Help with food processor and stand mixer

meskauskasJune 20, 2005

Hello everyone,

This is pretty much my first time posting on this board - I'm in hopes you all can give me some advice.

I need to get both a new food processor and a stand mixer, and I'm torn between Cuisinart vs. Viking for the processor, and KAid vs. Viking for the stand mixer.

I like the looks of the Viking mixer and processor - but most of all, I like the fact that you can tip them back and roll them as they have wheels in the back. I want to get quality machines though, and don't really know anything about Viking in terms of their countertop products.

Does anyone have either the Viking mixer or processor - what do you think of it? Does the KAid stand mixer have wheels? I've got a pretty bad back, and would have a lot of trouble trying to drag it out from under a counter.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated - Thanks!


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Here's the link to a recent discussion in the Appliances Forum regarding Viking and other stand mixers...


Here is a link that might be useful: Pros and Cons of DeLonghi or Viking stand mixers

    Bookmark   June 21, 2005 at 7:25AM
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For future reference, here's a link to the complete list of Forums for THS/Gardenweb...


Here is a link that might be useful: THS Gardenweb / Forum List

    Bookmark   June 21, 2005 at 7:27AM
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I don't think this is such a bad place to come to ask for info about these SMALL appliances that are used as cookware. What a welcome for Clara--to be shooed away to other forums!

KitchenAids do not have wheels. They are very heavy, and they are best left on the counter (or put in a cabinet w/ a special "lift" mechanism). I have to pull mine forward (scooch it a few inches across the counter, essentially), since I push it back when it's not in use.

I don't really know about Vikings, unfort. But I have days I think there has to be a reasonable alternative to the KitchenAid. It's awkward to add ingredients (the mixer head gets in the way); those times I wonder about the DeLonghi.

(another thing to consider is height--measure the distance between your countertop and the cabinets above, and make sure the mixer will fit between. In my kitchen, it just BARELY clears the light rail)

My Cuisinart stores in a cabinet (I take it apart so it's not too tall for the space). I use it infrequently, frankly (I prob. didn't need to buy it), so that's the best place for it--no sense giving it some of my precious counterspace while it just sits there. I use it for a few big chopping tasks, and to make multiple pie crusts at once, but I don't use it to chop small stuff (I have a hand plunger style, or I use the chef's knife). The food processor is not heavy; I can sling it around quite easily.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2005 at 10:42AM
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I didn't say it was!

Of course, I'd also have to wonder when you ever used a mixer, or similar, as cookware... ;-)


    Bookmark   June 21, 2005 at 2:13PM
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Hello Clara - I hope you don't feel shooed away, I believe TJ is just trying to be helpful! Glad to hear from you. I usually hang out on the Cooking Forum but I come over here to see what tips I can pick up. I'm a pretty simple, basic cook and I don't have any fancy, expensive cookware so I don't usually have much to offer over here. But, I have a Kitchenaid mixer and would like to affirm what Sue just said, the head does get in the way when you're adding ingredients and it is heavy and not on wheels and doesn't slide easily across my counter. I have to leave mine out on the counter and it does get in the way, but it's too heavy to put away and drag it out when I need it, which isn't all that often, but I'm still happy with it and glad I have it!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2005 at 2:23PM
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As long as the question is cooking-related (and even if it's not), who cares about the semantics.

Clara, no advice from me. I use a 7-cup KitchenAid processor and a Hamilton Beach hand-held mixer for all my bread doughs.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2005 at 8:39PM
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Thanks for the tips everyone - I'm still going back and forth about the mixer, but am kind of leaning towards a Viking because of the wheels, and the 1HP motor.

Thanks for the link to the thread on the appliances forum TJ - I'm in the process of redoing my entire kitchen and had used the appliance forum for research on major appliances, but just didn't remember seeing discussions on countertop appliances there. I guess I just considered them (small appliances) part of cookware in general..maybe because in stores cookware and countertop appliances are sold together? I dunno. Anyway, I did a search on here before posting and found other posts on similar items and thought it would fit.

Thanks everyone, the research continues!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2005 at 10:36PM
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For those of you with the big Kitchen Aids, it helps to put it on one of those thin cutting mats. You can then slide it forward and back a lot easier.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2005 at 2:02PM
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Ellen linked this review on the Cooking forum today.

June 22, 2005
The mixer, all revved up
By Judy Yao, Times Staff Writer

In the home baker's kitchen, the stand mixer is the undisputed workhorse, whipping egg whites to perfect peaks, kneading bread effortlessly and turning out cookie dough in a pinch.

But even then, it has its limits. Its motor can burn hot with too stiff a dough. Or its bowl might be too small. Froth up too many egg whites and they can get perilously close to the rim. And want to make a triple batch of cookies all at once? Forget it.


Until recently, short of buying an expensive and gargantuan commercial model, home bakers didn't have much choice but to work around such shortcomings.

But the latest generation of stand mixers is changing that. Imagine a home machine that can knead 7 pounds of flour for 10 loaves of bread, or whip up 20 egg whites or make 13 dozen cookies. With bowls that hold 6 to 8 quarts (compared with the standard 4 1/2 ), these mixers also have horsepower to spare.

We selected six high-capacity mixers to test, considering power, functionality, design and price. They ranged from $350 for the KitchenAid Professional 6 to a $770 for the Matfer Bourgeat Alphamix. The other four cost between $400 and $500. We included the Bosch and Electrolux, two mixers that are popular in Europe and radically different in design from Kitchen Aid-type mixers.

Most stand mixers come with three attachments a whisk, a paddle and a dough hook. Which to use when?

In general, the whisk, often the shape of a wire balloon, is designed to incorporate air into whatever you're beating. So it's especially good for meringues, whipped cream and sponge cakes. The flat paddle is perfect for creaming butter and works well for cookies and frostings. And the dough hook is the most specialized of the three; it's made for kneading yeast breads.

Whichever attachment you use, keep an eye on your bowl no matter what a recipe says. You need to watch against overworking the contents, especially with one of these powerful mixers.

Speeds for the stand mixers we tested varied widely. What would be considered a medium setting for the Bosch (which has four speed settings) would be a 6 on the 12-speed Viking. A good rule: Always start at the lowest setting and adjust accordingly. If flour is flying everywhere, decrease the speed. When in doubt, check the manual; many have recommended settings.

Four of the mixers (the KitchenAid, DeLonghi, Bosch and Matfer Bourgeat) have automatic shut-off protection, which prevents motor burnout. It's also worth noting that the mixers aren't limited to making doubled recipes but can handle smaller quantities equally as well. Just as their manuals promise, both the Viking and KitchenAid (with some height adjustment) can whip a single egg white.

To test the mixers, we gave each attachment a task: For the whisk, we tested how long it took to whip four egg whites to a stiff peak at the highest speed setting. For the paddle, we gave it a creaming challenge: a 4-ounce cube of cold butter, cut into four equal pieces. To test the dough hook, we made a rustic hearth bread, enough for two loaves.

All the mixers passed the whipping and kneading tests. But it was the creaming test that separated those that could from those that could not.

Our least favorite was the Electrolux Assistent DLX 2000. Despite some nice features, the assembly and disassembly of the various components took some getting used to, and it failed the creaming test.

The clear winner was the DeLonghi DSM7, which performed each of the tests brilliantly and was a joy to use. The more powerful (and more pricey) Viking came in a close second.

It's gratifying to see the stand mixer catching up with the rest of the kitchen. Recently, when I made a three-tiered anniversary cake for some friends  enough for 70 guests  it quickly became apparent that although my large oven could easily handle the cake pans, my mixer was woefully inadequate. I had to make several batches of batter and buttercream, which took a lot longer than I would have liked.

Next time, it'll be a breeze. I'll be ready  and so will my new mixer.


Savory hearth bread

Total time: 1 hour, 25 minutes plus about 5 hours rising time

Servings: 16 to 20 ( makes 2 loaves)

Note: Adapted from Rose Levy Beranbaum's "The Bread Bible." Serrano ham is available at Trader Joe's markets, Bristol Farms markets and at La Española Market in Harbor City; you can use prosciutto instead.

Dough starter (sponge)

2 cups bread flour

1/2 cup whole-wheat flour

3/4 teaspoon dry yeast

2 1/2 teaspoons honey

About 2 2/3 cups water (70 to 90 degrees)

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the bread flour, whole-wheat flour and yeast. Stir together the honey and water and add to the flour mixture. Whisk until very smooth, about 2 minutes, until the sponge is the consistency of a thick batter. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Set aside, covered with plastic wrap.


3 3/4 cups bread flour

1 teaspoon dry yeast

2 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 cup finely chopped Serrano ham

1 cup grated Dry Jack cheese, such as Vella

1. In a bowl, stir together the bread flour and the yeast. Gently scoop it onto the sponge to cover it completely. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to ferment for 1 to 1 1/2 hours in a warm place. (The sponge will bubble through the flour mixture.)

2. Place the bowl on the mixer and, using the dough hook, mix at low speed for about 1 minute, until the mixture forms a rough dough. Scrape down any bits of dough. Cover with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rest for 20 minutes.

3. Sprinkle in the salt and, using the dough hook, knead the dough at medium for about 7 minutes, until it is very elastic, smooth and slightly sticky. If it is too sticky, knead in a little flour. If it is not at all sticky, spray it with a little water and knead it in.

4. Using an oiled spatula or dough scraper, scrape the dough into an oiled large bowl and turn the dough to lightly coat it with oil. Cover with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise in a warm (75- to 80-degree) place until doubled in bulk, about 50 to 60 minutes.

5. Punch the dough down and knead several times. Shape it into a ball. Add a little oil to the bowl. Return the dough to the bowl and turn it to coat with oil. Cover and allow it to rise again until doubled, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

6. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and press it down to flatten slightly.

7. To make two free-form round loaves, cut the dough in half. Cover one half with plastic wrap. Knead the other half by hand for about 7 minutes, working one-half cup each of the ham and cheese into the dough throughout the kneading process. Shape into a ball and set it on an oiled baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough, ham and cheese.

8. Cover the shaped dough with a large container or oiled plastic wrap and allow it to rise until almost doubled, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

9. Place an oven rack at the lowest level and place a baking stone on it. Place a sheet pan on the floor of the oven. An hour before you plan to bake, heat the oven to 475 degrees, allowing the stone to get very hot.

10. With a sharp knife, make several half-inch-deep slashes in the top of the dough to make a cross-hatch pattern. Mist the dough with water and quickly set the dough, on its baking sheet, on the hot stone. Toss one-half cup of ice cubes onto the pan on the floor of the oven and immediately shut the oven door.

11. Bake the bread, one loaf at a time if necessary, for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 425 and continue baking for 20 to 30 minutes, rotating the pan after 10 minutes. Bake until the bread is brown and a skewer comes out clean; an instant thermometer will register 200 degrees.

12. For an extra-crisp crust, transfer the bread from the baking sheet to the stone and leave it in the oven for an extra 5 to 10 minutes with the door ajar. Remove the bread from the oven and transfer it to a wire rack. Let cool completely.

Each of 20 servings: 189 calories; 8 grams protein; 32 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 3 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 10 mg. cholesterol; 431 mg. sodium.



The unbeatable choice

At 980 watts, the 7-quart DeLonghi DSM7 was second only to the Viking for power. With a super warranty  10 years for the motor  its makers obviously have confidence in this mixer. At 13 1/2 inches tall, and with its flat top, this mixer will easily fit under most cabinets. A locking lever makes sure everything is in place. Accessories include a blender and food processor.

What we thought: Our favorite mixer. The DeLonghi easily passed the tests  whipping the egg whites to a stiff peak in 2 1/2 minutes, creaming the cold butter in under a minute and churning out the bread dough without a hint of strain. This well-designed mixer has a solid feel and weight to it, combining function with well-thought-out details, such as sturdy stainless-steel attachments that were nonstick and easy to clean. We did have a small quibble about the electric cord, the shortest among the six mixers we tested. Still, its price, ease of use and capacity make it an excellent choice.

How much: $399.99 at Cookin' Stuff in Torrance, $399.95 at Sur La Table


All powered up

The Viking 7-quart VSM 700 is powered at 1,000 watts, the highest among the mixers we tested. It comes in white, black, stainless gray, graphite gray, cobalt blue and bright red. It offers a one-year warranty against manufacturing defects.

What we thought: This was a close second to the better-priced DeLonghi. But if you want power and high-volume capability above all else, this is the mixer for you. This machine not only looks cool, it packs a lot of punch. Creaming the butter was a breeze at 20 seconds. And whipping the whites and kneading the dough were no problem. Its bowl has an ergonomic handle, and its tools are solid stainless-steel. However, we had trouble with locking its tilting head into place, occasionally having to slam it down.

How much: $500 at Cookin' Stuff, $500 at Universal Appliance & Kitchen Center in Sherman Oaks


Not up to speed

The 6-quart French-made Alphamix Mixer by Matfer Bourgeat offers a three-year warranty on the motor and a one-year warranty for parts and labor.

What we thought: As much as we liked this mixer for its performance, some quirks made it difficult to recommend it wholeheartedly, especially given its high price. The safety guard that lifts and lowers the bowl makes it difficult to clean (the manual says the guard is removable but doesn't give instructions). And for such an expensive mixer, the aluminum tools were insubstantial. Although it creamed the butter in an amazing 15 seconds, it traveled a bit on the counter during the kneading test.

How much: $770 at Matfer Bourgeat's online catalog,


The price is right

The 6-quart KitchenAid Professional 6, like its smaller professional version, uses a handle to lower and lift the bowl. It offers a hassle-free replacement warranty for defective materials or workmanship during the first year. That includes shipping a replacement mixer and arranging for the return of the failed mixer.

What we thought: If price is your main consideration, this mixer is a good choice. It whipped the egg whites to a stiff peak in less than a minute and had no problems creaming the butter (but bits of butter flew out, so the pouring shield is a must). It kneaded our bread dough with ease, but whined loudly while doing so  very irritating. And though its rubber feet are designed to prevent traveling, two of them fell off during testing. However, if you've used a KitchenAid before, using the KitchenAid Professional 6 mixer is like working with an old friend  comfortingly familiar despite a few flaws.

How much: $349.95 at Sur La Table, $369.95 at Williams-Sonoma


A bit rocky

The 6-quart Bosch MUM7010's motor is on the bottom and the bowl sits on top. Unlike the other mixers, the Bosch combines its paddle and dough hook into one tool. Since the power unit is only 3 1/4 inches high, it can be stored in a drawer. It also includes a food processor and blender.

What we thought: Not worth it. It's unsteady, rocking especially during kneading, and it failed the simple task of creaming butter. Sure, its double whisks whipped the egg whites to a stiff peak in less than 2 minutes. But it wouldn't cream butter. After 3 minutes of watching butter cubes being moved around the bowl, we had to stop. The heat from the motor had started to melt the butter, but chunks remained on the blades. And despite what the manual says, the plastic bowl doesn't seem to lock in place.

How much: $479 at Peterson's Kitchen Center (


Advanced degree needed

The 8-quart Swedish-made Electrolux Assistent DLX 2000 is popular in Europe but has been slow to catch on in the U.S. Like the Bosch, the power unit is the base and the bowl sits on top. It has a timer with a maximum setting of 12 minutes, and the speed dial lights up for visibility. It uses a scraper and roller or dough hook.

What we thought: A mixer shouldn't be this hard to use. A simple height adjustment required a screwdriver. The arm assembly was stiff, and the pin holding the attachments was hard to clean. Overall, it was too much work to assemble and disassemble. And though it passed the whipping and kneading tests, it failed miserably in the creaming test. The cubes of butter kept getting caught between the scrapper and roller. We added sugar, hoping that the friction would dislodge the butter. What we got, instead of creamed butter, were sugar-coated butter balls.

How much: $469 at Sur La Table

    Bookmark   June 22, 2005 at 3:04PM
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SillyWabbit, what a terrific idea! Never thought of that, you might have changed my life! I do think of one of those thin mats as a crumb collector, but I guess I could try to be a little more neat, LOL.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2005 at 6:06PM
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The mat is sort of a crumb collector unfortunately, but it's made it so much easier for me to lug out my big KA. I just wipe it off and I occasionally take the mixer off and give the mat a good wash. I did this within the past year after many years of dragging the darned thing all the time, but then the mats are a relatively new thing anyway.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2005 at 6:48AM
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Wow, what a great review - thanks for posting it! It looks like they really did a very thorough job of testing those mixers. I've pretty much decided on the Viking for those convienient wheels and the extra power, but will in all likelihood need the 5qt version vs the 7qt, as I'm doubtful the 7qt will fit under my new cabinets when they are installed. I can find the measurements of the 5qt (15" high) but not the 7 for some reason.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2005 at 9:09AM
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Update for those who may be interested - I just got off the phone with Viking - their 5qt. mixer is 14" tall, the 7qt is 15" tall, and their 12c food processor is 15-1/2" tall.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2005 at 9:30AM
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Did anyone save the thread link mentioned above?

"Pros and cons of delonghi or viking stand mixers"

I tried to check it out and the link was outdated.

I'd love to see the info though.


    Bookmark   September 8, 2005 at 6:29PM
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We've have the Cuisinart 11 cup processor and love it. We make Pizza dough in it and it comes out great.
We just purchased the Kitchenaid Accolade 400 mixer form Williams-Sonoma. (They were having a close out sale on them)
We love it. I like the fact that they also have a 1 year swap out if it fails. The other brands you have to send in at your expense. Williams Sonoma has gone to the Artisan model because they claim that many of their customers said the Accolade was a little noisy. We don't think so.
Check with your local store to see if they have any left over. Were 194.99 ;plus a $25.00 mail in rebate

    Bookmark   September 9, 2005 at 3:51PM
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I'm interested in the food processor question too. I think I'm overdue to get one but I don't think I need one of the bigger ones. I noticed KitchenAid has a lot of sizes - suppose Cuisinart does too.

I'm thinking something "medium" size. Two things I wanted it for recently were making julienne vegetables and making pesto. Neither of these would have been in large quantity.

How small can you go and still get the features that are most needed? I never make dough (other than cookie and I have a stand mixer for that). It would be more for chopping and slicing and mixing things like the pesto that called for adding oil via the tube. Small amounts of chopping I'll probably keep doing with a knife.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2005 at 11:37PM
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Gibby - I was in your same position regarding food processors. I didn't want the 11 cup - that is just too big for my needs. I also didn't want a lot of 'bells and whistles' because I know I would never bother with them. I found a Cuisinart 5-cup processor with just the basic discs, and I love it. It is really quiet and does a good job.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2005 at 11:27AM
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Lucy - thanks for the advice. I think I have seen five and seven cup units. I'll take a closer look at those.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2005 at 1:23PM
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I am interested in buying a 7 qt stand mixer. I am debating between the 7qt. KA, Delonghi, or Cuisinart.

I will baking mainly cakes (sponge) with buttercream fillings. I will also be mixing ingredients to get royal icing. I will mainly be using low speeds for a longer peiod.

Any suggestions?

    Bookmark   September 10, 2007 at 8:29PM
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I did a lot of reading about mixers this summer, spending waaaay too many hours on the 'net :)

Frankly, IMHO, the bottom line is all brands do a good job with cakes, icing, cookie dough, & whipping & creaming. Read the reviews online, visit the forums & it's the same story: most people love their mixer brand; a few people who bought the brand got a lemon & will tell you different. It's when you start kneading multiple batches of stiff bread doughs that a few brands stand out.

The Cuisinart has a timer & a fold feature that sounds nice. A caveat I read about is that the bowl is tall & narrow, so when you fill it to its professed capacity, the batter is over the top of the beater.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2007 at 10:11PM
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