Quite some time ago, my friend Mary Beth from Because I Said So asked me about my KitchenAid stand mixer because I had been blubbering with delight over this appliance. I can't say that I am a whiz in the kitchen, but I am proficient. Most of all, I love appliances. I am a gadget girl who loves new toys. So, there I was going on and on about this mixer and Mary Beth wanted to know just what was it about a mixer that could get me worked up enough to post that I "love it with all my heart."
Yes, wow, I really did say that, didn't I? I answered her at the time, but it gave me an idea for some posts in an ongoing fashion. Today will kick off a new series of not-so-regular posts about APPLIANCES I LOVE, and will review the product, include pros and cons, and where possible pricing and shopping information. Where not possible, get off your lazy butt and google for it, you can probably find it on Amazon.com.
Okay, so today, I refer back to the previously venerated KitchenAid Stand Mixer, of which I have the Pro 450 series with the 4.5 quart bowl.
This version is discernable by its matte finish (not glossy like the smaller pink and red retro ones). The bowl is a nice high-sided bowl that does not allow any spatter from batter or dough during mixing. It comes with the whisk shown, a dough hook and a flat beater that is great for cookie dough! How convenient for me, heh. It has 10 speeds, lifts the bowl easily up and down with a lever on the right hand side, and is nice and heavy so it won't slip and slide while you are using it. It is just about 17" high, 13" from front to back and about 10" wide. Small enough to slide into a corner of the counter, but not a wimpy little product by any stretch (and it makes you look like a kitchen goddess, btw). The mixer creams butter and sugar nicely without over whipping which can break down the butter, and it also manages egg whites nicely. It is strong enough to plough through a double batch of oatmeal raisin cookie dough, which can be rather rough on smaller machines. I hear it makes great mashed potatos, pizza dough and other goods, yet I haven't ventured into that territory yet. I'm sticking with cookies for now.
Here is my only complaint about this mixer, and it's one I have learned to work around (thank you Edith!). Not shown in the picture is a somewhat flimsy plastic cover for the bowl that sort of helps prevent stuff from flying out while mixing. It is not a complete round top though; it has an opening about 4" wide in the back that makes it "easier" to place the cover over the bowl, plus it has a spout on the front for adding ingredients without stopping the mixer. This cover does not fit precisely and you have to jiggle it into place. Second, if, like me, you use this mixer to make delicious and tasty food items called cookies (or any baked good really) you will be using flour. Ever notice that when flour is agitated it puts up a fine cloud of dust all over the place and into your face? Well, the two openings on this plastic cover do not prevent this from happening, as one would be led to believe! You wind up with flour everywhere and that extends clean up! Not good. Thanks to my friend Edith who has an earlier model of the Pro series (and I envy her full round cover) I now know to place a tea towel over the mixer before turning it on and that will catch any flour dust that wants to escape. Once the flour is blended in with your wet ingredients, you can dispense with the towel and use the front spout to add additional ingredients.
The KitchenAid Pro 450 Stand Mixer is available at retailers such as Target and Macy's, but be sure to get the 450 Pro if you are a serious mixer as it is comparable to the professional models you will find at bakeries. This from my mother in law who used a professional KitchenAid in her bakery for 20-something years. They run around $250, but if you get a good sale you might find one for $150 or less.
I hope you have enjoyed today's review! Come back soon to hear me rave about my new indoor grill!