Kitchen Appliances – What To Buy?
When buying kitchen appliances, there are three rules of thumb should you stick to. First, do not buy anything less than the best. Buying 3 substandard stand mixers before you get the right one is going to cost more in the long run than just plunking down money for the KitchenAid. Secondly, don’t buy anything that does things that you can already do in your kitchen. You don’t need a forman grill when you have a pan, you don’t need a bread maker when you have an oven, and you don’t need a rice maker when you have a pot. Finally don’t buy any appliance until you’ve tried making it without said appliance (or you can’t make it without said appliance) and wait until you absolutely feel a need for it. For example, if you don’t plan to bake anything, your stand mixer will only collect dust.
A good stand mixer is expensive but worth the money if you like baking. I use mine for making batters, kneading dough, whipping cream, making icing, grinding meats and making ice cream (with the attachments). A good mixer will have enough horsepower to mix anything you want without slowing down or locking up. A stand mixer isn’t a requirement for baking in general, but it does make a lot of things easier.
As far as mixers go, you can’t go wrong with a KitchenAid. They’re expensive but they’ll last a very long time (10- 20 years maybe more). If you’re really into baking, go for the top of the line: KitchenAid Professional 600 Series 6-Quart Stand Mixer, which runs about $400. If you want to save a few bucks, keep a look out for refurbished models. For $50 less, CI swears by the Cuisinart 5-1/2-Quart 12-Speed Stand Mixer. Personally, I have the KitchenAid Artisan 5-Quart, which has served me well for the most part. It gives the slightest hint of a struggle when kneading bread and gives up a little earlier than I’d like on ice cream, but neither is a deal breaker. I was planning on just getting the 600 but someone gave me the Artisan as a gift so that’s what I have now.
I love my food processor. It makes time consuming/labor intensive tasks a breeze. I use mine for making salsa, pie dough, bread crumbs, pickling salt, confectioners sugar, hummus, shredding large quantities of cheese, chopping entire bags of carrots into evenly cut pieces in seconds, making pesto, and so on and so forth. I have the KitchenAid 12 Cup, which I bought a couple years ago. It’s top-of-the-line but unfortunately they stopped making it and its replacement is getting mixed reviews. Though not ranked as high as the discontinued KitchenAid, CI says Cuisinart DFP-14 14-Cup Food Processor that runs for $200 is pretty good. It’s unknown if the newer, at $300, is worth the extra money. Whatever you do, don’t buy a blender to use as a food processor: They’re great for smoothies and milkshakes but just utterly fail as FPs.
Other than the mixer and food processor, the only other appliances I use are a crock-pot, a coffee/spice grinder, and a sandwich press. Oh and the stuff that’s built into my kitchen.
Written by guest blogger: Ryan Tamm