Blender and Mixer Recommendations Wanted
July 29, 2007 7:49 PM   Subscribe

Ok, so I'm starting on my SECOND life, and fortunately have the financial resources to make it easier than my first...what (a) blender and (b) mixer do I buy for my kitchen that will last the duration? The Waring Pro blender has been suggested to me and the venerable latest edition of KitchenAid's mixer...???
posted by america5 to Food & Drink (18 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Heh. Does it get any better than BlendTec?
posted by SpecialK at 7:53 PM on July 29, 2007

I don't think you can go wrong with a Waring blender (but I admit I'm biased by its mention in Warren Zevon's lyrics).

It seems like KitchenAid is always putting out a bigger and more powerful mixer. We have the standard model (I'm not sure it's got a name, I know it isn't the Epicurean or Ultra Power), and it's machine enough for anything I could imagine us throwing at it. And it's got an industrial-chic grey matte rough finish!

Those BlendTecs look interesting, but you could get the KitchenAid and a Waring for the price of the entry model, and have $$ leftover. But then, you wouldn't necessarily have the capability to blend an iPhone...
posted by altcountryman at 8:06 PM on July 29, 2007

America's Test Kitchen recommends the Braun PowerMax blender ($50, a 'best buy') and the KitchenAid Professional 600 ($370) standing mixer. Their equipment testing is rigorous and spot-on; I can email you the PDFs if you'd like!
posted by JohnFredra at 8:06 PM on July 29, 2007

In my extended family, there are three KitchenAid mixers that have been in almost daily heavy-duty use for more than two decades, with no breakages or repairs. By heavy duty use I mean weekly or twice-weekly kneading of bread dough, plus whatever else is needed. Not commercial use, but more severe than most household use. So I'm pretty sure that I will be buying a KitchenAid sooner or later. I don't know the specific model numbers -- these are the ones where the bowl is lifted up and down, rather than the ones where the top part tilts back.

I've never had a blender last all that long, so I guess I can say with certainty that if you buy the cheap ones, just treat them as a temporary appliance that will need replacing after a certain amount of use.
posted by Forktine at 8:14 PM on July 29, 2007

The VitaMix Ultimate Super 5000 is pretty amazing. Basically an industrial blender in a retail package. Does 34 different tasks without attachments. Can cook soup using just the torque from the motor -- I kid you not.
posted by ScarletPumpernickel at 8:20 PM on July 29, 2007

The VitaMix Ultimate Super 5000 is pretty amazing.

Actually, it has many weaknesses. Pour 2.25 cups of cocoa powder and 2.25 cups of maple syrup in there with a 1/3 cup of coconut butter and the thing will burn out the motor pretty fucking fast. You then have to put it in the freezer for 30 mins before you can use it again.

If you can afford a high end Blendtec you won't have this problem.

For a mixer, you want a KitchenAid. Same goes for food processor--the 12 cup beast.
posted by dobbs at 8:37 PM on July 29, 2007

The Kitchenaid mixer is such an amazing investment. They are sturdy, powerful, and so much more useful than you can ever imagine. All of my friends who are serious about cooking have one, and while mine is only a year old, I am confident that it will be kneading my dough and mixing my batters for years and years to come.
posted by tastybrains at 8:40 PM on July 29, 2007

KitchenAid is reliable but the KitchenAids made during the Hobart years are real workhorses. For awhile there KitchenAid was kind of sliding on it's reputation and product placements on the cooking shows. For household use it is fine.

If you are planning serious baking there is controversy between whether the KitchenAid vs. the Magic Mill vs. Name your high end machine here. I have both a Mill and a KitchenAid and both do the job, however they both have their quirks like you need to scrape the ingredients in the KitchenAid to get a thorough mix. YMMV.

I myself am in the search for a blender so will watch this thread.
posted by jadepearl at 12:51 AM on July 30, 2007

Cooks Illustrated test:

"It turns out that a tapered jar is more important than any bell or whistle. In fact, jar design is so critical that the tapered Braun PowerMax ($50) held its own against more powerful blenders and finished second. For $134, you could buy our top-performing blender from L'Equip, which has a similar jar design (only bigger) and ever-so-slightly better performance. But until a markedly better blender comes along, we'll stick with the inexpensive Braun for the usual blender tasks--and rely on our food processor for everything else.

Special Note: A Truly Super Blender

The $945 Vorwerk Thermomix TM21 is a high-end European appliance that is a combination food processor, blender, mixer, self-stirring burner, scale, and steamer. But does it do any of this well? In a word, yes. Although its motor consumes only 600 watts, the Thermomix's blending and food-processing ability is fantastic (it would have placed first in our blender rating). It aced our ice-crushing, hummus, and soup-pureeing tests--and we could cook the soup in the machine before we pureed it. Being able to heat and stir simultaneously is a huge bonus that lends itself especially well to sauce making; our béarnaise and hollandaise sauces came out beautifully. The built-in digital scale is a handy touch."
posted by iviken at 5:03 AM on July 30, 2007

KitchenAid for the mixer. Blenders? I don't know, but am curious, so will be watching as well.
posted by Medieval Maven at 5:03 AM on July 30, 2007

I've used the same KitchenAid mixer since 1990. It's outlived a marriage, a cat and a dog and is likely to outlive me.
posted by plinth at 6:45 AM on July 30, 2007

I have Braun blender and Kitchen Aid standing mixer that were recommended in Cook's (They also got good ratings in Consumer Reports). They're both fantastic, and I use them on a daily basis. If you're a total crazy person, the Kitchen Aid has attachments like a meat grinder and a grain grinder that you can buy. Not that I'm a total crazy person or anything.
posted by annabkr at 6:46 AM on July 30, 2007

We bought a KitchenAid mixer last year after I got addicted to Alton Brown and did some research. We bought the 5 liter version at Bed Bath and Beyond waiting until it was on a sale and used one of their ubiquitous 20% off coupons.

So far it's been great, I'd really recommend it.
posted by beowulf573 at 7:02 AM on July 30, 2007

See also here.
posted by iviken at 7:25 AM on July 30, 2007

Absolutely, KitchenAid mixer. I love my KitchenAid. I waited until it was on sale at Kohl's, but the BB&B suggestion with the coupon sounds like a great place to buy it.
posted by la petite marie at 7:25 AM on July 30, 2007

I have the Oster Classic Beehive blender and love it. It may not be as fancy as what you're looking for, but its powerful enough to turn an entire tray of ice to snow in no time.

It was about $50 at Target.
posted by Kellydamnit at 7:30 AM on July 30, 2007

I have this blender: Oster Beehive in chrome. I love it. Lovely out on the counter. Great on ice/frozen fruit. I must admit that I don't use too many of the attachments it came with, so you might want to look at the blender-alone version. I also bought a couple of these cups that latch onto the blender instead of the jar that comes with it, and those I do use. All three of those links' products highly recommended by me.
posted by Hey, Cupcake! at 3:39 PM on July 30, 2007

My mother in law's kitchen aid lasted something like forty years, and she cooked and baked for eight kids. Sadly, they no longer had the motor part in stock needed to repair the mixer when it burned out, but she got a new one that she likes just as much.
posted by BrotherCaine at 2:42 AM on July 31, 2007

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