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Cuisinart SM-55 12-Speed Stand Mixer Review
The Cuisinart SM-55 Stand Mixer can be summed in one word, power. The entire unit is designed around taking full advantage of its 800W motor, the most powerful motor on the market by a significant margin. The strength of the Cuisinart's motor makes it the perfect choice for kneading heavy doughs and combining the kind of ingredients that usually burn out other motors, such as molasses. The Cuisinart SM-55 also comes with the necessary safety features such as automatic shutoff, needed to prolong the life of the mixer.
With a large capacity bowl, three different attachments, and 12 speeds - the Cuisinart is ready for most kitchen tasks straight out of the box. Its capability is increased even further with the extended range of attachments, such as grinders and shredders. Some reviewers have reported that the Cuisinart's whipping function isn't quite as good as some of its direct competitors, such as the KitchenAid, but it is still more than satisfactory.
Overall, the Cuisinart is an excellent piece of equipment. It is very well designed and built, with the best manufacturers warranties in its class. There is no compromise between performance and style. Its versatility and reliability make it very good value for money.
The Cuisinart's selling point is its sheer power. Just like the KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer, it has shown to be highly capable of handling the heaviest bread dough in large quantities. Considering it comes with a five and a half quart bowl, those quantities can get very large. To manage such a powerful motor, the Cuisinart features both a 15-minute timer and an automatic shutoff. These are both essential safety features on a motor with this kind of strength and they remove the need for constant supervision while it is in use.
The Cuisinart features 3 different power outlets to give you the widest range of options possible. The high power outlet allows the use of attachments such as the meat grinder, giving you some the kind of functionality you'd normally only get in a professional kitchen. The Cuisinart's 12 speeds allow you to get the speed just right for operations that require very precise settings.
The Cuisinart SM-55 Stand Mixer comes with three standard attachments:
- Flat Mixing Paddle
- Dough Hook
- Chef's Whip
The quality of the attachments is of the same high standard as the mixer itself. The flat mixing paddle is shaped perfectly to the bowl and ensures smooth, even and complete mixing every time. The Cuisinart uses a planetary motion system that maximizes the area covered by the attachments and that means nothing is left on the side of the bowl, unlike that seen in cheap models. The dough hook is robust enough to deal with kneading very heavy dough and makes the best use of the power of the motor. The chef's whip is well made but doesn't quite have the same ability to aerate as the KitchenAid. That said, it does work well but as this is a premium product, expectations will justifiably be very high.
There is a fantastic range of other attachments available to purchase separately. The meat grinder, in particular, is exceptionally useful. Without having this attachment available, you would most likely have to purchase a food processor or similar machine to have this capability in your kitchen. Forward thinking like this, that not only makes best use of a powerful mixer, but also keeps in mind the customer's needs is a hallmark of the Cuisinart.
Ease of Operation
The Cuisinart Stand Mixer comes with a robust, one piece splashguard with a ramp for easy addition of ingredients. The Cuisinart also has a slow start feature to prevent spillage and mess as the machine starts up. The bowl itself as two handles on the side for easy lifting and moving, a simple but welcome feature.
The build quality is excellent and that can be seen in the smooth operation of all the hinges, power outlets etc. The mixer vibrates very little considering its power and doesn't move around on a worktop. The tilt-head makes changing attachments very quick and easy and it holds in place nicely.
The Cuisinart has a timer and LCD screen for ease of operation. The bowl has a very generous capacity, allowing for large batch recipes to be prepared.
Colors and Style
The Cuisinart is surprisingly compact considering the size of its motor. Its body is die cast metal and feels reassuringly robust. Its clean lines have a very modern look and would fit in well in contemporary and modern kitchens. The Brushed Chrome model is beautiful and would look eyecatching on any worktop. The only other colors the Cuisinart is available in are black and white, but most customers fall in love with the chrome model at first sight.
Warranty and Support
Cuisinart offer the best manufacturing warranties of any stand mixer by far. The Cuisinart SM comes with a 3 year product warranty and an amazing 5 year warranty on the motor. That alone is a great endorsement of the quality of its engineering. It's hard to think of any consumer appliance that offers warranties of this length. There is a lot of value added to the product in knowing there is that level of service and support coming with it.