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Old 07-11-2011, 02:36 AM
 
2,186 posts, read 7,525,773 times

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The KitchenAid Artisan stand mixer is not as bulky as the Professional model, but the 9-cup mixing bowl is ample for most cooking needs. At 25 pounds, it's inconvenient to put away after use, so it's fortunate that it's attractive enough to leave out on the counter.

The machine is available in twenty-five colors, to match any kitchen color scheme: there are two kinds of black, two kinds of white, two types of silver, three shades of blue, as well as sumptuous hues like bay leaf green, boysenberry, cinnamon, empire red, and pistachio. There is even a special Cook For The Cure edition in light pink - $50 from each sale is donated to breast cancer research. The darker colors show flour dust and need to be wiped clean more often.

The tilting head allows for removing the bowl without having to dismantle the beater, but it needs to be locked before use, or the machine will jump around on the counter.

The heavy-duty motor can operate for extended periods of time without having to worry about it burning out. Although the motor is powerful, the machine is not overly noisy, so it's possible to carry on a conversation while using it.

This mixer comes with three accessories: a flat beater, a dough hook - which makes pizza dough a snap - and a wire whip. There is a slide control to obtain 10 speeds, from slow stir to fast whip. It also comes with a pouring shield, which prevents additions of flour from dusting you and your counter top. Accessories are removed in one easy twist-off motion. Since it's a well-established company, replacement parts are easy to find.

Even though the powerful 325-watt motor can handle kneading thick bread dough, if it's not evenly distributed, the mixer will 'walk' on the counter, just like a washing machine can move around during the spin cycle. However, the weight of the machine prevents the skittering action seen in less substantial appliances.

When first using the machine, there can be problems with the beater/bowl clearance, resulting either in the beaters scraping the work bowl or leaving unincorporated material in the bottom of the bowl. This is easily remedied by adjusting a screw on the mixer - the manual describes how to do this. Once adjusted, the KitchenAid mixer will incorporate all the ingredients smoothly into the mix.

The attachments can be washed in the dishwasher, but they should be rinsed beforehand, to avoid discoloration. Some of the attachments are pricey. The 'Pasta Excellence Kit' costs $329.99 - almost as much as the appliance itself.

Although this mixer has a high price tag - $349.99 - it's a quality appliance that will last for decades. Over time, it actually is less expensive than having to replace a cheap $50 mixer every few years.
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