Easily handles tough doughs
Heavy-duty bowl with handle
Impressive array of optional attachments
Coated attachments could chip
Wire whip is not dishwasher safe
We purchased the KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer so our reviewer could put it to the test in her kitchen. Keep reading for our full product review.
Is there anyone who cooks who hasn’t heard of the KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer? But does it live up to its reputation? We put this stand mixer through some serious cooking tasks, starting with whipping cream, then turning it into butter. We turned a brick of cream cheese into fluffy whipped cream cheese with chives. We mixed cake batter and cookie dough. Then we moved on to bread dough, pasta dough, and more. Is its reputation still intact? We’ll explain it.
Setup Process: Easy peasy
Aside from washing the bowl and accessories before the first use, there’s no setup required. To start using the mixer, the attachments push and twist on to lock.
The look of the KitchenAid stand mixer is so iconic that other kitchen appliances have been designed to evoke the same aesthetic. Smooth, rounded lines make it seem aerodynamic and a bit retro, but still modern. It’s hard to imagine a kitchen where this mixer wouldn’t fit. Even better, this mixer comes in a dizzying array of colors—nearly 50—and special editions are sometimes released, adding to the options.
While some stand mixers have all the controls on one side, this one has the speed controls on the left and the tilt-head lock is on the right. Because of that arrangement, we felt most comfortable using the mixer with the nose facing forward, which meant that we could reach the controls with both hands at the same time if we needed to.
Speaking of the nose, the front of the mixer has a round badge that is removed with a simple screw on the side. Behind that badge is the attachment hub that allows the mixer to operate its many accessories. While none of those accessories are included with the mixer, they’re easy enough to find in stores and online.
The look of the KitchenAid stand mixer is so iconic that other kitchen appliances have been designed to evoke the same aesthetic.
This is a tilt-head mixer, and it lifts high enough to give plenty of clearance for removing the bowl, even when an attachment is still in place. The bowl has a sturdy handle and twists easily onto the mixer’s base where it is held securely. While it shouldn’t be necessary with a new mixer, there is an easily accessible screw that adjusts the beater clearance inside the bowl.
Performance: Beast of a machine
While this mixer isn’t a professional model, it’s a beast of a machine for home cooks with its powerful and efficient 325-watt motor. Even with lightweight tasks like whipping cream or mixing cake batter that could be done by hand or with a hand mixer, this machine proved its worth. No matter what the task, we could just set up the machine and stand back and watch it.
We’ll admit it—kneading dense pasta dough by hand isn’t something we squeal with joy over. It’s a lot of work just to end up with some noodles. With this stand mixer willing to do the kneading, we gave it a go, and soon we had a silky ball of pasta dough. While the mixer’s motor got a little warm, it didn’t get hot so we didn’t worry about overheating.
Speaking of dough, the mixer did an excellent job kneading bread dough, and it didn’t complain one bit. Lighter-weight tasks, like mixing cookie dough and cake batter were a breeze, and we had more fun than we should have when we over-whipped some cream and turned it into our own homemade butter.
Features: Extras available
This machine boasts 10 speeds, and the speed selector begins with Off/0 with the first speed marked “Stir,” followed by numbers and obvious stops at 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10. However, the mixer’s speed can be adjusted anywhere between those numbers. While this makes a smooth speed transition possible, we found that we were more likely to choose one of the stops.
The locking mechanism has two options. Either the head is locked down, or it’s free. While it’s a good idea to lock the head down while the mixer is in use to keep the head from bouncing, we found that it was only necessary when we were working with dense doughs. For whipping or for mixing cake batter, the head didn’t need to be locked down. Since the head can be left unlocked, that made it easy to stop the mixer and lift the head to scrape down the bowl or check our mixtures without also having to unlock the head each time.
This is a relatively heavy mixer (around 20 pounds), so it might be an appliance that lives on the kitchen counter. We’re okay with that. It’s attractive, and leaving it on the counter means it’s more likely to get used. The weight also means that it stays stable on the counter and is less likely to wobble its way off the counter.
New stand mixer owners might not think twice about the power hub, but it’s actually one of the things that make this mixer so desirable.
While the mixer didn’t include any accessories we could use with the power hub, we happened to have a few of our own we used for testing, and of course, the machine performed as we expected when we rolled and cut our pasta dough. New stand mixer owners might not think twice about the power hub, but it’s actually one of the things that make this mixer—as well as other KitchenAid stand mixer models—so desirable.
Included Accessories: Whip, beat, and knead
This mixer includes a white-coated dough hook, a white-coated paddle, and a wire whip. The instructions give specific uses and speeds for each attachment, but in general, the whip is great when you want to beat air into the mixture, the paddle is used for mixing ingredients without adding too much air, and the dough hook is used for kneading bread dough. While the white coating on the dough hook and paddle is sturdy, it’s still possible it can chip if the attachments are dropped. Fortunately, replacements are available.
The mixer also includes a pouring shield, which makes it easy to add ingredients to the mixer while it’s running. It’s also useful as a splatter guard to keep flour or loose liquids from flying out of the mixer. Just about everyone who has owned a stand mixer long enough has experienced the joy of accidentally moving to a high speed with flour in the bowl, sending a cloud of flour everywhere. The pouring shield helps to contain that sort of disaster.
All of the parts except the wire whip are dishwasher safe, but we found that hand washing was easy enough.
Price: A little pricey
While this isn’t an inexpensive appliance, there are plenty of other countertop appliances that cost more. We feel that the price is right for the quality, and for the future versatility when optional attachments save the cost of buying standalone appliances.
Even with lightweight tasks like whipping cream or mixing cake batter that could be done by hand or with a hand mixer, this machine proved its worth.
KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer vs. Hamilton Beach 6-Speed Electric Stand Mixer
Hamilton Beach is a brand that’s well known for making good-quality mid- and low-priced kitchen appliances, like the Hamilton Beach 6-Speed Electric Stand Mixer, which we also tested. The KitchenAid we tested is a more robust machine that comes at a higher price point. We give the thumbs-up to the KitchenAid, but agree that the Hamilton Beach would be a great machine for cooks who are looking for something to replace their hand mixer.
It’s a big, fat yes.
While the KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer might be overkill for someone who is tired of holding a hand mixer when making cake batter, we think it’s a great buy for its durability, its vast array of optional accessories that can add to its usefulness, and for its ability to knead bread dough to perfection.
- Product Name Artisan Series 5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer
- Product Brand KitchenAid
- MPN KSM150PS
- Price $379.99
- Weight 22.8 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 8.7 x 13.9 x 14.1 in.
- Color 20+ colors
- Material Zinc body; stainless steel bowl; metal attachments
- Warranty 1 year
- What's Included Wire whip, paddle and dough hook attachments, bowl, pouring shield