Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Giving up on an icon

When I moved into my first apartment in college, I wasn't as concerned about dishes and glasses as I was about getting a Kitchen Aid stand mixer.

My mother is a baker. Some of my earliest memories involve making cookies and cakes with that mixer. She'd pull a stool up to the counter and I'd help measure out ingredients. This was so routine that we never had store-bought treats when I was a kid (as a result, we usually hoped the Easter Bunny would bring us Twinkies!). Having a Kitchen Aid mixer in the kitchen was as important as having a toaster.

Soon after I got that first apartment, I got that Kitchen Aid mixer. It served me well for quite some time, but a few years ago, it started to be sluggish. My mother's mixer is probably about 40 years old and it's going strong, but mine was having trouble at 10 years old. It protested with a pitiful whine towards the end of cookie making sessions, when the ingredients approached a doughy consistency. I started wondering if like many companies, Kitchen Aid had changed their manufacturing practices over the years. My mixer just wasn't the work horse that my mother's is.

So, I switched. I sold my Kitchen Aid on Craigslist. When I called my mother to tell her, she was very, very quiet. Kitchen Aid mixers are clearly supposed to have one and only one owner. I had already done some research and settled on a replacement.



I switched to the Cuisinart stand mixer and I'm so happy with it! It's got as many attachments as the Kitchen Aid, but most of them are metal.





I also love that it has a built in timer. You can set the mixer to run for a set amount of time and just walk away. It also works up to the speed that you select, so you never have a cloud of flour in your face after starting it up too quickly.



The latch to the left of the timer and dial releases the top. With the Kitchen Aid, you had to unlock the top and then lift it yourself. My Cuisinart's top lifts itself once you flick that latch and give the top part a little nudge.

I got the food processor attachment for free and have been making bread crumbs for meatballs and oat flour for dog treats fairly regularly (Baxter automatically hovers when I use the mixer, so I guess I use it more for him than for me!).



Does anyone else own a Cuisinart? Do you like it as much as I do? What about the Viking stand mixer? I saw that after I bought my Cuisinart and wonder how it compares. I don't think stand mixers are very popular any more, but I suspect that those who have them have stuck to the Kitchen Aid just because it's been around forever.

The Kitchen Aid mixer will always be iconic, but if you're a serious baker and having committed to a mixer yet, check out the Cuisinart. I've been really happy with mine.


I didn't really mean to write a review, but I guess this became one. No company was involved in this post.
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6 comments:

  1. I've had a Kitchen Aid for a year and have never used it. Seeing your Cuisinart, I wonder if I made a mistake. Yours looks so much smarter.

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  2. My mom, too, has an *old* Kitchen Aid that is a workhorse! She used it with me when I was little and still uses it with grandchildren!
    Your post brought back memories.

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  3. The timer feature is cool. My KitchenAid has served me well for the past 3 years but then again, I use it pretty lightly.

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  4. I don't bake, so I don't have one of these, but it looks so sharp! It's very pretty sitting on your counter like that! I sort of want to buy one now just so people will think I bake all the time ... but then they'll expect me to make them cookies, so I won't ;)

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  5. I have a Kitchenaid and I love it. I use it constantly but I like yours better!

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  6. You make your own dog treats??? If so can you share sometime Mr. Timmy would go bananas over it!!!

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