KitchenAid’s first stand mixers were born almost 100 years ago, in 1919 and reportedly got their name from the wife of an employee who is rumoured to have said: ‘I don’t care what you call it, it’s the best kitchen aid I’ve ever had!’ This classic has certainly stood the test of time – it is now unarguably a kitchen icon, and has become must-have piece of kitchen kit for professional bakers, aspiring chefs and enthusiastic amateurs alike – me included. KitchenAid haven’t rested on their laurels with the Artisan Stand Mixer at all, and it has continued to be improved and refined over the years. The KitchenAid Artisan 4.8L stand mixer is an absolute pleasure to own and work with – but with a price tag of around £500, what are you actually getting for your hard-earned money?
It looks great but that’s not all
Firstly, and undoubtedly, you are getting a truly beautiful piece of equipment. Whether you choose a classic colour – cream or silver perhaps – or one of the bright options (or even upgrade to the 175 with stunning shades such as green apple, crystal blue or cranberry pink) there’s no denying this is going to look damn fine on your worktop. But still. £500. Even more for the 175. Are you simply paying for something that looks good?
Certainly not. The KitchenAid delivers, too. Included are all the basics you’ll need:
- The 4.8L Artisan bowl is big, and sturdy. It’s easy to fit in the ingredients for a large recipe, and allows less mess. It’s sleek, easy to clean and with a reassuring, weighted base and strong handle.
- The Artisan flat beater makes mastering cake mixes and buttercream a doddle. Give it a work out on mashed potato too – nothing poses a problem.
- The wire whisk is a satisfying balloon shape and whips cream into shape in no time. Light and fluffy meringues are no challenge, either.
- The dough hook makes kneading bread dough simple and considerably less labour intensive and also makes for scrummy scones.
- A myriad of other attachments are also available, making the KitchenAid Artisan 125 incredibly versatile.
KitchenAid stand mixers operate with a distinctive planetary motion, and ten speed options. It’s not too noisy, it’s relatively straightforward to clean. Quite simply it just takes the boring, routine parts of baking and leaves you with the fun bits. The build is beautifully solid and spare parts are readily available. But again, we come back to that price tag. There must be cheaper alternatives, right?
Should I go for a cheaper version?
Well yes – and no. There are cheaper stand mixers, certainly. But alternatives? I’m not so sure. The KitchenAid mixers are so sought-after, and so popular with the professionals and there are so many reasons for that. After all, your average pastry chef in a shop or restaurant kitchen isn’t going to be overly impressed by those super cool looks and retro styling. He is going to care about performance and longevity – and 100 years of experience has given a product which is built to perform and made to last – it certainly has done the job well for me so far.