Smeg vs KitchenAid Stand Mixer

Smeg vs KitchenAid: Who is King of the Kitchen?

So, you’re on the hunt for a stand mixer? By this point, I am sure you endured your fair share of research and narrowed it down to a handful of the best selling brands. Amongst those finalists are probably the hugely popular KitchenAid vs Smeg stand mixers; the scrappy Italian underdog pitted against the undisputed heavyweight of the kitchen appliance world.

Unfortunately, buying a new mixer is never as simple as it sounds. There are quite a lot of important factors that you will want to think about before splashing the cash on your next big purchase.

To make your life a little easier, I have done some digging into similarities, and differences, to help you choose between the Smeg or KitchenAid stand mixer. I have pinned down the 7 most important factors that I think you will need to consider in order to identify the perfect mixer for you.

But before we get down to comparing these machines, let’s quickly remind ourselves of the two brands in question.

KitchenAid

KitchenAid is owned by the Whirlpool Corporation, which bought the iconic American home appliance brand from the Hobart Corporation, in 1985. 

KitchenAid’s products, particularly their stand mixers, probably don’t need an introduction. They are renowned for their durable, and beautiful, design as well as their hugely versatile nature.  

Since the release of their first mixer in 1919, the company has built a reputation for creating mixers with impressive versatility and durability. All KitchenAid stand mixers are made in Greenville, Ohio using the highest-quality components and rigorous testing throughout the manufacturing process.

This world-class construction isn’t lost on amateur bakers and chefs either. Kitchenaid is the undisputed leader of the stand mixer market, enjoying a whopping 30% market share in the USA. They are so popular in fact that a KitchenAid stand mixer is bought every 20 seconds!

Smeg

Smeg is a family-owned Italian brand of domestic appliances founded in 1948. The name is actually an acronym for ‘Smalterie Metallurgiche Emiliane Guastalla’, roughly translating to ‘Emilian metallurgical enamel works of Guastalla’, a nod to their Italian routes, as well as their humble beginnings as an enameling and metalwork factory.

Like Whirlpool, Smeg has a broad range of countertop appliances and white goods which includes ovens, fridge freezers, kettles, and of course, stand mixers. 

Again, like its American counterpart, Smeg emphasizes the importance of a tasteful aesthetic. Many of their appliances have a distinctive retro-look of the 1950s, dubbed the ‘FAB 50s’ range, with modern bells and whistles as you would expect from a top-of-the-range mixer. 

Although many of the company’s larger appliances (ovens, cookers, dishwashers, and hobs) are made at one of their four specialized manufacturing facilities in Italy, Smeg stand mixers are made in China, in an effort to reduce manufacturing costs.

Smeg vs KitchenAid: Which is better?

Stand Mixer Range

One of the biggest sticking points in the KitchenAid vs Smeg argument is the range of mixers available. 

Because KitchenAid has specialized in making stand mixers and has done for over 100 years, they have one of the most extensive ranges of mixers you will find. Their range has over 11 different machines with varying levels of power, weight, size, bowl capacity, and price. They also come in both bowl lift and tilt head designs, which allow the machines to cater to both home and commercial level bakers.

Smeg, on the other hand, began making ovens and washing machines and later expanded into small appliances in 2014. Because of this, their range of stand mixers is considerably smaller than their American counterparts. They currently only have one stand mixer in their range. 

In order to give you a fair comparison, I have pitted the Smeg Retro mixer against the Artisan Series. This is KitchenAid’s most popular model and the closest equivalent to the Smeg mixer. 

With that in mind, let’s have a look at the biggest arguments in the Smeg vs KitchenAid argument.

Motor Power 

The motor is the heart of a stand mixer. If you want your machine to make quick work of large baking quantities or thick dough, it’s essential to have a good motor. There’s a lot of factors that can impact the power output of a motor, including if they use AC or DC current, have a direct drive transmission, as well as input wattage.

Both the Smeg and KitchenAid Artisan use an AC motor with a direct drive. They both make the most of planetary motion, a feature found on many high-end machines. The planetary motion essentially means that the head spins clockwise, and the attachment spins anti-clockwise, allowing the machines to both mix and fold your ingredients. This ultimately provides you with a superior mix to that of single motion mixer.

The main difference between the Smeg and KitchenAid Artisan when it comes to motors is their size. 

The Artisan Series has a 325-watt motor which allows the machine to take on most home baking and cooking tasks. 

The Smeg, on the other hand, has a massive 800-watt motor. This power output makes this more comparable to the biggest KitchenAid mixers like the Professional 600 series or Pro Line 7 Series. This is great when you want to make bread regularly or mix a big batch of cookies for a party, although a bigger motor will generate more heat, so you will need to be cautious not to cause any damage during prolonged use.

Accessories

The accessories available for your machine will directly impact the range tasks your mixer is capable of. Before you buya new mixer, I suggest you have a think about what tasks you would like your machine to do, other than mixing, of course. 

Of course, both Smeg and KitchenAid mixers come standard with the usual accessories like the mixing bowl, beater, whisk and dough hook. They both come with a pouring shield too, although some KitchenAid Artisan mixers wont, depending on which retailer you buy your machine from. Some Smeg machines also come standard with a flex edge flat beater, which is a nice addition.

Perhaps the single biggest advantage to these machines compared to budget stand mixers is that they both have the option of attaching additional accessories through the use of a multi-purpose hub. This transforms your machine into the ultimate baking sidekick.  

The range of KitchenAid mixer attachments is truly endless, this has always been one of their biggest selling points. You can choose from over 30 different attachments that can take on virtually any cooking or baking task you can think of. Their range includes an ice cream maker, flour mill, meat grinder, vegetable grater, pasta roller, juice and much more.

The Retro 1950s, on the other hand, is limited to 5 attachments. These are; an ice-cream churner, vegetable grater, pasta roller, pasta cutter, and food grinder. You can learn more about Smeg mixer attachments here.

Bowl Capacity

Bowl capacity is another comparison I want to draw between these two mixers. It’s a pretty important one too, after all, it will directly impact the quanity of baked goods you can create. This is especially important if you have a large household or you a responsible for whipping up those mega-size batches for the holidays.

With the KitchenAid Artisan, you get a 5 Quart Stainless Steel bowl standard with your machine (or glass if you opt for the Artisan Design). The Smeg Retro also comes with a 5-quart stainless steel, again with the option of a glass mixing bowl if you prefer.

The 5-quart bowl on both the Smeg and Artisan is a good size. These bowls enable you to make 2-3 dozen cookies or brownies and 2-3 loaves of bread in a single mix. 

This big difference here is that KitchenAid offers a wide variety of replacement mixing bowls, ranging in size from 3-5 quart. They also come in glass, ceramic, or steel and feature a variety of beautiful designs. 

Smeg does offer a replacement for both the glass and stainless steel bowl, although they only come in the standard 5 quart, which isn’t ideal if you want to make smaller batches. They also don’t come with the same aesthetic range as KitchenAid.

Speed Settings

Having a larger range of control over the speed settings of your machine will allow you to mix, whip, or knead our tasty treats to the perfect consistency.

Both Smeg and KitchenAid machines come with the same 10-speed settings, although one big difference between the two machines is the Smooth Start feature of the Smeg mixer.

This allows the Smeg to start at the lowest speed even if the control knob is cranked to a higher speed, then gradually increases the speed to the required level. This reduces the risk of your attachments, gears, and motor getting damaged, as well as prevents the ingredients from flying out and splattering across your beautiful white walls.

I want to point out that, although the KitchenAid Artisan doesn’t have a Soft Start feature, many of their other mixers do, including; the Artisan Mini, the Classic, Professional 600 & 6500, Pro Line 7, and Commercial model.

Less importantly, there is also an obvious difference in the lever placement. The Artisan speed lever is at the side of the mixer while in the Retro, it is placed on the top, and almost resembles a gear shifter on a classic car.

Color Variety

When it comes to aesthetics, the Artisan scores over other KitchenAid stand mixers with over 40 beautiful color options to match your kitchen décor. Their Color of The Year campaign also sees the company release a new color every year, so your choice in KitchenAid colors is still growing.

Smeg stand mixer colors, on the other hand, only come in 8 varieties, although you do get the choice between a fully colored or a partially colored mixer. 

Weight and size

Size and weight matter when your kitchen is short on storage space. That said, on of the many reasons why owners prefer a high-end mixer like the Smeg or KitchenAid is because they are so aesthetically pleasing and can be proudly displayed on the countertop. 

Nevertheless, the mixers in the Artisan series tip the scales at 26 pounds and stands at 13.9 inches tall. This should fit inside most kitchen cabinets in case you want to tuck away when not using the machine.

The Retro stand mixer weighs slightly less at 24 pounds. It is a bit taller at 14.9 inches.

Price

It’s no secret that KitchenAid stand mixers (perhaps with the exception of the Classic and Artisan Mini) will make a sizable dent in your wallet. Unfortunately, Smeg mixers aren’t exactly a budget buy either.

The cheapest Artisan will cost you $499, while you have to shell out up to $999 for the Designer series.

The Smeg stand mixer is priced at $499 to $599 except for their colorful (Sicily inspired) Dolce & Gabbana designer model priced at a whopping $1232.

Which stand mixer is better?

Both stand mixers have their advantages, as well as their limitations. Smeg has a more powerful motor, allowing it to tackle tougher dough, whereas KitchenAid has more attachments, giving it bucket loads of versatility.

Both the Artisan and Retro ‘50s are great machines that can handle everything from whipping egg whites to mixing cookie and pizza dough, but if I were to buy another stand mixer, I would go KitchenAid every time.

They are gorgeous, well built, and can do absolutely everything. Sure, they have a smaller motor, but it’s still plenty powerful to handle any home baking task you can think of.

Which mixer is your favorite?