KitchenAid Artisan Mini Review
Compare to Similar Products
KitchenAid Artisan Mini
$329.99 at Amazon
$399.99 at Amazon
|$330 List||$159 List||$150 List|
$142.99 at Amazon
|Pros||Compact, ample power, great kneading action, very sturdy||Powerful motor, simplistic design, sturdy platform||Powerful, affordable, easy to use||Appealing price, easy to lift, powerful, excellent splash guard, easy to clean||Easy to clean, one-handed operation, large bowl|
|Cons||Limited volume, pricey for capacity, struggles blending heavier mixes||Tilt-head impedes bowl access, mediocre whipping action||Poor whipping action, requires bowl scraping||Struggles to blend dense mixtures, noisier than other models, only four speeds||Broad bowl/attachment gap, fiddly splash guard|
|Bottom Line||This miniature mixer is great for small-batch recipes though the compact design still comes at a premium||A do-it-all mixer with a bowl capacity and price suited to most households||Incredibly powerful and easy to use for the price||Holy cannoli, this mixer is incredibly lightweight and powerful, but it tends to do the jig when the dough gets heavy||This economic mixer sacrifices little in the way of performance to keep the cost low|
|Rating Categories||KitchenAid Artisan...||KitchenAid Artisan||KitchenAid Classic...||Bosch MUM4405 Compact||Aucma 6.5qt|
|Ease of Use (30%)|
|Specs||KitchenAid Artisan...||KitchenAid Artisan||KitchenAid Classic...||Bosch MUM4405 Compact||Aucma 6.5qt|
|Bowl Capacity||3.5 quart||5.5 quart||4.5 quart||4 quart||6 quart|
|Standard Attachments||Wire whip, flat beater, spiral dough hook||Whisk, dough hook, and flat mixing paddle||Wire whip, dough hook, flat beater||Wire whip, flat beater, spiral dough hook||Wire whip, flat beater, spiral dough hook|
|Number of Speeds||10||6||10||4||10|
|Measured Dimensions (L x W x H)||14.5" x 10.75" x 14.25"||14.25" x 8.75" x 14"||14.5" x 10.75" x 14.25"||11" x 13" x 10.5"||14.5" x 11.25" x 16"|
|Measured Weight||16lbs.||18lbs. 2oz.||22lbs. 13oz.||8lbs. 1oz.||26lbs. 1oz.|
|Warranty||Limited 5-year||Limited 3-year||1-year||1-year||1-year|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The KitchenAid Artisan Mini is the smallest stand mixer in the KitchenAid family. However, its smaller capacity is exactly what makes it unique. For home chefs who don't have an army to feed, the Artisan Mini is the perfect size for a small batch of cookies or a loaf of bread or two. Better yet, this mixer's petite size does not equate to lower quality; you won't be shocked by the price tag attached to this mini mixer. We're not saying the Artisan Mini is expensive. Rather, we are simply saying that its quality is a cut above other brands we tested, so expect to pay more.
Ease of Use
"Sturdy" and "well-balanced" are two words that come to mind when describing the Artisan Mini. Despite being one of the smaller units on our list, it was subjected to the same tests administered to its larger competitors and performed very well. Once the flour dust settled, we awarded it solid marks for its user-friendliness. As part of our ease of use score, we examine the gap between the mixer's attachments and the bowl. We found no issues with the Artisan Mini; however, we did see its mixing abilities decrease while blending heavier mixes. We also noticed a consistent ring of material around the upper bowl during our frosting tests. Both of these setbacks create more work for the chef and thus influence the ease of use score.
This latest version of the 3.5-quart Artisan Mini is one pound lighter than its predecessor. Despite its recent weight loss, it still has the power to plow through dough like a tank, while maintaining the finesse to blend complex ingredients effectively.
As we mentioned before, this mixer is sturdy. During our most challenging mixer tests, it never wobbled, rattled, or moved in any direction. As with all KitchenAid mixers, its controls are simple and direct. In particular, we like that it employs a manual lever to lock the motor head in place. This allows the user to lift and lower the head with one hand. However, this design has one drawback: Manual locks can easily be forgotten. We often neglected to engage the lock before turning on the mixer. Likewise, when tilting the motor head open, we frequently forgot to lock it securely in place. This was especially irksome when an inadvertent elbow sent the heavy motor head crashing into a bowl of frothy egg whites.
The Artisan Mini's 250-watt motor is small but powerful. We were pleasantly surprised to see it knead dry pizza dough and quickly whip cream or egg whites without missing a beat. Our decibel readings also prove that this model is quieter than half the mixers we tested. When prep was over and the bread was in the oven, the Artisan Mini's attachments and mixing bowl were a breeze to clean. Likewise, the mixer's smooth surface has very few nooks or crannies, making it easy to wipe down.
A smaller mixer does not equate to fewer features. The Artisan Mini offers ten mixing speeds just like many of its larger siblings in our review of the best stand mixers. It also offers a slow-start feature that gradually brings the mixing head up to the desired speed. Additionally, it has a long power cord and is compact enough to be stored in most cupboards or shelves. All things considered, the Artisan Mini is a pleasure to use. This model is a viable option for dedicated cooks and bakers who love to create in the kitchen, but simply desire a smaller mixer.
The Artisan Mini produced excellent smooth butter-cream frosting. Its Flex Edge flat beater incorporates a spatula edge on one end, which effectively collects contents from the edge of the bowl and reincorporates them into the mix. The end product is a light, creamy, well-blended frosting that any cupcake would be proud to wear. Our frosting test is just one of three tests associated with our mixing metric. We also subjected our mixers to a complex cowboy cookie recipe, as well as a boxing match versus heavy, dry pizza dough.
Our very weighty cowboy cookie recipe is a fusion of chopped pecans, coconut flakes, chocolate chips, oats, and more. It was specifically selected to challenge each mixer's motor. This test is also aimed at exploring the effectiveness of each model's planetary motion. Additionally, the recipe is intended to quickly point out any excessive gaps between the flat beater and the inner wall of the mixing bowl. We were skeptical about whether or not the Artisan Mini's 250-watt motor was up to the task, but we were pleasantly surprised by the results. This little mixer never missed a beat as it effectively blended the complex dough without waning. However, once the mixture became super thick, the Artisan Mini's flat beater simply bored a hole into the middle of the dough, leaving us with some minor mixing to finish by hand.
Our cookie recipe also allowed us to observe each model's ability to mix a variety of wet and dry ingredients, which in turn, increased the mixture's weight and thickness throughout the mixing process. All of the ingredients in the Artisan Mini were well blended without being pulverized. Even the chocolate chips were still perfectly shaped. It bears mentioning that we did not modify or reduce our recipe to accommodate this mixer's smaller size. So we're confident it will do a better job mixing recipes suited to its capacity.
We held back on giving the Artisan Mini a superior mixing score because of its inability to completely scrape the bowl clean during our cookie and frosting tests. In the initial stages of each recipe, the flat beater often pushed a portion of the mixture into a ring around the upper bowl, requiring frequent spatula breaks to push it back into the mix.
The Artisan Mini delivered solid performances in our small-batch whipping test and our cake-rise test, landing it alongside top performers in our lineup.
During our small-batch test, each mixer was timed to see how quickly and effectively it could turn just a half-cup of cream into a smooth batch of whipped cream. The Artisan Mini produced stiff peaks in exactly two minutes, placing it on par with some of the fastest times on our list. Jointly, this test also measured the increased volume of the cream as it evolved into its whipped state. The Artisan Mini effectively doubled the original half-cup into exactly 1-cup of whipped cream.
In our cake-rise test, we examined how effectively each mixer whipped six egg whites, a key leavening ingredient in our sponge cake recipe. After firming into stiff peaks, the egg meringue was folded into a lemon chiffon cake batter and baked. After letting the cakes cool, we sliced them in half and measured the thickness of each cake's center and edges. A springy, spongy cake with a large rise indicates that the mixer effectively whipped the egg whites. Likewise, we looked for evenly cooked cakes with little sagging in the middle. Combined with its 10-speed motor, the Artisan Mini's whisk attachment is very efficient at whipping egg whites into stiff peaks. This mini mixer produced excellent sponge cakes equal to some of the top-performing, full-size mixers on our list.
Our basic pizza dough recipe was no match for the Artisan Mini. Our goal was to observe how well the mixer could incorporate wet and dry ingredients and then knead them into a thoroughly mixed dough. We quietly stared, with eyebrows raised, as our little-mixer-that-could effortlessly mixed our ingredients into a perfect ball of dough. Using only the hook attachment for the entire process, the Artisan Mini never struggled and never once needed any additional spatula help during the entire process.
Regardless of its smaller motor and more compact mixing bowl, we subjected the Artisan Mini to the full pizza dough recipe. It never wobbled or moved throughout the kneading test, proving it to be very sturdy and well-balanced. This level of sturdiness is not often found in smaller-capacity stand mixers.
Should You Buy the KitchenAid Artisan Mini?
The KitchenAid Artisan Mini offers users significant power and performance in a relatively small package. That said, don't let its smaller size fool you — its price tag is still parallel with other top-performing KitchenAid Models. True to KitchenAid form, this model doesn't cut corners on craftsmanship or function. The Artisan Mini's niche is small kitchens lacking storage space. So if you're a cook who demands top quality but desires smaller capacity, this is the perfect mixer for you.
What Other Stand Mixers Should You Consider?
If cost isn't a limiting factor for you, we suggest going with a larger mixer, such as the KitchenAid 6-Qt Professional Bowl-Lift or KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer. Overall, they perform exceptionally well and will likely manage most tasks thrown at them.
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