A Tale Of Two Mixers
When I first decided I wanted to start baking I had been watching a lot of Martha Stewart. She always used a Kitchen Aid stand mixer when she required a mixer, so I figured that was what I needed as well. I looked at various models and really only focused on the bowl size. So, I purchased this mixer.
She’s the Kitchen Aid Artisan model, classic silver (mostly because that was the only colour I could find at the outlet mall store I purchased it at). I liked the bowl size and the three attachments and figured I was well on my way to making wonderful treats.
I used this mixer a lot and still do. I found this after-market accessory many years ago that has a scraper blade on the paddle which helps. I don’t have to stop the mixer, lift the top and scrape down the sides…especially when I’m creaming butter and sugar together. It would appear that Kitchen Aid makes one now as well.
I have the ice cream maker attachment and still use it. It is a rather bulky item and if you only have a smaller freezer, you need to be strategic about when you want to use it since you need to freeze the bowl before hand. I had purchased the vegetable slicer but found it didn’t make a big difference in my life and sold it.
Here’s the problem. I didn’t know at the time I purchased my Kitchen Aid stand mixer that watts matter. I started to use my mixer to make bread dough and well, she doesn’t like heavy dough. The mixer starts to move across the counter and the top gets hot. Very hot. The motor doesn’t sound happy either. I feared for the longevity of this pretty machine.
The Artisan model is only 325 watts. Now, I realize Kitchen Aid makes different models and some of the models have higher wattage.
The New Girl in Town – Ankarsrum Assistent Original
Welcome to my Ankarsrum Assistent Original! If you follow me on Instagram, you would have seen a sneak peek at this lovely machine.
How this new mixer came to be
My husband is great at researching. He kept listening to the poor Kitchen Aid week after week and decided to see what other mixers existed. He found the Ankarsrum and after we watched Youtube videos and read blog posts about it, we found a restaurant supply store that had one in stock.
The Ankarsrum is a workhorse. A large batch of heavy bread dough doesn’t phase this mixer at all. The Ankarsrum is different from the Kitchen Aid in that the bowl rotates, not the attachments from the top. Because of this, you have a nice open top to add ingredients. With the Kitchen Aid, I either would stop the mixer, lift the top and add the ingredients or use a spatula to lower scoops of ingredients into the bowl.
The metal bowl comes with a top that you can use to cover it while proofing your bread. Also, the machine has a timer function which you wouldn’t think you would use until you have the ability to use it. I have a basic recipe for buns that I use a lot. I know that it takes 8 minutes of mixing to get the dough right. So, I just set the timer and it stops on its own.
The other thing I like with the Ankarsrum is that the scraper blade helps move the ingredients along so they mix together very well. No need to stop the mixer and scrape the sides down anymore.
There was and still is a learning curve with this mixer after having used a Kitchen Aid for so long. You start with the wet ingredients and then add the dry. Which you wouldn’t think would be an issue but a surprisingly large amount of bread recipes want you to add water to the dry until you get a certain consistency. My work around for that has been to add most of the liquid ingredients, then add the dry. If the texture isn’t right, I can add more of the wet.
The Ankarsrum is apparently more common in Europe and has a lot of accessories although I can only speak to the basic items. Pictured above is what I received for my initial purchase. I have not used any of the additional accessories like the juicer or vegetable slicer.
You can see this mixer in action while I make Cinnamon Raisin Bread.
I have used the plastic bowl to make whipped cream and cake batter. I am still learning how to use it more for baking items other than bread doughs.
Pros and cons of Kitchen Aid
- Easy to find
- Lots of models and colours to choose from
- Various accessories available
- Be very careful about the watts of the unit you purchase and your intended use
- Adding ingredients while mixing is more work
- Unless you get the scraper blade, you have to stop and scrape down the sides while using
Pros and Cons of Ankarsrum
- Very large capacity bowl. You could easily make multiple loaves of bread at once with no concerns
- So easy to add ingredients with the open top
- Multiple accessories although I can’t speak to them personally
- Do not need to scrape the bowl while mixing
- Love the timer feature
- Comes in a variety of colours
- Feels sturdy
- 600 watts
- Price. Although if you buy the higher wattage Kitchen Aids, they are comparable in price
- Harder to find. These are not main stream here in Canada
- A bit of a learning curve
Final thoughts: Why choose the Ankarsrum over a Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer
I still use my Kitchen Aid, mostly because I haven’t taken the time to “master” all my baking needs in the Ankarsrum. My goal this year is to move over to the Ankarsrum completely since I love the way the machine works and how sturdy it feels. I don’t believe my Kitchen Aid will survive much longer.
I don’t regret purchasing the Kitchen Aid Artisan Stand Mixer since I think it is a great introductory appliance. But, be warned that if you become more serious in your baking and venture into heavy doughs, the Artisan will likely not last.
If you can afford it, I highly recommend the Ankarsrum.
What do you think? Do you have a different stand mixer than these two? Leave your comments down below.
And look forward to more blog posts where I learn to use this machine for all my baking.
Related: Here I use the Kitchen Aid Artisan Mixer to make the Best Peanut Butter Cookies.