KitchenAid Heavy Duty 5 qt Stand Mixer

Pros: Power, capacity, hands-free use, amazing customer service
Cons: Expensive, blade doesn’t reach bottom, ours eventually died (after 7 years, mind you…)
Rating: 4 out of 5

First posted 7/1/2000

My fiancee and I are great fans of kitchen toys, so when we saw the KitchenAid stand mixer we knew we’d have to get one eventually. Unlike a few of our toys, this one hasn’t sat around unused. It’s good for just about anything. Our favorite thing to throw at it is meat-loaf – it can mix up large amounts of ingredients to near-homogeneity in seconds. It’s also perfect for those dessert recipes that tell you to mix something for minutes on end and gradually add one thing after another. With a stand mixer, you don’t need an extra person to pour ingredients in. Even better, it’s the perfect relief if, like me, you have tendonitis and can’t handle long mixing times or stiff batters.

Unfortunately the paddles don’t quite reach to the bottom of the bowl, which is my only gripe with it, and I can see why mechanically that would be necessary. This can be fixed by scraping down the bowl every now and then. It usually doesn’t turn into a problem at all for us unless we’re working with something smooth and sticky like butter or cream cheese.

It is also not a mixer designed for very small amounts of stuff. But any cake mixes, icings, or meat-loafs work perfectly.

The KitchenAid is indeed a professional-quality mixer. If you cook for only one or two people it probably won’t work well for you. If you like to cook elaborate dinners for your friends like we do, it’s hard to beat. Just don’t let your kids stick their fingers in the bowl while it’s going – it has a lot of power behind it.

Ideally, you should get the splash-shield that sometimes comes with the mixer, or can be bought separately. Since the KitchenAid sometimes moves very quickly, liquid ingredients sometimes splash out of the bowl a little.

We recommend buying this item on sale or at a discount store (which is what we did) when possible. While it’s worth every penny of its high price, it still has a high price.

Added later: After about 7 years of hard service ours did finally give out. The next version we got came with a warning this one didn’t have: don’t use the dough hook on a setting above 2. That may be why ours died. However, luckily we’d gotten the cheap extended warranty, and we got to discover KitchenAid’s absolutely stunning customer service. They paid to ship us a new mixer, paid for us to ship them ours, and, since they didn’t have ours in the same color any more, they gave us a 6-quart mixer for no extra cost!

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