A quick glance at one of the most popular stand mixers, the KitchenAid, reveals nothing unusual or suspect about that iconic small kitchen appliance. The Artisan model seduces with its classic retro lines while its more statuesque sibling, the Professional, commands a certain respect.
But it’s when you take a look at its slightly quirky rival, the Cuisinart standing mixer, that you are likely to do a double take. First off, you could be forgiven for assuming that you are staring at a sewing machine if it weren’t for the puzzling presence of a mixing bowl and whip accessory.
A closer look reveals an unexpected feature, one that hides the first of the Cuisinart stand mixers’ dirty little secrets: a hinged cover right on the front that hides a slow speed power outlet used to connect a large meat grinder or a pasta maker attachment to the mixer, giving it much greater flexibility. Suddenly, this mixer appears more imposing.
Lifting the front cover, you can’t help but notice a second top cover with not one, but two surprise outlets. The mid speed power outlet located towards the front allows for a citrus juicer to be attached, while the high speed power outlet towards the back lets you connect either a blender or a food processor attachment.
Cuisinart stand mixers could be forgiven for having identity crises or sprouting multiple personalities. If you looked like a sewing machine operating under cover of a mixer and performing as a juicer, blender, food processor, meat grinder and pasta maker, wouldn’t you get confused? But not the Cuisinart. With a super powerful 800-watt motor, it takes everything you throw at him in its stride.
At first blush, the KitchenAid mixer appears rather puny. Just a simple mixer doing its job – doing it well mind you, but still just… mixing. No competition here. But wait - look! What is that odd cover on the front of the mixer? Well, it turns out that the KitchenAid has its own little secrets too, an attachment hub that can house over a dozen attachments:
. ice cream maker
. pasta maker
. pasta sheet roller
. pasta roller set
. pasta cutter companion set
. pasta excellence kit
. pasta press
. ravioli maker
. grain mill
. food grinder
. food tray
. sausage stuffer
. fruit & vegetable strainer
. slicer & shredder
. citrus juicer
. can opener
Rather impressive, isn't it? A quick glance at this list, and it becomes obvious that KitchenAid stand mixers have quite the weakness for pasta. Can't say I blame them, and ravioli is up there on my list of favorites.
And let's not forget about the power of ice cream. Nothing tastes like home made ice cream. Add a little liqueur, and you have a sophisticated dessert which your guests will forever remember. If you want to become the entertaining guru in your circle of friends, look no further.
On the other hand, the Cuisinart stand mixer offers the option of adding a blender, juicer and food processor as attachments. But are they the types of small kitchen appliances you would select if you were buying them separately? For example, would you prefer a masticating juicer for health reasons?
Something else to keep in mind is that those stand mixer attachments are all sold separately. But still, you would have to fork out a lot more money to purchase individual small appliances to do the same job. You would also need more storage space so unless you have a large pantry, be prepared for a significant portion of your countertop to pretty much vanish.
When all is said and done, I guess choosing the best stand mixer for your needs will depend on the kind of parties you’re planning on throwing.