Pros / This mixer aced every test we put it through due to its powerful motor and excellent design.
Cons / There is no overload protection on this machine.
Verdict / Not only did the KitchenAid Artisan perform superbly in our tests, but there are 10 extra attachments to buy so you can make this sturdy and versatile mixer do the work of 10 other appliances.
The KitchenAid Artisan Tilt-Head Stand Mixer gives you everything you want in a mixer – a powerful motor, big stainless-steel bowl and solid results. It excelled in each of our kitchen lab tests and can do more than any other mixer we reviewed.
Not all stand mixers can handle heavy bread dough, but this KitchenAid mixer could strictly be a dough mixer with no problems. We put this electric mixer through its paces, and after 10 minutes of kneading two loaves of bread dough, the resulting bread dough was smooth, resilient and not sticky at all. There wasn’t a trace of dough left in the 5-quart bowl, which indicates thorough mixing.
When we tested this mixer and its paddle attachment with chocolate chip cookie dough, we found that the KitchenAid managed to mix the ingredients together well. There was a tiny bit of butter on the side of the bowl, but it was negligible. When we folded in the chocolate chips at the end of the mixing process, we were pleased at how quickly they were fully incorporated and that the chips stayed intact without breaking into pieces.
Most impressive was what the KitchenAid stand mixer and its whisk attachment could do with our 4 ounces of room temperature egg whites. The machine incorporated more air into the egg whites than any other mixer we tested, and it did this in only three minutes, even though we had allotted a four-minute time limit for our test. We got foamy egg whites with stiff, but not dry, peaks that could create elegant meringues.
The KitchenAid Artisan mixer includes a paddle, dough hook and whisk, but you can buy 10 other attachments separately to use this mixer as an ice cream maker, sausage stuffer, pasta maker, meat grinder, juicer, grain mill, fruit or vegetable strainer, and more. The company website shows 41 colors to choose from, and while some might look like duplicates at first, they are slightly different in hue or finish (matte versus shiny, for example). If you want the basic power and capability of a KitchenAid without the price of the Artisan, the KitchenAid Classic Plus costs somewhat less and offers fewer features but is just as sturdy and hardworking.
The mixer has 10 speeds, so you can fold, mix, beat, whip or aerate. The handle on the bowl makes it easy to lift even when it’s full, and the locking tilt head gives you easy access to the accessory ports. The bowl, egg white beater and dough hook are all dishwasher safe, but the whisk and any burnished attachments need to be hand washed. There are a few things missing: The KitchenAid Artisan does not include overload protection so it won’t shut off to prevent motor burnout, and it doesn’t have a built-in timer.
KitchenAid may only offer a one-year warranty, but that warranty ensures you get a replacement mixer if yours doesn't work. It’s easy to contact the manufacturer through phone, email or live chat. The user manual offers helpful instructions for use along with recipes, and if you lose your copy, you can download another from the website.