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The only thing missing with the Cuisinart Precision stand mixer are integrated scales. Otherwise, there are very few ways in which to fault it. Made of die-cast metal with a high-gloss finish, its classic tall design is worthy of a spot on a kitchen countertop.
The 5.2-litre stainless steel mixing bowl is more than generous for batch baking and features a sturdy handle that's a practical, user-friendly feature. It's elements like this that make the Cuisinart stand out as great value for money.
The Cuisinart looks better in real life than it does in the pictures. It's not drowned in packaging, so is easy to unbox, protected by two snug polystyrene shells and a covering.
Accompanying it are a large stainless steel chef's whisk with aluminium head (hand-wash only) plus a dishwasher-safe dough hook for kneading and flat paddle mixer, both of which have good heft.
The beater features a splash guard which proves useful for protecting the attachment join from splashes, as it did when the citrus juice was added to the orange and lemon cake batter. This weight gives them a quality feel before you load them.
Like its body, the base is also die-case metal, so the machine feels stable. It's hard to miss the Cuisinart branding. A magnetic chrome-style panel across the front bares the brand name and lifts away to reveal an attachment lock for optional extras.
The 12 speeds are controlled by a single dial on the right-hand side. Its lever-release button is at the back and has a press mechanism requiring very little familiarisation.
Each accessory twists to load using a spring, requiring a small amount of pressure. The handle on the bowl is great for locking and releasing the bowl, which twists into the base easily.
Before use, 12 speeds seems a bit excessive, but once the machine gets going, they afford a lot of control and enable some personalisation – particularly if, for example, there are stubborn lumps of butter when beating sugar and butter together for a cake. The instruction manual offers guidance around the best speeds to use for tasks such as folding, whipping and kneading.
The low speeds come in particularly useful for mixing dry ingredients for chelsea buns, particularly if you've forgotten to slip the bowl guard over (which can be done when the machine has started, but isn't recommended).
It's easy to assume that the 500-watt motor will struggle with the prolonged kneading of large dough quantities, but it can handle up to 1200g of combined ingredients, kneading away without looking strained.
At the other end of the speed spectrum, the highest settings can whip egg whites to stiff peaks in 2½ minutes, meaning the whole process of prepping pavlova takes just over 5 minutes. It picks up most of the sugar from around the sides, too.
There's no pouring spout on the bowl, but thanks to its handle, releasing the bowl and and tipping mixtures one-handed is easy to do, leaving the other free to scrape around the edges with a spatula.
The Cuisinart feels like it's built to last a lifetime. There's no countdown timer or integrated scales, but each accessory is robustly built and designed for efficiently tackling key baking tasks.
It powers through doughs easily, plus with a sleek and compact design with a high-gloss finish, it's a real statement kitchen appliance. It's also covered by a three-year guarantee.
Cuisinart Precision stand mixer specifications
Serial number: SM50BU
Wattage: 500W motor
Product weight: 7.6kg
Speed settings / pulse functions: 12
Functions: knead, whisk, mix
Capacity of bowl: 5.2-litre
Warranty: three-year guarantee
This review was last updated in March 2021. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.