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KitchenAid Classic Plus Vs Artisan Mixer: Which One Should I Buy

For the most part, most home cooks are going to be interested in KitchenAid mixers because they’re a monster of a machine that can do just about anything. The mixer has five modes and two speeds, it is fully programmable for any task, and it has a dishwasher-safe bowl. The downside? It’s expensive!

When looking at which one to buy, some people may be drawn to the more affordable Artisan Mixer since it is made with high-grade materials and features a sleek look without sacrificing on power or performance.

So how exactly do the mixers differ? Is it worth spending the extra money for the Classic Plus or should you get something with more bang for your buck? Should you even get one at all?

KitchenAid Artisan 5-Quart Stand Mixer vs. Classic Plus Series 6 Quart Stand Mixer: What’s The Difference?

The Artisan comes in a variety of colors, including graphite grey, coral red, empire red, snow white, and onyx black. The Classic Plus comes in a variety of shades like sandstone (which is what I have), porcelain (white), champaign (gold), and tangerine.

Here are the features of each series:

Artisan 5 Quart Stand Mixer

Comes in 7 colors and made of high-grade materials, including cast metal and stainless steel.

It has a flat beater, dough hook and wire whip. The flat beater is great for mixing heavy batters like cookies and brownies, while the dough hook is great for kneading breads. Wire whip easily mixes cake batter or icing. All three attachments are dishwasher safe, as well as the bowl. The mixer comes with a pouring shield to protect against splatters when you’re adding ingredients to the bowl.

Artisan comes with a 4-Year limited warranty.

(The glass bowl is dishwasher safe.)

(The metal beaters, dough hook and wire whip are not dishwasher safe.)

Classic Plus Series 6 Quart Stand Mixer:

Along with the features of the 5-quart Artisan model, it has two additional speeds (a slow stir and a fast whip), two additional attachments (a professional flat beater and a pro dough hook), an extended mixing arm, and a splashguard to protect against splatters while adding ingredients to the mixer. The 6 quart bowl is also dishwasher safe. It comes with a 4-year limited warranty.

(The glass bowl is dishwasher safe.)

(The metal beaters, dough hook and wire whip are not dishwasher safe.)

Classic Plus Series 5-Quart Stand Mixer vs. Artisan Series 6-Quart Stand Mixer: Which one Should You Buy?

I own both mixers, so I will share my experience using them. Before I dive into the comparison of each model, let me point out that there are some differences between the two series. The Classic Plus has a different look and feel than the Artisan. It also has an attachment that only the Artisan has (the flat beater).

Since I own both models, I will use the Classic Plus as the comparison between the two models.

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How does it work

Here are my pros and cons of each mixer:

Classic Plus Series 6 Quart Stand Mixer Classic Plus Series 5-Quart Stand Mixer Pros Cons I love the stainless steel bowl for ease of cleaning. It looks like a higher quality item than Artisan. The stainless steel bowl is dishwasher safe, but the metal beaters, dough hook and wire whip are not. It’s a little bulky, especially compared to Artisan. It’s a lot easier to clean than when using the Artisan because you can wipe it down instead of just dumping everything into a dishwasher basket. You can rinse the beaters and wire whip in the sink and dry them with a paper towel, but they are not dishwasher safe.

The one pro I use most often is how easy it is to clean. If you’re like me, you’ve probably got a few bowls that have gotten worn down over time–the bowl in your oven, your skillet (don’t forget to put it on the stovetop after using!), and of course the bowl inside your stand mixer. These rust-prone bowls are notorious for leaking out food into your dishwasher (or worse) before you can even finish cooking.

I absolutely hate rinsing out food from the bowl of my stand mixer! It’s the worst, especially when all your other dishes in the dishwasher are clean. Sadly, there is no way to avoid this outside of only using bowls with no worn-down pieces or scratches.

To make matters worse, KitchenAid doesn’t offer a smaller bowl for their Artisan mixer models. The only option is a larger 6-quart bowl that looks pretty big on its own. I also don’t like how it can hold so much batter and how difficult it is to scrape out (and you do have to scrape because any residue will turn into concrete if you leave it in there.

Anyway, the next pro I mentioned was the ease of cleaning. Sure, it feels a little bulky at first but once you get used to it and have everything in place, you’ll love how much easier it is to clean than the Artisan (and how much easier it is to clean then every other bowl you’ve had in your life).

The last pro I got from my Classic Plus mixer was the splashguard (it’s not dishwasher safe if you want to use that feature). You can basically just set the shield on top of your bowl and add ingredients without worrying about anything splattering all over your counter. When you want to remove it, simply lift off or pop out.

I also want to mention that it is quite powerful, but that should be expected since the Classic Plus is a lot bigger than the Artisan series. I use my Classic Plus mixer frequently because of how much I use my Kitchen Aid stand mixer and have noticed that it’s a lot more powerful than the Artisan.

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This means it can reach higher speeds with less effort (or at least a little bit). For example, when I need to add ingredients to my bowl, I turn on the slow stir speed and don’t have to worry about just battling the beaters when I add flour or other dry ingredients. It also works great to make bread. I have a huge pain when making bread because it’s so difficult to get the dough out of my Artisan (the dough hook is so narrow and impractical).

The final pro I want to mention about my Classic Plus is that it is dishwasher safe. This may not be a big deal for some, but for me it makes a huge difference because I don’t mind doing dishes! In fact, I usually put the bowl inside my Artisan when it’s not in use and leave the beaters, wire whip and flat beater in their designated spot on their rack so I can just rinse them off periodically.

I might be a little bit OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder), but I love that I can simply wipe down my mixer and place it in the dishwasher to clean. It’s one less thing for me to worry about!

How does it work

Each model is pretty similar in terms of how they operate. Both are easy to use and get the job done well. They both also have some unique features that make them stand out, but they both have comparable functions.

Features

I won’t spend too much time reviewing the features of each model. Both mixers have a wide range of them to choose from, so I’ll just go over some of the basic ones that I use.

One unique feature has to do with ease of cleanup. The Artisan is not dishwasher safe, but the Classic Plus can be. The bowl on the Artisan is made out of glass and so is impossible to clean in a dishwasher, whereas it’s much easier to clean with the Classic Plus (you just rinse and dry off; no scrubbing). The beaters and wire whip are also not dishwasher safe.

What’s the difference between the KitchenAid Classic and Classic Plus?

Honestly, aside from the Classic being white and the Classic Plus being silver, there is no difference between them. The Classic Plus is a little bit bigger than the Classic. I wouldn’t say it’s significantly larger, but you can still fit a lot of food when using the 6-quart bowl. The only difference between the two (besides the one pro listed above) is that the Classic has an LED display. You might be wondering why that matters or whether you want it, but for me it makes my life easier.

Is KitchenAid discontinuing the Artisan series?

I’ve seen a lot of confusion among people on the Internet saying that the Artisan is being discontinued. However, I can confirm this is not true. KitchenAid is still making and selling it, as well as the Power Knead and Mini series (which are also very popular). There is no reason to believe they’ll discontinue the Artisan at this time–if they ever do discontinue it, it will be much further down the line. The Artisan sells really well and I don’t think it will go out of production any time soon.

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Which KitchenAid is best for home use?

The Classic Plus is the best model for home use simply because it is durable, easy to clean and has a lot of features. If you don’t mind getting the larger bowl, I definitely recommend going with the Classic Plus.

However, KitchenAid has recently updated their cookware line. They have released a new 8 quart stainless steel bowl that is dishwasher safe (reader Toni had some great things to say about it in this post). You can also get a smaller stainless steel bowl that’s dishwasher safe, which is perfect for small jobs you don’t want to do by hand (clay pots, etc.).

If I had to choose between these two I’d choose the new stainless steel bowl. The shape of the bowl on the Classic Plus is so different than the one on the Artisan that I would feel strongly about keeping one even if it was only 6-quart. That said, I can’t recommend getting the new bowl right now because it’s not available in stores yet (they’re working out distribution and supply chain issues).

What is the difference between custom and Artisan KitchenAid mixers?

Both of the mixers I have come from the custom line. The Artisan comes in a bunch of colors, but it’s all white. There are also other colors, but they don’t look as nice as the white one (it’s very classic and professional-looking). I don’t have any experience with non-custom KitchenAid stand mixers, so I won’t be recommending them for this reason.

As for the custom line, there are a few main differences. First is that you can choose what colors you want your bowl, beaters and flat beater in; most places will require at least two colors (one for the bowl and one for everything else).

CONCLUSION:

If you can afford it, go with the Classic Plus. It has a lot of great features and is really durable. If you want something cheaper or don’t want to spend as much as $350 on a mixer, then you’ll need to look elsewhere. Don’t choose the Artisan because you think it’s better than the Classic Plus (it isn’t). I wanted to get an Artisan for quite some time but chose not to because I worried about it not lasting long and being too flimsy (I was right).

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