So we all have gadgets that we like to use. Some of these gadgets we buy, use for a bit, then they end up sitting on a shelf or in the back of drawer for the rest of our lives while we never pick them up again. This multi review is just the opposite. These top 2 appliances happen to be the 2 most used appliances in my home kitchen. If any of these would break or get abducted by aliens, I would fix or replace them before I needed to use them again. So without further ado, here they are!
#1 Kitchen Aid
Why do I like my KitchenAid?
I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love using my KitchenAid mixer. I use this appliance for most of the things I do in the kitchen. It is great for mixing dough and batters. My wife tells me how much she loves using it around the holidays. She can make cookie dough for the half dozen different types Christmas cookies in a fraction of the time it used to take her. Mashed potatoes take no effort at all and whip cream takes seconds. This is all just perks of owning a KitchenAid with no added attachments.
Over the years, I had asked for various attachments as gift ideas. I now have a good amount of attachments and they all have added a great value to an already invaluable machine. Some of my favorite add-ons are the pasta rollers and meat grinder. Making pasta can’t be easier than this. You can make the dough in less than a minute. Attach the pasta roller and roll out perfect sheets of pasta, then cut them with amazing ease. Large batches take no time, and you can dry it yourself so you can always have homemade pasta.
Grinding meat is incredibly fast and easy. You can finally get the famous burger mixture without having to travel to restaurant that makes it. It takes no extra effort to make your own combinations of chuck, brisket, short rib, etc. and find your own personal favorite burger. I’ve also used it to make my own homemade chicken nuggets. That experience alone was worth the price of KitchenAid and meat grinder attachment.
I have an ice cream maker attachment and the corer, peeler, slicer attachment. I used to use a hand cranked version of this latter item. I like to make homemade applesauce. Using the KitchenAid’s corer, peeler, slicer makes the hardest part of this task a breeze. There are other attachments such as spice and grain grinder, sausage stuffer, and food processor. You could easily set up most of your kitchen appliances around the attachments available for the KitchenAid.
Ultimately, I would be just as satisfied with the mixer unit alone. Over the years, making breads, pizzas, cakes, cookies, mashed potatoes, vegetable souflees, pasta, pancakes, whipped cream toppings and different desserts the KitchenAid has been more than worth the investment.
The KitchenAid is very heavy, a trade off for a solid piece of machinery that will last a very long time. Sadly, moving the appliance from counter to storage every time you intend to use it will be a bit cumbersome. I like to make this a “show off” counter appliance.
An overlooked downside is how dangerous it is because of how powerful it is. Common sense says to keep hands and fingers away from moving parts, but also keep in mind that this is an industrial strength machine. I’m not talking about bruises, you could easily lose a finger from not being too careful. Treat the KitchAid mixer as you would any other industrial piece of equipment. I believe the gears are made to break if something were to get caught in the mixer, but I believe serious injury would incur before that happens.
$$$$ The price tag is definitely something to consider. I have never heard anyone regret spending the money on a KitchenAid, even for people who use it a few times a year (holiday cookies, birthday cakes, etc.). It is still $300+. If you are worried about the return on such an investment, you will find that every penny spent is worth it in the end.
Compared to Similar Products
The only product that I have found to compare in performance would be the Breville stand mixer. The price is similar to the KitchenAid and it’s power and performance stands up in the same fashion. Anyone that I have ever asked if they would want a KitchenAid instead of their Breville would simply say they are happy with what they have.
Hamilton Beach has a few different options if you need keep your budget on the lower side. I hear good things about these products as they always have less expensive options for various products. Follow my link and you will see a few of these options and also various other companies of whom I have not reviewed but are valid options if you want to further research on your own.
Ultimately my Conclusion
I would buy this product again and again. I have so many attachment that I love to use with the KitchenAid and they are very easy to use. They literally click into place in one easy step. It is solid, built to last, performs like no other, and is just downright reliable. I’ve never had a problem but if I did there is a whole customer support system on the KitchenAid website.
Why do I like my Vitamix?
I have used old school blenders in the past and would have never known there was such a more powerful option if I never came across one of these in a professional kitchen. Wow! First, I want to talk about smoothness. You can not get a more velvety smooth sauce or puree from a regular blender. This blender has over 2 HP in its motor. Sauces and purees are great, so are smoothies. There is a lot of new juice and smoothie trends out there today. The Vitamix can take whole fruit and turn it to juice in seconds. Do you want to make healthy juice recipes but afraid it will take too much time? The Vitamix will make that worry disappear. Anything you can think of, it is just that much better using a Vitamix. I recently made Vichyssoise and it came out perfectly.
Cleaning under the blades of blenders can be a slight pain because there are always some little pieces left behind. The Vitamix fixes this problem. Add a little water, about a cup or two, into the pitcher and blend on high. The Vitamix cleans itself. Any debris in the blades will be gone.
Once, I thought I broke it. Silly, I added cooked potatoes and thought I could make mashed potatoes instantly. You can make thick soups like this but you need liquid too. So I kept it on high for too long and it shut off. I turned the switch to off and back on again. No power. I thought I broke it. About ten minutes later, I tried it again and it worked just fine. The Vitamix will shut down before the motor blows out. Yes, it does take a lot to blow out a 2.2HP motor of a blender. The Vitamix will lock up for about 7 minutes before you can use it again.
If something does break, Vitamix has a 10 year warranty!
If I could improve the Vitamix. . .
I’m not sure there is much to cover here. I could ask for a more powerful motor so I could add iron to my smoothies. Haha. I do like that the pitcher has a 64 oz. but it’s nice to have smaller containers for things like hollandaise or salad dressings. They have such containers and in some of their reviews they mention how they bases are threaded on the inside. If they could improve upon this aspect it would make it easier for cleaning and storing.
Compared to Similar Products
The Ninja is the most comparable product on the market. When I was shopping for this type of blender, I was torn between these two companies. These are comparable by overall appeal. The Ninja has lots of versatility with different types of containers and attachments. In the end I went with the Vitamix based on my own personal experience using them in professional kitchens. Blendtec is another top of the line blender. You will pay about the same amount as a Vitamix and you will also get the professional grade performance. I have never used a Blendtec blender, but I have heard from people who have that they are some of the best out there.
Ultimately my Conclusion
I have used my Vitamix for smoothies, sauces, soups, juices, purees, milkshakes, and a few other things that I can’t remember right now. I love it. It works exactly as advertised and I never have a problem. Cleaning is as simple as blending. I just add a little soap and hot water and turn it on high. I really don’t think I would ever want another blender. Definitely worth the money.