Food processor or stand mixer?

Discussion in 'Cooking Equipment Reviews' started by drriley, Apr 24, 2005.

  1. drriley

    drriley

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    Well .. my birthday is coming up in a few days, and I debating what I might like from my family as a gift. I know that a food processor can do a fair bit of what a stand mixer can do, but not necessarily vice versa. I'm debating what I might like better. I'm thinking that I might get more use out of the stand mixer, and get into more baking, as I already have a blender that can do most of what I would probably use a f.p. for. AND, I'm thinking that I should probably go with higher quality (e.g., Kitchen Aid). Then again, maybe there are very good quality comparable machines that are less expensive than the $250 - $300+ for Kitchen Aid.

    Decisions, decisions. If I do decide on a K.A. stand mixer, then I would split the cost with family, as I don't expect them to pay that much for a b-day gift.

    I'm interested in your comments/suggestions/opinions regarding food processor vs. stand mixer, and models of each.
     
  2. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    I use my food processor much more than my stand mixer. But I don't have a blender.

    Phil
     
  3. andy m.

    andy m.

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    First of all, you have to consider what type of cooking you will be doing and which of the two tools would be more useful.

    Also, a hand mixer, which is a lot less expensive than a stand mixer, will handle most of your mixing chores outside of kneading bread dough.

    If you pass on the FP, this is an opportunity to hone your knife skills. A good chef's knife will allow you to do much of what a FP would do.

    Hmmmm. what to do, what to do.
     
  4. pgram

    pgram

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    I've got to say, I LOVE my Kitchen Aide. AND to me, if you buy the extra attachments, you've got a mulit-purpose machine that will save you $$ in the long run. I always seem to pull out my blender for pureeing or grinding before I do the food processor. But my blender (Cuisinart) also has a small food processing attachment, which I vary rarely use. If I'm doing a big batch of something, then I'll reach for a 20 year old processor my mom was going to throw out.

    I primarily use my Kitchen Aide for doughs and mixing desserts. (The dessert thing is a biggy as I have recently gotten into catering and a hand mixer can't cut it.)

    I have the meat attachment which I use for making sausages (for BBQ competitions). I also have the pasta extruder. You can also buy attachments for slicing and grating. You need to decide what your needs are. But here's a tip: When watching shows on the Food Network, I see more chef's using a Kitchen Aide than a food processor. ;)
     
  5. jock

    jock

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    You hinted at doing more baking than cooking. If that is the case the KA mixer is the way to go. When you are spending a lot of $$$ on something, my philosophy is spend a little more and do it right. It is a lot of money but it will last for many years and as someone said, buying attachments as you go will only add to its functionality and let you enjoy it more.

    Jock
     
  6. foodienews

    foodienews

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    How durable are these? Reason asking is a friend of mine had a middle of the road mixer, not sure on brand and it didn't last more than a year after a lot of use.
     
  7. beefcheeks

    beefcheeks

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    Can't go wrong with a KitchenAid. I still have my Heavy Duty I bought back in '96. No problems whatsoever. Still runs like a champ. The accessory I've found most helpful, is a second bowl. Especially when I'm doing souffle for 20. :chef:
     
  8. scott123

    scott123

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    If you make a lot of:

    Bread
    Cakes
    Whipped cream
    Icing
    Cookies

    Get a KA

    On the other hand, if you make:

    Pesto
    Salsa
    Pie Dough
    Biscuits
    Gazpacho
    Hummous
    Large quantities of sauted onions

    Get a food processor.


    Personally, I find that other than making the best pie dough on the planet, food processors aren't the perfect tool for much. They'll grind meat, but not that well (it's easy to overgrind it and you have to cut the meat carefully before you begin). They'll knead dough, but again, no where near as well as a mixer. They'll make mashed potatoes, but not as well as a ricer or a potato masher. They'll slice veggies, but in order to make the cleanup worthwhile, you have to slice a LOT of veggies. They're great for pureeing soups, but a hand blender does the job just as well, at a much cheaper price. For grinding things such as red curry paste, a blender is far superior. Pie crust, that's the only application I can think of where a processor is the clear cut best choice as the blades not only cut the fat into the flour, but they cut the ice water in as well, resulting in minimal gluten formation.

    I've been meaning for some time to pick up a thicker slicing blade. Maybe if I had that I'd do more veggie slicing.
     
  9. gravyboat

    gravyboat

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    Food processors excel in slicing and cutting jobs and although they claim to do everything in fact it is by large a compromise, apart from slicing they do not do do other jobs well. Meat mince is awful! A specialised mixer will mix better. And a specialised juicer extract more juice etc. With a food processor you get a machine that somwehow can manage next to any job, and leaves you with only one bowl to wash up :), but do not expect fantastic results.

    IMO from what you said the KA mixer is a better choice for you. And it has gears which give it much more torque. They are very reliable too.

    There is a version of KA which is not covered by commercial warranty and I think it costs under $200. It is very similar to the commercial machine but I do not know much about them as we only sell commercial ones.
     
  10. mikelm

    mikelm

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    Bought our 300-watt (home use) KitchenAid mixer in 1972. It cost $112. Still going strong.

    Took it in to a service station last fall for a cleanup and oil change. Expect to use it for the rest of my life.

    Mike
     
  11. flcookie

    flcookie

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    Why not get the KA mixer and buy yourself an inexpensive FP. I have a Hamilton Beach FP that I bought from Walmart for $29.86 back in 1995 and it is still running great and does all that I need. I mainly use it for crushing canned tomatoes, pie crusts, chopping pecans, etc. Two years ago this coming Sept., my husband bought me a KA for my birthday. I love it!!!!!!!!!!

    Hope this helps!

    "FLcookie" :)
     
  12. jte1130

    jte1130

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    My wife bought me a KitchenAid stand mixer about a year ago. I've used it a few times and think its great. I actually wish I could use it more. Where can I find some good "novice" recipes for my stand mixer?
     
  13. mudbug

    mudbug

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    jte1130,
    Call KitchenAid's 1-800 support number and tell them you lost your manual which included recipes. They'll send one to you.

    Also look here:
    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q...=Google+Search

    drriley,
    As Jock noticed you mentioned that if you had a KitchenAid Mixer you'd probably get more into baking, etc. Go for it. Anyone seriously considering it in the first place who gets one usually is grateful they did. It's a staple in the kitchen and you'll wonder how you ever got along without it. As pgram said, I too love my KitchenAid.

    My only concern is that it was bought out by a different parent company a few years ago and the quality seems to have diminished. As a result I'd actually seriously consider a used KA if I were to get one for myself now because they don't make them like they used to. But even the new ones are still better than all the rest of the brands out there.
     
  14. dagger

    dagger

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    one thing you can do is buy the stand mixer and an stick bleander with attachments. KA has one for $25 or go to HSN and look at wolfgaug Puck line of stuff, cost less and offers more. :chef:
     
  15. pjmomrunner

    pjmomrunner

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    Whirlpool Corp. acquired KitchenAid in 1985.
     
  16. ricib

    ricib

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    I was in the market for a stand up mixer when My Mom surprised me last summer for my birthday and got me a pro model 5.5Q Kitchen Aid. She used to listen to me complain that she never used hers, and it'd be nice to one day borrow hers. It wasn't cheap etiher, though she got it through Sams warehouse and it came with the meat grinder attachment, as a bonus. (that saved $50 right there).

    I've also been using the same Food Processor for years, no nead to go buy a new one. For $30 I got a decent blender and another $20 a stick blender with all the attachments. If you are serious about cooking or in the business, you shouldn't skimp if you don't have to.
     
  17. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

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    I burned out a KA....my basement was an appilance graveyard....
    went on and got a K6 which is almost too big for single batches of cookies.
    The engine has power and I love the way meragine is stiff in NO TIME.
    I quit making bread when I started finding good bread locally...and my sons left home.
    The 11 cup Cuisinart is great for all the reasons given.....I grate with it often.
    my blender gave out and I have not replaced it, but my stick blender burns out once a year and I replace that ASAP...
    I did get an auto slicer that is too fun, but I don't use it nearly as much as I should.....it is so fun being able to slice large quantities of onions or meats paperthin or whatever thickness my heart desires.
     
  18. mudbug

    mudbug

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    PJmomrunner,

    Welcome to Cheftalk and thank you for calling that info to my attention. I will have to check exactly what changed because within the last five years, there was a marked difference in the quality and craftsmanship of the final product. I still highly recommend KitchenAid mixers. I'm just saying they don't make them like they used to. There was a thread on this topic in the past - I'll try to find if I get more time.

    ;)
     
  19. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    Mudbug:
    Do an advanced search for the term "mixer" in the thread's title. You'll get lots of hits.

    The KA Professional Mixer I purchased in 2001 I eventually sold and it broke just before the one year warranty expired. Cheerfully exchanged it at Williams Sonoma and the brand new replacement failed to work after unpacking. Returned the defective one and got another replacement and it seemed to work fine.

    However I've moved on to the Kenwood KM410 600W mixer and haven't had any problems with it for the past 3 years. Kenwood was bought out by DeLonghi who was bought out by Hamilton Beach and so my Kenwood is now known as the Hamilton Beach CPM500. Dunno' about its performance worthiness.

    However, if my Kenwood breaks and can't be fixed, I'm getting the Hobart 5 QT mixer used for around $500 or so at ebay.
     
  20. mezzaluna

    mezzaluna

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    Good to see you, Kokopuffs!