Before plunking down the money necessary to buy one of the 2 million stand mixers KitchenAid produces every year, consider how much you plan to use it. Prolific bakers should pay particular attention to features such as bowl capacity and motor power. Although KitchenAid’s Classic and Artisan mixers are roughly the same size, they have subtle variations.
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Comparing Bowl Size
The size of the bowl determines how much you can mix at one time. The brushed stainless steel bowl of KitchenAid’s Classic mixer holds up to 4 ½ quarts. The size allows you to mix the dough for up to 3 ¾ loaves of bread, 6 ½ pounds of mashed potatoes or 6 ¾ dozen cookies. By comparison, the KitchenAid Artisan stand mixer has a polished stainless steel bowl with a comfort grip handle and a capacity of 5 quarts. This means that you can make the dough for up to 4 ½ loaves of bread, 7 pounds of mashed potatoes or nine dozen cookies.
Comparing Size and Power
The space that either model takes up on your counter is roughly the same. Both the Artisan and Classic series mixers are 13 15/16 inches high and 8 ¾ inches wide. The Classic mixer weighs in at 25 pounds, making it 1 pound lighter than the mixers in the Artisan series. Both have 10 different mixing speeds, but the 325-watt motor, the Artisan series wins out in terms of power. KitchenAid’s Classic mixer has a motor with a 250-watt output.
Does Power Matter?
If you only make basic doughs and batters, the wattage of the motor doesn’t make that much of a difference. However, if you bake a lot or make recipes with stiff batters, choose the mixer with the more powerful motor. Both mixers feature planetary mixing action, which means that the drive shaft and beater move in opposite directions, providing superior mixing ability. The Classic and Artisan perform comparably for mixing cake batters and frosting, whipping eggs whites and whipping cream, although the Artisan mixer gets the job done slightly faster.
Comparing Accessories and Features
Both types of mixers come with dishwasher-friendly accessories such as a nylon-coated C-shaped dough hook, a nylon-coated flat beater and a six-wire whip. The Artisan series also comes with a convenient one-piece pouring shield that helps minimize spatter, keeping the kitchen neater while you bake. The Classic series of mixers is available with your choice of a white or black body. If you’re interested in adding a punch of color to your kitchen, the Artisan mixers are the clear choice for you. The series has more than 30 color options, including Bordeaux, aqua sky, cobalt blue, bay leaf, ice, silver, metallic chrome and persimmon.
The Artisan series is the more expensive choice, although the added color options, increased power and larger bowl size may make it worth your while, particularly if you're a heavy baker. If you only need a mixer for occasional use, the Classic series is likely to meet your needs, and for a lower price tag. Both types of KitchenAid mixers can be used with additional accessories such as pasta makers and grinding attachments, which can be purchased directly from KitchenAid or at home stores that sell KitchenAid products.