12 small appliances with extra-large capacities

Top-performing countertop appliances that hold more than most

Published: August 11, 2014 05:15 PM

Refrigerators, washing machines, and pro-style ranges have been getting bigger and bigger and now we’ve noticed that small appliances are also living large. In fact, some of the top-performing blenders, food processors, coffeemakers, toaster ovens, and stand mixers in Consumer Reports’ tests also have the biggest capacities. The good news is that they don’t take up more space on your countertop. Here are some of the best from our tests.

Stand mixers
The KitchenAid Professional 6500 Design Series, $550, features a six-quart bowl, which is one to two quarts larger than the typical stand mixer.  It costs more than most but is filled with features and impressed in our mixer tests. The KitchenAid combines excellent whipping, mixing, and kneading, plus it can take on an assortment of power attachments, including a pasta maker and food grinder. It comes with a whisk, flat beater, and dough hook.

Food processors
A big food processor is good for cooks who make batches of coleslaw or chop plenty of vegies for stir-fries. The Breville BFP800XL/A, $400, can hold 16 cups—at least two cups more than most other models. We also liked the large capacity Cuisinart Elite Die-Cast 16-Cup, $300. The Breville was excellent at chopping, slicing, shredding, and grating and the Cuisinart was very good at those tasks in our food processor tests.

Two recommended blenders by Ninja, the Ninja Professional NJ600, $100, and Ninja Kitchen System 1100 NJ602, $160, both hold nine cups, which is almost twice as much as some blenders. Four of the nine models on our list of top blender picks have capacities of eight cups including the Vitamix 5200, $450, and the Waring Xtreme MX1000R, $350. Of course, they also have hefty price tags. From one of the biggest names in premium blenders, the Vitamix has long been our top-scoring blender. Waring’s commercial blender is one of the quietest models we tested, which you’ll appreciate if your kitchen is within earshot of the rest of the house.

Remington iCoffee RCB100-BC12
Photo: iCoffee

The Cuisinart Crystal SCC-1000 Limited Edition Perfec Temp, $200, is the only drip model in our coffeemaker tests that can brew a full 14 cups. And with its jewel-like Swarovski elements it makes a big impression as well. It's top-notch brew performance is matched by a carafe we found easy to hold and pour from. It's also programmable. For half the price but the same performance and capacity try the similar Cuisinart Perfec Temp DCC-2800, $100, which comes without the crystals.

If you prefer coffee make in a French press, consider the Remington iCoffee RCB100-BC12, $170, which is like a drip coffeemaker on steroids. It makes 12 cups in an unusual brewing system that uses jets of water to swirl the grounds, akin to a French press. Remington says the process eliminates the bitter aftertaste of drip coffee.  It's the only recommended model of the new so-called "electric French press" coffeemakers in our tests.

Toaster ovens
The Breville Smart Oven BOV800XL, $250, is priced higher than other models in our toaster oven tests, but its top performance and sleek, sturdy design might justify the cost. It was very good at baking and broiling, and it's roomy enough to handle a 4-pound chicken, a 12-inch pizza and six slices of toast. And unlike many toaster ovens, the Breville is also very adept at making toast.

While it’s not as stylish, the Oster TSSTTVMNDG, $80, can also accommodate a 4-pound chicken, 12-inch pizza and six slices of toast. Oster is known for making inexpensive small appliances that perform well, and this toaster oven is another example of that. It proved particularly adept in our tests at baking and broiling but due to its basic design was not as easy to use or clean as others we tested.

—Mary H.J. Farrell (@mhjfarrell on Twitter)

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