Stand mixers can be very useful in the kitchen if you do a lot of prep work and baking yourself. They are great for experienced cooks and even novices alike. They are great multipurpose items that can help you with all your cooking and baking tasks from cookies to pasta and everything in between. The more popular types of stand mixers on the market come from the brands KitchenAid and Cuisinart.
Each brand has their favorite option. For KitchenAid it is the Classic Series Tilt Head Stand Mixer with a 4.5 quart capacity. For Cuisinart it is the Precision Master Stand Mixer with a 5.5 Quart capacity. When it comes to price, the Cuisinart option is the more affordable one and from the names you will see that it is also the one with the larger capacity.
The Cuisinart option is available in more color options than the KitchenAid model. The Cuisinart model has 12 mixing speeds while the KitchenAid model has 10 mixing speeds. Both models are made from stainless steel and they come with accessories. They both feature a tilt head design that makes it easy for you to add ingredients to the bowl and for you to remove the bowl and replace it.
The KitchenAid stand mixer has a power hub at the front of the unit. Here is where you can attach all the optional attachments that you can purchase separately. The unit comes with the standard six wire whip, a flat beater and a dough hook.
The Cuisinart stand mixer has a power outlet that allows you to attach extras as well and it also comes with the standard flat mixing paddle, dough hook and whisk. In addition to those things it also comes with a pour spout and splashguard to keep your workspace clean and mess free.
Stand Mixer Overview
When looking for a stand mixer you want to get the best one your money can buy because these appliances are really great items for any well used kitchen. They are great as a multipurpose appliance that can work as a food processor and aid in all kinds of food preparation.
Things to Consider When Purchasing a Stand Mixer
- Dough Hook Attachment – this should be made from a top quality material and be sturdy enough to do up to two lbs. of dough at a time without damage
- Power of the motor – you want a stand mixer to be able to mix dough for bread without burning out, shaking or straining the machine or the motor itself
- Whisk Attachment – this is great for quickly whisking egg whites into top quality foams or meringues
- Paddle Attachment – this is great for quickly and efficiently creaming egg and sugar mixtures and also doing meatball mixes and mashed potatoes
- Planetary motion – this is most efficient and provides the best quality spin power and contact to have the best quality mixes
- Port for added attachments is also a great idea since this will mean your stand mixer can do so much more things and take over from other multiple kitchen appliances
Bowl Design and Capacity
You can find stand mixers from both brands that provide you with a capacity of more than 5 quarts but this is not exactly necessary unless you are doing more than 6 loaves of bread at a time. Home bakers will do well with a 4 or 5 quart capacity bowl.
When it comes to the design of the bowl you might find bowls with narrower mouths and taller sides easier to work with. These bowls allow the ingredients to fall to the bottom a lot easier and allows for less scraping on your part.
The downside to the taller narrower bowl is that it will be a bit harder for you to add ingredients while the unit is in use. This is something that can be easily fixed by feed tubes and plastic lid guards – so you can look out for those features.
The wider the bowl the harder it will be for you to work with small amounts of ingredients and you won’t get the even mixture and texture that you need to have a perfect menu item. Of course if you know that you will always be using the bowl to capacity then a wide bottomed bowl could work just fine for you.
Stand Mixer Power
When you compare wattage you must understand that this tells you about how much power the mixer consumes and not how powerful the motor is going to be. So you will find mixers with 800 watt motors and mixers with 325 watt motors.
The bigger number is not better as this means that your mixer will be using up more power to operate. If you find two motors that perform well but have different wattage ratings it is better to take the one with the lower wattage especially if you are trying to have an energy saving kitchen.
Both companies offer additional attachments that you can purchase at an additional cost. The types of attachments you may need are going to be dependent on what you plan to use your stand mixer to do. If you plan on using it mainly for baking then the standard attachments that come included with the purchase price are all you need.
However the companies have options for those who want to use their stand mixers as a multipurpose kitchen appliance. You can find all kinds of attachments from food grinders to slicers and more.
Both brands offer these additional attachments but one thing that KitchenAid offers that Cuisinart doesn’t is the ice cream bowl. If you love ice cream and want to do homemade you can get a KitchenAid stand mixer for that.
While you may not need an additional attachment at the time of purchase of your stand mixer you still want to purchase one with the capability to use attachments as your needs may change over time. That way when you are ready to start using the stand mixer for something else then you won’t have to go out and purchase a brand new one and will only need to get the necessary attachment.
So which should you choose, a Cuisinart or KitchenAid stand mixer? Look at your needs and then decide which one will best meet them.