I’ve owned over 9 KitchenAid mixers during the time I did wedding cakes, and my favorite was the KitchenAid Professional 6 Quart.
I also had a Cuisinart 7 quart mixer, but even though the bowl was larger, I always used the KitchenAid, basically because it was designed better for the way that I worked.
The Cuisinart 7 quart mixer has been discontinued, but from what I can see on their website the 5.5 Qt mixers have a similar design and controls.
You’re not going to go wrong with either a KitchenAid or a Cuisinart, they’re both good mixers, but these are the reasons why I liked the KitchenAid mixers better, and kept buying them!
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KitchenAid 6Qt Mixer design and size.
- Height: Lift-lid design, fits under a standard kitchen cabinet on the counter.
- Head Mechanism: Lid lifts using a handle on the side of the mixer to raise the beater out of the bowl.
- Bowl Attachment: Bowl fits into place and locks onto a “U” shaped bracket with two knobs and a knob on the back part of the mixer.
- Bowl size: The bowl is a shorter height and wider than Cuisinart mixer bowls. The handle is on the side of the bowl so that it can be removed from the mixer with one hand.
For the design I actually preferred the KitchenAid to the Cuisinart because of the depth of the bowl. I’m an average-height woman, and the bowl of the KitchenAid is wide enough that it’s easy to reach inside to scrape the sides. You can also see inside the bowl easily when it’s mixing so that you can watch what’s going on.
It sounds like a minor thing, but it really makes a difference when you’re trying to see inside the bowl to judge when something is mixed correctly. I ended up using the KitchenAid for most of my work even though the bowl on my Cuisinart had a higher capacity.
- Pouring Shield: Two types available, one with a large hole that makes it pretty useless for things like powdered sugar. Some users find the design ineffective, especially for preventing flour spills. Make sure to get the two-piece spill guard if you can find one.
Most KitchenAids I’ve seen recently have the one-piece shield, which has a big gap in it that lets things fly out as you’re mixing. It’s pretty useless, but I had a two-piece shield that worked well.
If you can get a two-piece shield for the KitchenAid, I would do that because they work fine and give you more of a view of what’s going on in the mixer.
If you can’t find a two-piece shield, you can put a piece of paper towel over the gap in the shield to keep everything in the mixer.
Controls and handling
- Control Placement: Controls are on the left-hand side as you’re facing the mixer.
- Timer: Lacks a timer but has a straightforward knob for speed control.
- Handle Placement: Ergonomic handle at the side helps with easy pouring and scraping.
I like the KitchenAid left-hand controls because I’m right-handed, and it let me use the speed controls and hold other things in my right hand at the same time.
With controls on the right side like Cuisinart mixers have, I had to put things down to change the mixer speed, and it made it harder to pour things into the bowl while increasing the speed at the same time.
Motor and Gears
KitchenAid Professional 6 Quart
- Wattage: 575 watts, fine for most things that can kill a mixer, like making royal icing.
- Gears: Contrary to rumors, the gears are metal in the model I looked at.
You want a mixer with metal gears if you can get one, since they’ll probably be sturdier than plastic ones. I opened the KitchenAid up to oil it and the gears were metal, but I’ve heard rumors that new models have plastic gears. You might not have a choice if that’s how they’re made, but it’s a little detail that might make a difference if you’re going to use the mixer a lot.
Before I bought a Cuisinart, people told me that I would really like it for making bread, but I honestly don’t see a difference in how the two mixers handle bread dough.
- Basic attachments: The mixers come with a paddle, a dough hook, and a whisk attachment.
- Optional attachments: Variety of extra attachments available, all compatible with the front hub. These include slicing and grating attachments, an ice cream maker, pasta roller, and a food processor attachment, among others.
For me, the attachments weren’t the deciding factor for purchasing because I didn’t use them that often. If it’s important to you, check to see if the mixer that you want to buy has that specific attachment before buying.
- Cord Length: The long cord offers more flexibility in countertop placement. My Cuisinart has a shorter cord so you can’t put it too far from the outlet.
Verdict: This makes a difference. Longer cord wins.
If you’re left-handed you might like a Cuisinart mixer better for the controls being on the right side, which would leave your left hand open for pouring things into the mixer and adjusting the speed at the same time.
I thought that the higher bowl capacity on the Cuisinart would make it win, but the shape of the bowl made it difficult to make larger batches of icing because you couldn’t get the spatula to the bottom of the bowl to scrape it when the bowl was so full. That ended up being a wash.
The KitchenAid bowl also has a handle that’s easier to use, so for me, it’s designed a little better than the Cuisinart mixers.
Keep in mind that both brands are reliable and efficient, so your decision may hinge on the specific features that align with your cooking style and kitchen layout.