Review of KitchenAid Mixer: the stylish icon that can mix it up with the best of ’em. Reviewed as part of our series, “The Best Appliances for the Best Vegetarian Kitchen.”

KitchenAid KSM150PSER Artisan Tilt-Head Stand Mixer with Pouring Shield, 5-Quart, Empire Red

The KitchenAid Stand Mixer is the best mixer you can buy. It is aesthetically beautiful, relatively compact, built to last, powerful, and does everything even a high-end chef would expect of a mixer.

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Yes, we will get to the part about the food prep capabilities of the KitchenAid mixer… but about those aesthetics. Truly, it is beautiful, perfect. It’s curved stainless steel form, rich glossy (but not shiny) enamel paint, proportions… it is at once art-deco, 1950s-esque, and modern. Yet, it is also very much its own iconic look and form. It achieves its look and form perfectly. Not one thing that it sets out to convey and evoke falls short. It even feels good to the touch, smooth but firm, solid. Not one thing needs to be or should be changed as far as form and look and even feel. There are reasons this mixer is featured in or discussed in design and artistic journals, featured in galleries and even the Smithsonian museum. Yes, the Smithsonian. Someone might personally prefer a different style, but no one can disagree that the KitchenAid mixer perfectly achieves what it sets out for aesthetically. It is one of those rare things in life that transcends from meeting an aesthetic height, to becoming its own aesthetic ideal. Before it promises its first mighty churn or airy whisk, the KitchenAid mixer satisfying to see, behold, in its own right.

The 1937 “Model K” KitchenAid Mixer, still the standard today. Sourced from KitchenAid . com ,100 Year History

Above is an image of the 1937 Model K KitchenAid mixer. It is almost exactly the same form and size today as it was then… because, it was, and is, perfect. A generation after the launch of the Model K, Julia Child made her model famous on her cooking show (hers is the one in the Smithsonian). Child’s is a slightly different model than the one we featured above (and that we own) in that hers lifts the bowl rather tipping the head. But, its lines, its form, its “look” is the same as the Model K. And, today’s generation of inspired vegetarian chefs will find the same form waiting for them. A perfectly realized fusion of beauty and function.

If this sounds like effusive over-do, it’s not. In an age of planned obsolescence and pragmatic plastics, to have an emblem of true design, true beauty, as a part of regular life, is a treasure. If anything, the aesthetic aspect of the KitchenAid should be talked about more, not less. Again, not exaggerating. Again, Smithsonian.

Ok, so, on to what the KitchenAid does. What it doesn’t do is a shorter list in some ways. But, at its core, it is a powerful dough mixer and precision whisk that makes top-quality homemade everything achievable.

KitchenAid says the following about it’s mixers:

KitchenAid® tilt-head stand mixers offer an efficient way to prepare your favorite cakes, cookies, icing and more. The head raises to easily change accessories, add ingredients or remove the bowl, and then locks back in place. Plus with the optional attachments that fit the power hub, you can make fresh [veggie]burgers, veggie noodles, homemade pasta and more…. the tilt-head stand mixer will quickly become your kitchen’s culinary center as you mix, knead and whip ingredients with ease.”

We agree with every statement above. We have made complex doughs, delicate air-like whips and meringues, and everything in between. The settings are clear, the machine is always up to the task, both in strength and delicacy and speed (or slow steady churn when needed). Our household even has the attachments that let you make thin veggie strings, curls, and even “sheets” that would be impossible by hand or with almost any other device.

With one attachment (alas usually sold separately, but not hard to get) , the mixer turns the vegetable along a blade and magically transforms the whole piece into a thin sheet of deliciousness. We’ve made vegetarian lasagna with KitchenAid-made sheets of zuchini as the “flat pasta” that the kids and adults in the family ate up without even knowing or caring what the “pasta” was made of. The thickness and uniformity of the sheets were so perfect, that they softened while cooking just right, absorbed flavor and blended with ingredients just right, to the point that even though we prepared it, we could not tell the difference between . Yes, it makes for an amazing “low carb” veggie lasagna, but the low carb is just an afterthought. It’s a culinary delight all on its own, one we would not even think to attempt without the KitchenAid mixer and its attachments. And that’s just one attachment. It has separately sold food processor accessories, sifters, even a scale.

But even without the separately sold attachments, the mixer itself comes with a main mixer, a dough kneeder, a whisk, and more. And, to be clear, the “base-model” KitchenAid mixer with included items is a top-of-the-line machine. You can make any high-end item you’d ever see or imagine. What is more, it lets you avoid store-bought items and make basics such as hearty healthy bread, as well, in larger high quality quantities.

The KitchenAid really is amazing. Some aspects take getting used to. It is manageable by any adult, but it is not flimsy or light. So, when you move the head up and back down, it does so with umph. Again, nothing any adult of any strength could not handle, but in an age of flimsy light plastic everywhere, moving this gorgeous steel beauty takes a bit of getting used to. It’s actually an attribute, in our opinion, because it reminds one every time of the sturdy perfectly realized engineering of the mixer. The only setting we found took getting used to was remembering to lock the head into place when mixing thick items, to make sure the head of the device holds down. There is a way to make this automatic, and, also, the lever to lock it in is very accessible and it becomes second nature very quickly to click it in place. And, the price is an issue. We don’t ever take lightly that expense is a real issue for individuals and families. However, this is truly a device that will last and last, it will do work that can make expensive store bought items less needed (and let families make and enjoy things better than any store-bought or restaurant-made item), and will deliver beyond what almost any other product these days does. It is an investment, a worthy one.

There are bigger commercial mixers in the world, but they would hardly fit in most kitchens, and would not look nearly as good. And, what is more, other than volume of dough mixed, even commercial mixers aren’t as versatile and don’t do a better job than the KitchenAid mixer.

We truly recommend the KitchenAid Mixer. It doesn’t just belong in museums. For its function, its durability and strength, and its beauty, it belongs in the very best vegetarian kitchens.

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