference is that it is manufactured in three metal-plated colors.
The amount of time you can save by focusing on other tasks while your KitchenAid does the heavy mixing is reason enough to add one to your kitchen.
In this category, the mixers bear a “Professional Series” label due to their bowl size and use of the “lift” that raises the mixing bowl for easier access. These models, the KP26M1X and pricier KSM6521X, vary in that the more expensive appliance has a glass bowl with a beater, whip, and hook made especially for glass bowls. The less-expensive mixer, with its stainless steel bowl, has a special “Powerknead” dough hook that the company says kneads more efficiently.
Nina is a longtime gourmet chef, interior designer/decorator, and events planner. She has accomplished all of this in addition to maintaining a stellar career as a healthcare executive, where she helps alter the course of people’s lives via preventive care and healthy living. Nina’s hobbies include learning new recipes, planning and executing amazing dinners to impress local chefs, and hiking around the world.
With supersized mixing bowls, the KSM7586P includes a polished stainless steel bowl, nickel-coated flat beater, nickel-coated Powerknead dough hook, and 11-wire whip. The KSM7588P has a stainless steel flat beater and a stainless steel Powerknead dough hook. Both accessories are NSF-certified, which means they are approved for creating food for public consumption.
The Kitchenaid KPRA Pasta Roller and cutter for spaghetti and fettuccine is the most popular attachment for the mixer.
According to the manufacturer, the best way to clean your machine is to follow these steps:
Unplug the appliance.
Hand-wash all attachments in warm, soapy water.
Clean the mixing bowl with hot water and soap, or place it in the dishwasher.
Clean up spills and other food residue on the mixer.
Wipe the unit down with a damp cloth after each use, taking care not to get liquid in any of the openings.
Carefully clean near the motor head and speed knob where food can easily collect.
Use baking soda and water with a small brush to access hard-to-clean areas.
Unscrew the nut in the motor hub and clean the inside.
Lift up the mixer and wipe away any dust and grime that may have collected on the bottom part of the stand.
KitchenAid mixers are compared to one another based on their planetary mixing action. This measurement refers to the number of touchpoints per rotation around the bowl.
KitchenAid attachments from the 1950s, such as one that shells peas, still work with even the newest machines.
In 1994, KitchenAid ran a contest to find the oldest mixer in use. The winner, a Pittsburgh-area woman, had a model dating back to 1919.
The U.S. Navy was one of the first customers for the original mixer. It was a timesaver for cooks who wanted to feed large numbers of sailors.
KitchenAid mixers were initially sold door-to-door by female salespeople who would demo the product in customers’ homes.
Some of the KitchenAid stand mixer’s earliest attachments, like the ice cream maker, were originally made of wood.
The appliance's name came from the wife of a Hobart Company executive who proclaimed it was the “best kitchen aid ever.”
KitchenAid has a museum in Greenville, Ohio called the “Retail Experience Center.”
Q. Where can I buy a used or refurbished machine?
A. As with other appliances, eBay or Craigslist is a good place to buy used KitchenAid appliances, but Amazon sells refurbished KitchenAid stand mixers at a discount.
Q. Where are KitchenAid stand mixers made?
A. The machines are assembled in Greenville, Ohio.
Q. What KitchenAid mixer did Julia Child use on her PBS shows?
A: The famous French chef used a model called the K5A.
Included in the price of each mixer are three accessories: a flat beater, a wire whip, and a dough hook. While the functions of these accessories are essentially the same for each model, the composition material varies. For example, the less-expensive units have plastic-composite accessories while the pro models’ beater, whip, and hook are made of stainless steel or coated diamond — materials that perform better at higher speeds and tend to last longer.
This is a must-have for any baker. The beater is used in a variety of recipes and excels when you are incorporating ingredients.
The dough hook is a workhorse when it comes to making pasta.
Viewed as a classic accessory, the wire whip is sufficient for everything from whisking egg whites for meringue to making flawless whipped cream.
All KitchenAid mixers share one common feature: a power hub. In fact, every KitchenAid stand mixer, whether you received it as a wedding gift last month or inherited it from your great-grandmother years ago, has a small circular connector in the front of the appliance to which you can add a variety of attachments.
These attachments extend the versatility of the mixer to allow it to become a pasta maker, juicer, spiralizer, food processor, peeler, meat grinder, and more. With increased capabilities, the KitchenAid mixer enhances its utility footprint and allows cooks to use one multipurpose appliance and gain more countertop real estate.
We used the attachments in our test kitchen and tried out all sort of recipes. We made juice, strawberry ice cream and pasta with meatballs, which utilized almost every attachment. Check out the process in the gallery below, and then read on to find out more of our thoughts about each attachment.
We tested some of the attachments available for KitchenAid stand mixers in our BestReviews lab. In general, we found them to be versatile and easy to use. In fact, some could even serve as replacements for separate appliances.
This juicer attachment only juices citrus fruits, which could be a consideration for some people. On the plus side, it’s dishwasher safe, so cleanup is easy after a juicing session. This attachment takes up little space and doesn’t have a lot of parts.
If you don’t regularly juice, this attachment is a good pick. It’s neither the best nor the worst juicer we’ve seen. If you like to have a juice every now and then, you may appreciate the low price point.
We made a juice mix of lemons, grapefruits and oranges.
In our opinion, the KitchenAid grinder attachment is not ideal for big projects, and you must cut the meat into small pieces to fit it through the tube. We did like the fact that, unlike a lot of other meat grinders, this one was quite easy to clean.
Overall, this attachment worked very well for us. Our only complaint was that some meat got stuck in the tube.
This is a good attachment, even with its limited capacities. In its favor, the KitchenAid shredder/slicer offers a few different shred options. You can create results that are very fine or in slabs. We like the fact that it aerates the cheese so it’s soft and fluffy. Unfortunately, it can’t handle harder/wetter objects, including some fruits and veggies.
Overall, we really liked the shredder/slicer, and it served its purpose excellently. However, we cannot see much practical use for it unless you make a lot of bread crumbs and shred a lot of cheese.
This attachment is ideal for those who have fallen for the “spiralizing craze,” since typical manual spiralizers can hurt your wrist. We like the fact that this KitchenAid spiralizer attachment comes with two different core attachments. If you want to spiralize an apple, you can core it. If you’re preparing zucchini, you can cut out a much smaller core.
We also like the fact that the spiralizer is easy to clean.
The KitchenAid food processor unit we tested was shaky, as if it didn’t it fit well. And the end product, the processed food, was not consistent in size. In addition, the attachment has lots of sharp components which could pose a danger to users.
As our least-favorite attachment, it’s our opinion that if you want the KitchenAid food processor for small tasks only — and you don’t want to invest the counter space in full-on food processor — it could be worth it.
This KitchenAid pasta maker attachment is great for first-time pasta makers; we found it very easy to use.
Granted, the pasta maker is not dishwasher safe. But our cleanup was simple, as the pasta did not get stuck and make a mess.
This KitchenAid ice cream maker attachment is easy to setup and use. We were able to make strawberry ice cream with no previous ice cream-making experience. On the downside, the process of making the ice cream took longer than we anticipated. We have mixed feelings about this attachment, but most owners we surveyed like it.
At BestReviews, we purchase every product we review with our own funds. We never accept anything from product manufacturers. Our goal is to be 100% objective in our analysis, and we do not want to run the risk of being swayed by products provided at no cost.