As I start working with my new 7 qt Cuisinart stand mixer, I thought I would jot down a couple of initial impressions.
Out of the box, the Cuisinart has a lot more exterior plastic than the KitchenAid. The heaviness and the professional, industrial feel are two of the more attractive aspects of the KitchenAid, and they just aren’t there with the Cuisinart. From the moment that I first picked up the box and carried it into the house, I knew that the Cuisinart would feel a lot lighter, a lot less industrial — less substantial. The box just didn’t weight that much, and it was surprising.
To the touch, you just can’t avoid the fact that the housing simply has a lot of plastic. The silver trim and the knobs and buttons are all just plastic, and the metal housing is a lighter weight material. I’m not sure what the metal or the coating are, but it isn’t enamel on steel. Plus, the feel of the switches and knobs is really quite flimsy; not solid.
And then there is one of my favorites. In the spirit of Spinal Tap, this one goes to 12. Not 10, not (sadly) 11. But 12. The speed dial does not rotate firmly, and there are no guidelines when rotating the dial to mark the numbers (that thing nice dials do to let you know that you are hitting the numbers). In fact, the dial isn’t even snug in it groove. It is so loose, that you can pull it out and push it inward — it just wobbles along.
Curious about the weight, I took out our bathroom scale and weighed the two mixers. The KitchenAid weighs 26.2 lbs., while the Cuisinart weighs 18.6 lbs. And you can tell just by tapping and touching the two machines.
All of that said, you don’t mix dough with a heavy metal enclosure or with nice knobs and buttons. You mix dough with a good engine (though I am not totally certain what that exactly means), the proper motion (I’m not really sure what this means either), and a good dough hook (hmmm, I’m not even sure what this means). And the Cuisinart claims a 1,000 watt motor and a deep 7-quart mixing bowl — where the KitchenAid sports a 575 watt motor and a 6-quart bowl. Though I need to note that the KitchenAid also claims to have a 67 point planetary mixing action (and no, I don’t know what that means either).
Obviously I have lots to learn about mixers. Regardless, I wouldn’t be making the blog posting if my KitchenAid mixer hadn’t died.
One last point. The Cuisinart mixer has a timer that works nicely. Making bread today, I simple set the timer to 10 minutes, and the mixer beeped and stopped. That’s nice.
Lots more to come.