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World's Best Kitchen Gadget-The KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer

Updated on August 21, 2012
KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer in red.
KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer in red. | Source

Many years ago, when I was a newlywed, I attempted to make chocolate chip cookies. It took several hours to produce dry, over-baked, over-mixed, hard-as-rocks cookies. I had tried to mix the dough with a hand mixer we had received as a wedding gift and a wide mixing bowl. Flour flew everywhere and the beaters became clogged with the dense dough. I was left wondering why anyone would bother making homemade cookies when there are perfectly good ones sold at the bakery.

Fast forward a few years. My husband and I became parents of two beautiful children and I left my career to become a full-time mother. The budget was pretty tight but we were determined to make it work. Buying prepared foods was no longer an option so I decided to give the cookie baking another go. Thankfully, my family gifted me something that changed everything: the KitchenAid Artisan stand mixer. That one kitchen gadget turned me from a woman who was afraid to bake anything to one who wanted to make everything from scratch.

5 stars for KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer
Chocolate Chip Cookies mixed with the KitchenAid Artisan stand mixer.
Chocolate Chip Cookies mixed with the KitchenAid Artisan stand mixer. | Source
With this mixer, my One Hour Yeast Rolls are mixed in a jiffy.
With this mixer, my One Hour Yeast Rolls are mixed in a jiffy. | Source

One gadget does many jobs.

I'm going to be honest, here. I'm just a regular, middle class mom with a regular, middle class home. While I admire those massive kitchens I see on HGTV with huge amounts of storage, that's just not a reality for me. Because my kitchen is of an average size, I don't buy a ton of kitchen gadgets. The gadgets and tools I do have must be multi-purpose and they must not take up a huge amount of space. There are several attachments you can purchase for your KitchenAid stand mixer and most are small and easily stored in a nook or cranny of your cabinet. Here are a few of the kitchen tools this mixer can replace:

  1. Food grinder. If you're like me, you don't like not knowing what is in all of the sausages and ground meats you find at the store. With your own food grinder, you select the cuts of meat that goes in them and control the seasonings and spices of your sausage. The grinder can also be used to make your own bread crumbs--a great use of stale bread that we all seem to have on hand.
  2. Sausage stuffer. You'll find that the food grinder attachment is a multi-purpose one. The sausage stuffer attaches the the food grinder and allows you to make either small breakfast sausage or large sausages or Brats. Tip: If you are having a hard time finding sausage casings, visit your local hunting and fishing store. They will usually have what you are looking for.
  3. Pasta maker. Once again, the food grinder is a multi-tasker. Simply attach whatever pasta plate you desire and let the mixer do the work. You can make thin spaghetti, thick spaghetti, flat noodles, macaroni or lasagna.
  4. Pasta roller. My family loves ravioli and one of their favorite dinners on a fun weekend night is our "make-your-own-ravioli night". We place a variety of fillings in bowls on the counter, roll out the dough and everybody has a ball creating their very own ravioli. Of course the kids eat it right up because nothing tastes better than something you made yourself.
  5. Slicer/shredder. Finely or coarsly shred hard, crisp vegetables, firm cold cheeses, coconut and dry bread. Slice thick or thin pieces of firm vegetables or nuts. Are you storing a food processor somewhere in your cupboards? Me, too. As soon as mine breaks, I'm going to buy this nifty space-saving attachment.
  6. Grain mill. For the home cook who likes taking home-made to a whole new level. This attachment allows you to grind your own flour.
  7. Ice cream maker. I haven't had a chance to see this work yet, but there is now an ice cream attachment available for this mixer.
  8. Lest we forget...it's a really great mixer. I marvel when watching shows like Food Network's "Chopped". Sometimes the chef-contestants fail because they can't get a meringue whipped up in time or whip cream. They sit there and beat the mixture by hand. Even with a regular hand mixer, the job is time intensive. With my stand mixer, I turn it on and then turn my attention to a different part of my recipe. Of course, I keep an eye on it but it sure does beat standing over the mixture. For the life of me, I don't know why those contestants don't just use the stand mixer that I clearly see on the counter. Maybe it's a chef-y thing to do, whipping things by hand. I'll take the easy way out thank you. I'm using the stand mixer.

The flat beater works like a charm when mixing cookie dough.
The flat beater works like a charm when mixing cookie dough. | Source

KitchenAid Stand Mixer for Baking

I use this mixer exclusively when baking. When making cookies, I use the pastry attachment. It cuts through and mixes the dough with ease without over-mixing. Home bakers know that the secret to working with any dough is to not over-mix. That's a lot easier to do with a mixer that's powerful enough to handle the ingredients. I use the same attachment to make my tender, flakey pie crusts. In the past, I used a bread machine to mix my dough. I never baked in the machine because I didn't appreciate my bread being shaped like a bullet or having a hole in the bottom from the paddle. Now, I just throw the ingredients into my stand mixer, attach the dough hook and the result is a smooth, elastic dough for a beautiful, tender bread. Thanks to this mixer and my recipe for One Hour Yeast Rolls, I can have homemade bread for any meal in a jiffy.

The Pasta Attachment

One of my favorite features of this mixer is the pasta extruding attachment and the pasta roller attachment. I used to have a bulky pasta maker. It was not a pasta roller--it only extruded. So, with the large machine, I could make spaghetti, pappardelle, fettuccine and long macaroni. It worked okay for awhile, but it's cheap plastic parts soon fell apart. Another downside is that I had to find room to store the large machine. With a simple addition of a small attachment to the top of the KitchenAid Stand Mixer, I had a pasta maker. With the same machine I can mix and shape the pasta so, no additional large items to store. I also use the pasta roller attachment when making ravioli.

Final Judgement

I don't have all of the attachments available for this device but the ones that I do have--food grinder, pasta extruder, pasta roller, sausage stuffer--work like a charm and are easy to store. I have been using a KitchenAid Artisan stand mixer since 1998. We have only purchased one. I abused my machine by overloading the pasta extruder once and caused the motor to overheat. Lesson learned I called the service center. Since they were unable to repair the machine they replaced it for us. The best part was, I was able to choose a different color. My lovely red KitchenAid Artisan stand mixer looks beautiful on my counter top. I highly recommend this product.

Comments

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    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      The Kitchen Aid mixer is roundly regarded as the class of the field.

      Great overview.

    • denisemai profile image
      Author

      Denise Mai 5 years ago from Idaho

      Aww, thanks! I hope you get one. They are a must have kitchen tool for those who like to bake and make homemade recipes.

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      I have got to get me one of these... That's it, I'm decided, this is going to the top of my Christmas list ^_^ Hubby will have to get it for me. Beautiful photos as well, your kitchen is gorgeous! Voted up and awesome!

    • denisemai profile image
      Author

      Denise Mai 5 years ago from Idaho

      True, dfelker. I was unhappy when I received a Pasta maker (off an infomercial) for Mother's Day and it broke within 6 months, a bread machine for my birthday (btoke within a year) and a mini drill tor Christmas (no comment). But the stand mixer was very appreciated! Maybe because it not only makes my life easier but it's pretty, too. :)

    • dfelker profile image

      dfelker 5 years ago

      I want one! It is generally considered "unromantic" to get household appliances as gifts for the wife, but according to many reviews on Amazon, women make an exception if the gift is this item!

    • bridalletter profile image

      Brenda Kyle 5 years ago from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA

      I cook like crazy, but for some reason have denied myself of this one particular gadget. I would use it weekly. The price tag is hard to justify up front. I am glad to find the review and the fact that you have used it for a long time. Right now I am still saying some day...

    • denisemai profile image
      Author

      Denise Mai 5 years ago from Idaho

      Thank you, rajan!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      This seems to be a wonderful machine doing so many jobs and looks pretty too. Thanks for sharing this information. Voted up and useful. Sharing this hub for the benefit of other readers.

    • denisemai profile image
      Author

      Denise Mai 5 years ago from Idaho

      Thank you TRE! I always value your input and am glad you like it. Have a great day!

    • theraggededge profile image

      Bev 5 years ago from Wales

      Really useful hub, I love the way you have personalized it with your own experience. Voted up.

    • denisemai profile image
      Author

      Denise Mai 5 years ago from Idaho

      Just Ask Susan --sounds like you married a good man. ;)

      Starbright --Thanks!

      TPM --They do last s long time. I don't know if I save money but I certainly save counter and storage space which is invaluable.

      Janine --is it inappropriate to love a kitchen appliance? Awww...who cares. It's pretty darn cool. Glad you like the article. Thank you!

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 5 years ago from New York, New York

      I have the mixer since my bridal shower over 6 years ago, when grandmother gave it to me as a gift, because she knew how much I wanted this one. I must admit I love this machine and your article totally bailed all the reasons why I do. Voted and shared too.

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image

      Marissa 5 years ago from United States

      These things are amazing. My mom has an ancient one and it still is awesome.

      I like the idea of having the attachments to make your own creations. I bet it does save a lot of money!

    • starbright profile image

      Lucy Jones 5 years ago from Scandinavia

      Awesome hub. Voted up.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I have the Cuisinart version and I love it. Hubby bought it for me one year for my birthday. I was really surprised as I think I'd only mentioned it once in 15 years that it would be nice to have one.