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Which KitchenAid Stand Mixer Size Is Right for Me? 4.5- vs. 5- vs. 6-Quart? Size Does Matter!

Tall Clovers is a former legal and finance professional and small business owner.

6-Quart KitchenAid Stand Mixer in Empire Red

6-Quart KitchenAid Stand Mixer in Empire Red

Which KitchenAid Is Right for Me?

I had always wanted a KitchenAid Stand Mixer, but when I purchased one, I wasn't very familiar with the product, so I picked a red one (not very scientific, I know). It happened to be a 6-quart mixer. If I had a time machine, I would go back and select a 5-quart instead. I believe I would have used the mixer more often and have been more satisfied with the results.

KitchenAid Professional Series 6-Quart Stand Mixer

The 6-quart KitchenAid Stand Mixer is much more powerful than the 4.5- or 5-qt. model, as it comes with a 575W motor with a direct-drive and an all-steel gear transmission, allowing you to whip up huge, dense batches of goodies. The 6-qt. model also features a larger bowl with a "lift-out" design vs. the smaller twist-on bowl attachment used in the smaller models. In this model, the mixer assembly is moved into an upward position when placing the bowl into position (by rotating the side crank), then lowered with a lever on the side when mixing is set to occur.

The KitchenAid 4.5- or 5-Quart Stand Mixer

There are basically three big differences between the 4.5- or 5-quart KitchenAid Stand Mixers and the 6-quart KitchenAid Stand Mixers: size, power, and style.

  • Size: It's well . . . a lot smaller—nothing technical or scientific here. It's just not as large. In many cases, this is a good thing. Unless I was making huge batches of biscotti, pizza dough, or the like, I found the 6-quart bowl to be too big. The large bowl allowed my batter to flop and spatter about instead of mixing with ease.
  • Power: The 4.5-quart KitchenAid Stand Mixer provides you with 275W of mixing power and a bowl large enough to mix dough for up to six dozen cookies or three loaves of bread. This size model is ideal for making cakes, cookies, homemade pasta dough, and light breads. The same model's 5-quart version provides 325W of mixing power and effortlessly tackles thick brownie batter and bread dough. The bowl is large enough to mix dough for up to nine dozen cookies or four loaves of bread.
  • Style: The 4.5- and 5-quart mixers feature a tilt-back mixer head, which allows for easy access to the beaters and bowl. A lock lever holds the mixer head securely in place when lowered, and the base of the bowl twists and locks to the base of the Stand Mixer.

Features Common to All KitchenAid Stand Mixers

There are many features common to every KitchenAid Stand Mixer, regardless of the size. The mixing process is one—ingredients are thoroughly combined as the beater spins clockwise and the shaft spins counterclockwise; moving the beater around the bowl, eliminating the need to manually rotate the bowl. All KitchenAid Stand Mixers offer 10 speeds, and all models come with a pouring splash shield that sits around the top of the bowl and prevents ingredient splash-out. There's a chute that makes it convenient and easy to add ingredients.

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Finally, three attachments are typically included with all models: a flat beater, a wire whip and a kneading hook. All three attachments are easily secured to the beater shaft with a simple lift and twist, and all add to the versatility of the mixer. The flat beater is the ideal accessory for mixing normal to heavy batters. The dough hook mixes and kneads heavier yeast doughs, eliminating the need for hand-kneading. The wire whip incorporates the air required for creating delicious whipped cream and yummy fluffy cakes.

And the Winner Is . . .

Unless you are a professional baker and are "whipping up" copious amounts of batters and doughs, the 6-quart KitchenAid Stand Mixer is probably too large for you. It is for me. Sure, it looks gorgeous sitting on my counter, but so would a smaller 4.5-quart or 5-quart model.

All things considered, the 5-quart KitchenAid Stand Mixer wins. It's powerful enough to mix bread doughs and stiff batters, and large enough to meet holiday baking demands, but it's not so large that my everyday family recipes get lost in the mix (get it?)!

Optional Attachments

No matter which size model best fits your needs, there are numerous attachments that can be added, allowing you to make pasta, sausage, and juices with ease. Of course, these attachments are sold separately.

Questions & Answers

Question: What size is a 300 watts KitchenAid mixer?

Answer: It looks like the capacity of the mixing bowl on a KitchenAid with 300 watts of power is 4 1/2 quarts.

© 2014 T Clovers

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