Blender / mixer / food processor combo?

northcarolinaJuly 18, 2012

I find myself in need of a new blender -- and I could use a stand mixer too (my trusty hand mixer is getting a little hard on my wrists when I'm mixing stiff cookie dough) -- and my food processor is an inexpensive plastic one that is aging. I have limited storage space for small appliances. Before I head out and get a new blender, didn't I read on here somewhere about some machine that has one base and then you can get attachments for all those different things? Made by Cuisinart maybe? I don't recall. If such a thing exists, what does everyone think about it?

I don't feel any particular need to spend hundreds of dollars, but since the blender I am eyeing (KA) is $99 and if I get a good stand mixer that's another couple hundred at least, I am wondering if it would actually save money as well as space to get some kind of combo appliance. The food processor by the way is not as critical since the only things I find myself making in mine are hummus and pimento cheese. Piecrusts and pizza dough I do by hand.

Thank you!

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I've heard of the Vitamix and the Blendtec. But I also remember a post about how some of these new blenders are taller than 18" and don't fit on the counter under the uppers. So if you plan to keep it on the counter, measure!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 2:26PM
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Cuisinart does have a couple of stand mixers for which you can buy attachments that run from its power-take-off port. Cooks Illustrated thinks highly of the stand mixers. (Equal to or slightly better than the longstanding Kitchenaid champs, according to Cooks.) The smaller one (5 quart bowl, I think) starts at around $350. I do not remember what the larger one (7 quart bowl) goes for.

The attachments, which have to be purchased or ordered separately, into a power take off at the top rear of the machine. If I recall, the blender attachment has something like 40 oz. capacity, so it sits pretty tall. I saw it once and it seemed to blend soup reasonably well. Do not know about its performance with other functions. The food processor attachment I saw was small, maybe 3 cups capacity. More of a chopper. There might be other attachments. A lot of on-line and brick-n-mortar retailers carry these so you should be able to find prices and reviews on-line.

You also might have been thinking of the Ninja blenders which can be had as part of a "kitchen system" which is supposed to combine several devices using the same power base. There are several versions of this, I recall that Consumer Reports thought highly of one version and not so highly of the others. Ninja used to ba QVC/Shopping Channel item but it has made the leap into brick-and-mortar stores. I saw one on offer at Costco a couple of weeks ago. Not sure which version it was but Colstco was charging either $100 (coupon) or $120. I also recall some detailed discussions of Ninjas in eGullet and Chowhound threads that also discussed VitaMix and Blendtec. Try searching there. (Just tried a search on "ninja" here at THS and turned up nothing, which seems odd.) The only Ninja I've ever used myself was as a blender at a friend's house. It seemed to be an excellent blender and ice crusher. Do a search for reviews.

If you are not budgeting hundreds of dollars, Vitamix and Blendtec are probably out of the question because the least expensive models start at $400. To be sure, both are splendid blenders, absolute workhorses and durable enough for commercial use. By all accounts, they do an excellent job of making hummus. Don't recall seeing anything about pimento cheese, so don't throw away that old food processor.

Vitamix offers several types and sizes of blender jars. When the largest one (64 oz. capacity) is on the base, the unit is 20 inches tall. From that comes comments about measuring cabinet heights. My recollection of the Cusinart mixer's blender attachment was that it sat even higher when assembled. If counter-to-cabinet workspace is limited, the Cuisinart blender attachment is not going to fit, either.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 3:35PM
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I found the posts I had been thinking of earlier; they were for the Bosch Universal and the Magic Mill. Ginny and JWVideo, thanks for your help -- I have a lot more to look at now!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 11:39PM
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