You’re no doubt familiar with KitchenAid Stand Mixers. They have been a staple in kitchens around the world since the first 10-quart consumer version was introduced to the masses almost 100 years ago. And outside of the game-changing introduction of colour in 1955, and a slight downsizing in 1962, the design of the KitchenAid Stand Mixer has changed very little since then. Until now.
In response to “limited counter space and ‘smaller batch’ lifestyles” KitchenAid has just added a new addition to its hugely popular stand mixer line–the KitchenAid Artisan Mini. It’s 20 percent smaller and 25 percent lighter than the classic Artisan, making it ideal for those of us who live in urban spaces with limited counter or storage space, or Baby Boomers who still like to cook and bake, but don’t need the large capacity–or weight–that comes with a standard KitchenAid mixer.
Here’s a look at the KitchenAid Artisan Mini Stand Mixer
Since I’ve seen many KitchenAid stand mixers in my lifetime, I wasn’t exactly surprised to see what I saw when I pulled the Artisan Mini out of the box. It was a KitchenAid. What surprised me though was how light it was. I’ve used my mom’s KitchenAid many times in the past, and every time I do, I feel like I’m getting an upper body workout when I lug it out of the cupboard it calls home.
In the box, you get the stand mixer, as well as a brushed stainless steel bowl with a 3.3-liter (3.5 quart) capacity, which is enough to make five-dozen cookies. By comparison, the larger 5, 6, and 7 quart mixers can accommodate 8 to twelve dozen cookies, but let’s be honest, unless you’re a professional baker or whipping up treats for a wedding, who needs that many? Even five dozen is a ton of deliciousness. It also includes three attachments–a flat beater, dough hook, and a 6-wire whip.
Now, here’s the cool thing. Unlike other companies who have introduced smaller or larger versions of their products, the KitchenAid Artisan Mini can accommodate standard attachments, like the spiralizer, food grinder, and pasta maker, which to me is a great feature. It also operates with the same amount of power as it’s bigger brother, just in a smaller footprint.
A few other features include:
- 59-point Planetary Mixing Action for superior bowl coverage and thorough ingredient mixing
- 10 optimized speeds that let you mix, knead, and whip with ease
- Tilt-head design that makes it easy to add ingredients
- Locking head, which keeps the beater-to-bowl contact close and efficient
- Multiple colours to choose from including Matte Black, Matte Grey, Matte White, Honeydew, Hot Sauce, Orange Sorbet, Twilight Blue, and Guava Glaze
Testing the KitchenAid Artisan Mini
My mom is the Queen of banana muffins. I don’t know if it’s her extra ingredient of love (insert “oh so cheesy” emoticon here), but they are delicious. I’ve been wanting to replicate them for quite some time, and just happened to have a bunch of bananas on my counter that were past their “Stacey will eat you date” so my first test was a no brainer.
Once I had all my ingredients together, I consulted the manual that came with the Artisan Mini and selected the flat beater tool, which is good for mixing things like cookie and muffin dough. After a little bit of struggle, I managed to attach the flat beater to the beater shaft (it’s actually not difficult to do once you get the technique). I placed all my “wet” ingredients into the stainless steel bowl, locked it into place, tilted the mixer so the beater was in the bowl, locked that into place, and selected a speed of 3 and stood back. Once the butter and sugar were nicely blended, I added my flour mixture, and again stood back. The Artisan Mini did all the work for me. I even stood at the ready with a spatula to scrape the excess unblended ingredients from the side, but there was no need to do so! The muffins were delicious.
My second test was making chocolate chip cookies. Again, I put all my wet ingredients into the bowl, including “somewhat hard” butter, which would have been a pain to blend using a hand blender. At a speed of 4, the Artisan Mini made easy work of blending the ingredients to the perfect consistency. I added flour and chocolate chips, and even though there was a little “dusting” of the flour in the air on on my counterrop, the Artisan Mini again made easy work of perfectly mixing the ingredients while I put all my dishes in the dishwasher and tidied my kitchen. The cookies turned out delicious but ugly, and that’s only because I misread the recipe and put too much butter in my batter.
Last but not least was whipping whipped cream using the accompanying wire whisk. I’m not going to lie, I now want to include some element of whipped cream in everything I make. The Artisan Mini was a beast when it came to whipped cream! It was the perfect consistency, and I did nothing more than toss the ingredients in the bowl and turn the speed to 6.
Almost every piece of the KitchenAid Artisan Mini is dishwasher safe, except for the mixer itself and the wire whisk, which will rust and discolour if placed in the dishwasher. In theory, this is all great, but one thing I did find a challenge was removing the batter-covered beater without making a mess of my hands. True, this isn’t the end of the world, but I’m able to remove the beaters from my hand mixer without getting batter all over myself, so would love if there were an easier way to remove attachments from the Artisan Mini. In addition, I’m a bit of a clean freak, so just “wiping down” the stand mixer didn’t float my boat. I really wish I could have submerged it in water to give it a proper scrub down, but overall, clean up was easy and painless.
The KitchenAid Artisan Mini is a baker’s dream. It’s also a pasta-maker and food-grinder’s dream if you have the right attachments. It is ridiculously easy to use, and does and amazing job of mixing batter to the perfect consistency every time. I must admit that I did not have a chance to use the dough hook attachment, but any appliance that can alleviate my need to knead is needed (see what I did there?).
To be perfectly honest, I wish I had more time to experiment with it, as do my neighbours who got to eat the fruits of my labour. Its smaller footprint is ideal for those of us who live in urban spaces with less storage and counter space, yet with the same sized motor as its larger cousin, it makes easy work out of kneading, mixing, and whipping.
I also love its locking mechanisms, both with the mixer itself and the bowl, because you know that you can walk away from the machine and tidy the kitchen or check Instagram knowing that your batter or whipped cream is going to stay in the bowl and your mixer is going to stay on the counter where it should be.
Once again, I am upset to send a product I’ve reviewed back, because in a very short time I’ve fallen in love with the Artisan Mini–although it’s probably a blessing in disguise because no one needs to eat a dozen cookies a day.
You can check out the KitchenAid Artisan Mini on Bestbuy.ca right now. If you like baking at all, you’ll want this in your kitchen.
Image of 1937 Model K Mixer courtesy of Maker.