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Make Your Table Pop With Holiday Table Runners for Christmas & Thanksgiving

Are you looking for a beautiful holiday table runner for your Thanksgiving or Christmas table?

I love the extra touch that it brings to the table, especially when your “good company” holiday tablecloth is a single color or a subtle pattern that isn’t eye-catching by itself.

You can find details below about the Top 10 Best Sellers at Amazon that you’ve got to take a peek at. I keep this list updated, so when something new and snazzy moves up the list, you’ll see it here right away, too. If you don’t find what you want in the first place, check back, because something new might “pop” for you.

Some browsers choke a bit on this list. If you’re having issues, click here to see the list at Amazon.

[azon_bestsellers categoryid=”3742021″ max=”10″]
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Small Spaces, Medium Batches, High Power – Why The Bosch Compact Mixer Saves The Day As A Stand Mixer

Bosch Compact Mixer

Stand Mixer Style: Bosch Compact Mixer
Our Reviewer Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
Brand: Bosch
Amazon Rating: 4.4 out of 5 Stars with 143 Reviews
Model Number: mum4405
Best Used For: Consumer Mid Range Use
See at Amazon  Read Amazon Reviews

Summary

Do you, your significant other, or family member love to bake? Are you considering a new or replacement stand mixer that doesn’t take up so much room but still carries the load? Are you looking for the perfect Christmas gift for a baker who hates clunky big KitchenAids or their friends? You’ve come to the right place here at The Cook’s Measure. If getting the baker in your life a new compact yet high-powered stand mixer like this Bosch Compact Mixer isn’t quite what you’re after, be sure to see our other stand mixer reviews or check out our gift guide for women who bake for even more ideas.

As you’ll see in our review, the Bosch Stand Mixer is a small kitchen baker’s dream for a lightweight, powerful mid-range mixer. With a small kitchen, space is at a premium and this mixer easily stores away in a cabinet or pantry. You also have access to a wide range of Bosch mixer attachments for expanding the tasks you can accomplish with a single small kitchen appliance.

If you’re looking to replace or upgrade an older, finicky, or lower-powered stand mixer, this Bosch kitchen mixer has become a popular choice. KitchenAid users wanting to move to a stand mixer with equal or more power and a smaller countertop footprint love this little guy.

I suspect Bosch will keep converting fans with this re-release of this compact model as more KitchenAid enthusiasts get tired of repair bills and huge mixers. Of their current Amazon buyers, they have a very solid 4.4 Stars Amazon rating with 87 reviews, and several reviewers specifically mentioned shifting from KitchenAid to this smaller Bosch for regular-sized and smaller batches of bread, cookies, pies, and cakes.

Power and Mixer Speeds:
9 out of 10 stars (9.0 / 10)
Capacity:
9 out of 10 stars (9.0 / 10)
Quality and Durability:
9 out of 10 stars (9.0 / 10)
Versatility of Add-Ons:
8 out of 10 stars (8.0 / 10)
Overall Value:
9 out of 10 stars (9.0 / 10)
Busy Family Cooks:
9 out of 10 stars (9.0 / 10)
Couples Who Entertain:
8 out of 10 stars (8.0 / 10)
Cooks Working Outside Home:
9 out of 10 stars (9.0 / 10)
Cooks Who Cook for One or Two:
10 out of 10 stars (10.0 / 10)
Cooking Enthusiasts or Pros:
8 out of 10 stars (8.0 / 10)

What Do You Get in this Compact Stand Mixer?

The Bosch model mum4405 comes with a plastic 4 Quart mixing bowl that locks into place, and the bowl can handle up to about 5 pounds of dough. You also get a full lid and splash cover, plus wire whips and a dough hook. This model is a planetary stand mixer, which means it has a planetary mixing action to improve performance. (Wikipedia: How does a planetary mixing action gear system help my mixer?)

The oscillating mixing action also has the side benefit of maintaining a better circuit around the bowl and keeps the sides free of dough so you don’t have to constantly scrape the sides of the bowl. This makes it perform well as a dough and pastry mixer.

While the powerful 400 Watt motor only comes with 4 main speeds, they are controlled electronically for a more even mixing process.

And like other quality stand mixers, Bosch offers a number of useful mixer accessories. In addition to the wire whips and dough hook the mixer comes with, you can purchase other Bosch stand mixer attachments like the Food Processor, the Blender, and the Continuous Shredder.

I really like the Bosch accessories because you can bypass your other kitchen machines for some common tasks. If you do a fair bit of blending in small quantities, you could nix your separate blender in many cases with the small blender add-on. However, if you want to use a full-size blender, I wouldn’t get the Bosch blender attachment because it only holds 4 cups.

But the best part of this is not just fewer devices. You’re saving space, too, by storing less items and only pulling out one compact stand mixer and attachments for multiple tasks. That’s efficient!

Pros and Cons of Bosch Stand Mixers

Pros:

  • The compact head area means that this small stand mixer has a lower vertical footprint than other consumer mixers. And the overall mixer itself has a small footprint (13″x11″) and is lightweight (only 8 pounds!), so it’s easy to handle or store away. If you have limited strength or need to store this in a cabinet or a pantry, you’ll find the lighter weight a big relief over your old mixer.
  • The 4 Quart mixing bowl is perfect for normal-sized batches of bread, cookies, brownies, or other sweets. And best of all, despite looking like a plastic Fisher Price toy on the outside, it has solid engineering inside and is both durable and powerful. Reviewers say the Bosch can easily go head-to-head with a comparable KitchenAid and even outperform some, especially with bread dough.
  • Bosch has made this mixer easy to use and keep clean. The bowl doesn’t turn at all and clicks into the mixer so the beaters do the moving for you. And the splash guard has an opening in the front for adding things. The mixer also has a locking park position to keep the beaters out of your way. Less fuss, less muss, and easy-to-clean parts.
  • A 400W motor for a mid-range consumer stand mixer provides plenty of power even without the planetary gearing. Bosch has also improved engineering to add safety features and prevent overheating, which we all know is a problem with certain other brands of similar power and capacity.
  • High power like a larger capacity mixer combined with a smaller bowl means it’s easier to work with small and normal sized batches of even dense dough than for a larger stand mixer.

Cons:

  • This stand mixer is targeted for baking smaller or regular sizes batches easily, with lots of power and a reasonably-large bowl. So working with difficult dough isn’t a problem, but you are in a middle-of-the-road position in terms of volume. Don’t expect to do triple batches or more than 4-5 lbs of dough because the bowl is most likely small for those.
  • If you’re going to use the mixer’s lid with large amounts of dense dough, make sure the lid is tightly fastened or it’ll try to pop off as dough moves around. You can use it without the lid, though.
  • Like many stand mixers with even medium volume mixing bowls, very small batches of egg whites, whipping cream, or creaming of ingredients give it some trouble due to the wide and deep bowl.
  • The mixer is packaged somewhat loosely in the box, so it could shift around during delivery. Be sure to check it upon arrival for obvious damage and use it right away in case of internal problems. Bosch will treat you well if you need a replacement, even if it wasn’t Amazon handling returns for this, but you do want to discover problems quickly.

Versatility of Use

With the same kinds of stand mixer attachments that you can find with a KitchenAid stand mixer or the Bosch Universal Plus Kitchen Machine, as well as the included wire whips, dough hook, splash ring and lid, this slimmed-down mixer can handle a lot of tasks even beyond any heavy duty stand mixer tasks you plan to give it. As an “in-between” mixer, this Bosch is one of the best stand mixers in its class.

My favorite attachments are the food processor, blender, and continuous shredder with 3 different disks (and you can buy a grater add-on to it, which I also like).

There is also a cookie press, grain and meat grinder, and a berry press available. Some folks said they had issues finding accessories stocked in the U.S. but they found them on Amazon sites in other countries.

Note to Readers:
If you have trouble finding accessories, use our contact form to shoot me an email and I’ll see what I can find for you.

What Buyers Say About Bosch Compact Stand Mixers

Reviewers definitely like the extra power in this mixer over, for example, the 325W KitchenAid Artisan stand mixers. And as long as the batches are a reasonable size, it can even go head-to-head with the 575W KitchenAid Professional 600 Series.

[sws_pullquote_right]As an “in-between” mixer, this Bosch is one of the best stand mixers in its class.[/sws_pullquote_right]

Reviewers like the flexibility of being able to handle both small and even some regular batches in this mixer that the high-end mixers are just too big to manage. One buyer has both this machine and the Bosch Universal Plus stand mixer so she can do any size dough or bread job, small or large, in one or the other.

Buyers say that the compact machine is really nice for delicate batches of egg whites, making butter, meringue, or even Jello, and then you can turn around and do a few pounds of heavy bread dough.

And many purchasers are specifically moving over from KitchenAid mixers because they are tired of having to troubleshoot and repair or service their KitchenAid stand mixers every year or two in some cases. Buyers have commented that they don’t experience the same heating-up and overheating that they had with other brands. And — small drum roll — this is a quiet mixer. That’s one less B-52 taking off in your kitchen.

Who Should Buy This Bosch Mixer

I know that most home bakers — and most well-equipped kitchens — have stand mixers already, but we often grow to dislike certain features or lack thereof, have mechanical troubles with a model or brand, or want to downsize to a more reasonably-sized stand mixer.

This mixer is perfect for single people, a small family, somebody with a very small kitchen, or anyone who needs the flexibility of a solid and trouble-free mid-range stand mixer.

If you or a family member or friend doesn’t do a lot of big-batch baking and bread making, or if you want a compact yet high performance mixer that doesn’t hog your counter space, you just might be craving a new compact stand mixer.

Are you’re looking for a different or replacement stand mixer for a baker in your life? If so, the Bosch Compact Mixer is a wonderful choice to save your counter space, save your arms lugging it around, and save your sanity with an easy-to-use mixer.

Who Shouldn’t Buy This Small Footprint Mixer

Quite simply, if you need the extra capacity for your big batches, and need the additional power of a high-end consumer mixer, you don’t want the Bosch MUM4405. In this case, you need to definitely look closely at our review of its big brother the Bosch Universal Plus Kitchen Machine.

This Bosch is a bit expensive for a mid-range consumer mixer, certainly not the cheapest option, but it fits beautifully into a niche all its own between the low-end or simple mid-range mixers and the heavy-duty “do-everything” high-end all-purpose ones. If you need a powerful but compact versatile stand mixer, this little mixer is fabulous. If you’re looking for quality baker gifts, or if you’re trying to replace a mixer or downsize, this is still worth a close look.

Accessories and Related Items

Of all of the attachments for this mixer, I most recommend these.

You can also access the product manual and user guides at the Bosch website here.

Our Recommendation and Why

If you need to replace or downsize a baker’s stand mixer, or are looking for a gift for a baker (especially bakers in small kitchens), what you’ll really like with the Bosch Compact Mixer is the reasonably-sized bowl, powerful motor, and compact size. You’ll get a flexible mid-range stand mixer that runs quietly and stores away easily and will make your baking and dough making more enjoyable for your everyday general baking needs.

Amazon consistently has the best prices over department stores for stand mixers and small kitchen appliances. And of course the qualifying Amazon Free Shipping is nice, too. You’ve got to check out this compact mixer.

See at Amazon    Read Amazon Reviews

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Bosch Universal Plus Stand Mixer Review – Why Home Bakers Crave This High-End Stand Mixer

Bosch Universal Plus Kitchen Machine Stand Mixer

Stand Mixer Style: Bosch Universal Plus Kitchen Machine Stand Mixer
Our Reviewer Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
Brand: Bosch
Amazon Rating: 4.6 out of 5 Stars with 29 Reviews
Model Number: MUM6N10UC
Best Used For: Consumer High End Use
See at Amazon  Read Amazon Reviews

Summary

Do you, your significant other, or family member love to bake? Are you considering a new, upgraded, or replacement stand mixer? Are you looking for the perfect Christmas gift for someone who loves to bake those quadruple batches of cookies or bread dough? You’ve come to the right place here at The Cook’s Measure. If getting the baker in your life a new powerful mixer like this Bosch Universal Plus Stand Mixer isn’t quite what you’re after, be sure to check out our gift guide for women who bake for even more ideas.

As you’ll see in our review, the Bosch Universal Plus Kitchen Machine is a home baker’s stand mixer dream for making big batches of any recipe. With a much larger than average bowl and a significantly stronger motor than most other high-end consumer mixers, the Bosch mixer will plow easily through double and triple cookie, brownie, cake, or bread batches. You also have access to a wide range of attachment add-ons for expanding the tasks you can accomplish with a single small kitchen appliance.

If you’re looking to replace or upgrade an older, finicky, or lower-powered stand mixer, Bosch’s Universal Plus mixer has become a popular choice, especially among KitchenAid users wanting to move to a mixer with more power and bowl capacity. While its Best Seller Rating of #76 doesn’t seem high in Stand Mixers, many people never get past all the KitchenAid mixers in 10 colors to look at Bosch models.

I suspect as that changes, Bosch will gain quite a few more fans. Of their existing buyers, they have a very solid 4.6 Stars Amazon rating with 29 reviews, and several reviewers specifically mentioned shifting from a KitchenAid to a Bosch for their bread baking mixer.

Power and Mixer Speeds:
9.5 out of 10 stars (9.5 / 10)
Capacity:
10 out of 10 stars (10.0 / 10)
Quality and Durability:
9 out of 10 stars (9.0 / 10)
Versatility of Add-Ons:
9.5 out of 10 stars (9.5 / 10)
Overall Value:
9.5 out of 10 stars (9.5 / 10)
Busy Family Cooks:
9.5 out of 10 stars (9.5 / 10)
Couples Who Entertain:
9.5 out of 10 stars (9.5 / 10)
Cooks Working Outside Home:
9 out of 10 stars (9.0 / 10)
Cooks Who Cook for One or Two:
7.5 out of 10 stars (7.5 / 10)
Cooking Enthusiasts or Pros:
9 out of 10 stars (9.0 / 10)

What Do You Get in the Universal Plus Stand Mixer?

The Bosch mixer comes with a plastic 6.5 Quart bowl that locks into place, and the bowl can handle up to 15 pounds of dough. You also get a full lid and splash ring, plus wire whips, a dough hook, bowl scraper, and cookie paddles. Everything centers around the metal driver, and the drive shaft is removable for easy cleaning.

And for those of you who hate “walking” mixers, the mixer has suction feet so it remains stationary and stable. Although this Bosch model MUM6N10UC is not a planetary mixer, the smaller Bosch Compact Mixer MUM4405 has a planetary gear system. (Wikipedia: How does a planetary mixing gear system help my mixer?)

While the powerful 800 Watt motor only comes with 4 main speeds, you also have access to the pulse function. Also this mixer has a lower low-speed and higher high-speed setting for more versatility.

And like other high-end stand mixers, Bosch offers a number of useful mixer attachments. In addition to the wire whips, cookie paddles, and dough hook, you can purchase these 11 stand mixer attachments.

I really like the Bosch add-ons like the food processor, grater, and slicer/shredder attachments because you can bypass your food processor for some common tasks. If you do small bread batches, for only a small loaf or two, you’ll find the dough hook extender a great attachment. And if you do a fair bit of blending in small quantities, you could nix your separate blender in many cases with the small blender add-on. However, if you want to use a full-size blender, I wouldn’t get the Bosch blender attachment.

It even has integrated cord storage, and since I like to keep my counters neat and free of cables all over the place, that’s a plus for me.

Pros and Cons of The Universal Plus Stand Mixers

Pros:

  • The compact head area means that this mixer has a lower vertical footprint than other consumer mixers.
  • The 6.5 Quart high volume mixing bowl is perfect for double and triple batches of bread, cookies, brownies, or other sweets. It’s larger than most any consumer brand’s mixing bowl and doughnut shaped for easier access. The Bosch Kitchen Machine is a workhorse dough mixer with breads and does well with wet dough, too.
  • The Splash Ring Lid has a removable center that makes it easy to add ingredients to the mixing bowl, and also keeps softer ingredients from “poofing” out of the bowl at high speeds.
  • The 800W motor is better for big jobs like bread dough mixing, quadruple batches of cookies, or candy-making that will bog down low powered consumer stand mixers. And if you’re worried about the high speeds causing your mixer to “walk” across the counter like some other brands, Bosch has added suction cups to keep your mixer stationary.
  • This mixer model here has an included bowl scraper. Why do small appliance companies think we don’t need a bowl scraper, anyway? Bosch knows better and has included one with the mixer accessories sold in this particular combination of attachments.

Cons:

  • The Kitchen Machine comes with fewer power settings, and some people like the extra levels between main speeds.
  • Attachments, as you’ll find with any brand of stand mixer, are specifically designed for the Universal Plus Kitchen Machines, so if you’re used to trading your old KitchenAid attachments with friends, you’ll lose that. On the plus side, if you upgraded to a newer series KitchenAid, the older attachments often don’t work with those, either.
  • Like many heavy duty mixers with large volume mixing bowls, very small batches of egg whites, whipping cream, or creaming of ingredients give this mixer some trouble due to the wide and deep bowl.
  • This Bosch mixer, like many small kitchen appliances sold in the U.S., is only usable in North America where US Standard Voltages of 110-120V and 50-60 hertz are available. You can’t use it overseas, in Europe, etc. with 220V outlets.
  • This mixer is a little bulky to wrap your arms around and while lighter than KitchenAids is still pretty awkward. If you have limited strength in your hands and arms, you may find it hard to move, which is fine if you leave on your countertop. So if the intended user is an elderly or disabled person, this could require a bit of help from another person when moving the mixer.

Versatility of Use

With the same variety of stand mixer attachments as you can find with a KitchenAid stand mixer, as well as the included wire whips, dough hook, splash ring and lid, cookie paddles, and bowl scraper, this mixer can handle a lot of tasks even beyond the heavy duty stand mixer tasks you plan to give it.

My favorite attachments of the ones listed above are the food processor, grater, and slicer/shredder. And the Meat Grinder is important for using some other attachments.

If you prefer using stainless steel bowls instead of plastic ones, you can get those as well.

What Buyers Say About Bosch’s Universal Plus Stand Mixers

Reviewers definitely like the extra power in this stand mixer over, for example, the 325W KitchenAid Artisan stand mixers, or the 575W KitchenAid Professional 600 Series.

The larger bowl with the wider access for adding ingredients is something reviewers also like, and they pretty much universally praise this heavy duty stand mixer for bread making over stand mixers by other major brands like KitchenAid, Cuisinart, and Hamilton Beach.

Other reviewers feel the mixer’s price is a little expensive for what is essentially a high-end, high-powered residential mixer. The plastic parts are also something they wish would be replaced. But as long as you realize this mixer is not a commercial-level stand mixer more like the KitchenAid Pro Line 7 Quart mixer and adjust your expectations accordingly, this really isn’t an issue.

And many purchasers are specifically moving over from KitchenAid mixers because they are tired of having to troubleshoot and repair or service their KitchenAids every year or two in some cases. Bosch, on the other hand, provides the Universal Plus mixer as their main stand mixer, and it’s a sturdy small kitchen appliance, with a special sealed oil transmission that Bosch says will extend its transmission lifetime quite a bit.

Who Should Buy This Bosch Universal Plus Stand Mixer

I know that most home bakers — and most well-equipped kitchens — have mixers already, but we often outgrow our kitchen appliances over time through wear and tear or growing beyond their limited capacity. If you or a family member or friend has ramped up your baking and bread making a lot over the years, you just might be craving a new, versatile, more powerful stand mixer. If you’re looking for an upgrade or replacement stand mixer for a baker in your life, this one is a good choice especially for bread making.

The higher wattage motor and larger bowl significantly add to the production capacity for bakers. And if you or your baker is a holiday baking fiend like the ones we have in our family, you’ll really appreciate the features in this mixer.

Who Shouldn’t Buy This Bosch Stand Mixer

Quite simply, if you’re not going to use the extra capacity, and don’t need the additional power, the only real advantage to this mixer is the attachments. But if you have many of those attachments for other mixer brands, you can’t use those on this mixer, so you’d have to buy them all over again.

It is kind of a toss-up there: buy a new mixer and have to get new attachments for your favorites, or replace an existing mixer with the same brand and model (which you might have outgrown a little) so you can use existing attachments. Keep in mind also that not all KitchenAid attachments, for example, work with different series or models, so you might be in the same boat with attempting to replace a current model.

It’s a bit expensive for a residential mixer, certainly not the cheapest stand mixer option, but if you want the best in consumer heavy duty stand mixers, are looking for quality baker gifts, or if you’re trying to replace the lower-powered and smaller capacity KitchenAid residential models, this may still be a solid choice for you.

Accessories and Related Items

Of all of the attachments for this stand mixer, I most recommend these.

You can also access the product manual and user guides at the Bosch website here.

Our Recommendation and Why

If you need to replace or upgrade a baker’s stand mixer, or are looking for a gift for a baker (especially bread bakers), what you’ll really like with the Universal Plus Kitchen Machine is the high volume bowl, very powerful motor, and Bosch attachments. You’ll get a solid high-end stand mixer that plows through the toughest tasks and will make your baking and dough making more efficient and enjoyable.

Amazon consistently has the best prices over department stores for stand mixers and small kitchen appliances. And of course the qualifying Amazon Free Shipping is nice, too. You’ve got to check out the Bosch Universal Plus Kitchen Machine Stand Mixer.

See at Amazon    Read Amazon Reviews

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KitchenAid Professional 600 Series Stand Mixer Review – Best Stand Mixer For Home Bakers With 6-Quart Bowl

KitchenAid Professional 600 Series 6-Quart Stand Mixer

Stand Mixer Style: KitchenAid Professional 600 Series 6-Quart Stand Mixer
Our Reviewer Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
Brand: KitchenAid
Amazon Rating: 4.3 out of 5 Stars with 3264 Reviews
Model Number: KP26M1X
Best Used For: Consumer Mid Range Use
See at Amazon  Read Amazon Reviews

Summary

Are you looking for the perfect Christmas gift for someone who loves to bake? You’ve come to the right place here at The Cook’s Measure. If getting the baker in your life a new powerful stand mixer like this KitchenAid Professional 600 Series 6-Quart Stand Mixer isn’t quite what you’re after, be sure to check out our gift guide for women who bake for even more ideas.

As you’ll see in our review, the KitchenAid KP26M1XER Professional 600 Series 6-Quart Stand Mixer is a true home baker’s stand mixer, with a larger than average bowl and a significantly stronger motor than mid-range mixers or even older KitchenAid mixers. You also have access to a wide range of attachment add-ons for expanding the tasks you can accomplish with a single appliance. If you’re looking to replace or upgrade an older or lower-powered stand mixer, this KitchenAid Pro 600 is a popular choice. With over 3,250 reviews (more than any other mixer), a Best Seller Rating of #11 in Stand Mixers, and a solid 4.3 Stars Amazon rating, this is clearly a sought-after choice for a KitchenAid stand mixer for bakers.

Power and Mixer Speeds:
9 out of 10 stars (9.0 / 10)
Capacity:
9.5 out of 10 stars (9.5 / 10)
Quality and Durability:
8 out of 10 stars (8.0 / 10)
Versatility of Add-Ons:
9.5 out of 10 stars (9.5 / 10)
Overall Value:
9 out of 10 stars (9.0 / 10)
Busy Family Cooks:
9.5 out of 10 stars (9.5 / 10)
Couples Who Entertain:
9.5 out of 10 stars (9.5 / 10)
Cooks Working Outside Home:
8 out of 10 stars (8.0 / 10)
Cooks Who Cook for One or Two:
7.5 out of 10 stars (7.5 / 10)
Cooking Enthusiasts or Pros:
9 out of 10 stars (9.0 / 10)

What Do You Get in this KitchenAid Stand Mixer?

The KitchenAid Professional 600 Series model KP26M1X comes with a spiral dough hook, flat beater, wire whip, a single-piece pouring shield, and a stainless-steel 6 quart mixing bowl with a comfortable handle, which is important when you’re hefting that big full bowl. You’ll be a hero to your family when you use the large capacity mixing bowl to turn out huge holiday cookie batches.

And KitchenAid offers nearly 15 more optional Professional Series 600 attachments if your baker needs more accessories. Common KitchenAid attachments for these mixers include the food grinder / food processor, pasta and noodle makers, juicers, grater-slicers, an ergonomic handle bowl, and the ice-cream maker.

KitchenAid Mixer Attachment Pack for Stand Mixers
I really like the KitchenAid add-ons like the food grinder, juicer/pulper, and grater-slicer attachments because you can bypass your food processor for some common tasks. You can even get these three items in the FPPA Mixer Attachment Pack for Stand Mixers on Amazon.

Unlike older KitchenAid products and many other stand mixer brands, this is a bowl-lift design which is more ridged than a tilt head and this Pro 600 allows for a stronger motor and the ability to add the spiral dough hook.

This all-metal 10-speed mixer has a direct-drive transmission and a powerful 575 Watt motor.

This Professional 600 Series design also boasts a 67-point Planetary Action, which provides extra torque to the gear system. (Wikipedia: How does a planetary mixing gear system help my mixer?)

Pros and Cons of KitchenAid Professional Series Stand Mixers

Pros:

  • The KitchenAid stand mixer bowl is made with steel. Steel is stiffer and more durable, and can handle more wear and tear. Other materials can be more resistant to corrosion and are often used because they are cheaper to process. But since the Pro Series mixers are best cleaned by hand-washing and drying immediately despite saying “dishwasher safe,” I really don’t think corrosion is going to be an issue. Plus I like a more durable mixing bowl.
  • With more extra speed settings than most comparable mixers, you have a lot of flexibility in the mixing process, but be sure to ramp up gradually to higher speeds if you don’t want a big “poof” of dry ingredients all over you and the counter on a sudden burst of higher power.
  • The larger volume 6-quart bowl is perfect for double and triple batches of cookies, brownies, or other sweets. And, as long as you follow the manual’s instructions regarding mixing speed and volume of ingredients, also good for bread making and other dense mixtures. As a mixer for cake batters, it’s top-notch.
  • The 575W motor is better for your big jobs like quadruple cookie batches or sticky holiday candy-making that will bog down a more common 325W stand mixer. And if you’re worried about the high speeds causing your stand mixer to “walk” (or is that “thump”?) across the counter, KitchenAid has added a very heavy base to keep it stable. Plus, the bowl clips in to keep it from oscillating and causing the mixer to move. Unlike smaller mixers or other high-powered models, the Pro 600 doesn’t shift around on the counter.

Cons:

  • The Professional 600 Series bowl-lift mixer doesn’t come with a bowl scraper attachment. So the sides of the bowl don’t always get scraped down properly, and you have to lower the bowl to get inside and scrape it down. However, there is a “SideSwipe” attachment (see below in Related Items) you can get which can help with that annoying little task.
  • In real life — in contrast to a test lab — particularly dense bread mixes are really better to do in a made-for-purpose bread machine or with a stand mixer with more power, like the Bosch Universal Plus (read our review). While KitchenAid small appliances like this stand mixer can certainly do bread dough, a really dense mix will still put a strain on the motor over time, especially at a higher speed, which is why KitchenAid says to never mix bread dough at above a 2 setting to avoid wear and tear on the gears. You might have problems from the first, or you may just experience a gradual wearing on the mixer over time.
  • This mixer, like many KitchenAid small appliances, is only usable in North America where US Standard Voltages of 110V to 120V and 60 hertz are available. You can’t use it overseas, in Europe, etc. with 220V outlets or with an adapter.
  • The KitchenAid Pro Series mixer is bulky in your arms and weighs over 25 pounds according to KitchenAid’s specs. I’ve lifted one and it is like trying to lug a huge anchor around your kitchen. If you have limited strength in your hands and arms, you may find it hard to move, which is fine if you plan to leave on your countertop for all eternity. And clipping in the bowl takes some hand and finger strength, as well as a bit of dexterity, so if you’re an elderly or disabled person, this could cause some issues or require a bit of help from another person. You can pay them for help in cookies!

A couple of words to the wise on using this mixer:

  1. Don’t use more than 14 cups of flour in cookie, cake, or batter recipes. And avoiding more than 8 to 10 cups of flour for breads should be fine.
  2. When making bread, you shouldn’t have to knead for more than 4-8 minutes maximum. Don’t judge based on your hand-kneading, because this stand mixer is far more aggressive in its kneading process. KitchenAid says that 2 minutes after the dough starts to clean the walls of the bowl is fine, but use your judgment with some experimentation to determine the best time. Just err on the side of caution. Like cooking meat, you can always go back for more but can’t undo “overdone.”

Versatility of Use

With KitchenAid’s variety of different stand mixer attachments, as well as the included wire whisk, flat beater, spiral dough hook, and pouring shield, this mixer can handle a lot of tasks even beyond the baking tasks you plan to give it.

The bowl lift design makes it easier to add ingredients than a tilt head mixer. And you won’t have to worry about batter spills messing up your counter unless you forget to take out the beater, whip, or hook first.

While the larger bowl might give you some troubles if you are working with a very small batch of egg whites or whipped cream, there is a 3 Quart Bowl and Combi-Whip you can purchase to use with this attachment head. And that’s the perfect size for smaller batches.

If you pulp fruits and berries for jams or juicing, you can get a great attachment for that, too.

The Pro 600 Series Stand Mixer shown here is in Nickel Pearl, but you get up to 10 different colors to choose from, too, so matching kitchen colors is easier! Green Apple, Tangerine, Licorice, Cobalt Blue, or Pink anyone?

What Buyers Say About KitchenAid Professional 600 Series 6-Quart Bowl Lift Stand Mixers

Reviewers definitely like the extra power in this stand mixer over, for example, the KitchenAid Artisan stand mixers at 325W. The extra speeds, auto-shut-off, and Soft-Start features are also welcome.

Other reviewers feel this mixer’s price is a little expensive for what is essentially a high-end residential mixer. They’re a bit disgruntled by the name “Professional” when it does not have the durability to handle commercial level tasks that need to be repeated multiple times a day every day in commercial use. I think as long as you realize the KitchenAid Professional 600 stand mixer is not a NSF commercial-level stand mixer like the KitchenAid 7 Quart Commercial stand mixers and higher and adjust your expectations accordingly, this really isn’t an issue.

Some reviewers have had problems with burning out their gears, but from the context of the KitchenAid mixer reviews, I suspect some might have been pushing the mixers beyond the manufacturer’s suggested operating instructions, which appear to be rather detailed in both composition of ingredients and speeds compared to earlier models of mixers. Frankly, with all the problems they had in earlier models and series of mixers, I rather expect KitchenAid has done this to try to prevent problems in this Professional series.

However, this potential durability issue is one reason, along with price, that I’ve downgraded my rating some. If you are confident of your ability to use this mixer within specifications, like 85%+ of the other reviewers giving excellent reviews you probably won’t have any issues.

Others don’t like the fact that certain “less demanded” Professional Series 600 colors are more expensive than others. The Artisan series had a lot more colors, but I think KitchenAid learned from their sales history that some colors were less popular, so they limited colors and runs for this mixer series. The lower number available with reasonable demand is always going to push up price some on those. But with 3 slightly different black KitchenAid Pro Series mixers, a Cobalt blue mixer, a couple shades of red stand mixers, and other fun colors like Tangerine, Pink, and Green Apple, plus good old white, sometimes that “just right” color is important to people buying a countertop stand mixer. For some of us, matching colors in the kitchen is a critical component of a “proper” kitchen.

Some reviewers have had troubles with the motor wearing out more quickly than expected but experienced users who are not having issues say that the key to not wearing out the motor is to carefully adhere to KitchenAid’s recommendations regarding quantities and mixing speeds for different types of tasks, especially with bread making or dense mixtures.

You can find more information to help you check out this model and design by downloading the user manual here.

Who Should Buy This KitchenAid Pro 600 Mixer

I know that most home bakers — and most well-equipped kitchens — have countertop mixers already, but we often outgrow our small appliances over time through wear and tear or growing beyond their limited capacity. If you’re looking for an upgrade or replacement stand mixer for a baker in your life, this one is a good choice.

The higher wattage motor and larger capacity bowl significantly add to the production capacity for bakers. And if your baker is a holiday baking fiend, they’ll really appreciate the features in this stand mixer.

Who Shouldn’t Buy This KitchenAid Stand Mixer

Quite simply, if you’re not going to use the extra capacity, and don’t need the additional power and speed settings, the only real advantage to this mixer is the attachments. But if you have many of those attachments for another brand or design of stand mixers, you may not be able to use those on this mixer, so you’d have to buy them all over again.

It is kind of a toss-up there: buy a new mixer and have to get new attachments for your favorites, or replace an existing mixer with the same brand and model (which you might have outgrown a little) so you can use existing attachments. I wish I could tell you “go for it” but I don’t know your budget for buying attachments, too.

It’s a bit expensive for a residential stand mixer, certainly not the cheapest KitchenAid mixer option, but if you want the best in consumer KitchenAid stand mixers, are looking for quality baker gifts, or if you’re trying to replace the lower-powered Artisan with its smaller capacity bowl or other versions, this may still be a solid choice for you.

Oh, and unlike many kitchen small appliances from other brands, you can get some of the really cool colors just like the Artisan Series. So if a colored stand mixer is an important part of giving the perfect gift, then you may not have a lot of other options.

Accessories and Related Items

If making pasta is your passion, the KitchenAid pasta attachments will certainly be useful. And Amazon’s prices are far better than retail or other outlets.

Our Recommendation and Why

If you need to replace or upgrade a baker’s stand mixer, or are looking for a gift for a baker, what you’ll really like with the KitchenAid Professional 600 Series is the 6 quart high capacity bowl, powerful 575W motor, and flexible add-ons. As the #15 Best Seller on Amazon it is a popular choice, especially for bakers, as noted by all the reviews by enthusiastic baking fiends. You’ll get a solid higher-end stand mixer by a well-established brand that will make your baking more efficient and enjoyable.

Amazon consistently has the best prices over department stores for KitchenAid stand mixers. For the special Amazon-specific pricing, be sure to check the current price at Amazon. It’s often lower than it appears until you add it to your cart. And of course the qualifying Amazon Free Shipping is nice, too. You’ve got to check out the KitchenAid Professional 600 Series 6-Quart Stand Mixer.

See at Amazon    Read Amazon Reviews

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Top 15 Best Christmas Gift Ideas for Women Who Love to Bake

KitchenAid Pro 600 Stand Mixer in Empire Red
KitchenAid Pro 600 Stand Mixer in Empire Red
Are you looking for the perfect Christmas, Mother’s Day, or birthday gift for women who love to bake? Here are my Top 15 gift ideas for bakers.

I’ve included a range of holiday and birthday gifts for you to choose from, including luxury gift ideas if you’re shopping for that special present for your wife, fiancée or other woman in your life. These are great ideas for presents if you’re looking for more expensive gifts for your favorite ladies. I’ve also included some cool gifts for women when you’re buying gifts on a budget. These smaller gifts for bakers are sure to delight. I know I want a few of them!

Popular Gifts for Women Who Love to Bake

If you’re looking for a popular baking item for the women in your life, I’ve tried to include some ideas for presents for the woman who has everything. And if you’re shopping for a baker who is a daughter, mother, sister, in-law of any kind, grandma or even a Nana, she’ll like these gifts. If she likes to bake, and you surprise her with the perfect add-on to her baking tools collection, she is certain to find it thoughtful that you took the time to find her the perfect gift.

If you’re in a hurry to shop, Click Here for the Best Baking Gifts on Amazon.

Top 15 Best Baking Gift Ideas For Women for 2016

Drum Roll Please…

Top Luxury Gifts #1 to #5

Gift Idea #1 — KitchenAid KP26M1XER Professional 600 Series 6-Quart Stand Mixer

KitchenAid KP26M1XER Professional 600 Series 6-Quart Stand Mixer in Empire Red
In our review, you’ll see that the KitchenAid KP26M1XER Professional 600 Series 6-Quart Stand Mixer is a true baker’s stand mixer. With a 6 quart bowl to work in and a powerful 575-watt motor to drive its direct-drive transmission, this stand mixer is especially favored by bakers. KitchenAid has long since solved a problem it had with plastic gearboxes and this model comes with metal gearboxes standard since the spring of 2007. This particular model and size has over 3,260 reviews on Amazon, far more than any other mixer, and an average rating at this time of 4.3 out of 5 stars.

With the spiral dough hook, flat beater, wire whip, and a single-piece pouring shield, your lady baker will have a solid baker’s stand mixer. And KitchenAid offers over 15 more optional attachments if she needs more flexibility. The bowl is a lift design bowl which is more ridged than a tilt head and this design allows for a stronger motor and the ability to add the spiral dough hook.

Read Our Review

Or, if you’re looking for something a little different, check out our stand mixer reviews here.

Gift Idea #2 — Oster CKSTBRTW20 2-Pound Expressbake Breadmaker

Oster CKSTBRTW20 2-Pound Expressbake Breadmaker
The Oster CKSTBRTW20 2-Pound Expressbake Breadmaker is an excellent choice of a breadmaker for a larger family, and can do up to a 2-pound loaf. Right now it’s the #1 Best Seller in Bread Machines on Amazon, with an average 4.3 rating and over 1,400 reviews.

I recommended a different breadmaker last year (a Panasonic), but it didn’t do whole grain bread, and I decided to find a better model this year.

The Expressbake has a 13-hour programmable baking timer, so once you’ve got your bread recipes down pat, you can set and forget and come back anytime you want to fresh bread. I also like the 9 different bread settings (up from 5 for last year’s recommendation) and 3 crust settings. Who wants boring looking bread?

With a large LCD, you can see what stage the bread machine is in if you want to monitor its progress, and the Expressbake setting takes less than an hour to produce your loaf of bread. You can also work with dough or jam, although breads are my favorite. If you like to add nuts or fruits to your bread, there is an “add ingredient” tone to let you know when it’s time to act.

Here’s a small tip from a user (good for any bread machine):
Be sure to take the kneading paddle out of the bread right after you drop the loaf out on the table. Once removed, put in the bread pan but do not put in the kneading cylinder. The bread around the paddle is moist, and if it dries onto the cylinder, you may never get it off!

Gift Idea #3 — George Foreman GRP4EMB Black Evolve Grill

George Foreman GRP4EMB Black Evolve Grill
The George Foreman GRP4EMB Black Evolve Grill comes with 2 removable grill plates, 1 deep-dish bake pan and 1 cupcake and muffin pan insert. The 84-inch grill surface makes for some true cooking space on a tabletop grill, and the nonstick coating allows you to cook without butter or oil if you want, and it truly does work.

If you aren’t familiar with George Foreman grills in general, you’ll love these. They have removable grill plates that can be washed in the dishwasher and they are incredibly easy to clean, especially if you wipe them down while they’re cooling so junk doesn’t dry on and coat them. I LOVE my George Foreman Grill.

They come with an adjustable slope to help keep the fat off the food, and it’s amazing how much healthier foods are when cooking with the fat or excess oils draining off. This tabletop grill is also designed especially for bakers and includes a 4-plate starter set (2 grill plates, 1 deep-dish bake pan and 1 cupcake and muffin pan insert). Easy to use to bake. Even easier to clean up.

Best of all, you can use this for more than just baking. You can do all the normal indoor easy grilling, and you can also get other inserts like the omelet and snack plate set, a waffle plate set, a shallow griddle pan, and the mini burger insert. George Foreman grills are truly multi-functional appliances and well worth the counter space.

My George Foreman grill is one of my most-prized kitchen appliances. What more could any women want ‐ easy to clean, does lots of different things, works specially for baking, and healthy cooking, too!

Gift Idea #4 — Wilton 2109-0309 Ultimate Professional Cake Decorating Set

Wilton 2109-0309 Ultimate Professional Cake Decorating Set
Be sure to take a look at the Wilton 2109-0309 Ultimate Professional Cake Decorating Set. If the women in your life loves to bake cakes, then this is an essential tool for her. It has all of the essential tips, cutters, shaping tools, spatulas and more to give her the ability to create even better masterpieces than before.

Indulge her passion for cake decorating and get her this ultimate set of cake tools for a Christmas gift. And of course you’ll be the wonderful person who gave her this useful cake decorating and baking set, so you should get to taste the results, right?

Everything she’ll need to decorate a cake is available here. One caution — if your gift recipient is a beginner enthusiast to cake decorating, this set doesn’t come with a "how to use these tools " manual. My best recommendation is to get these three Wilton lesson books as well if she needs some guidance on how to get started. A few step-by-step instructions with pictures never hurts.

  1. Wilton Decorating Basics course 1
  2. Wilton Wilton Lesson Plan — Flowers & Cake Design
  3. Wilton Gum Paste and Fondant Lesson Plan

Gift Idea #5 — Wilton Decorate Smart Ultimate Rolling Tool Caddy

Wilton Decorate Smart Ultimate Rolling Tool Caddy
Wilton Decorate Smart Ultimate Rolling Tool Caddy is my favorite choice for a decorating kit tool caddy. The wheels, in my opinion, make it more practical than a flat base kit that you have to migrate from place to place on your counters or find a place to store it.

Most bakers like our tools organized, and this Wilton caddy is great for that. Four levels of drawers and compartments keep everything just so, and I really like the tip organizer because the tips are stored upright and easy to spot.

If she’s been baking for long, she has probably already collected a considerable number of Wilton or other accessories to practice her baking hobby or avocation. But if she hasn’t, you should also look at the Wilton Ultimate Professional Cake Decorating Set because it has a huge selection of all the basics a budding baker is going to want in her baking toolset.

Chances are good that if you hover in the kitchen while she’s decorating or baking, you might spot some gaps in the tools she has available, and you can check out the Wilton options on Amazon for more choices.

Best Reasonably-Priced Gifts #6 to #11

Gift Idea #6 — Norpro 3301 Cookie Press

Norpro 3301 Cookie Press
The Norpro 3301 Cookie Press makes dropping cookie dough a much easier proposition that my grandmother’s old “two-spoon” method.

While I’m not going to claim that Grandma’s old methods are outdated — not if I ever want cookies in THIS family again — when you’ve got a lot of holiday cookies to bake or bake sale batches to prepare, something faster is a good thing.

Plus I like the 24 different accessories to make pretty cookie shapes and decorations. You even get a recipe book and instructions in case you’re looking for some extra inspiration.

Gift Idea #7 — Snow River 7V03152 18-Inch by 24-Inch by 3/4-Inch Embossed Pastry Board

Snow River 7V03152 18-Inch by 24-Inch by 3/4-Inch Embossed Pastry Board
Snow River 7V03152 18-Inch by 24-Inch by 3/4-Inch Embossed Pastry Boards are solid hardwood boards designed and premarked for bakers. A lot of bakers work on a hardwood board for stability and a pre-marked board makes sizing and measuring far easier while you’re rolling out dough for pies, phyllo dough, biscuits, or pastries.

The pastry board is crafted to ensure consistent moisture content to avoid cracking or splitting, so your baker will have this pastry board for a long time to come.

There’s also a nice weights, measurements, and liquids conversion chart for those of us who can never remember how tablespoons translate to cups and back.

Gift Idea #8 — VillaWare V5375 Power Cookie Press

VillaWare V5375 Power Cookie Press
A VillaWare V5375 Power Cookie Press is a great holiday gift, birthday present, wedding present, or engagement gift for a baker, especially if she’s big on cookies!

It’s electric, cordless, and rechargeable, so this will definitely appeal to us ladies who like kitchen gadgets. (Hand raising here). It also comes with both everyday and holiday discs to create beautiful decorative (and tasty) cookies any time of the year.

The one reviewer so far says that she can manage 5 to 7 dozen cookies pressed out within about 1.5 hours. Compare that to Grandma’s spoons!

Unfortunately, as of December 27, 2015, this is out of stock at Amazon. I’ll keep you posted when it comes back in stock, and if you really like it and are in a hurry, I left the link to Amazon live so you can click and check any time you’d like.

So I’ve added another cookie press here as an alternate gift idea for you for #8.

Gift Idea Alternate for #8 — OXO Good Grips Cookie Press with Stainless Steel Disks and Storage Case

versatile OXO Good Grips Cookie Press
A OXO Good Grips Cookie Press is a great holiday gift, birthday present, wedding present, or engagement gift for a baker, especially if she loves to bake cookies!

This is the #1 Best Seller in Cookie Presses on Amazon, with over 350 reviews.

In addition to the cookie press itself, you can also buy spring, autumn, and Christmas add-on disk sets so she can create yummy cookies all year long.

Gift Idea #9 — Wilton Fondant 20 Inch Rolling Pin

Wilton Fondant 20 Inch Rolling Pin
Wilton’s Fondant 20 Inch Rolling Pin is a solid choice for a baker’s rolling pin. Unlike most pie and pastry rolling pins, larger sheets of fondant sometimes need some extra handling capacity.

This 20-inch smooth and extra wide rolling pin can roll out a beautiful piece of fondant, especially if you add the separately available rings. Because there are no handles, the rolling surface doesn’t taper, and your baker has use of the full length of the fondant rolling pin. Its non-stick surface easily serves to lift and cover your cakes with the fondant sheet as well.

While you’ll get the best benefit from working with your cakes and fondant, it works well for pies and pastry, too. Some reviewers felt that it was harder on the hands to use, but others found it easier to use because it was heavier and worked well with the measuring rings.

Gift Idea #10 — Sur La Table White Marble Pastry Board HK165-50

Sur La Table White Marble Pastry Board HK165-50
This Sur La Table White Marble Pastry Board HK165-50 is a formidable 16×20 inch working surface for all of your baker’s pastry board needs. If your baker is working with tart shells or any other butter-based pastries, they need to maintain the dough’s consistency and keep cold butter bits intact so the dough can create essential flakiness.

Just working with refrigerated dough won’t cut it because the rolling pin and board create friction and heat while working with the dough. If the butter bits aren’t cold enough, the dough won’t be its best, and the natural coolness of the marble in this pastry board helps reduce issues with melting.

Gift Idea #11 — Wilton Tilt N Turn Ultra Cake Turntable

Wilton Tilt N Turn Ultra Cake Turntable
Wilton’s Tilt N Turn Ultra Cake Turntable gives bakers the best of both worlds with its ability to both rotate cakes for decorating around the sides and also tilt cakes to better reach different surfaces.

Cake decorating is precise work and takes a steady hand to make beautiful baked art. The non-slip design and balanced base weight helps hold the plate surface securely, and the rotating top plate rotates in either direction for left-handed use or right-handed manipulation.

While working on a section, a baker can lock it down, and the 18 different plate tilt positions are also secure.

The Wilton Tilt N Turn Ultra is taller than many compact turntables used in cake design at 5 inches, and the plate is 12 inches in diameters, so it can hold a larger cake comfortably.

Best of all, Amazon users rate it currently at 4.9 out of 5 Stars, which is an incredible rating. Reviewers rave about how stable and useful it is, and wonder how they ever got along with other cake stands and cake decorating turntables before.

Best Budget Gifts #12 to #15

Gift Idea #12 — OXO Good Grips Silicone Cookie Spatula

OXO Good Grips Silicone Cookie Spatula
OXO Good Grips Silicone Cookie Spatula
How much can you say about a cookie spatula? Normally not much, although this pretty dude does come in blue, green, red, and grey/black.

However, OXO makes an incredible kitchen utensil, with the best comfortable grips I’ve ever found on any spatula, spoon, or turner. And I started with silicone kitchen gadgets several years ago and I’ll never go back. They’re basically non-stick, and the utensils don’t heat up when you leave them touching a pan or pot, and that’s a major blessing. Plus the silicone surface doesn’t hurt your pots and pans when you scuff along or scrape them along the bottom or sides to scoop, loosen, or lift things.

So I guess there’s a lot you can say about a cookie spatula, at least one with as good a grip and as useful a surface as Oxo’s ones.

Gift Idea #13 — Fox Run, Silicone Baking Mat with Measurements

Fox Run, Silicone Baking Mat with Measurements
Fox Run Silicone Baking Mats with Measurements are a wonderful addition to any baker’s kitchen, especially if she struggles with space issues because it can be rolled or stored flat. She can use it in all oven types and it provides a wonderful heat distribution for baked goods.

There are metric to Imperial weight and measure conversions if your baker needs them, but I think its best features are the fact that it rolls up to store away, and the silicone mat is both stain-proof and resistant to “stuff” sticking on it. To clean it, it just needs to be wiped down with a damp, soft sponge and warm water, and only needs some soap in extreme cases.

However, this mat isn’t good for cutting or scraping dough because it will damage the silicone surface. It also shouldn’t be used under a broiler or on a grill. But for a baker to use in creating even, well-baked goods, it is a nice kitchen baking tool.

Gift Idea #14 — AmoVee Professional 11lbs/5000g Compact Digital Food Scale Baking Scale

AmoVee Professional 11lbs/5000g Compact Digital Food Scale Baking Scale
The AmoVee Professional 11lbs/5000g Compact Digital Food Scale Baking Scale doesn’t take up a lot of room in your kitchen, and it serves as a general kitchen and food scale. It’s also accurate and precise enough for baking enthusiasts down to 0.1oz or 1 gram, and can manage 11 lbs or 5kg without problems.

I love the tare and auto-off features. I can’t stand messing with a scale to zero it out. And you’re safe wherever your baker lives or bakes. It will do grams, pounds, and ounces for weighing or conversion.

Normally inexpensive products like this turn out to be somewhat cheap in manufacture or quality, but despite the price, this scale appears to perform much better than reviewers expected. Just keep in mind that this is a “compact” scale. If the baker in your life needs one for measuring large containers, it might be too small for that.

Gift Idea #15 — #1 Rated Silicone Baking Cups / Cupcake Liners

The Number 1 Rated Silicone Baking Cups / Cupcake Liners
#1 Rated Silicone Baking Cups and Cupcake Liners are an incredible holiday present for any baker. I’ve got them on my Christmas present list, too. No more messy paper baking cups again.

They are made of BPA-free, FDA approved, Eco-friendly, and non-stick silicone. And because they are flexible, it’s incredibly easy to get baked treats out of them. They’re oven, microwave, and dishwasher safe for easy use.

With reusable silicone baking cups, bakers won’t have to hassle with muffin tins or cupcake papers, and they’ll go right on a baking sheet into the oven. And I’ve got my eye on them for some of the other suggestions they mention — Ice-cream desserts, cheesecakes, gelatin, and gooey chocolate-lined desserts. I can’t wait to get mine for Christmas.

Wrapping Up Our Best Gift Ideas for Women Who Bake

Sadly enough, we can’t include every possible fabulous baker’s product here to choose from, but these should be a good start for you to help pick out a wonderful present for the women in your life who bake. Whether you’re shopping for a girlfriend, wife, sister, mother, mother-in-law or sister-in-law, or other family member or friend, if she loves to bake, she’s sure to find something on this page a wonderful gift under the tree.

So happy shopping, and hopefully our holiday gift guide for women who love to bake will help you make the cooks in your life happy this Christmas and all year round.

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2016 Gift Guide for Cooks – Unique Gifts For Men Who Cook

Men Who Cook - Cooking Is a Team Sport
Why Can’t Cooking Be a Team Sport? We’re Guys!
by makelessnoise on Flickr under Creative Commons
If you’re looking for gift ideas for men who love to cook, you’ve got to take a look at our 2018 holiday gift guide for cooks.

We’ve got a wide range of present ideas for the men in your life who like to cook. Whether you’re looking for a budget gift for a friend, last minute Christmas gifts, or small gifts for that special guy, we’ve got a gift guide section for gifts under $50, gifts under $20, and gifts under $10.

We also have a variety of must-have kitchen gadgets and gizmos to tickle the fancy of cooks who happen to be of the male persuasion. Of course, you don’t have to buy these just for men. They make great Christmas gift ideas for ladies as well. Whether you’re a guy or gal, they’re great.

So if you’re looking for unique ideas, we’ve got gift guide sections for small gifts, fun gifts, gifts for bakers, gifts for grillers, gifts for guys who entertain, and some really spiffy more expensive gifts for special Christmas gifts for your husband, fiance, brother, dad, or boyfriend.

Are you in a hurry? Check out these kitchen gadgets for men at Amazon.

How To Figure Out What Your Guy Cook Wants For Christmas

Finding cooking gift ideas for men, whether they treat it as a hobby or a vocation, can be tricky. How do you find the best gifts for his Christmas present, especially if he’s one of those men who have everything?

One sneaky thing you can do is to start watching him in the kitchen. Make a note of his favorite recipes or specialties.

What tools is he missing to make those dishes easier to make? Is one of his current tools wearing out? When he’s cooking, is he irritated with wrong sizes or types of pots, pans, mixing bowls, or utensils?

If you know more than one guy who cooks, ask each of them what their favorite kitchen tools are, and why. Ask them what they hate and wish they had to make things easier. Somewhere in there is the perfect gift.

My Funny Top 5 List of Cooking Tools My Guy Likes

I picked my husband’s brains for this so we’d get the honest truth…

  1. Gadgets and Gizmos: He was quite emphatic about this. Kitchen toys for cooks, in other words.
  2. Durable Tools: Don’t buy your man who cooks even one little flimsy tool. If that spatula, measuring cup, serving or stirring spoon, or any other helpful doodad you buy won’t hold up to World War III, don’t give it to him as a Christmas gift. Might as well get him tacky socks (unless he likes tacky socks, of course).
  3. Big Pots and Pans: Don’t ask me why on this one. I’ve gone round and round with every man I’ve ever been in the kitchen with. None of this “the right pot for the job.” Sure, if you have the right size pots or pans, great. But if you’re going to buy him a special pot or pan, he’ll want the big one. A pot that handles several quarts. A 12 inch deep frying pan or bigger. Better yet, a huge tabletop electric frying pan. No wimpy little pots and pans that don’t have enough room in them to cook for an army.
  4. Useful Kitchen Appliances: If you’re going to pick out appliances for a man who cooks, he’ll want something he’ll actually use. Does he have “man parties” for game night on TV or the weekly card game? Give him an appliance he’ll use. A popcorn popper that does tons of popcorn. An ice-cream maker for gourmet flavored ice-cream. a BIG food processor that will chop half the ingredients in the world in bulk. You get the idea.
  5. Cooking Doodads That Make Him Look Cool: Guys like to show off their expertise. Give him kitchen toys that make him look cool, or sophisticated, or worldly, or whatever makes him shine. Is he the master of grilling marinades? Get him a classy spice grinder for showing off while he makes his marinades. Is he a master mixologist? Find him a big drinks set for serving his master concoctions. Help him show off — in a subtle way, of course.

Best Cooking Gift Ideas For Men for Christmas 2018

So let’s lead off here with the big guns of our gift guide. Here are some of the best gift ideas for your husband, father, brother, grandfather, boyfriend, or other significant guy in your life. And if you’re looking for gifts for the man in your life who has everything, maybe we can help.

Unique Cooking Gift Ideas for Men Who Have Everything

Does Your Guy Grill? Best Gift for Grillers

Ivation Long Range Wireless Digital Thermometer Set
The Ivation Long Range Wireless Digital Thermometer Set is truly the top-of-the-line grill thermometer. This digital meat thermometer is not only for monitoring smoker and grill temperatures, it can also serve as an oven thermometer or meat thermometer in general.

It’s the perfect kitchen gadget gift for the cook on your Christmas list. Not only is it multi-functional for your practical man, but it has a backlit LCD monitor and wireless communications, making it useful at night and from inside to monitor your outside grill or smoker.

Talk about something men drool over. It’ll even monitor things from over 300 feet away and will both beep and flash when it needs to give warning. It has a count-up and countdown timer, as well. There’s an alarm that sounds when temperatures fall too low or raise too high.

Best of all for guys, there’s a belt clip and a stand that can be used as a hanger. This grill monitor and meat probe is the ultimate in geek gadgets for him. If your special guy grills, he’ll love this all-in-one probe and temperature monitor. It’s the #1 Seller on Amazon with tons of excellent ratings.

Does Your Guy Entertain? Best Gift for Guys Who Entertain Friends

If you are buying a Christmas present for a man who likes to entertain, you might find these gift ideas to his liking. Casual fun or drinks for the boss both could be covered with these options for your shopping list.

Margaritaville DM900 Battery-Powered Frozen-Concoction Maker
Margaritaville DM900 Battery-Powered Frozen-Concoction Maker
ISI Gourmet Whip 1 Quart PLUS with 3 Decorator Tips
ISI Gourmet Whip 1 Quart PLUS with 3 Decorator Tips
Waring Pro IC70 Professional Stainless Steel Large-Capacity Ice Crusher
Waring Pro IC70 Professional Stainless Steel Large-Capacity Ice Crusher (#1 at Amazon)
Margaritaville DM0500 Bahamas 36-Ounce Frozen-Concoction Maker
Margaritaville DM0500 Bahamas 36-Ounce Frozen-Concoction Maker
Margaritaville DM2000 Premium Frozen Concoction Maker
Margaritaville DM2000 Premium Frozen Concoction Maker

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals at Amazon – Limited Time Offers Throughout the Day

Coming Soon!

Christmas Gifts For Men Who Love Baking

Best Gifts for Men Who Like To Bake

Does the man in your life love baking best? Here by popular reader demand are some Christmas gift ideas for bakers to consider for his baking toolkit.

Wilton 2109-0309 Ultimate Professional Cake Decorating Set
Sorry for the purple color, guys! But truthfully, if the special guy in your life is a baker, he’ll probably forgive you because this 3-level tool caddy in the Wilton Ultimate Professional Cake Decorating Set is the ultimate Wilton cake decorating set. Every essential tool from the best in baking (Wilton) and a cool caddy for organizing it all, too.

With 177 different pieces, including tips, couplers, icing bags and colors, cake levelers and spatulas, shape cutters, and smoothers, your baker will love this extensive set of baking tools.

More Christmas Gift Ideas for Bakers

Wilton 2105-4923 24-Cavity Silicone Brownie Squares Baking Mold
Wilton 24-Cavity Silicone Brownie Squares Baking Mold
Linden Sweden Baker's 4-Tier Adjustable Metal Cooling Rack
Linden Sweden Baker’s 4-Tier Adjustable Metal Cooling Rack
Norpro 6-Count Nonstick Donut Pan
Norpro 6-Count Nonstick Donut Pan

Special Expensive Gifts For Your Husband, Brother, Boyfriend, or Dad

Everyone likes to find that perfect gift idea for a loved one in your life. But where do you start, especially when you’re shopping for a man who has everything? Here are a few gift ideas you might not have considered.

Expensive Gifts For Your Special Cook

Bosch Universal Plus Stand Mixer With Cookie Paddles and Dough Hook

Bosch Universal Plus Stand Mixer
The Bosch Universal Plus Stand Mixer is a workhorse of a stand mixer for all the tough tasks a man could put it to. This high-quality, heavy duty stand mixer from Bosch is a durable, flexible workhorse. It’s a high-speed mixer and has a high-capacity 6.5 Quart work bowl with a lid. With 800W of power and 4 speeds, plus a manual pulse, it can handle all of the mixing needs of a serious cook or baker.

It can do up to 15 pounds of dough, and is exceptionally good at dough making, even with wet dough. With the cookie paddles, bowl scraper, and dough hook, your special guy will be able to do just about any baking task with this mixer. And there are other available attachments at Amazon like the Bosch blender, food processor, meat grinder, and slicer/shredder, so the Bosch can handle a lot of other tasks with the attachments.

Read Our Review.

Quite a few people looking for a workhorse stand mixer have changed from KitchenAid to Bosch Universal Plus Stand Mixers and have been quite happy with them.

Perfex Crank Pepper Mill and Salt Mill

Perfex Crank Pepper Mill, 4.5-Inch
The Perfex Crank Pepper Mill, 4.5-Inch is a durable, high-quality pepper mill, and a matching Perfex Crank Salt Mill is also available. I mention them separately here because you can purchase them separately at a slightly lower price than together.

Both mills have a pull-out chute for easy refilling, and they’ll look classy on the counter or table. The adjustable grinding mechanism can be set to anything from coarse to fine grinding. These Pepper and Salt Mills have been around for quite a while and aren’t flimsy like some newer items.

The Most Important Thing About Men Who Cook

When thinking about Christmas gifts for men, think like a guy.

Women like presentation. MEN want success. Give them kitchen toys to make them happy, not a pretty serving platter.

More High Quality Must-Have Kitchen Gadgets for Your Cook

If you’re looking for some durable, extra-high quality kitchen appliances to surprise the guy who cooks in your life, check these out. Picking out a Christmas gift that matches his particular cooking interests will make him drool over his new kitchen toy.

I’ve picked the best gifts for cooks from different categories of kitchen appliances on Amazon. They all have high ratings and satisfied customer reviews. Get one of these useful gifts for your cook for Christmas before they’re snapped up and out of stock.

New Star 38408 Commercial Grade French Fry Cutter, Complete Combo Set
New Star 38408 Commercial Grade French Fry Cutter, Complete Combo Set
Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato Maker
Cuisinart ICE-100 Compressor Ice Cream and Gelato Maker
Breville BGR820XL Smart Grill
Breville BGR820XL Smart Grill
Breville BOV800XL The Smart Oven 1800-Watt Convection Toaster Oven with Element IQ
Breville BOV800XL The Smart Oven 1800-Watt Convection Toaster Oven with Element IQ
Blendtec Total Blender, WildSide Jar
Blendtec Total Blender, WildSide Jar (Almost 3Qts)
Motta 7540 Barista Kit Deluxe Set
Motta 7540 Barista Kit Deluxe Set

Christmas Gifts for Men If You Have a Budget

But not every man on your list needs expensive kitchen gadget gifts. If you’re looking for some Christmas gift ideas and you have a budget to keep, I’ve made some selections in the lower dollar ranges for your brother, friend, or co-worker who likes to cook.

If you need a last minute gift or inexpensive stocking stuffer for your boyfriend, fiance, husband, or family member, we’ve got you covered. And if you need a Secret Santa gift for an office party or party with friends, you can find something here for that budget, too.

Cooking Gifts for Men Under $50

If you’re looking for useful kitchen gadgets and reasonably-priced gift ideas under $50 for a cook’s Christmas presents, I recommend the gift ideas below.

I’ve picked the best mid-range gifts for cooks from different categories at Amazon. They all have high ratings and satisfied customer reviews. If your gift recipient is a Star Wars fan, I can just about guarantee he’s never seen R2-D2 like this one below. And if he is a fan, there’s a bunch of related types of kitchen products on Amazon that you can find below this listing in the “also viewed” strip at the bottom if you want to go all-out. Other items like a quality digital scale and a universal grater (I have one and they are quite versatile) can also be great budget gifts for cooks if you are trying to find gifts priced under $50.

Exclusive Star Wars R2-D2 Measuring Cup Set - Limited Edition
Exclusive Star Wars R2-D2 Measuring Cup Set – Limited Edition
Ozeri Touch Professional Digital Kitchen Scale
Ozeri Touch Professional Digital Kitchen Scale (18 lbs), Tempered Glass in Elegant Black
Universal Grater
Universal Grater

Small Gift Ideas for Cooks Under $20

If you’re looking for inexpensive gift ideas under $20 for Christmas gifts for a cook, I’ve picked the best practical gifts for cooks I could find. They all have high ratings and satisfied customer reviews. These make great smaller gifts for men who enjoy cooking, whether it is a gift exchange at work, a Secret Santa exchange, a special stocking stuffer, or just a useful gift for a cook who you want to get a reasonably-priced present.

My personal favorite is the Bamboo cutting board with the colored removable cutting mats. My husband has been hinting about that one for the last couple of months, so I suspect one is going to end up under our Christmas tree this year. Shush. Don’t tell. And “somebody” keeps pointing out how reasonably priced and cool the “temperature guns” are, too.

Christmas 2015 Update: My special cook got the Bamboo cutting board with removable cutting mats under the tree this year. When it was time to make dinner, he immediately headed off to the kitchen with his cutting board under his arm to chop veggies for our Christmas dinner.

Seville Classics Bamboo Cutting Board with Removable Cutting Mats
Seville Classics Bamboo Cutting Board with Removable Cutting Mats
Ozeri Pronto Digital Multifunction Kitchen and Food Scale, Elegant Black
Ozeri Pronto Digital Multifunction Kitchen and Food Scale, Elegant Black
#1 Best Seller
OXO Good Grips Silicone 11-Inch Balloon Whisk
OXO Good Grips Silicone 11-Inch Balloon Whisk
Nubee Temperature Gun Non-contact Infrared Thermometer w/ Laser Sight MAX Display
Nubee Temperature Gun Non-contact Infrared Thermometer w/ Laser Sight MAX Display
BlenderBottle 28-Ounce Sport Mixer
BlenderBottle 28-Ounce Sport Mixer
Premium Silicone Kitchen Utensil Set in Hygienic Solid Coating
Premium Silicone Kitchen Utensil Set in Hygienic Solid Coating

While the Ozeri digital food scale listed in this section is a little less expensive than the professional Ozeri digital kitchen scale in the “Gifts Under $50” gift guide section, it still handles reasonable kitchen weights and is a solid scale. I also highly recommend the silicone kitchen utensils because they are incredibly easy on quality pans and don’t scratch or scuff. They also don’t conduct heat like metal utensils. I swear by mine. And they are heavy-duty enough and comfortable in the hand for men who cook, too, as my husband will attest.

Stocking Stuffers, Gift Exchanges, and Budget Gifts Under $10 for Men Who Cook

If you’re looking for inexpensive stocking stuffers, a gift exchange at work, or Secret Santa gifts for the cook on your Christmas present list, check these out. Your guy cook will likely be quite amused by the Mini Measuring Spoons. I thought they were cute, but my husband immediately suggesting adding them to the list, because, he says, “Most guys never know what a pinch, dash, or smidgen actually is, and with these we’ll look on top of it.”

Norpro 3080 Mini Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons
Norpro 3080 Mini Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons, Set includes (tad, dash, pinch, smidgen and a drop)
Norpro 792 Oil and Vinegar Cruets, 2-Piece
Norpro 792 Oil and Vinegar Cruets, 2-Piece
Weber 6492 Original Instant-Read Thermometer
Weber 6492 Original Instant-Read Thermometer
#1 Best Seller

If you like the idea of the Oxo Good Grips Silicone utensils — and I do love them for our household of cooks — here is a link to more of them on Amazon.

Funny Cooking Gifts for Men Who Cook

No Christmas gift ideas list can be complete without something funny for the male cooks in your life who appreciate a good gag or fun gift.

Since “Kiss the Cook” aprons are such fun to wear but more common as gifts, I thought I’d see what aprons I could come up with that were a little different, but still quirky and fun to wear and to give. And since getting guys into the kitchen is always a sign of a “super man” I had to include one Superman apron to give as a present if you’re so inclined.

Your Opinion Wasn't In The Recipe apron
Your Opinion Wasn’t In The Recipe Apron

Cute and Sexy Superman Cooking Apron
Cute and Sexy Superman Cooking Apron
Bakers Loaf On The Job
Bakers Loaf On The Job
Get Out Of My Kitchen! apron
Get Out Of My Kitchen! Apron
All This - And I Can Cook apron
“All This … And I Can Cook” apron
Real Men Don't Use Recipes Apron
Real Men Don’t Use Recipes Apron

There are tons more cooking aprons available on Amazon. If you click through to Amazon, you can certainly browse an extensive collection there to find one that perfectly fits the men in your life that you are looking for gifts for. It was impossible to showcase aprons for every possibility. But there are many, many more available, and Amazon’s search feature is excellent.

Last Minute Things To Keep In Mind About Buying For Men Who Cook

Even though men and women both enjoy cooking, never forget that men do it differently.

They aren’t women in sweatshirts and jeans, gals! Men often cook with a different style, cook for different reasons, and — most importantly — cook with different stuff!

Whenever my husband and I go to the kitchen stores, we inevitably meet up at the register with totally different stuff in our arms. He has gadgets and gizmos and tools I’d never pick, and vice versa. You’ve got to know your guy!

So happy shopping, and hopefully our holiday gift guide for men who love to cook will help you make the cooks in your life happy this Christmas.

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Anniversary Buyer's Guides Christmas Father's Day Gift Guides Mother's Day Thanksgiving Wedding & Baby

Top 5 Carving Knife and Fork Sets For Thanksgiving and Christmas Holiday Dinners

Carving Knife and Fork Sets are generally not included in even the best knife sets or knife blocks, and are often the top choice among home cooks for a Christmas gift, wedding present, birthday present, or holiday or Easter dinner ensemble.

And when the holiday season approaches, with Thanksgiving Dinner and Christmas dinners on the horizon, many of us turn thoughts to having a good carving knife set to carve the perfect turkey, ham, prime rib, or roast for our holiday dinner.

And to be honest, I strongly recommend a carving set rather than just a carver. An effective carving knife really needs a well-designed meat fork to balance out the carving chore. I’ve even heard of people buying a carving knife set just to get a great meat fork.

How Did We Choose Our Top 5 Carving Knife Sets?

In order to find you the best carving knife and meat carving fork, we’ve sorted through a large number of brands, knife lines, and characteristics to find you the best carver sets. We gave prominence not based on price or brand recognition, but for the quality construction needed to make a long-lasting knife set, the best balanced knife and fork, the knife set’s overall functionality, and most importantly, the sharpness and slicing capability in the knife.

So let’s get to it — Our Top 5 Carving Knife and Fork Sets

#1 Choice — Wusthof Classic 2-Piece Hollow-Ground Carving Set

Wusthof Classic 2-Piece Hollow-Ground Carving Set
The Wusthof Classic Carving Set is our top rated carving set for a few reasons. It provides the best mix of brand, quality, price, and sharpness that we found among all of our candidates for best carving set.

Wusthof’s manufacturing process for the Classic line is among the best rated in the world, with solid test results in competition and side by side reviews. It beats out even the Shun lines for sharpness, with the edges ground to 14 degrees on both sides, compared to a slightly less 16 degrees for the Shun carving knife set.

Ranked #3 in Carving Knives at Amazon, with a 5.0 Star Rating on 17 reviews, we aren’t the only ones to like this carving set.

Reasons We Like This Wusthof Carving Knife and Fork:

  • This carving knife is designed with a Granton edge, often referred to as a hollow-ground edge. This adds slight scalloped bubbles in the knife’s edge, preventing food from catching on the knife, which can provide a smoother slice than other blade types.
  • Wusthof has designed a carving knife that reviewers claim has near perfect heft and balance, making your carving task easier and less of a strain on your hand and arm. And the fork is 6″ long and slightly curved, which improves your handling of the meat after slicing.
  • With its extremely sharp edge, your turkey slices will be extremely thin while the blade maintains enough heft to handle larger cuts of meat just as easily.

Who Should Buy This Wusthof 2-Piece Set?

Thanks to the slightly lower price compared to other similar options, this fits the budget a bit better than some, and its features give you an exceptional carving set.

Check Current Price

And if you would like a presentation box in order to give a carving knife set as a gift, you could take a look at the Wusthof Classic Ikon Creme Hollow Edge set, which comes with a gorgeous Walnut case. You can also find this Classic Ikon carving set with black handles here.

Classic Ikon Hollow Edge in CremeClassic Ikon Hollow Edge in black

#2 Choice — Shun DMS200 Classic 2-Piece Boxed Carving Set

Shun DMS200 Classic 2-Piece Boxed Carving Set
The Shun Classic 2-Piece Boxed Carving Set is our solid #2 rated set. While not quite as sharp as the Wusthof carving knives, this Shun knife set is a quality offering. Like the Wusthof set, it has an 8-inch carving knife with a 2-prong carving fork. I also like the presentation and look of this set, with its Damascus-style finish and beautiful presentation box.

As a Christmas gift or wedding present, this Shun carving set has a lot to offer with the presentation and storage box.

Shun has done a solid job designing this boxed set, with a comfortable D-shaped handle and the Damascus look to the blade without the rusting problems experienced by a true Damascus steel blade. And if you prefer the lighter Shun knives over the heft of a Wusthof blade, this carving knife is probably the sharpest you’ll find compared to most European knife sets.

Like the Wusthof Hollow-Ground Set above, this Shun set has a 4.0 Rating on Amazon, although with only 5 reviews as yet it may rank upwards soon based on the reviews I’m seeing.

Reasons We Like This Shun Carving Knife and Fork:

  • The Damascus style blade reduces drag on the knife’s slicing performance by creating microscopic air pockets built in during the cladding process. Combined with the knife’s sharpness, you’ll get an excellent carving slice.
  • I think the presentation and foam insert storage box here is a plus. Storing a carving knife set properly requires a little something extra — a storage box, knife sheaths or guards, or a knife block that can handle the size of the carving knife and meat fork.

Who Should Buy This Shun Classic Boxed Carving Set?

While I do love that box, it prices this set a lot higher than the comparable Wusthof sets in our Top 5 Carving Sets list. But if you are shopping for a gift, the Shun knife and meat fork here may be the best fit for you, and it is an equally solid offering.

See at Amazon

And if you would prefer a longer carving knife, you can take a look at the Shun Premier 2-Piece Boxed Carving Set (rating 4.9 at Amazon), which costs a little more, but gives you the same performance and presentation with its 9.5-inch carving knife.

#3 Choice — Zwilling J.A. Henckels Four Star 2-Piece Carving Set

J.A. Henckels Zwilling Four Star 2-Piece Carving Set
You may wonder why I’d choose the Four Star 2-Piece Carving Set instead of a Four Star II set for our #3 choice in top carving knife and fork sets. Basically it comes down to two things: better reviewer ratings and a far more reasonable price for what you get.

Like the Wusthof Classic, this Henckels carving set doesn’t include a storage box, but given its slightly more “budget” pricing, that makes sense. If what you really want is a reasonably-priced set, the J.A. Henckels carving knife set is worth considering.

Manufactured in Germany, using the same kind of excellent blade steel as Wusthof knives, Zwilling uses their SigmaForge and Friodur ice hardening to produce an excellent knife set. With bonded handles, full tang knives, and laser-controlled sharpening, this is a well-made carving knife and meat fork. With a 4.8 rating on Amazon, it’s definitely worth a look.

Reasons We Like This J.A. Henckels Carving Knife and Fork:

  • If you like the German knives and their construction, ergonomic handles, and balance for your kitchen knives, but prefer a lighter blade like the Shun set, you’ll appreciate this knife and fork.
  • The Henckels carving knife produces wonderfully thin slices, but the real find here is the meat fork. With its length and design, you’ll love moving your turkey from sliced bird to serving plate.

Who Should Buy This J.A. Henckels Zwilling Four Star 2-Piece Carving Set?

I wanted to provide at least one somewhat budget-minded option that still offers an excellent carver and fork. I think this was the best of those options, and it appears that the meat fork may be an even better find than some of the other choices here.

See at Amazon

#4 Choice — Wusthof Classic 2-Piece Carving Set

Wusthof Classic 2-Piece Carving Set
The Wusthof Classic Carving Set is the straight-edge blade version of our top rated carving set. Like its friend chosen as the best-rated carving knife set, it provides the solid quality of the Wusthof Classic line and best blade sharpness that we found among all the sets we reviewed.

While it only shows a 4.6 Star Rating on 11 reviews, its rating really is skewed by a 2-Star review. Apparently the reviewer was unhappy that they got the wrong knife set in their order too close to Thanksgiving. And rather than return it, they gave the carving set (that they kept) a 2 star rating. My feeling is that this distorts the rating downward to some degree as they had no complaints about the knife set in general.

Reasons We Like This Wusthof Straight-Edge Carving Knife and Fork:

  • The carver is designed with a straight edge. Often a straight edge blade provides an extremely smooth slicing experience with most meats because it doesn’t catch on meat fibers.
  • Wusthof’s carving knives, like pretty much all the reviews I’ve seen on the Classic line, are lauded by reviewers as nearly perfect in their heft and balance. And this carving fork, like our #1 choice, is 6″ long and slightly curved to improve meat handling.

Who Should Buy This Wusthof 2-Piece Straight-Edge Set?

Like the Hollow-Ground version, this is your best option for a seriously sharp carving knife and useful meat fork. It’s a little more expensive than the Hollow-Edge, which is why I ranked it lower in this list.

Check Current Price

And if you’d like to have a presentation box for a gift or for storing your knives, you can take a look at the Wusthof Classic Ikon Creme Hollow Edge set, which comes with a gorgeous Walnut case. The Classic Ikon line is somewhat more expensive, but it still falls in line with the Shun line carving knives and their presentation boxes while being slightly sharper.

#5 Choice — Zwilling Pro 2 Piece Carving Set

Zwilling Pro 2 Piece Carving Set
The Zwilling Pro Carving Set is our #5 choice for top carving sets. Other than price, the reason it rates #5 is simply the lack of good reviews. With only 6 reviews, the 4.8 Star rating is just a tad uncertain, but nearly 85% of the reviews are 5 Star and the others are all 4 Star, so I’d trust the overall rating myself.

This Pro set has the same solid German manufacturing as the #3 Four Star set, and has a forged blade, contoured and arched bolster and ergonomic handle for comfortable use.

Reasons We Like This Zwilling Pro 2 Piece Carving Set:

  • The 8″ slicing knife has a straight edge for smooth slicing with most meats because it doesn’t catch on meat fibers. Henckels blades tend to need additional honing to keep their sharpness, so I recommend solid honing before tackling your holiday dinner turkey, roast, or ham.
  • German manufacturing tends towards knives with solid heft and handling, and this knife is no exception. If you prefer a lighter carving knife that is still well-balanced and a little thicker than Shun knives, this may be the best brand for you.

Who Should Buy This Zwilling Pro 2-Piece Carving Knife and Fork?

With a mid-range price, German quality, and solid performance, I think this is an excellent choice if you want a German carving set that is a little lighter-weight than the Wusthof lines.

See at Amazon

Our Recommendations and Why

All of these carving knife and meat fork sets are top-rated carving sets to consider for yourself or as a gift. I can say that the Wusthof brand knives seem to have the most reviewers where people mention buying for one person and then buying again and again as gifts.

If you like the solid heft and balance of the German knife offerings, combined with the incredible sharpness of the Wusthof Classic line, I’d definitely suggest either the Classic Hollow-Ground or Straight Edge 2-Piece Carving Set.

If your main purpose here is to find a carving knife set for a gift, I’d go with either the Shun Classic or Premier Sets, or take a close look at the Wusthof Classic Ikon carving set.

Lastly, if you are looking for a lighter-weight carving set, you’d probably be most interested in the Zwilling Carving Knife Sets (Four Star or Pro) on the budget end or the Shun Carving Sets on the higher end of the budget scale.

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Should You Buy A Wusthof Classic 6-Inch Utility Knife? Our Review Spills The Beans

Wusthof Classic 6-Inch Utility Knife

Knife Style: Wusthof Classic 6-Inch Utility Knife
Our Reviewer Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
Brand: Wusthof
Buyer Rating: 4.8 out of 5 Stars with 34 Reviews
Model Number: Classic Knife 4522
Best Used For: Consumer High End Use
Check Current Price  Read Buyer Reviews

Summary

The Classic 6-Inch Utility Knife from Wusthof, often called a Sandwich Knife, is a solid choice for what many cooks call “in-between” work. If you’re a culinary student, home cooking enthusiast or serious cooking hobbyist you’ll appreciate adding this knife to your prep knives for tasks that other knives just don’t handle as easily. Professional cooks also herald this Wusthof Classic utility knife as a high-quality knife well worth the investment for mid-sized prep work.

This knife line is forged with the best materials and they create award-winning sharp knives across the entire Classic line. While paring knives and smaller utility knives are perfect for small detail work, and chef’s knives handle the bulky work best, you’ll often face kitchen prep work that falls in between. And if you do, you’ll definitely appreciate this knife.

After I read the reviews of this 6-inch knife, I believe it would also be one of the best gifts I can imagine for a home chef friend or family member, or even as a wedding gift where the couple enjoys cooking. Practically any cook — especially foodies — who could use a top quality 6-inch utility knife for mid-range prep work would enjoy owning this knife.

Quality of Knife Blades:
10 out of 10 stars (10.0 / 10)
Knife Balance and Weight:
9.5 out of 10 stars (9.5 / 10)
Sharpness and Maintaining Edge:
10 out of 10 stars (10.0 / 10)
Versatility of Knives:
9 out of 10 stars (9.0 / 10)
Overall Value:
9 out of 10 stars (9.0 / 10)
Busy Family Cooks:
9.5 out of 10 stars (9.5 / 10)
Couples Who Entertain:
10 out of 10 stars (10.0 / 10)
Cooks Working Outside Home:
9 out of 10 stars (9.0 / 10)
Cooks Who Cook for One or Two:
8.5 out of 10 stars (8.5 / 10)
Cooking Enthusiasts or Pros:
10 out of 10 stars (10.0 / 10)

What’s So Good About This Wusthof Classic Knife?

This model 4522 utility knife can be a solid #2 go-to knife in any starter prep knife set. One advantage of the 6-inch length is its ability to tackle tasks too big for a 3-4″ knife and too small for the larger (and most common size) 8-inch chef’s knives. As such, this makes them one of the best all-purpose kitchen knives you could own.

Cooks with larger hands often prefer the 6-inch version for prep work because it gives better control than a cook’s knife and also has a larger handle than a small paring knife. Any serious cook, culinary student, home cooking enthusiast, or even a professional cook who handles a lot of mid-range prep work can benefit from a knife this size.

This Wusthof Classic 6-inch Utility Knife is made with a straight-edge blade, and is designed for multipurpose use. It is forged and hand-honed to an incredibly sharp edge, and Wusthof has created a high-carbon steel kitchen knife with a full tang, precision bolster, and polymer handle, ensuring the best heft and balance for your knife.

While they say this knife line says it is dishwasher-safe, I strongly recommend that you do not clean this knife, or any knife, that way. You can read our article about the best way to clean your knives to find out why I feel so strongly about that. Dishwashers are just not the way to keep your high-end knives sharp, clear of pitting, and stain- and corrosion-free.

Pros and Cons of Wusthof Classic Utility Knives

No matter how much any of us like or dislike a particular knife brand, knife line, or particular knife, there are pros and cons to each, whether it is because of features or how you intend to use it. Here are some of my observations.

Pros:

  • Straight-edge blades like this one, rather than hollow edge or serrated blades, have the most flexible use case of all the knives in your kitchen. This 6″ utility version is extremely versatile, and can handle most mid-sized knife chores with ease. Smaller than most slicing knives, the thin, flared-tip blade glides effortlessly through meat, vegetables, or fruit, producing a smooth and clean cut. This is one of the reasons some prefer to call this a sandwich knife, but this knife is capable of much more. It also does excellent work cutting larger fruits and vegetables into delicate slices.
  • Wusthof Classic knives are constructed to the highest manufacturing and quality standards. These are forged blades, designed with a triple-riveted full tang and ergonomic composition handles. Their manufacturing process makes them incredibly sharp — and you can keep them that way with proper care. These knives are made to last, unlike cheaper knives.
  • Wusthof further adds to this knife’s performance by adding a precision bolster. This provides excellent heft and balance, which seriously improves your knife’s ability to slice easily. Because of this balanced design, these knives don’t put a strain on your hand or arm, and are comfortable for extended use in your kitchen. Ever done a bunch of chopping or slicing and had to stop a minute to rest your fingers and wrist? I have! A lot of the time I find that a dull or poorly balanced knife is a big contributing factor to my tired hands or arms after a day of holiday cooking.
  • Because of the seamless hygienic fit of the handle, there are no gaps in the handle for food residue to slip in, making it easier to keep this knife clean and sanitary.

Cons:

  • Because of their ergonomic handle design, Wusthof’s knives sometimes don’t fit every hand size well. Reviewers find the handles very comfortable to use for extended periods, but the proper handle length for your grip is an important consideration. The handle of the 6″ blade may work pretty well for most hands, but if you have small or large hands, you may need to do some adjusting of your grip to make it work well for you. However, the Wusthof Classic line (model 4522) also includes a straight-edge 5″ utility knife and straight-edge 7″ utility knife as alternate options, too.
  • If you don’t have the budget to spend $90 on a single prep knife, no matter how handy, you won’t want to buy a Wusthof Classic knife at a time. You get what you pay for, as reviewer after reviewer mentions, but it’s your pocketbook and only you can decide how much you want to spend. If you’re looking to buy more than one knife, be sure to check out their sets for a better combined price. You can read my reviews of the Classic 2-Piece Knife Set and 3-Piece Knife Set (which includes this utility knife) for an idea of how they will work for you. And if you need a solid Cook’s knife, you can read our review of the 8-inch Wusthof Classic version here, as well.
  • If you don’t do much mid-range prep work, and your paring knife and cook’s knife can get the job done, you may very well not need a mid-sized in-between knife.

Versatility of Prep Use

As I mentioned above in pros and cons, the Classic utility knife is exceptionally versatile for mid-range prep work. This makes it the best knife to buy if you can only afford one mid-sized knife for prep work. It serves well as a slicing knife in general for meat, vegetables, and fruit. And the thin blade makes it great for delicate slicing tasks that are too big for a paring knife or hard to accomplish with the thicker blade of the chef’s knife.

In addition to in-between uses for this knife, in a pinch you can use it as a replacement for some smaller tasks you usually take care of with an 8″ chef’s knife. And it can double as your second go-to small kitchen knife for delicate or intricate tasks that are just a bit big for a paring knife such as slicing cucumbers, cheese, apples, or other mid-sized vegetables and fruit.

Quality and Manufacturing

I really can’t say this Wusthof knife review is complete without a discussion of the manufacturing process involved in making these some of the best-rated small kitchen knives in the world. Their knives are regularly rated among the top knives of any brand and Good Housekeeping gives Wusthof extremely high marks in side-by-side tests with other top brands.

Wusthof manufactures the Classic knives through a forged method in its Solingen, Germany, factory. Wusthof craftsmen hand-forge a knife starting from a single piece of their high-carbon steel alloy, which many professionals acknowledge as some of the best knife steel available.

They use a unique “Precision Edge Technology” (PEtec) that Wusthof says will give the knife the ability to hold its edge 30% longer than competing knives from other manufacturers. In contests with measurements taken through independent testing, they have tested 20% higher than competing brands for sharpness.

After hand-honing and hand-polishing the final knife blade, the finished Wusthof knife is hard enough to resist dulling and yet also soft enough to take a keen edge when honed or sharpened during your regular use. Often knives from competitors are made from a steel that is too hard, so they aren’t capable of being honed or sharpened back to a precision edge, or too soft, so that they dull easily.

The final finishing process creates an extremely stain-resistant blade. The full tang makes the knife much stronger, and much less likely to snap the handle or break free of the blade with extended use. They also add a finger guard to protect your hands, and the guard improves the knife’s heft, balance, and stabilization even further.

You can learn more about important elements of kitchen knives from this article.

What Buyers Say About Their Wusthof Knives

One regular comment is that buyers feel the investment in Wusthof’s knives, especially this line, is “worth every cent” over purchasing lesser quality knives that won’t hold their edge. And with all 5-Star and 4-Star reviews, that’s a solid approval rating from buyers. One buyer pointed out that if this size, performance, and quality of the knife is right for you, the expense won’t matter once you’ve used it. Although there aren’t too many reviews on this knife (only 19 at the time of writing) I suspect this is because of the price, and the fact that most users looking for this knife are likely to purchase it in a set (see our review of the 3-piece set).

One comment echoed often by reviewers is that this particular line is the best trade-off between price and quality compared to the less-expensive Wusthof Gourmet line (a stamped blade) or Wusthof’s Culinar line (more expensive).

One reviewer said that the thinner blade and taper of this utility knife makes this a fabulous slicing knife, and he rarely turns to his chef’s knife for slicing and carving. He even uses it for cutting bread over his serrated knives. Just don’t try to use this knife to lever cans open. The thinner blade is made for slicing, not prying!

Lastly, many reviewers felt the Wusthof 6-inch utility knife was an incredibly useful in-between knife in their kitchen, because it is bigger than a paring knife but handles like one, and easier to manage than a chef’s knife.

Who Should Buy This Knife

Wusthof is one of the most popular knife brands among home chefs. They produce knives with incredible quality and usability. Lastly most serious cooks will agree that a mid-range utility knife fills a critical need in a set of prep knives, and the knife you’ll use the most often for in-between work.

If you aren’t on a tight budget, and especially if you are looking for a solid prep knife for yourself or family or friends, this 6-inch knife is one of the best knives under $100 you can buy for your kitchen after a solid paring knife.

And if you’re looking for gift ideas for chefs or even a home cook wanting the best quality knives, this Wusthof knife makes one of the best gifts you can buy for a cook (or yourself).

Who Shouldn’t Buy This Knife

Are you on a tight budget — either buying for yourself or as a gift? While this knife offers incredible value and functionality, it isn’t as cheap as other similar-sized knives and may not fit your budget, no matter how useful. And if you just don’t do much in-between prep work and can handle your slicing, dicing, and cutting with either a paring knife or chef’s knife, you may not need a utility knife at all.

Knife Accessories and Related Items

There are any number of Wusthof Classic knives you can purchase to round out your prep knives. For prep knife starter sets, I recommend the bird’s beak parer for digging out stems and eyes of potatoes, a 5″ serrated utility knife (sausage knife) for rolls, salami, citrus, and tomatoes, a 6″ flexible boning knife, and a straight edge 3-1/2″ paring knife. With this utility knife and the others, you’ll have a great starter set. You’ll probably find the blade covers in the most common sizes and the honing steel of great use as well.

Our Recommendation and Why

In our review of the Wusthof Classic Utility Knife, we’ve covered a lot of key points, from quality and manufacturing, to flexibility of use, to the pros and cons of the knife and utility knife specifics. If you think you’ll need a prep knife for in-between kitchen work, this knife is an excellent choice. Basically, the answer to our proposed question is this — if you need a mid-range utility knife, this is an excellent choice. If not, I wouldn’t spend the money.

Depending on your particular kitchen needs, especially if you are only cooking for 1 or 2, you might not even need many other knives beyond this utility knife and a paring knife for prep work plus a solid chef’s knife. If you’re a cooking enthusiast or cooking for a group, this knife can be a solid #2 knife in set of prep knives you’ll never regret buying.

And in the end, what you’ll really appreciate about this Wusthof utility knife is great quality, ease of use, and value. We don’t give out 4.5+ star ratings often but this Wusthof knife deserves it. So if this knife meets your needs, you’ll get a well-rounded, high-quality knife that will be a solid addition to your kitchen prep knife set for years to come.

And for this value and quality, AND qualifying for Free Shipping, you’ve got to check out the Wusthof Classic 6-inch Utility Knife.

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