Let’s face it. Any slightly more than occasional baker typically lusts after one of these retro-looking stand mixers, which often sends out the message of ‘Look at me, I really do bake.’
The fact it though, when you put the options together, the choice of stand mixers really comes down to either one of the Kenwood’s or the Kitchen Aid.
Why I bought the Kitchen Aid
In both brands, there are a range of options to choose from. In the Kenwood series, there’s the Chef Classic Kenwood KM336 Chef Classic Stand Mixer in Gloss White with Liquidiser, Chef Premier Kenwood KMC570 Chef Premier Stand Mixer – Silver, Chef Titanium Kenwood KMC010 Chef Titanium Stand Mixer and the modern K-Mix (Kenwood kMix KMX52 Stand Mixer – Almond Cream), while the Kitchen Aid has the Classic KitchenAid K45SS Classic Stand Mixer, White, Artisan and the Professional.
For me the choice was easy, ever since I laid my eyes on it, the Kitchen Aid Artisan was definitely the one for me. When I first started looking, my handheld Phillips mixer did my weekly bidding, the Kitchen Aid’s then only came in the classic colour range of red, black and white. Between the Classic and the Artisan, there was a slight difference of a mere .6L in it’s mixing bowl, but I knew that it had to be the Artisan.
The only real question was when should I buy it and how much should I pay?
The decisions for the Kitchen Aid in my books were easy.
Counter space vs Cupboard space
While our general design tastes and preferences are never really retro, the Kitchen Aid had the distinct advantage of looking good exposed and given the weight of the beast it is almost a certainty that it had to live on the counter top. Coupled with the fact that most of our kitchen cabinets were already full to bursting, it made further sense to have something that looked good on the counter top.
The footprint, i.e. space taken up by the gadget, for the Kitchen Aid is generally smaller than that of most Kenwood’s apart from the K-Mix, which was another bonus.
Look good and takes up less space!
[Kitchen Aid 1 Kenwood 0]
Value for Money
The real hit came when in comparing the accessories and add-ons. Most of the larger Kenwood systems, came with a complete food processor or blender system, which makes it much better value for money.
It’s no wonder that it’s one of the most sought after items on wedding lists. And from the stories I’ve heard, the lifetimes that the Kenwood’s last for… potentially several decades more than most marriages (30 Years, 60 Years some even for 3 generations!).
The downside of the Kitchen Aid (especially here in the UK) is that it is almost double in price what you would pay for in the US or in Australia. This seemingly comes down to the fact that in the UK a higher voltage is required and it seems to be the only difference that makes this almost 100% price difference hard to swallow.
Apart from the fact that the Kitchen Aid, comes with only the 3 basic beating attachments (dough hook, balloon whisk and mixing paddle – similar to the Kenwoods) and nothing else, makes it an even less appealing choice.
[Kitchen Aid 0 Kenwood 1]
The other thing that came under the radar to consider for me, were the attachments that could be purchased (in the case of the Kitchen Aid).
The optional attachments for both brands are pretty comparable: pasta rollers and cutters, ice cream attachment, food mincer, slicer and grater, citrus juicer.
Kenwood Chef and Major Optional Attachments: Pasta Expert Accessory pack, Potato Peeler, Frozen Dessert Maker, Citrus Juicer, Continuous Slicer/Grater, Food Mincer, Compact Chopper/Grinder, Food Processor, Metal Juice Extractor, Grinding Mill, Fruit Press, Dicing Attachment, Glass Blender
Kitchen Aid Attachments: Pasta Excellence Set, Pasta Roller & Cutter Set, Ravioli Maker, Pasta Cutter, Gourmet Pasta Press, Mixer Attachement, All Metal Grain Mill, Mixer Attachment, Fruit/Vegetable Strainer Set, Ice Cream Maker, Food Grinder, Rotor Slicer/Shredder, Citrus Juicer, Sauauge Stuffer kit, Juicer and Sauce Attachment (Slow Juicer), Food Processor, Food Processor with Commercial Style Dicing Kit
Being in the UK though, makes the Kenwood a cheaper option for these attachments than the Kitchen Aid, although as I understand it, in the US, the attachments are significantly cheaper than they cost here in the UK.
[Draw – both have as many attachments]
In the end, a stand-mixer is a big investment, one that most people do not make lightly. Most buy with the long term view of never having to purchase one again (or at least any time soon). Depending on the other types of kitchen gadgets that you may already have, mixer, blender or food processor, may influence the stand mixer you decide on.
The Kenwood, for equivalent prices (especially here in the UK) certainly offer more for your money. On the other hand, if you are like me, already have a hand-held blender and a glass stand blender, then the options widen to include the looks-win Kitchen Aid.
Ultimately it very much comes down to a personal preference.
The Kitchen Aid Artisan I got in the end, the Silver Metallic sits perfectly on the counter top, next to a chrome-coloured glass blender. I love that it looks good, I love that it’s weighty feel and the latched- tilt-head options, and it’s easily accessible speed controls.
None of these are proprietary to the Kitchen Aid, the Kenwood too have similar controls, albeit in slightly different positions.
My choice for the Kitchen Aid was simply based on the fact that I loved it.
And you may feel exactly the same for any version of the Kenwood and that is perfectly fine.
In the end, the ultimate test lies in the fact that seeing the device on your counter top, ready and waiting for you to turn it on, brings a smile to your face, whichever brand that may be…
Other Economical Options:
Andrew James Stand Mixer (multiple colours)
VonShef Electric Food Stand Mixer (multiple colours)
NOTE: Prices are a rough guide only based on online retailers and is correct at the time of writing.