What appliance would suit my needs? (stand mixer, blender, food processor...)

Discussion in 'Cooking Equipment Reviews' started by modin, Dec 9, 2014.

  1. modin


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    At home cook

    This is my first post so go easy on me ;)

    The urge for a new kitchen appliance is creeping up, but I'm not quite sure what best suits my needs.

    I have a pretty small kitchen so I don't have that much room to play around with.

    I don't really make a lot of bread, however, knowing myself, I could very well take that up at any given time..

    To help you get the feel of what kind of fellow I am, this is a short list of some of the things I like to make:

    * Nut butters (peanut butter, cashew butter etc)

    * Home made butter (from cream, not nuts this time)

    * Home made yogurt

    * Smoothies

    * Cookie dough (firm)

    * Cake batter (loose)

    * Pesto

    * Salsa

    * Sausage

    etc... I like to make a lot of things home made, and wouldn't mind grinding my own flour and so on.

    The stand mixer I've been looking at is the, since I'm a Swede, Ankarsrum Assistant (). It seems to be a bit cheaper in Sweden, for that price we get the Deluxe package with all the grinders, sausage stuffers, slicers and extra attachments.

    But with the stand mixer I'll have a hard time doing pestos and nut butters etc... This is where I guess a food processor or blender comes in. Most food processors have a blender attachment (so does the Ankarsrum) that is probably good enough for yogurt smoothies, but I'm not sure what I'm missing by not getting a Vitamix or Blendtec.

    The Ankarsrum seems nice with all it's attachments, but I can't help feel that they may be compromised in quality. For example, wouldn't spending $100 on a manual sausage stuffer give me more consistant results than using the stuffer attachment to the stand mixer? I get the feeling that the attachment will have a tendency to create air pockets (?).

    The food processor I've been looking at is a 1200 watt Bosch with all the usual slicers, graters, blender etc. I'm a bit fond of the idea of being able to make things as potati rosti with greater ease than today. And I do think the food processor would be good for things like nut butters, pesto, salsa etc.

    The blenders I have in mind would either be Vitamix, Blendtec or Thermomix. I find it hard to find unbiased opinions about the Thermomix since I never know if the person is an affiliate or not. And I'm not crazy about the whole concept of cooking an entire dinner in the appliance, but I do like the design of the bowl, the addition of the butterfly thingy and the reverse engine. I have an extremely hard time seeing what I would do with the heating element though, which probably means it's overpriced for my needs.

    Writing this, it seems as if though I need all 3, but I really don't have the space at the moment... The stand mixer gets points for being all around versatile: I really want something to help me blend things (batter, dough, sausage stuffing etc) and the attachments are nice.

    The food processor seems like a good choice for the nut butters, pesto, salsa etc. Also pretty versatile.

    The blender seems good for smoothies, nut butters etc. Doesn't feel as versatile..

    Oh dear, this just turned into a long rambling post without any clear questions, so... What the heck do I get?? Do you have any own experiences/thoughts/ideas that could help me get a clear idea of what makes most sense for me to get next?
  2. davehriver


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    Professional Chef
    I would look for a good food processor/blender.  I am a fan of the Ninja products I have one of there older models(the new ones are more versatile even have bread hook).  I personally like kneading my breads by hand.  The Ninja will do all the other tasks on your list.