- KitchenAid Beginners Guide: Things to look Out For
- The Best KitchenAid mixer for Beginners
- The Stand Mixers
- Which KitchenAid Mixer for Beginners Would I Choose?
First things first: Welcome to the world of baking! It is awesome to have you on board! Starting out as a baker might feel a little daunting, but once you get it all figured out, it is one of the most therapeutic and enjoyable hobbies to get into. As a new baker, you’ll have so many questions running through your head, and you’ve probably been trolling the internet for all the answers to questions like; What equipment do I need? Should I get digital scales or use measuring cups? Do I need a straight-edge spatula? And what the hell is a bain marine anyway??
Let’s all take a deep breath. I have no doubt that the more you bake the more you will acquire knowledge, hone your skills, and build up your bank of trusty baking accessories in the process
Having said that, one thing you definitely do need, as a beginner baker, is an electric mixer. Now I know what you are going to say…
“Can I just use a whisk?”
And yes, for some recipes, you could use a handheld whisk or a wooden spoon combined with your brute strength. But if you are truly serious about baking, why make it harder on yourself?
Take it from me, you’ll get so much more enjoyment from baking when you have the right tools, So get your hands on a good quality beginner stand mixer – I promise you, you won’t regret it.
Since you are reading this page, I will assume you have eyes on one in particular: the gorgeous KitchenAid mixers.
As great as KitchenAid mixers are, there’s no mistaking they sit on the high end of the price spectrum. I mean, would your first car be a Ferrari? Probably not (for most of us anyway). You would maybe start off with a modest Volkswagen Golf, then move on to Audi, and build your way up from there.
The same goes for stand mixers. KitchenAid even though it is one of the best kitchen appliances out there, they are also very expensive. Spending all that money on a kitchen appliance before starting your baking journey might not be the wisest move.
That said if you have weighed up your options and your heart is still set on a KitchenAid (I mean just look at them, it’s almost a crime not to want one), then grab a cuppa and get comfy, because I have a lot to tell you about. Here, I am going to share with you everything you all about the best KitchenAid mixer for beginners from their agile hand mixer range to the mighty stand mixers.
KitchenAid Beginners Guide: Things to look Out For
So you want a KitchenAid stand mixer but have no idea where to start. KitchenAid certainly doesn’t make it easy for you to decipher the differences between their endless range of mixers. With so many different types of mixers, models, bowl sizes, and attachments, it can be difficult trying to decide which one is best for you.
Deciding which one to go for really depends on a lot of things, like the design, capacity, and how often you will use your mixer. Here are a few criteria I think any new baker should think about when buying their first stand mixer.
The first thing you will want to look at is the design of your mixer. Do you want a tilt head or a bowl lift? The tilt-head mixers do exactly that. To add your ingredients or adjust your bowl or attachments, you tilt the head of the mixer backward. The reason why you get a tilt head mixer is that otherwise there will be no space for you to attach and remove accessories or add ingredients. The tilted head gives you more space to do this with.
The bowl lift stand mixers are bigger than the tilt head ones. Their distinctive design is the fixed head with the handles on the body that control the bowl. The bowl is lifted and lowered using the lever on the side of the mixer.
The bowl lift mixers have a much more powerful motor, ranging from 746 watts to 969 watts. While the tilt head mixers have a much smaller motor, between 250 watts and 325.
You might also want to consider the design of the hand mixers. They are much smaller than the stand mixers, with a much smaller motor, but might be preferred over the stand mixers due to their compact size and user-friendliness.
Each stand mixer model, whether it’s a bowl lift or tilt head, comes with different capacities. The Artisan Mini is the smallest KitchenAid mixer in size, and the lightest by 25%. It has a 3.5qt bowl which is great for making small batches.
The Artisan and Classic are larger with a capacity of 5qt and 4.5qt respectively. Both stand mixers are ideal for small-batch baking and larger as they can yield between eight and nine dozen cookies.
The bowl-lift mixers have a capacity of up to 7qt, with 8qt being the commercial mixer. Now, unless you are baking for a small bakery, it is unlikely you will need a bowl lift just yet as a beginner.
Let’s not forget our trusty hand whisk too. They don’t necessarily come with a certain capacity, but the hand mixer gives you the freedom to mix without being restricted by the bowl size. They can mix both really small batches like one egg white, to a few batches of cake batter.
I briefly touched on motor sizes above but thought I would delve into it more. When you are a beginner, motor size doesn’t really matter. The tilt-head stand mixers are the most popular for home bakers and you don’t really need anything stronger than that. The strongest KitchenAid mixers are built for those who bake in large capacities or bake on a more commercial level.
If you want a stand mixer that can deal with tougher ingredients, then you could go for a larger tilt-head model, like the Classic or Artisan.
The hand mixers have a much less powerful motor of around 100 watts. This is far less than what you get with any stand mixer, but this is expected as the hand mixer is much smaller and used for lighter baking tasks.
If I could buy a KitchenAid stand mixer in every single color, I would. KitchenAid has a color to match your kitchen and your personality. Every model comes in various colors, but you’ll find the most options with the Artisan stand mixers. There are over 50 colors in that stand mixer range!
If you want to explore all the color ranges KitchenAid has to offer, take a look at the KitchenAid Mixer Color article I posted a while back. There I talk about the KitchenAid color of the year and every color in each mixer range.
I would highly recommend using KitchenAid’s custom builder and picking the color you desire. You can also engrave it too and make it your own.
Bowl and Attachments
Another thing you might want to consider before you purchase a KitchenAid mixer is the type of bowl you want and the attachments. Each stand mixer comes with standard attachments; a bowl, flat beater, wire whip, and dough hook and some of them come with a splash guard as well.
As I said, these will come in the box when you receive your mixer, but you do have the option to add on items, if you like. As a beginner, you might want to get started with the standard attachments and see how you get on. But, if you really want to, you can add a ceramic bowl, a pasta roller or a meat grinder in there too. You can do this by using the KitchenAid custom builder.
Take a look at the five things KitchenAid recommends you consider before purchasing one of their mixers.
So, now you have a rough idea of what KitchenAid has to offer. With the information you’ve learned above, let’s take a look at some of he best beginner KitchenAid models.
The Best KitchenAid mixer for Beginners
The Stand Mixers
Here are the big guns, the stand mixers. If you are someone who likes to run before they can walk and wants to skip getting a hand mixer first, then KitchenAid has some great stand mixer options for beginners you might want to take a look at.
Below we explore some of the best KitchenAid stand mixers for beginners and their features.
Artisan Mini Series
If you are not making lots of baked goods and are looking for something small, this is where the Artisan Mini Series stand mixer comes in. It is 25% lighter than the other KitchenAid stand mixers and weighing only 16 lbs, it is the smallest KitchenAid mixer and the easiest to handle.
It might be small, but with a 250-watt DC motor, it certainly has a lot of power. Customers also love it and with 4.8 out of 5 on Amazon, it is definitely one to consider as a beginner baker.
What is great about this small but mighty mixer is that it’s ideal for making smaller batches. As a beginner, the chances of you making large batches of cookies or cakes are slim, especially at the start. You will start off by exploring recipes in smaller quantities to really hone your knowledge and experience with each ingredient.
With that being said, be mindful of the ingredient quantities. The 3.5 qt bowl is considerably smaller than the larger stand mixers and can’t hold as much as the other mixers. Make sure that whatever you are baking can fit in the bowl of the mixer. This shouldn’t be much of a problem if you are making cake or cupcake batters for example. But, if you want to try out some pizza or bread recipes, be mindful that many of the dough recipes might be twice the amount of ingredients that the Mini can handle.
A plus with the Mini Series is the flex edge beater which scrapes the sides of the bowl as it rotates around the bowl. While with the other KitchenAid models you have to purchase the flex edge beater separately, the Mini is the only mixer that includes the flex edge beater as a standard attachment. Having to scrape down the sides of the bowls every few minutes is a pain for professional bakers, let alone for beginners! Having that additional assistance of scraping down the bowl is a huge plus.
You can look at the Classic Series more as a transitional stand mixer. It is a gateway mixer that allows you to really explore all the possibilities that come with baking. The Classic is a well-rounded option that is both beginners friendly, whilst also still having the ability to make more intricate recipes for more experienced bakers. This mixer will help you become a better baker.
It has a 4.5 qt capacity, allowing you to play about with both smaller and larger batches. The 10 speeds are powerful enough for every task, whether you are folding in the flour, kneading bread dough or whipped egg whites.
The model we all know and love; the Artisan. Definitely the most popular option, the Artisan mixer is what everyone thinks about when they hear ‘KitchenAid’. It has taken the baking world by storm and it has added a beautiful classic aesthetic in many kitchens around the world.
With a 5 qt bowl and a 325-watt AC motor, you get the best of both worlds. Big enough to whip up multiple batches at once while still having the ability to whip up the smallest amount of whipped cream. It is also powerful enough to really cut through dough toughs and works well at higher speeds.
Unlike the Mini, the Artisan is on the heavier side and can be quite hard to carry and handle. It takes up quite a bit of space which might not be ideal for those who don’t have much storage or counter space.
On the plus side, if you skip all the above and go straight to the Artisan as your first mixer, you won’t have to replace it with a better stand mixer as you progress. It can be used as a beginner mixer, intermediary, and as professional.
When it comes to deciding between the KitchenAid Classic vs Artisan, the Classic is probably best described as the cheaper version of the Artisan, while the Artisan is the one that will add personality to your kitchen.
The Hand Mixers
Okay, this is a KitchenAid stand mixer beginner guide, but I think its only fair we mention a few of their hand mixers too. As a beginner, you should be focusing more on your baking techniques than fiddling around with big, bulky equipment. KitchenAid offers a wide range of no-nonsense hand-held electric mixers. Not only are they the cheapest KitchenAid mixers you can get your hands on, they are ideal for those who are just starting out on their baking adventures.
What I love about the hand mixers is their portability. They are easy to handle, carry and use around the kitchen. They are also very compact and easy to store. If you don’t have the space for a big bulky stand mixer, the hand mixer takes up no space at all.
Another reason why I think a hand mixer is a great tool for beginners is the amount of control you have over the ingredients you are mixing. It also allows you to really get to know each ingredient and how various batters change consistency while you whisk. As a beginner, knowing how long to mix something for is vital, as over-mixing or under-mixing can really impact your bake. With a hand mixer, you have full control as opposed to a stand mixer which can mix too fast too soon.
KitchenAid 3 Speed
The most basic of them all. The 3-speed hand mixer.
You probably think you won’t get much out of the 3-speed mixer, but surprisingly, it has hundreds of 5-star reviews and people love it.
If you know you’re going to be mixing light batters, this is a great mixer to get your hands on. It is super lightweight and it’s nicely balanced so if you find yourself mixing for a long time, it won’t strain your arm.
The uniquely shaped turbo beaters work extremely well, even at the lowest speed, and are really easy to clean. There is also very minimal splatter thanks to the thin wires of the turbo beaters.
For a 3-speed mixer, it is small and mighty, however having said that it does lack power. As I said, this mixer will only be good for whipping up egg whites, making whipped cream or a light and airy batter. Anything tougher than that and it will not have the power or speed to cut through the ingredients.
KitchenAid 5 Speed
The 5 speed KitchenAid hand mixer is not the most powerful hand mixer out there but it’s not the weakest. The reviews are also quite varied. Some absolutely swear by it and others say that it is just not powerful enough. Personally, as a beginner hand mixer, I think it works really well.
One of the only downsides to the 5 speed mixer is that there is no soft start feature. The soft start allows the speed to increase gradually regardless of which speed you are at. This is a great feature as it minimizes mess and batter flying all over your kitchen. As a beginner, you don’t want all your ingredients flying out of the bowl, clouds of flour everywhere and cake batter found on the other side of the kitchen. This is definitely something to consider when looking for a KitchenAid mixer for beginners.
Just like the 3 speed mixer, this one is probably also better suited for light mixing. On the plus, you have 12 colors to choose from with the 5 speed mixer, which is more than any other KitchenAid hand mixer.
KitchenAid 7 Speed
With the 7 speed, KitchenAid is stepping up the game a little bit. With a soft start, stainless steel turbo beaters and a pro whisk, you have all you need to begin baking. The more speeds you have, the more control you have over your ingredients and the more options you have in terms of what you can make.
The lower speeds can be used for slow stirring, like incorporating flour into a batter or chocolate chips into cookie dough. The medium speeds can be used for mashing potatoes and the higher speeds for beating egg whites or making whipped cream.
KitchenAid 9 Speed
Now, this is where the money is at. If you are serious about taking up baking as a hobby, the KitchenAid 9 speed hand mixer has all the attachments you need to get started. The 9 speed gives you even more control than the 7 speed mixer and you can also test out tougher doughs too with the use of the dough hook.
With the 9 speed mixer, you get two beaters, a whisk, two dough hooks and a blending rod. If you are planning on testing out bread dough, this is a great mixer to do it with. Although, I would recommend making small batches of bread dough as the hand mixer motor can only take so much.
I could not talk about all the KitchenAid hand mixers without mentioning their newest addition; the cordless mixer. Equipped with a 12 volt lithium-ion battery, it is surprisingly more powerful than what you’d expect.
This is a great beginner-friendly hand mixer as it is easy to handle, and even easier to carry. You are not restricted by the length of the cord, giving you the freedom to mix everywhere and anywhere.
It can make up to 200 cookies on a full charge and has a 10-minute quick charge for all those last-minute birthday cakes or dinner parties. It takes about 2 hours to charge and can be used with the charging cord attached.
The only downfall is that it only comes with two beater attachments, so if you are wanting to experiment with tougher doughs, it is probably not the best option. If you are interested in other cordless hand mixers, take a look at some of my favorite ones on the market right now.
Which KitchenAid Mixer for Beginners Would I Choose?
When I get asked what I would recommend as a beginner mixer, I would always suggest a budget-friendly option. KitchenAid is like owning a Ferrari and how upset would you be if your Ferrari got scratched or stopped working? A budget-friendly stand mixer allows you to focus more on the baking aspect, without worrying about breaking or scratching the appliance.
If you do want to see what budget-friendly options are out there, take a look at the best stand mixers for beginners article that I wrote.
If you can’t see past wanting a KitchenAid though, I don’t blame you. If you take good care of your KitchenAid mixer, clean it and store it properly, it will last you a lifetime.