Stand Mixer Style: KitchenAid Professional 600 Series 6-Quart Stand Mixer
Our Reviewer Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
Amazon Rating: 4.3 out of 5 Stars with 3264 Reviews
Model Number: KP26M1X
Best Used For: Consumer Mid Range Use
Are you looking for the perfect Christmas gift for someone who loves to bake? You’ve come to the right place here at The Cook’s Measure. If getting the baker in your life a new powerful stand mixer like this KitchenAid Professional 600 Series 6-Quart Stand Mixer isn’t quite what you’re after, be sure to check out our gift guide for women who bake for even more ideas.
As you’ll see in our review, the KitchenAid KP26M1XER Professional 600 Series 6-Quart Stand Mixer is a true home baker’s stand mixer, with a larger than average bowl and a significantly stronger motor than mid-range mixers or even older KitchenAid mixers. You also have access to a wide range of attachment add-ons for expanding the tasks you can accomplish with a single appliance. If you’re looking to replace or upgrade an older or lower-powered stand mixer, this KitchenAid Pro 600 is a popular choice. With over 3,250 reviews (more than any other mixer), a Best Seller Rating of #11 in Stand Mixers, and a solid 4.3 Stars Amazon rating, this is clearly a sought-after choice for a KitchenAid stand mixer for bakers.
- What Do You Get in this KitchenAid Stand Mixer?
- Pros and Cons of KitchenAid Professional Series Stand Mixers
- Versatility of Use
- What Buyers Say About KitchenAid Professional 600 Series 6-Quart Bowl Lift Stand Mixers
- Who Should Buy This KitchenAid Pro 600 Mixer
- Who Shouldn’t Buy This KitchenAid Stand Mixer
- Accessories and Related Items
- Our Recommendation and Why
What Do You Get in this KitchenAid Stand Mixer?
The KitchenAid Professional 600 Series model KP26M1X comes with a spiral dough hook, flat beater, wire whip, a single-piece pouring shield, and a stainless-steel 6 quart mixing bowl with a comfortable handle, which is important when you’re hefting that big full bowl. You’ll be a hero to your family when you use the large capacity mixing bowl to turn out huge holiday cookie batches.
And KitchenAid offers nearly 15 more optional Professional Series 600 attachments if your baker needs more accessories. Common KitchenAid attachments for these mixers include the food grinder / food processor, pasta and noodle makers, juicers, grater-slicers, an ergonomic handle bowl, and the ice-cream maker.
I really like the KitchenAid add-ons like the food grinder, juicer/pulper, and grater-slicer attachments because you can bypass your food processor for some common tasks. You can even get these three items in the FPPA Mixer Attachment Pack for Stand Mixers on Amazon.
Unlike older KitchenAid products and many other stand mixer brands, this is a bowl-lift design which is more ridged than a tilt head and this Pro 600 allows for a stronger motor and the ability to add the spiral dough hook.
This all-metal 10-speed mixer has a direct-drive transmission and a powerful 575 Watt motor.
This Professional 600 Series design also boasts a 67-point Planetary Action, which provides extra torque to the gear system. (Wikipedia: How does a planetary mixing gear system help my mixer?)
Pros and Cons of KitchenAid Professional Series Stand Mixers
- The KitchenAid stand mixer bowl is made with steel. Steel is stiffer and more durable, and can handle more wear and tear. Other materials can be more resistant to corrosion and are often used because they are cheaper to process. But since the Pro Series mixers are best cleaned by hand-washing and drying immediately despite saying “dishwasher safe,” I really don’t think corrosion is going to be an issue. Plus I like a more durable mixing bowl.
- With more extra speed settings than most comparable mixers, you have a lot of flexibility in the mixing process, but be sure to ramp up gradually to higher speeds if you don’t want a big “poof” of dry ingredients all over you and the counter on a sudden burst of higher power.
- The larger volume 6-quart bowl is perfect for double and triple batches of cookies, brownies, or other sweets. And, as long as you follow the manual’s instructions regarding mixing speed and volume of ingredients, also good for bread making and other dense mixtures. As a mixer for cake batters, it’s top-notch.
- The 575W motor is better for your big jobs like quadruple cookie batches or sticky holiday candy-making that will bog down a more common 325W stand mixer. And if you’re worried about the high speeds causing your stand mixer to “walk” (or is that “thump”?) across the counter, KitchenAid has added a very heavy base to keep it stable. Plus, the bowl clips in to keep it from oscillating and causing the mixer to move. Unlike smaller mixers or other high-powered models, the Pro 600 doesn’t shift around on the counter.
- The Professional 600 Series bowl-lift mixer doesn’t come with a bowl scraper attachment. So the sides of the bowl don’t always get scraped down properly, and you have to lower the bowl to get inside and scrape it down. However, there is a “SideSwipe” attachment (see below in Related Items) you can get which can help with that annoying little task.
- In real life — in contrast to a test lab — particularly dense bread mixes are really better to do in a made-for-purpose bread machine or with a stand mixer with more power, like the Bosch Universal Plus (read our review). While KitchenAid small appliances like this stand mixer can certainly do bread dough, a really dense mix will still put a strain on the motor over time, especially at a higher speed, which is why KitchenAid says to never mix bread dough at above a 2 setting to avoid wear and tear on the gears. You might have problems from the first, or you may just experience a gradual wearing on the mixer over time.
- This mixer, like many KitchenAid small appliances, is only usable in North America where US Standard Voltages of 110V to 120V and 60 hertz are available. You can’t use it overseas, in Europe, etc. with 220V outlets or with an adapter.
- The KitchenAid Pro Series mixer is bulky in your arms and weighs over 25 pounds according to KitchenAid’s specs. I’ve lifted one and it is like trying to lug a huge anchor around your kitchen. If you have limited strength in your hands and arms, you may find it hard to move, which is fine if you plan to leave on your countertop for all eternity. And clipping in the bowl takes some hand and finger strength, as well as a bit of dexterity, so if you’re an elderly or disabled person, this could cause some issues or require a bit of help from another person. You can pay them for help in cookies!
A couple of words to the wise on using this mixer:
- Don’t use more than 14 cups of flour in cookie, cake, or batter recipes. And avoiding more than 8 to 10 cups of flour for breads should be fine.
- When making bread, you shouldn’t have to knead for more than 4-8 minutes maximum. Don’t judge based on your hand-kneading, because this stand mixer is far more aggressive in its kneading process. KitchenAid says that 2 minutes after the dough starts to clean the walls of the bowl is fine, but use your judgment with some experimentation to determine the best time. Just err on the side of caution. Like cooking meat, you can always go back for more but can’t undo “overdone.”
Versatility of Use
With KitchenAid’s variety of different stand mixer attachments, as well as the included wire whisk, flat beater, spiral dough hook, and pouring shield, this mixer can handle a lot of tasks even beyond the baking tasks you plan to give it.
The bowl lift design makes it easier to add ingredients than a tilt head mixer. And you won’t have to worry about batter spills messing up your counter unless you forget to take out the beater, whip, or hook first.
While the larger bowl might give you some troubles if you are working with a very small batch of egg whites or whipped cream, there is a 3 Quart Bowl and Combi-Whip you can purchase to use with this attachment head. And that’s the perfect size for smaller batches.
If you pulp fruits and berries for jams or juicing, you can get a great attachment for that, too.
The Pro 600 Series Stand Mixer shown here is in Nickel Pearl, but you get up to 10 different colors to choose from, too, so matching kitchen colors is easier! Green Apple, Tangerine, Licorice, Cobalt Blue, or Pink anyone?
What Buyers Say About KitchenAid Professional 600 Series 6-Quart Bowl Lift Stand Mixers
Reviewers definitely like the extra power in this stand mixer over, for example, the KitchenAid Artisan stand mixers at 325W. The extra speeds, auto-shut-off, and Soft-Start features are also welcome.
Other reviewers feel this mixer’s price is a little expensive for what is essentially a high-end residential mixer. They’re a bit disgruntled by the name “Professional” when it does not have the durability to handle commercial level tasks that need to be repeated multiple times a day every day in commercial use. I think as long as you realize the KitchenAid Professional 600 stand mixer is not a NSF commercial-level stand mixer like the KitchenAid 7 Quart Commercial stand mixers and higher and adjust your expectations accordingly, this really isn’t an issue.
Some reviewers have had problems with burning out their gears, but from the context of the KitchenAid mixer reviews, I suspect some might have been pushing the mixers beyond the manufacturer’s suggested operating instructions, which appear to be rather detailed in both composition of ingredients and speeds compared to earlier models of mixers. Frankly, with all the problems they had in earlier models and series of mixers, I rather expect KitchenAid has done this to try to prevent problems in this Professional series.
However, this potential durability issue is one reason, along with price, that I’ve downgraded my rating some. If you are confident of your ability to use this mixer within specifications, like 85%+ of the other reviewers giving excellent reviews you probably won’t have any issues.
Others don’t like the fact that certain “less demanded” Professional Series 600 colors are more expensive than others. The Artisan series had a lot more colors, but I think KitchenAid learned from their sales history that some colors were less popular, so they limited colors and runs for this mixer series. The lower number available with reasonable demand is always going to push up price some on those. But with 3 slightly different black KitchenAid Pro Series mixers, a Cobalt blue mixer, a couple shades of red stand mixers, and other fun colors like Tangerine, Pink, and Green Apple, plus good old white, sometimes that “just right” color is important to people buying a countertop stand mixer. For some of us, matching colors in the kitchen is a critical component of a “proper” kitchen.
Some reviewers have had troubles with the motor wearing out more quickly than expected but experienced users who are not having issues say that the key to not wearing out the motor is to carefully adhere to KitchenAid’s recommendations regarding quantities and mixing speeds for different types of tasks, especially with bread making or dense mixtures.
You can find more information to help you check out this model and design by downloading the user manual here.
Who Should Buy This KitchenAid Pro 600 Mixer
I know that most home bakers — and most well-equipped kitchens — have countertop mixers already, but we often outgrow our small appliances over time through wear and tear or growing beyond their limited capacity. If you’re looking for an upgrade or replacement stand mixer for a baker in your life, this one is a good choice.
The higher wattage motor and larger capacity bowl significantly add to the production capacity for bakers. And if your baker is a holiday baking fiend, they’ll really appreciate the features in this stand mixer.
Who Shouldn’t Buy This KitchenAid Stand Mixer
Quite simply, if you’re not going to use the extra capacity, and don’t need the additional power and speed settings, the only real advantage to this mixer is the attachments. But if you have many of those attachments for another brand or design of stand mixers, you may not be able to use those on this mixer, so you’d have to buy them all over again.
It is kind of a toss-up there: buy a new mixer and have to get new attachments for your favorites, or replace an existing mixer with the same brand and model (which you might have outgrown a little) so you can use existing attachments. I wish I could tell you “go for it” but I don’t know your budget for buying attachments, too.
It’s a bit expensive for a residential stand mixer, certainly not the cheapest KitchenAid mixer option, but if you want the best in consumer KitchenAid stand mixers, are looking for quality baker gifts, or if you’re trying to replace the lower-powered Artisan with its smaller capacity bowl or other versions, this may still be a solid choice for you.
Oh, and unlike many kitchen small appliances from other brands, you can get some of the really cool colors just like the Artisan Series. So if a colored stand mixer is an important part of giving the perfect gift, then you may not have a lot of other options.
Accessories and Related Items
- KitchenAid FPPA Mixer Attachment Pack for Stand Mixers
- KitchenAid 3qt Bowl and Combi Whip
- SideSwipe for KitchenAid Wide Bowl-Lift Mixers
If making pasta is your passion, the KitchenAid pasta attachments will certainly be useful. And Amazon’s prices are far better than retail or other outlets.
- KitchenAid KPEX Pasta Excellence Set with 6 Different Attachments
- KitchenAid KPRA Pasta Roller & Cutter Set — Spaghetti & Fettuccine Attachment
- KitchenAid KPSA Stand-Mixer Pasta-Roller Attachment
- KitchenAid KRAV Ravioli Maker
- KitchenAid KPEXTA Stand-Mixer Pasta-Extruder Attachment
Our Recommendation and Why
If you need to replace or upgrade a baker’s stand mixer, or are looking for a gift for a baker, what you’ll really like with the KitchenAid Professional 600 Series is the 6 quart high capacity bowl, powerful 575W motor, and flexible add-ons. As the #15 Best Seller on Amazon it is a popular choice, especially for bakers, as noted by all the reviews by enthusiastic baking fiends. You’ll get a solid higher-end stand mixer by a well-established brand that will make your baking more efficient and enjoyable.
Amazon consistently has the best prices over department stores for KitchenAid stand mixers. For the special Amazon-specific pricing, be sure to check the current price at Amazon. It’s often lower than it appears until you add it to your cart. And of course the qualifying Amazon Free Shipping is nice, too. You’ve got to check out the KitchenAid Professional 600 Series 6-Quart Stand Mixer.