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KitchenAid Artisan 5KSM175PS 4.8L Stand Mixer review: Baking perfection doesn’t come cheap

Danielle Amato
11 Aug 2020
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
499
inc vat

The KitchenAid Artisan is as efficient as it is beautiful, but it’s not for everyone

Pros 
Quality build
Mixes most batters in seconds
Attractive design
Cons 
Very heavy
Quite pricey
Protective shield is a little unstable
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If you’ve got the baking bug, then you’ll almost certainly be aware of KitchenAid – one of the best-known brands in the industry – and its stand mixers. Similarly, if you’re a fan of the Great British Bake Off, you may be most familiar with its Artisan range, as the show typically switches between equipping contestants with a KitchenAid Artisan stand mixer or a Kenwood KMix.

It goes without saying that stand mixers are an important tool for enthusiastic home cooks and professionals alike. Not only do they cut down preparation times significantly, they typically come with an array of attachments to turn your mixer into an all-singing, all-dancing kitchen essential. The 4.8l KitchenAid Artisan is no exception and comes with pretty much everything you need to get started.

KitchenAid Artisan 5KSM175PS Stand Mixer review: What you need to know

The 4.8-litre Artisan 5KSM175PS model is one of KitchenAid’s most popular stand mixers, equipped with a larger bowl and four additional attachments in comparison to the KitchenAid Artisan 5KSM125. In the box, you’ll find the machine itself, a 4.8l bowl, a 3l bowl and a pouring shield. On top of this, there’s a six-wire whip, a flat beater, a flex edge beater and a dough hook, all of which are dishwasher-safe.

That’s pretty much everything you need to make baking quicker and easier. However, if you want to go further with your stand mixer, the single multipurpose attachment hub means you can fit any KitchenAid attachment to your machine without an adapter. Additional attachments include, but aren’t limited to: a juicer, meat grinder, grater and several pasta shapers.

The mixer offers ten different speed settings from a gentle folding action to a vigorous mix. Weighing 11kg, it’s not something you’ll want to be moving from cupboard to worktop regularly, so take this into consideration before you buy. It’s also fairly large, with a depth of 37cm and a height of 36cm. If worktop space is at a premium, you may want to consider KitchenAid’s smaller 3.3l mixer, which has a depth and height of 31.2cm.

KitchenAid Artisan 5KSM175PS Stand Mixer review: Price and competition

At £499, the 4.8l Artisan is one of KitchenAid’s mid-priced machines. At the very top end, you have the 6.9l professional stand mixer (£899), which comes with an even bigger bowl and more powerful motor. At the entry-level end, there’s the more affordable classic mixer (£299), which comes with a smaller 4.2l bowl and all the basics you need to effortlessly create cakes at home.

On the surface, the price difference between KitchenAid’s classic and Artisan mixer might seem significant but when you consider the individual cost of the additional attachments and bowl included with the Artisan, it becomes a little easier to accept. Additional attachments for the Artisan can cost well over £100 and in reality, having the extra bowl is very useful when weighing and combining ingredients separately.

In direct competition with the KitchenAid Artisan is the £420 Kenwood KMix, which has a 1,000W motor, compared to the Artisan’s 300W. The larger motor doesn’t necessarily mean it will produce a better loaf of bread or cake mix; it just means it’s less likely to overheat or conk out when consistently used at full capacity. The KMix comes with three attachments and only one bowl, and in our opinion, just isn’t as stylish as the Artisan.

KitchenAid Artisan 5KSM175PS Stand Mixer review: Features and design

I tested the Artisan in "Almond Cream", but there are 15 different colours to choose from, as well as the option for personalisation on the KitchenAid website. There’s no denying the beauty of the 4.8l KitchenAid Artisan – it looks incredibly sleek and stylish on the kitchen counter.

It is a large appliance and it demands you dedicate a fair of worktop space to it. If you want a stand mixer big enough to make large amounts of batter and icing, though, there’s no avoiding a machine of this size and weight.

On one side of the machine, you’ll find the switch for its ten speed settings, which are selected by moving it from right to left. On the opposite side, you’ll find a simple sprung switch that lifts and lowers the head of the machine. Each attachment locks into place with a push and twist motion and can be removed just as easily. Both bowls also lock into place to ensure your mixture stays put, even on the highest speed setting.

Overall, the Artisan is easy to use, although you may find moving the head of the machine a little tricky the first few times, as the weight of it can come as a surprise.

KitchenAid Artisan 5KSM175PS Stand Mixer review: Performance

As you might expect from a £500 machine, the Artisan blends ingredients incredibly quickly. Its whipping attachment always made easy work of egg whites, bringing them to a light whip in a matter of minutes. What’s more, stopping to scrape mixture off the side of the bowl is minimised thanks to the provided flex-edge beater.

The flex edge grabs stray ingredients from the sides of the bowl by scraping them off during the mixing process. It’s an attachment you often won’t find on cheaper mixers and means that you need to stop the machine and pull ingredients off the side of the bowl far less often. When making buttercream icing, in particular, I find it makes a big difference. While it doesn’t necessarily pull all the mixture away from the edges of the bowl, what’s left on the sides is usually an evenly blended mixture rather than a smattering of random ingredients.

When using the standard flat beater on a mid to high speed setting, the KitchenAid Artisan quickly blends room-temperature butter with no difficulty whatsoever, creating a smooth, creamy cake mixture in a matter of seconds. There’s usually some mixture left around the sides of the bowl, but not enough to make a fuss about.

New users beware, however. This machine is powerful enough that, irrespective of which attachment you use, it’s incredibly easy to overmix both cakes and icing. If you’ve used a stand mixer before this may not come as a surprise, but if you’re relatively new to them, it’s an easy mistake to make, so keep an eye on your mixture.

When kneading 1kg of dough with the dough hook, it was clear the Artisan’s motor was struggling a little, as the mixer was clunking and visibly moving about. That’s not altogether surprising because bread dough is, of course, much stiffer than cake batter. Though it still managed to bring the dough together nicely, I do worry about how it might cope with kneading the maximum recommended weight of 2kg.

Another small gripe I had was with the build quality of the pouring shield. Although it works well, keeping almost all icing sugar in the bowl when preparing a buttercream frosting, it feels flimsy compared with the rest of the attachments and the machine in general. It doesn’t click neatly into place, either, instead resting loosely on top of the bowl, meaning it can be easily knocked off when adding further ingredients.

KitchenAid Artisan 5KSM175PS Stand Mixer review: Verdict

If I were to tell you to immediately go out and buy the KitchenAid Artisan because it will change your life, I’d be lying. That shouldn't necessarily stop you from buying it, though.

If you’re regularly tearing it up in the kitchen making bread, cakes or sauces or want to spend more time doing the things I just mentioned, the KitchenAid Artisan will significantly cut down the amount of time you spend in the kitchen, which is essential if you love to create but hate standing over a bowl of mixture that seems to take an age to get to the right consistency.

Moreover, the attachments and bowls are sturdy and well built, as is the machine, so I have few concerns about the Artisan’s ability to stand up to tough baking jobs. If you’re considering making several kilograms of dough, however, you may want to consider spending more on one of KitchenAid's professional-level mixers.

If you think you’d benefit from a stand mixer and can justify the price, go for the Artisan. If you’d benefit but can’t quite stretch to it, my advice is to go for the KitchenAid classic. However, be aware that you may end up spending more on additional bowls and attachments in the future if you decide you want to do more with your machine.

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