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Click a model above to learn more, read our Stand Mixer Buying Guide that includes a comparison chart, and please do call to talk with one of our knowledgeable customer service staff for more information and insights. We reviewed mixers from top brands such as Cuisinart, Hamilton Beach, and Kitchen for their ability to whip egg whites into stiff peaks, combine cookie dough, and knead loaves of bread, so all you have to do is pick the right recipe.
Some of the best stand mixers from Cuisinart and Kitchen even have the option of additional attachments, which you can buy separately. This is a tilt-head mixer, so you simply tip the head back to get to the generously large 5-quart stainless steel mixing bowl.
With its powerful motor, the Kitchen Artisan muscled through 10 minutes of kneading bread dough like it was nothing at all, and the result was a smooth, shiny and precisely blended ball of dough with virtually no leftover bits sticking to the sides of the bowl. The result was a great volume of pouf, stiff-peak egg whites that could be used to create an elegant meringue.
The mixer comes with a dough hook, whisk, paddle attachment and splash guard. On a whimsical note, you can choose from more than 40 colors (some are the same hue, but matte or shiny) to add flair to your kitchen decor.
For all-around value with an acceptable price tag, the Cuisinart Precision Master stand mixer is a great choice. It did a fine job on cookie dough, incorporating all ingredients quickly and well, and when we added chocolate chips, they blended in nicely.
It is equipped with 12 power settings and on the highest one you get some serious energy for aerating things like egg whites or whipping cream. This stand mixer offers some excellent extras: The “low” setting is truly low, which helps avoid getting doused with flour when adding dry ingredients, and the 5.5-quart stainless steel bowl is the biggest of all the mixers we reviewed.
The Kitchen Classic Plus performed very well in all our kitchen tests, whipping up stiff egg whites, blending chocolate chips gently into cookie dough without breaking them and kneading bread dough until it reached just the right consistency. Still, the Kitchen Classic is a useful tool with a sturdy 4.5-quart stainless steel bowl, a paddle mixer, a whisk attachment and a dough hook.
That being said, it's lacking in a few features which would justify a higher price, including a large-capacity bowl and locking attachments for extra security. We were impressed with the power of the Hamilton Beach 6-Speed stand mixer, which was able to work with bread dough and cookie mix easily.
It did take a while to work egg whites up to stiff peaks, but it's still a lot easier and more time-efficient than doing it by hand! (Image credit: Home Depot) If you're looking for ultimate versatility, the Sunbeam Mix master 12-Speed hand and stand mixer is a great option.
The Sunbeam Mix master comes with two durable glass bowls, but it's not up to more demanding tasks like kneading bread. Home stand mixers span an exceptionally wide price range.
For an appliance that gets used as often as a mixer, a higher price tag can sometimes make a remarkable difference in performance, durability and quality. If you’re like most people, you no doubt wash your stand mixer attachments, wipe down the outside of the machine and call it a day, at least most of the time.
In case you have a new stainless steel mixing bowl with residue that won’t come off with regular washing, Kitchen suggests spreading olive oil inside the bowl, letting it sit for a while, and then washing it with hot water and detergent. You can also scrub the residue off with a mixture of lemon juice and salt or a baking soda and water paste.
We also tracked down Lynnette Nielsen, bakery manager at Dick’s Fresh Market in Bountiful, Utah, who has worked as a commercial baker for almost 40 years. We also looked at the website for renowned lifestyle expert Martha Stewart, who began her career in that area as a caterer and certainly knows her way around a kitchen.
This included evaluating how well the dough hook could knead bread dough, gauging the blending and mixing of ingredients for chocolate chip cookies and whipping egg whites to the “stiff peak” stage that makes great meringues, but is considerably short of the generally undesirable “stiff peak-dry.” Two mixers could not handle that much dough, so we kneaded half that amount and made note of it in their reviews.
We awarded top grades to mixers with the smoothest and most resilient dough, and the cleanest bowl since that means everything was properly mixed. Using the paddle attachment, we made a batch of basic cookie dough in each mixer, then added chocolate chips.
Among other things, we noted whether the mixer lets you begin slowly to keep ingredients nicely in the bowl and avoid a flour shower, and whether we could incorporate chocolate chips without grinding them into sprinkles. For a food processor to earn its keep, it should be a countertop workhorse that chops and slices at lightning speed and turns blocks of cheese into dairy streamers without a single grated knuckle.
When you're shoving a potato down the feed tube of a powerful food processor, you can't help but smile at how smooth and fast it does the job. And yet, if there's one piece of kitchen gear that elicits groans from the Serious Eats culinary team when they have to lug it out, it's the food processor.
Setting a bad food processor up only to have it indiscriminately hack at your vegetables, take a large chunk of Parmesan for a spin under the lid, or fling soup onto your walls doesn't exactly elicit a desire to use it regularly. It turns nuts into flour, beans into purées, and large chunks of aromatic vegetables into a fine mince with just a momentary blitz of the twirling blade.
The Best 14-Cup Food Processor: Magi mix The Magi mix has a few design elements that elevated it to the top of our list, including a chopping blade that nearly touches the side of the bowl for complete and efficient processing, an innovative dough blade shape that kneaded pizza dough better than any other machine we tested, and nesting 12- and six-cup work bowls that offer increased flexibility. The brand name of this machine may not ring a bell for many readers, but it comes from good stock: This is the producer line from Robot Coupe, the company that makes the food processors used in just about every restaurant and commercial kitchen.
Many of the food processors available today seem to justify their price tag by offering a parade of attachments designed for ever-more-specific tasks. One model came with a plastic disk that whisks egg whites, while another included a flimsy wire beater that fit inside the work bowl.
It doesn't do all of those things as well as the more manual alternatives, but it certainly does them more quickly and easily; and in some cases, such as with kneading and building gluten in a dough, the power of the processor motor can work to your advantage. If your idea of a good time isn't standing in a kitchen finely mincing pounds of onions, carrots, celery, and garlic by hand for an hour, just to make a soffit for reign bolognese, a food processor will more than prove its worth.
They both have motors that power spinning blades, but the shape of the processor bowl versus the blender jar and other variables make each better suited to certain tasks. You can use either to make mayonnaise, but a blender will more efficiently purée liquids to a smooth consistency for, say, a breakfast smoothie.
All the food processors we tested have a similar construction: A heavy motor turns a spindle that can be fitted with various blades or disks inside a work bowl and lid. We awarded points to models that included directional arrows or printed labels that help you align the motor, work bowl, and lid.
In terms of size, we think a 14-cup model strikes the right balance for most homes, because it can handle all but the biggest holiday-meal prep, yet still fits on a pantry shelf or inside a base cabinet. A 12-cup model may be a better choice for small kitchens, though even this requires a fair amount of storage space.
Large-capacity, 16-cup models, meanwhile, are bigger than most of us need, but if you regularly feed a crowd, it might be worth sizing up just to avoid having to process ingredients in batches. The thing is, motor wattage is the RPM of the countertop-appliance world: Consumers are trained to look for it, and marketers never miss an opportunity to cite those impressive-looking figures.
Parts and Accessories Both Reviles feature a 24-point adjustable slicing disk that works well and can be set to zero, which reduces the chance of accidentally cutting yourself. Some brands offer an adjustable slicing disk that allows you to choose from a wide range of thicknesses, from about 0.5 to 7.5 millimeters.
It's a great option when it works, and confers a small safety benefit, as the blade can be lowered until it's flush with the disk's surface, hiding the cutting edge. The secondary bowl is typically around five cups in size, though our winning Magi mix model includes a 12-cup insert, too.
In theory, the slicing disk should turn produce into a neat stack of uniformly thick cuts. With machines that offered multiple slice-thickness options, we ran tomatoes through a range of widths, from the thinnest up to the thickest.
To test slicing potatoes, we settled on roughly 2.5-millimeter-thick cuts (confirmed with digital calipers), a size most of the disks could accommodate. It's important to note, though, that smaller foods can get thrown around inside a wide feed tube as the blade spins beneath, leading to a strange series of oblique cuts.
If, after those 30 seconds, the ingredients had formed a nice dough ball, we turned it out of the work bowl and proceeded to kneading. If not, we would allow the machine to continue processing until a good dough ball had formed, noting how much longer it had to run before this stage was reached.
After that, we hand-kneaded each batch, recording how much extra time was required to work the dough balls until they were smooth and elastic. We had questions about the decision to not require a specialized dough blade in this model, but Cuisinart told us the company isn't particularly worried about premature motor failure as a result of using the S-style metal blade for dough, because the bearings around the shaft, often susceptible to failure with hard use, are designed to outlast the motor.
We added garlic and lemon juice to the main work bowls (or mini ones, where available) to test puréeing and leaking as we made tahini sauce. The smaller, 12-cup Seville did a better job of combining the garlic and lemon than the splash-prone 2.5-cup work bowl in the larger, 16-cup model.
Then we moved the tahini into the large work bowl of each machine, added cooked chickpeas, and timed how long each model needed to bring together a uniformly smooth hummus. In Italy, it's often chopped much more finely, at which point it's known as a battle ; when cooked, this becomes a soffit, which is an essential flavor base in reign, sauces, and braises.
A food processor can make this relatively painless, but only if it does the job well, creating a consistent mince that isn't crushed and battered to the point of becoming a juicy soup. Grinding almonds into flour, then passing the results through a sieve, gave us a clear picture of which chopping blades were the most effective.
Most of our winners did well in this test, leaving behind no more than 25 grams of flour; however, the Cuisinart fell short here, creating nearly twice as many large almond particles as the other top performers. You might consider mincing a battle by hand a chance to work on your knife skills, but no one looks at grating cheese as an opportunity to improve their hand-shredding prowess.
We wanted a food processor that could produce long, uniform shreds of a semi-firm cheese, preferably from a grater with large holes, and a snowy mountain of hard-cheese shavings from a disk with tightly packed cutters. A couple of food processors turned the Part into long, spaghetti-like strands, which aren't really useful for a cheese that's not prized as a meter.
Design Throughout testing, we assembled and disassembled each machine multiple times, swapping out attachments, washing parts, and clicking in bowls, lids, and more. On top of that, we used a decibel meter to measure how much noise each model made, and filled each with water to its liquid max to check for leaking.
Our smallest model, the 12-cup Seville, weighs 16 pounds and is just under 18 inches tall, which is the standard backslash height below upper cabinets. We eliminated models that failed at key tasks or had obvious design flaws, like one that mangled the sliced-tomato test and then leaked heavily when we filled it with water below its stated max capacity.
Another machine's S-style blade and spindle nearly fused when we attempted to chop dates, all before the motor eventually gave up the ghost. As mentioned above, our testing can't predict long-term durability, but we'll continue to use our winners and update our review based on further use.
An induction motor kept the machine quiet as it ran through our tests, including building pizza dough well enough that it didn't require any additional kneading. At first, we thought the machine had a serious leaking problem, until we realized that an included “blending” ring had to be used with all fluids to keep them contained.
That might make it easy to dismiss, but the Cuisinart does a very good job across the core functions of a food processor, from chopping to shredding. A lot of the other inexpensive food processors out there could take a page or two out of this Cuisinart model's playbook by focusing on getting those primary functions right and ditching the plethora of inevitably crappy attachments.
The disk's safety position, which keeps the sharp edge retracted when in storage, prevents accidental dings and cuts. A built-in timer automatically tracks processing duration, making it dead easy to know just how long you've let the machine run.
In contrast with the direct drive shaft in most food processors, the Seville uses a ball bearing attachment to connect to the work bowl, like a blender does. We were also disappointed to see it struggle with the simple task of blending dry ingredients during the dough test; only with the help of a spatula was it able to whip them together.
The smaller Seville Sous Chef has many of the larger version's characteristics: same user-friendly design, same quality build, same excellent adjustable slicing disk, and same smart bowl-to-motor attachment. While the 12-cupper lacks the built-in timer of its larger cousin and is packaged with fewer disks and accessories, it's a capable cutter that is quiet and smooth-running.
One tip: Stick with pulsing when chopping vegetables, since, if left to run, the machine can turn them a bit too watery.