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Food Processor and Stand Mixer

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My wife is taking a technical cooking class. It's the second part of a 6 class series. She needs a food processor and a stand mixer. I thought I'd surprise her before her class starts.

Stand Mixer - Seems based on my research KitchedAid hands down is the way to go. Where I get confused is, there’s the regular KitchenAId, then the Artisan series and then the professional series. What are fellow hounds using and what do you recommend I purchase.

Food Processor – CuisneArt is the name that comes to mind but it seems people are bad mouthing them lately on some of the product reviews I’ve checked. KitchenAid seems to get more favorable reviews. I’m thinking a 10 cup model would be appropriate. I've seens a food processor with a dough hook that seems to indicate we might be able to do without the stand mixer. Have a feeling that shouldn't be a consideration Any thoughts? I appreciate your input

Other info about us, we are a family of 4. When we entertain it is generally small dinner parties of 4-6 people. We are also good for a 15 person holiday gathering once a year. Ignorance is bliss as we have made out fine without these tools, though I have a feeling I’ll be eating those words when I purchase these for her.

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  1. I have a regular KA stand mixer. I don't bake that often so I haven't found any problem with it. I do find that getting an additional bowl would be fantastic. No washing the bowl half way through a recipe to mix something else.

    I have the 14 cup CA food processor. I find that really big for just 2 people. Often I end up using my CA Mini Prep. The KA one has an additional bowl inside the big bowl. So you have the option of using the big bowl or the small bowl. That would be helpful.

    As for dough, I used the dough blade in my food processor once (pasta dough). The food processor almost jumped off the kitchen counter. I have since only used my stand mixer for dough.

    1. I think you're right on target. Those are what I have. I have the standard KA model on which you raise and lower the mixer bowl with a crank handle. The Cuisinart models now come with the small work bowl in the processor. Unless all you're going to make is pizza dough or similar breads, then the stand mixer really is a great tool. If you're mostly going to be focused on such doughs, then the food processor will do the trick. Personally, I'd take the stand mixer over the processor if I had to choose one, but some of that is owing to being more comfortable with a knife than I am kneading bread.

      1. I have a 14 cup Cusinart and I can fill it up easily with bread or slicing veggies. I also have all 10 disks and a flat lid as well as the standard chute lid. I keep it on the counter and find the chute lid is a tight fit. I also don't use the chute unless slicing or grating. I often wish I had a spare bowl. I understand that the large/small bowl combo doesn't save you when it comes to washing - both bowls get dirty. I'd rather have room to spare than have to dump the bowl 3 times to make slaw for a large picnic. Having the all the disks gives me the non-standard ones which do grated ginger like nobody's business and I can make parmesan with the fine grating disk that is like snow.

        Unless you are going to do large mixing batches, a Artisan 4-5 quart bowl should be fine. The FP won't do cakes, egg whites, or cookies like a mixer. Get a spare bowl, pouring shield and plastic covers. I can mix up dough, cover it with the plastic lid and not have to dirty a second bowl for the rise. I also reco getting the meat grinder, puree and citrus juicers. I grind my own meats and make my own sausages. I can juice a whole case of citrus and freeze it in a short time. The puree works great for making smooth fruit purees for cooking or sorbet.

        1. I have the big honking KA pro...it works great on big or small things, though the bowl-lift mechanism takes a little getting used to. It handles dough beautifully....

          1. I have both the 11 cup and the 14 cup Cuisnart, and love both. If i had my choice, I would go with the 14 cup, as it is larger and can hold more. I also have the classic KitchenAid mixter and another one that does not lift the head up, and I would go with
            the one that has a head that does lift up. Go to Test Kitchen.com and take the 14 day
            free trail offer, as they do a whole thing on the KitchenAid mixers.

            1. I have both a KA stand mixer and food processor. After agonizing over which brand, I chose the KA processor. I found out that because competition was getting stiff, CA switched to plastic operating parts (to cut manufacturing costs) which wear out much quicker than the metal. KA still uses metal. My stand mixer has the bowl lift. I love it because I can lower the bowl with the motor running to add ingredients.

              1. On the Stand Mixer, Seems there are 2 schools of thought, bowl lift vs.the head lift model. Head lift seems conveient however they seems to lack power for heartier breads. So I think I am leaning toward more power and I love a bargain. THat said I found a Pro Series 5 Quart bowl lift for $250.00 at BJ's. Any thoughts?

                1 Reply
                1. re: angelo04

                  I like the bowl lift model myself - as others have said, if you have limited room in your kitchen, as I do, you don't have to create the extra space to tilt the head back.

                2. Thanks for all the input. Just placed my order and got a great deal. While BJ'S had it for $250, they did not have the color I wanted. Surprsingly got it at circuitcity.com, plus found a 10% off promo code on the web + free shipping. All in $260. I think the wife will be pleased and so will my stomach!