Monday, June 28, 2010
A Comparison of Stand Mixers
Which one is the one for you???
This product runs for about $570. It has a 600 watt motor. It has an 8 qt. bowl. This is the only mixer, of the three, according to my observations, which contains a timer. This is a nice feature, considering how often I use another timer to time my kneading process. It has many attachments including a meat mincer, vegetable slicer, cheese grater, pasta disks, flake and grain mills, cookie press and blender. This one sounds the most similar to the Bosch in its all-in-one approach to the stand mixer. I’m not sure how much these attachments cost. I did look for them, but couldn’t find individual prices. The speed settings adjust from 45 to 130 rpm…that’s quite a range! The Kitchen Kneads staff says this is an awesome machine and I just had a comment on my blog from a lady who said she LOVES her's. I wish I knew more about it, but for now...I am in the process of learning.
The classic Kitchen Aid mixer can hold about 8 cups of flour, has a 4.5 qt. bowl and runs for around $200. It can make up to 6 dozen cookies or three loaves of bread. It has a 250 watt motor and a 4 ½ qt. stainless steel bowl. For about $300, you can get a mixer with a 300 watt motor. You can purchase the professional series Kitchen-Aid mixer that has a 6 qt. bowl and goes for around $500. This mixer has 575 watts. The Kitchen-Aid mixer comes with a dough hook, whips, and a steel gear transmission.
Kitchen-Aid has quite a few attachments, including a pasta maker that looks very much like a manual pasta maker. It attaches to the front of the mixer and can make spaghetti, linguine, fettuccine, etc. It appears that the pasta attachments and the actual roller are separate and quite expensive on the Kitchen-Aid. For my manual machine, which looks almost identical to the Kitchen-Aid, I spent $77 dollars, and they came together. On the Kitchen-Aid, the roller is about $170 and the different attachments come to about $330. The ravioli maker is another $170. Although it looks so similar to my manual pasta maker, I am sure it works much better. I have never used this pasta maker, so my opinion won’t really count. However, it does, as far as I can tell, lack the capability to make cylindrical pasta, like macaroni, ziti, etc.
Among the many mixer attachments, there is a food grinder (for meats), slicer (for fruits and vegetables) and a strainer. It also offers a grain mill, heavy-duty can opener, sausage stuffer and a citrus juicer. These are all very nice features to have. It also appears to have an attachment for an ice cream maker!!! I may be missing some, but these are the attachments I have found.
The Kitchen-Aid Stand Mixer has a time-tested reputation. These mixers have been around forever and passed down from one generation to the next.
The Bosch Universal Plus Mixer can handle up to 26 cups of flour. It has an 800 watt motor. The blender attachment is about $70. The slicer/shredder attachment is about $120 which comes with three attachments and three more are available for sale. You can purchase a food processor as part of the Bosch for about $105. There is a citrus juicer available that attaches directly to the Bosch for only $30. It can juice lemons, oranges, grapefruits and limes. You can purchase a meat grinder/food grinder, which I use for grinding wheat sprouts and works AMAZINGLY well, for about $145. You can buy a fruit and berry press for $100 (this fits on to the meat grinder). You can purchase a cheese grater that works for both hard cheeses and nuts for a little over $30. There is a sausage-stuffer attachment for $50. There is a cookie and pastry press available for $15. The pasta maker is $160 and includes accessories to help you make 11 different types of pasta! However, you do have to purchase the meat grinder in order to use the pasta maker. There is a flaker mill that can turn soft grains into flakes for about $130. There are cookie paddles available for $30. You can also get a stainless-steel bowl for another $70. There is also a Bosch Wheat grinder, which I discussed in a previous blog entry, available for $120-$130.
This is truly an all-in-one kitchen machine!!!
There is a compact Bosch for about $150 that has a 400 watt motor. I don't know how the attachments work with the compact Bosch.
I have the Bosch mixer and I LOVE it! I LOVE making pasta and I make it all the time. I have a whole wheat macaroni and cheese recipe, penne recipes, etc., so I would be lost without the attachments allowing cylindrical pasta. I also have the slicer, the meat grinder and the blender…each of which are AMAZING! I can make smooth, refreshing smoothies with NO ice chunks. It is just one amazing machine! The downside to the Bosch is that I have yet to find any detailed instructions on how to use it.
The Bosch is so large that you need a significant amount of bread dough to knead sufficiently (enough dough for 3 or more loaves). This is perfect for me because I only make bread one time a week and then I freeze the rest and pull it out the day before I need it. If you purchase one, be sure to email me with questions or visit a kitchen supply store for better instructions. I actually took some classes at Kitchen Kneads a couple of years ago to learn to make bread and some more for pasta.
Conclusion: These are all amazing mixers...good luck with your decision!!! Also, if I forgot anything with any of these mixers, tell me and I'll modify this entry. I want people to have the right information and I only have experience with the Bosch. I know people who have each of these mixers and they LOVE them!!!