Who wins in this kitchen appliance showdown?

One of the best ways to start an argument is to make a claim that X is better than Y. It doesn’t really matter what X or Y is, just stating that one is superior to another will set off passionate debate that often devolves into insults. This scenario popped into my head when I saw an article at Eater about head-to-head matches between types of appliances. Wisely, Eater does not have a comments section so there is no arguing about the recommendations. For the most part, I agreed with them so I wasn’t about to argue anyway.

The match-ups provide expert opinions on which of a pair of appliances would be the better one to keep if space or other considerations forced you to choose between them. Microwaves were pitted against air fryers, toaster ovens to toasters, hand mixers to stand mixers, and blenders to food processors. The first one seems to be an apples and oranges comparison as the two products really aren’t meant to accomplish the same tasks. I was somewhat surprised to see the microwave getting the nod, even though I agree with the choice. I don’t have an air fryer but I use my microwave several times per day.

The contest between the blender and the food processor is the most challenging of these showdowns because the two appliances have a lot of overlap. Blenders do a better job of emulsifying and pureeing things, but they can’t match the versatility of a good food processor. The options for shredding, slicing, and chopping push that appliance over the top. If space is the only constraint keeping someone from having both, a simple stick blender would allow them to enjoy the best of both worlds.

The hand mixer vs. stand mixer was also interesting. I know more people that don’t have a stand mixer than those who do. Stand mixers take up a lot of real estate and if you don’t do a lot of baking, I could see why they would seem like a waste of space. However, I have found that I use my stand mixer for a lot more than making cakes, cookies, or breads. It does a great job at shredding cooked meat, and the various attachments make it useful for peeling and spiralizing fruits and vegetables, grinding meat, and milling grains.

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  • lean1  on  April 13, 2024

    Cuisinart is the best product on my counter. I use it all the time, several times a day. I have never felt the need to get a stand mixer, and I do a lot of baking.

  • KarenGlad  on  April 14, 2024

    I’m lucky to have the counter space and have a stand mixer, food processor and blender all sitting ready. But the one I really couldn’t live without is the stand mixer.

  • Jane  on  April 14, 2024

    I have a stand mixer but find I hardly use it anymore unless whisking a lot of egg whites. For cakes I find I have to scrape down the sides so often to keep everything incorporated that it is much quicker and easier to use my hand electric whisk. I love my Vitamix but if I had to choose between that and my food processor the latter would win as it’s so much more versatile. I do use my air fryer quite a lot as I’m generally cooking for one and it’s much quicker and more economical when roasting anything.

  • reader1trees  on  April 15, 2024

    I think it depends so much on the skills and capabilities of the person using the equipment as well as their choice of ingredients to prepare that it’s not helpful to readers to pit different types of appliances against one another. Rather, I think, reviews should concentrate on telling you about what each appliance can do and how well it performs each task as well as its ease of use and/or any special conditions of use.
    You’re the only person who can really judge whether lightweight hand held beaters are better than a stand mixer for you at this moment in time because only you know your own physical limitations, your level of cooking skill and the types of recipe you want to prepare as well as how much money you can afford to spend.
    I’ve found that my kitchen appliance needs continue to change over time and so I do read a lot of reviews, even if I don’t think that I’m going to want to buy whatever piece of equipment is being tested, because it’s still helpful to know what you could purchase in the future. I also like to know if a better version of an indispensable appliance is being produced or one that incorporates additional features in case mine breaks or I simply decide to trade up.
    Overall I think that presenting product reviews as head-to-heads is probably more about fashions in domestic appliance journalism than anything else so I expect that we’ll see a change if we just wait a year or two.

  • goodfruit  on  April 18, 2024

    I’m still waiting for someone to sing the praises of the Bosch Mixer that uses a food processor post type of setting for their 6 quart bowls. You can easily add anything to whatever you are mixing.

    Also, you can add a blender, you can add a slicer & shredder, you can add an ice cream maker…what is not to love about the Bosch?

  • arlojill  on  April 19, 2024

    @Goodfruit you’re so right about the Bosch. I’ve had the Profi-Mixx for almost 20 years. I appreciate how versatile it is with all of the attachments and one motor. The powerful motor is quiet and the machine is super portable – very light. I don’t like appliance clutter all over my counter and it’s easily stored away out of sight. We recently moved from Germany to US and it works fine with a power transformer. I’m so glad you wrote your post about Bosch!!

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