As an Executive Chef and mom, I have spent thousands of hours in the kitchen. If I have learned anything, it is that to be truly effective, you need an indispensable tool. Meet your new Sous Chef and time-saving wonder, the 6 Quart KitchenAid Professional. Consider this stand mixer your one meal marvel. From making pasta to kneading the dough, you can cook from home like a professional in a quarter of the time.
Before buying another snazzy piece of kitchen equipment that will be stored in the pantry never to see the light of day, make sure that you purchase a product that works for you. A stand mixer is one of the most versatile pieces you can add to your kitchen. Check out our review below of the KitchenAid Professional 600 Series, Hamilton Beach 63232 Eclectrics, and the Cuisinart SM-70BC to find the stand mixer that will be the one thing that works harder in the kitchen than you.
Stand Mixers: How They Measure Up
After using, breaking, and testing every stand mixer imaginable, my top pick is the KitchenAid Professional 600 Series, hands down. In form, function, and durability it has far surpassed other market competitors. However, the cost makes this stand mixer seem like a small investment. Compared to the Cuisinart SM-70BC and the Hamilton Beach 63232 Eclectrics, it is!
As the favored tool by home and professional cooks, the KitchenAid Professional Series provides more bang for your buck in the long run. Time is money. If there is one thing this stand mixer achieves, it is saving you time. It should also be noted that finding parts and people to fix your mixer is a cinch.
This baby is intended to last. The KitchenAid Professional Series Stand Mixers in my restaurant typically last 6-7 years. I can assure you, my chefs work them to their full capacity 8-12 hours a day. Durability is one of the many perks.
It juices, beats, kneads, whips and so much more. In fact, the KitchenAid Professional Series does so much, it is difficult to imagine what it can’t do.
Hamilton Beach, Cuisinart, and the KitchenAid stand mixers come equipped with three standard accessories: a dough hook, a whisk, and a paddle. For your basic baking tasks, this typically does the trick. With these tools, you can make bread, whip up meringue, and create batch after fabulous batch of home-made cookies.
Modern stand mixers are the backbone of any efficient kitchen. Consider your swanky mixer a foundational piece. There are an extraordinary variety of versatile attachment pieces that you can buy to upgrade your mixer. This is one of my favorite features as a chef.
Throwing a party and want to show off your mad cooking skills by rolling out your own pasta? You don’t need to purchase a pasta roller, simply purchase the attachment and add it to your machine! Pssstttt…here is a little chef secret: the attachments often work better than DIY.
Stand Mixer Attachment Comparison
Each of the three stand mixers has separate attachment pieces that you can purchase.
The graph above clearly shows which company offers more upgrades. What it fails to do is explain how truly exceptional some of these attachments are. For example, the KitchenAid Pasta Cutter is a three-piece set. Each cutter varies in size to allow for you to make a different type of noodle. Have you ever had home-made pasta? If not, I highly recommend it! Treat your beau or belle to a culinary treat by expanding your repertoire.
The proof is in the pudding. The KitchenAid Professional Series is the King Koopa of stand mixers. You can easily eliminate the future purchase of additional bulky pieces of equipment by slowly investing in attachment pieces.
Attachments allow you to work smarter not harder. KitchenAid as a company creates innovative and often extravagant upgrades. While a Sausage Stuffer seems like a chef’s dream, it may not be your slice of pie. Below, we take an in-depth view of each stand mixer and their merits.
Chef’s Choice: The KitchenAid Professional 600 Series
Looking to up your culinary game or perhaps have a small food venture from home? You may have met your match.
KitchenAid has become a household name synonymous with quality. As a company, they have garnered a reputation for durability and excellence. The Pro Series maintains that renown by being powerful enough to tackle the most robust and dense mixes.
This elite machine excels where more domestic mixers lag in terms of strength. The Pro Series has established the industry standard. Commercial kitchens across the world are littered with them, as they are an indispensable tool.
With a 578 Watt Motor, this is one sturdy stand mixer. However, one major complaint from online reviewers has been its power. The intensity of the motor makes it a rather loud choice. Compared to the hustle and bustle of a busy kitchen, I have personally never found it overtly offensive.
Features & Specs.
Motor Strength: 578 Watts; Ideal for high-volume or commercial setting, designed for large quantities of food being prepared in a short time span. Think…Thanksgiving.
Speed Settings: This model has 10 speeds (perfect for whipping dry and/or wet ingredients). If you are worried about the strength of the mixer being overbearing for your more delicate home projects, I recommend using a lower setting.
Bowl: Equipped with a 6-quart stainless steel bowl. It is capable of combining 13 dozen cookies in a single mix. Not that it is not dishwasher safe.
Size: Weighing in at a whopping 29 pounds, the Pro Series is fairly heavy. The weight allows for it to remain firmly on your counter-top without shaking while trying to battle batter.
It is 17 inches tall. While this may not seem like much, if you plan on placing it in between a counter and cabinet, it may be a tight fit. It’s important to note that the bowl-lift feature does not change the height. The bowl itself moves, but the head remains at 17″ tall.
- Bowl-Lift Feature: The head of the mixer is stationary, meaning there is no hinge to swing your head back. Advocates for this feature have typically had problems in the past with faulty hinges on the tilting head feature of other models. There is a lever of the side of the machine that draws the bowl into place. The bowl itself snaps on with two clamps on each side. A bowl-lift supports heavier doughs and batters while allowing the machine to remain firm and steady on your counter-top.
- One feature that exhibits the meticulous care taken to create a functional design is the head size. The head of a bowl-lift mixer is smaller. If you have ever whipped up an Italian Meringue, you can appreciate this characteristic. Some mixes require you to add a liquid to your batter while it is being mixed. If the head is too large, it makes it difficult to pour directly in between the whisk and bowl. The head of this stand mixer is narrow enough to see what you are doing and make a clean pour.
Additional Features: The Pro Series is available in 29 colors.
At the end of the day, the most important review is yours. The KitchenAid Professional generally receives a 4-5 star rating. Majority of the less than stellar reviews are not on the product itself, but of the customer service that KitchenAid provides. Another key complaint has been that many of the pieces are not dishwasher safe. I know in my house, a dishwasher friendly product is a MUST! Hand washing each piece covered in batter is not a job I look forward to.
The Practical Choice: Cuisinart SM-70BC
The Cuisinart SM-70BC is an exceptional stand mixer for the home baker or chef. If you are looking for a practical choice that hits all of the marks in quality and design without breaking the bank, this may be the mixer for you.
Cuisinart is a universally recognized brand proclaimed by many top chefs as their company of choice. The company has made great leaps and strides in the culinary community by making working in the kitchen less of a task. The Cuisinart Sm-70BC stand mixer holds true to those ideals.
Almost every feature was created with you in mind. From its dishwasher safe pieces to the tilt-head design, this is probably one of the most practical stand mixers on the market. However, it’s difficult not to notice that the difference in cost between it and the KitchenAid is less than $100.
This mixer has some incredible features that may help you to overlook the cost comparison. With chefs like Julia Child and Jacques Pepin endorsing Cuisinart, it can not be dismissed as a useful tool created for the home cook.
Features & Specs.
At 1000 Watts, this is the strongest motor available on the home consumer market. This mixer packs a punch! One of the primary complaints from consumers is the loud noise that comes with having such a powerful motor. But with 1000 Watts under the hood, the noise is to be expected. Created to withstand heavy-duty usage for long lengths of time, this is a great mixer for someone who cooks and hosts large parties.
This model has 12 different speed settings. From creaming your butter to kneading heavier pizza doughs, customers have found that the power is not overwhelming. The Cuisinart cannot hold up against extra large batches, despite the manufacturer’s claims and motor size. Their claim says it can hold enough mix for 4-5 loaves of bread. I do not recommend making more than 2 loaves at a time.
Personally, I really liked using this mixer in my own home. Despite its lacking strength capacity, I found that the speed settings were crafted delicately and were able to handle smaller projects, offering an even mix. The best part was the slow start. Rather than immediately jumping into action throwing your ingredients everywhere, the Cuisinart stand mixer slowly comes to life. As anyone experienced in the kitchen knows, this is a massive bonus.
It comes standard with a 7-quart stainless steel basin. The bowl itself is dishwasher safe, making it user-friendly. However, an odd feature is the handles. The handles resemble those on a large stockpot, short and stubby located on the top of the bowl. I found the handles cumbersome and awkward to maneuver but that might just be me.
It weighs only 25.1 pounds, despite its large motor. That is an impressive feat by the engineers at Cuisinart. The height measures 14.5 inches tall. It is important to note that this is a tilt head mixer. Therefore, when locked in place it may be 14.5 inches tall, but when you lift the head to remove the bowl, it becomes much taller. If you would like to house the Cuisinart under a cabinet, add an additional 6 inches to your measurements to ensure that it properly fits the space.
- Slow Start Function: As I mentioned earlier, this is a winning feature. Start your machine and watch as it slowly gains speed rather than instantaneously revving to life. This company keeps the home cook in mind, allowing you to slowly incorporate your ingredients while keeping your workspace tidy.
- Gentle Fold Function: This is a slow speed function that has become iconic with Cuisinart. The fold motion enables you to manage the creation of gluten in your baked goods. Think of it as a smart design that attempts to go the extra mile.
- 15 Minute Countdown Timer: At 1000 Watts, the machine is not very energy efficient. Cuisinart recognizes the enormous draw on energy that their mixer requires. To that end, they have created the 15 Minute Countdown Timer which will automatically shut off your machine after the 15 minutes expire. The drawback is that when you have a mixture that requires more time, your machine may still decide to stop mixing. This feature will help you not to over-mix, but in the case of some doughs, your project may be under-mixed.
- 3 Power Outlets: For me, this was a design flaw. The Cuisinart SM-70BC comes with three different outlets. One is for the machine itself. The other two are in case you decide to purchase some of their more heavy-duty attachments, which require these additional outlets. It is difficult not to make the argument that KitchenAid has managed to achieve the same function without the spare hardware.
- Tilt-Back Head: There are two types of stand mixers: Tilt-Back Head and Bowl-Lift. There are lovers on each side of the fence. Tilt-back heads are used on lighter models, which makes it an odd choice for such a heavy duty piece of equipment. It is widely accepted that the tilt-back head is a more user-friendly feature, which does fall in line with the companies precepts.
- Accompanying DVD and Manual.
- There seems to be disagreement on how many colors are available. The most cited is that there are three available options. I have only owned one, so I wouldn’t call myself the color authority on this one.
There are a plethora of reviews available on the internet about this product. Most tend to swing heavily against or in support of the Cuisinart 70 Series.
The majority of consumers against this model generally cite the machine as not being able to keep up with company claims. It seems that the motor’s strength, despite its size, cannot keep up with larger batches, causing many mixers to burn out. In an effort to smooth out their reputation with consumers, Cuisinart offers a 5-Year Motor Warranty. This warranty goes beyond industry standards and builds the customer’s confidence in the brand. From a consumer standpoint, this is a great way to build brand loyalty. Who doesn’t love a 5-year guarantee?
The Value Choice: Hamilton Beach Eclectrics 63232
If you are looking for a more cost-conscious choice, there is always the Hamilton Beach 63232 Eclectrics Model. Its sleek vintage exterior matched with a price meant to sell make it impossible to ignore.
With this ultra-minimalist stand mixer, Hamilton Beach serves up an option that the larger companies have neglected. Constructed of the same die-cast metal as its competitors, this resourceful model is a great addition for budding bakers and cooks who want the efficiency of a machine within a reasonable price range. Hamilton Beach is a lauded American appliance manufacturer with a reputation for providing quality equipment.
Currently, this model is being sold at large retailers across the nation with the help of elite chef endorsements by the leading lady herself, Rachel Ray. It has gained a loyal following of seasoned chefs and newbie cooks as a durable model that has enough gusto to get the job done at home!
Features & Specs.
The motor functions at 400 Watts. Don’t let the number scare you away. The ultra industrial KitchenAid Professional only runs at 575 Watts. Wattage has become marketing propaganda that has been seriously misconstrued to the consumer. Wattage only indicates how much power the motor will consume, not the amount of power it can produce.
Consumer reviews and my own experience in using the machine allows me to tell you that this adorable chic mixer actually can compete with the competition in terms of motor strength. However, it is good to keep in mind that this piece of equipment was not intended for high-volume jobs. It is a home mixer.
This model of stand mixer has 12 different speed settings, offering you the flexibility to determine what works best for your culinary project. I have found that for every mix and dough there is a setting available on this quality mixer that will match.
Equipped with a 5-quart bowl complete with a splash guard to protect you and your counters from unnecessary spills. The stainless steel bowl is dishwasher safe for fast clean up. An added benefit is the elongated easy access handle. Its sleek design allows for a firm comfortable grip.
In a continued effort to create an optimal home appliance, this model is 18.83 pounds, which makes it rather light by comparison. The true value is the size. For most people, finding enough counter space to house a stand mixer is a problem. At only 12″ tall, this power-house can virtually live anywhere in your kitchen. Due to its conveniently compact size, the fact that it is also a tilt-head mixer should play little part in your decision on where to place your new sous-chef.
- Depending on where you purchase the machine, it comes with an industry standard 1- 3 Year Limited Warranty.
- Planetary Mixing Action: I am sure you have heard this industry buzz word by now. If you haven’t, this is just technical speak for the way the beater spins. Older models of stand mixers have a beater that remains up-right and turns 360 degrees. Planetary mixing is when your machine orbits the bowl on its own axis. Quite like how to the earth revolves around the sun…planetary. Planetary mixing allows for a more fluid mix and a more thoroughly combined end product.
- 2 Way Rotating Mixing Action: I can not verify that this feature necessarily creates a better batter, but I can tell you that it is pretty cool to use.
- Tilt-Back Head: The size of the Hamilton Beach Eclectrics mixed with the tilt-back feature is a strong selling point. Its petite size allows you to open the head hinge and replace the attachments without concern for placement between cabinets. What a luxury! Have I mentioned that a tilt-back is the far cleaner option? A bowl-lift forces you to maneuver the attachment beaters on and off in an impossible manner. A tilt-back does just as the name implies. Tilt the head back and allow the batter to flow from the beater back into the bowl.
- Each Hamilton stand mixer is hand finished then sealed with a protective coating. I don’t know about you, but anytime a company says that they do anything by hand, they gain some respect points.
Nearly 3/4 of customers give the Hamilton Beach Eclectrics 63232 model a 5-star rating. Some of the less than savory reviews complain about the product burning out within 1-4 uses. This is a huge issue.
In purchasing a value model, it is important to keep your warranty and receipts in case your machine falters. Many of the same people whose machines had issues also spoke highly of the customer service they received from Hamilton Beach.
And The Stand Mixer Award Goes To…
It should come as no surprise that of the three stand mixers that we reviewed, the KitchenAid Professional gets our vote of confidence. As a company and product, this machine goes above and beyond the industry standards, saving you an enormous amount of money along the way.
This model encompasses all that a kitchen appliance can hope to achieve. It’s powerful motor, bowl size, attachment selection, and massive versatility make this our choice for the Best Stand Mixer. Whether in a commercial kitchen or at home, your time is valuable. Choose a product that works as hard as you do.
Are you a super foodie and want the DL on the hottest products to hit food? Check out our article on The Best Food Dehydrators and explore a whole new realm of satisfaction.
Q: Are KitchenAid Attachments Universal?
A: Yes and no. Any KitchenAid attachment can be used on any other KitchenAid Stand Mixer. That is a company guarantee. Although, you can’t use your super Sausage Stuffer on a Cuisinart, as the two are not compatible.
Q: What is the best way to clean my stand mixer?
A: There is no one size fits all answer to this question. Be sure to check out the manual that came with your specific mixer to ensure that you maintain the hardware properly. At home and at my restaurant, I clean all of my mixer attachments by hand, despite claims that it may be dishwasher safe. It’s better to be safe than sorry, right?
Q: How much can my KitchenAid Professional really hold?
A: At home, I push my mixer to the limits. Unlike many competitors, the company’s claims hold up. If your model says it can make 8 loaves of bread, then it really does make 8 loaves of bread without straining your machine. Be sure to read the manual that came with your specific model.