Unboxing photos and full review of the KitchenAid Pro 500 series lift style stand mixer.
The KitchenAid stand mixer is a kitchen classic. Seems like they've been making the same basic mixer for eons now. My mom still has her original avocado green KitchenAid mixer they made circa 1742, give or take. If you need a stand mixer for your kitchen it seems like the one to get.
So Many Models
Look closer and you'll find that KitchenAid makes a huge variety of stand mixers that look mostly the same. Toss in a zillion colors, damn you colored iPod craze, and the choices are ridiculous. One major distinction will be between getting a tilt head model, where the mixer head pivots up and down to reach the bowl, or lift style where the bowl lifts up to the fixed mixer head.
In my case, the model wasn't as important as was the deal. And the deal was $220 or so on Amazon which is a sweet savings of $80 or so over the normal $300-ish price. It even included free shipping to Hawaii which is a great deal considering it weighs close to 15 pounds. So the KitchenAid PRO 500 Series 5-Quart Lift Style Stand Mixer it was.
What You Get
This particular model comes with a high performance 325 watt motor with 10 speeds and that's key since this is really the bulk of the mixer. A high power motor means that you can mix thick and heavy mixtures without burning the motor out. It's built with all metal parts and castings so no cheapy plastic here. It feels well built, but doesn't feel as solid or as "put together" as the that old avocado green job mom has for some reason.
A sticker on it also tells me that it is still assembled in the USA so that's something good I suppose, though it doesn't mention if some of the parts are made elsewhere! Doing a little research online I found a random story here and there about how these do occasionally break, often after the warranty period. I read one story that even had a KitchenAid repair shop tell the person that they almost primarily fix newer models, rarely does an old one break. That's inline with my theory that my mom's avocado green model from many moons ago feels better built.
Beyond the mixer itself, you get a 5 quart metal bowl that attaches to arms on the mixer. A lever on the mixer raises and lowers the bowl into position. It feels very solid and it requires very little effort to raise or lower the bowl. For attachments, you get a whisk style wire whip, dough hook, and flat beater. A pouring shield is also included to reduce messes. The soft start feature also helps ensure you're not splattering stuff out of the bowl. A small instruction and recipe book and 1 year warranty round things out.
What makes these mixers unique, at least when compared to a hand mixer, is how they rotate. The beater will spin clockwise while the part the beater attaches to spins counter clockwise. This dual mixing action results in a more even blend of your mixture.
Does It Work?
Yes, of course, it works great. It works exactly as advertised and that's precisely why you see these in so many kitchens and have since, well, probably the day after electricity was invented. It's heavy duty and should be more than enough for any home cook out there.
It's not perfect of course. It's heavy, which is what you want in a mixer like this, but that means moving it around might be a pain for some and why it likely gets left out as a "show piece" appliance for many. In the silver we got that wouldn't look bad at all but I'd rather keep it stored away so clear out a tall lower cabinet in that case.
The wire whisk attachment comes with a note that it must be hand washed only and then dried immediately. Well, that's no fun when I have a dishwasher. Do we not have the technology to make a wire whisk attachment that can handle a dishwasher yet? Or am I at the mercy of cheap Chinese metals? The pouring shield feels incredibly cheap and likely to break. Maybe it will be fine, it just feels cheap.
Minor complaints aside, it's an excellent mixer and an excellent value, especially if you can get it on sale. Just be sure to compare exactly what's in the box when price shopping. They make so many different models that it's easy to think one is a deal over another when it's simply a lesser model.
You can buy the KitchenAid PRO 500 Series 5-Quart Lift Style Stand Mixer from Amazon.com.
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