KitchenAid might be typically known for its stand mixers, but the brand has slowly been creeping into the blenders market too. The retro-style curved KitchenAid Artisan K400 Blender, which comes in a range of glossy colours, is sure to brighten up any kitchen and command attention, but does it perform as good as it looks?
Summer is here, and with that comes our renewed determination to get fit and eat healthy once and for all. One way to assist us in our quest to pack in as much fruit and vegetables as possible is a good blender. But cheap, weak, inferior blenders are aplenty out there and can easily ruin our healthy eating efforts before we even start.
Therefore, it pays to invest in a good machine that can do the job and risk being shoved to the back of the kitchen cupboard with all the other useless gadgets. And my experience with the KitchenAid Artisan K400 Blender means it’s here to stay, making a bold statement in my kitchen.
On first appearance, the artisan K400 Blender looks beautiful on the counter with impeccable design. Available in a range of 12 shades, including the colour of the year 2021 (Honey), it will beautify any kitchen’s interior. With a stable die-cast metal base, metal knob, and its 1.4L ribbed glass jar, this heavy-duty machine operates at 1.5-horsepower (1200-watt) motor. The plastic lid has a soft rubber around the edges to form a tight seal, and a centre hole in the lid allows you to add ingredients while operating the machine.
The blender’s simple, intuitive controls include five-speed settings plus four presets for blending icy drinks, smoothies, crushing ice, and self-cleaning cleaning. There’s also a pulse function and a start/stop button.
The ‘Soft Start’ feature starts the motor at a slower speed to pull food into the blade, then quickly increases to the selected speed setting to avoid splatter. Meanwhile, the adaptive motor and Intelli-speed Control senses ingredients and maintains the optimal speed to produce the perfect texture and taste.
The KitchenAid Artisan K400 Blender is backed by a five-year warranty that covers full replacement of the unit, replacement parts, and repair labour costs. It doesn’t, however, cover shipping and handling associated with fixing or replacing your blender.
Setting up and operating this machine is super simple. All you need to do is take the blender out of the box and, after washing the jar and lid, pop it on the base, plug it in, and you’re good to go. A simple start/stop button will operate it, and within minutes you will have a straightforward smoothie concoction in your hand.
Hands down, what makes this blender stand out is the KitchenAid blender’s preset buttons. Simply turn the dial to the preset you want and the blender will take all the calculation out and do it for you. I found this extremely useful when crushing ice which gave the texture a more uniform consistency. There were barely any chunky bits to contend with.
I’m not a fan of berry seeds or tough leafy greens floating around in my smoothie and getting stuck in my teeth, so I just had to blend those as part of my test. So, I specifically added kale and strawberries to one of my smoothie concoctions. The result? The blender passed the test – the beverage was super smooth and devoid of any rogue bits to contend with.
If like me, you like nut butter but don’t want to pay over-inflated prices for a jar in a supermarket, you won’t go far wrong enlisting the help of the KitchenAid K400 Blender to make your own. My nut of choice was almonds which I threw into the jug and ran at high speed. Granted, it wasn’t a smooth version, but the chunks were smaller than any shop-bought almond butter I’ve purchased and, to be honest, my preferred consistency.
Cleaning a blender can be a messy business and one that can put you off using one in the first place. But with the K400, all you need to do is rinse the jug, add a small drop of washing up liquid together with around 200ml water and run it on the cleaning preset. And voila! The job is done for you.
Truth be told, there’s not much negative about this machine and I really liked it. But if I was to be picky, then the one thing that I found irritating is that the blender times out after running for three minutes. This could present a problem when making things like a chutney that needs to run while you slowly add ingredients through the lid’s hole. Fortunately, all you need to do is press the start button, and the machine continues with the task in hand.
The K400 is also a bit weighty, so you will need a permanent home on the counter to prevent lifting it all the time, which may pose a problem if you lack space. Some may also find the blender a tad pricey at £299, but in my opinion, you do get your money worth.
The Artisan K400 Blender is a powerful, versatile kitchen tool that can be used to marry different ingredients and flavours together to create something that has a perfect texture and tastes superb. For those who want to do more than just blend, the base works with other optional accessories, including a 500ml personal jar, 200ml small-batch jug and 1L citrus press (see below). All this certainly helps the blender to stand out.
KitchenAid Artisan K400 Blender – Where and how?
The KitchenAid Artisan K400 Blender retails at £299 and comes with a 90-day money-back guarantee. It’s sold at retailers such as John Lewis but for a full range of colours, head to KitchenAid’s online shop via kitchenaid.co.uk.