Kenmore Elite 5 Qt Stand Mixer Review
Pros: One-handed operation, slow start, work light
Cons: Significant bowl/ attachment gap, weak motor
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Kenmore Elite is a nice looking machine with ample bowl capacity and some useful features. However, if you plan to use this machine on the regular and with heavy or otherwise demanding recipes, then look elsewhere. This machine shows signs of future failure when put to these kinds of tasks. While the mixer is straightforward to use, it has to be monitored by the user, as the frequent scraping of the bowl will be required.
Standing mixers are supposed to make the user's life easier by assuming certain functions such as whipping and kneading. However, the way the user interacts with the machine is also an important part of the overall experience. The Kenmore Elite has a number of features that improve the user's experience. Namely, the unique working light located under the tilt-head. The machine also has conveniently placed speed, power, and tilt controls and an easy to remove bowl. Collectively, these feature results in a machine that can be operated with a single hand.
As far as food outcomes are concerned, the Kenmore can reasonably manage most soft or light ingredients. As such, the Elite produced satisfactory frosting, as well as whipped cream and egg white.
What we don't like about the Kenmore Elite is that it fails to execute basic mixer tasks without the aid of a spatula to guide the ingredients into the mixing attachment. This is largely due to the substantial gap between the bowl and the attachment. But also to the inconsistent revolution of the motor.
While the mixing issues are a major concern, the larger issue is the long term durability of the machine. In particular, we have considerable concerns about the motor. During our testing we experienced inconsistent mixing motions including stalling and jerking. Additionally, we experienced irregular noises ranging from grating to high-pitched whines.
The Kenmore Elite certainly has a competitive price point. However, having used this mixer side-by-side with other leading models, its modest price seems a bit high. For a few tens of dollars more, one can purchase a machine that will do its job as opposed to having you biting your nails waiting for the ax to fall on your mixer. As such, we don't find this mixer to be a value purchase.
The stand mixer market has a lot of products that, at first glance, look markedly similar. However, as with books, mixers should not be judged by their covers. The Kenmore Elite is a good example of this truism. While the machine looks the part of a high-end mixer, it is not. This machine struggles with basic tasks such as kneading dough and mixing cookies. Moreover, if tasks such as these were to be repeated frequently, we would have serious concerns about the long-term durability of the motor.
— Nick Miley and Michelle Powell