What It Is: The Cuisinart 5.5-Quart Stand Mixer is a powerhouse full-size mixer that performs a wide variety of food prep tasks from mixing and beating to whipping, kneading, and more.
Why We Like It: This mixer is a great performer. Even with Cuisinart’s quality reputation, we have to admit to initially being skeptical whether it would deliver. After all, KitchenAid has always been our gold standard of mixers. But we were happily pleased at how well the Cuisinart surpassed our expectations. It mixes and kneads the heaviest of doughs without countertop creep. It handles large and small quantities of ingredients equally well. It also comes with unique and helpful features not available on KA. The slow-start function enables the beaters to start on low then increase to the desired speed; no more flour or powdered sugar dust flying off into the kitchen. The Countdown Timer has an auto-shutoff function that lets you set the mixing time; no need to watch a clock. Plus this mixer comes with the best all-around warranty, 5 years.
Details: The Cuisinart 5.5-Quart Stand Mixer offers 12 speeds with on/off, fold, and speed control dial. The head tilts back for easily attaching and releasing the 5.5-quart stainless-steel bowl with handles and the beaters—either a chef’s whisk, flat mixing paddle, or dough hook. A plastic splashguard with pour spout can be added to the mixing bowl. The auto-shut-off countdown timer can be set up to 15 minutes. The stand mixer also contains three power outlets, including a high-speed outlet for its optional dedicated attachments (meat grinder, citrus juicer, blender, food processor, or pasta maker–all sold separately). The stand unit measures 15.5x10x12.5 inches and weighs 21 pounds; brushed chrome finish. 7-quart model also available. 5-year warranty. Retails for $349. Available at cuisinart.com or amazon.com.