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need your opinion on the kitchenaid professional 5 plus mixer

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subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

need your opinion on the kitchenaid professional 5 plus mixer

I have an opportunity to acquire a used Kitchenaid professional 5 plus mixer. The mixer is in excellent condition.

The mixer comes with bowl, paddle, spiral dough hook and whip beater. Bowl capacity is slightly over 5 quarts (measured by pouring in water). The mixer moter is 450 watts (though I recognize that wattage alone is not the best criterion for evaluating the ability of a mixer to knead dough).

I've been able to run the (empty) mixer at all speeds. The motor runs smooth and the transition from one speed to another is precise. Unfortunately, the seller won't allow me to actually make anything in the mixer, so I can't test it further.

Besides general use, I am most interested in it's use for mixing and kneading bread dough. I am a home baker (not professional). I bake several loaves of bread at a time about 2x a week and, besides baking (and cooking) for my family, I also sell my bread to a few neighbors and co-workers on a weekly basis.

I make bread dough for both sandwich loaves and artisan loaves. I normally make 3-5 lbs of bread dough at a time. My breads are typically "lean" doughs (flour, water, salt, yeast) and I use either a sourdough levain (100% hydration) OR a preferment (with IDY yeast - either a biga or a poolish).  My breads always contain some whole grain flour (typically 20% - 50% of total flour weight) and have a hydation of 68% - 72% (baker's percentage). Some of my breads include seeds or soaked whole grain grits in the dough

I've posted some questions below, but if you have other thoughts to share, please do contribute.

QUESTION: How efficiently can this mixer knead bread dough? Will the dough end up climbing up the spiral dough hook? Is the kneading (on speed 1 or 2) reasonably gentle?

QUESTION: Can it handle the quantity and hydration of the doughs I typically make? (I don't think the kind of bread I make to be particularly stressful for a mixer but am open to feedback).

QUESTION: If you own this mixer, how durable have you found it to be?

QUESTION: If you wanted to purchase this mixer, what would you be willing to pay?

I would really like to hear from TFL members who own this model and use it for bread doughs. Any thoughts/experience you are willing to share would be immensely helpful.

Thanks in advance - SF

 

ishould3's picture
ishould3

I own this model, it's the top of the line for Kitchen aid in my opinion. You can crank it up with heavier bread doughs, the worst that can happen is the bowl will jump around a bit. It's worth the money and very durable. I am a professional chef and I am very hard on consumer equipment and this has held up like a champ.

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

Thanks for taking the time to reply. I do appreciate it.

A few more questions for you...

> re your statement that "You can crank it up with heavier bread doughs" - what is the hydration (baker's percentage) that you have used? What's the dough weight per mixer load?

> re your statement "I am a professional chef and I am very hard on consumer equipment and this has held up like a champ." how long have you owned (and used) this particular model?

> During your ownership & professional use, how much do you use this mixer for kneading bread dough and how much for other purposes?

I look forward to hearing from you. - SF

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

My KA is an older Hobart made model and I do not own this particular model. 

If you go to the Amazon site you can read a great many reviews on this very model.  In general (there are always exceptions) it appears that if you give this mixer moderate to heavy use, it breaks.

Jeff

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

=== re your comment My KA is an older Hobart made model ===

I also own a Hobert-made KA mixer - specifically the Hobart model K5A. Thei K5A model is a 5-qt lift bowl mixer which was sold by Hobart in the '50s and '60s (and possibly earlier).The bowl, paddle and dough hook of the K5A are all cast aluminum. I also own the Hobart-made grain mill and meat grinder attachments for this model.

I have used this mixer for over 30 years. It is not pretty any more but always does the job. Here is my K5A + grain mill milling some flour for bread.

While this is an excellent, durable mixer, it does have limitations for bread baking. My post is primarily focused on purchasing an additional mixer for my needs.

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

I have a slightly newer Hobart made K5SS and it certainly has its limitations as far as bread is concerned.  It will however mix and knead bread dough without any sign of failure even when a bit of strain is evident.  All my reading and knowledge says the the newer Whirlpool KA mixers are far less capable than the older Hobart ones and if you are considering it for bread dough you would be very wise to look elsewhere.  Things change and the changes seen in the KA mixers are regretably not for the better.  The archives here contain quite a bit of discussion on the subject.

Jeff

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

Hope TFL will allow my complete reponse. Apologies for repetition. Here we go...

=== re your comment My KA is an older Hobart made model ===

I also own a Hobert-made KA mixer - specifically the Hobart model K5A. Thei K5A model is a 5-qt lift bowl mixer which was sold by Hobart in the '50s and '60s (and possibly earlier).The bowl, paddle and dough hook of the K5A are all cast aluminum. I also own the Hobart-made grain mill and meat grinder attachments for this model.

I have used this mixer for over 30 years. It is not pretty any more but always does the job. Here is my K5A + grain mill milling some flour for bread.

While the K5A is an excellent, durable mixer, it does have limitations for bread baking. My post is primarily focused on purchasing an additional mixer for my needs.

=== re your comment If you go to the Amazon site you can read a great many reviews on this very model ===

I dld go to Amazon and read most of the comments.

I read all of the 1-star, all of the 4-star and most of the 5-star reviews. While most reviewers like this mixer they are not dedicated bread bakers (much less experienced bread bakers).

I trust the opinions of TFL members best and that's why I've asked for feedback on this forum.

=== re your comment the KA mixers are regretably not for the better.  The archives here contain quite a bit of discussion on the subject ===

As a long time owner and user of a Hobart-made KitchenAid mixer, I totally agree that the Hobart made KA mixers are, in general, far better made than those now made by Whirlpool. In fact, I have said this same thing numerous times on TFL.

I just want to know whether this particular Whirlpool model mixer will work for bread and, if yes, what others would consider an appropriate price for buying a used model.

Thanks - SF

suave's picture
suave

I have a Pro HD which is essentially the same mixer.  I've owned it for almost 6 years, and mixed hundreds and hundreds of doughs in it and I think that as long as you understand its limitations it is a efficient and durable appliance.  From my experience, your hydration is fine, but your loads aren't.   At 70% hydration I would not put an ounce over 3 lb of dough in this mixer.   The efficiency of kneading will greatly depend on what you are trying to get - I favor weak flours, short mixing times and long fermentations, and I get what I want.  Getting a windowpane in KA might take quite a bit of time.   Pricewise, I would not pay a penny over $200 for a used one.

mredwood's picture
mredwood

Hi, 

I don't own this mixer. I believe it's the size  5 qt 450 watts that only Costco sells. This is not the largest machine they make. I have the Pro 600. They are good mixers but If I were making what you make I would not buy this mixer. I use to bake more bread than I do now. Whole grains, sprouted, seeded. You can't make much with this machine. The more more whole grains, and seeds you use the lower capacity. KA has a specific # of cups it will knead with white flour. The # of cups decreases with every change to the dough. Decreases dramatically. Call them on their dime. Ask. Look for the manual on line.

#1. You really don't know how this mixer will work under pressure. You have no recourse if there is a problem . There could very easily be a problem. Because it sounds good empty it does not mean it will sound good under pressure. This mixer is not built to work with large amts of heavy dough. It must be run (Kneading dough) on speed 2. Speed one is a slow start not designed for kneading and does not have the power to knead. After a bit with a heavy dough on speed 2 the machine will get warm. Stop immediatly! Let it cool. Gears can melt. Speed 2 is gentle.

Mine does not mix small amts of anything well. 

I bought my mixer for 250 from Bed, Bath, and Beyond. It was on sale and I had a coupon. I thought it would be the great all purpose machine it was ment to be. And it is. It just so happened I had many attachments from years ago that fit the KA  hobart made machines and the smaller commercial hobart. I used them. It appeared they fit perfectly but they did not. They runied the motor and after the 2nd replacement we KA and I figured out what the problem was. It took quite a bit time because no one was around from way back when and knew. That info was not in there tech support. They are very good at customer service. The worse the product the better the service. 

Other than not pushing the machine and staying in the guidelines it is great for all round use. Must NOT knead aboove speed 2.

If I would purchase another machine for bread making I would research this site and follow the recomendations posted here. I would not buy a KA at any price because that would increase the price I would eventually have to pay to get a good machine. KA plus the new machine.

Having said that the machine is beautiful looks great on the counter. If you purchase it and it works out for you I will be happy for you. If not you can always buy another one that will work out, and maybe sell the KA. Not my idea of a good time. I hope this helps. 

 

 

 

 

eherman's picture
eherman

I owned this mixer and bake lots of bread, including whole grain and tough doughs like bagels. I had high hopes for it, but KA replaced it THREE times under warranty before I finally gave up and threw in the towel. It worked very well for less strenuous mixing. I made great eggnog with it. But if it's bread that you are going to use if for on a regular basis, I cannot recommend this mixer. I replaced it with a Bosch Universal after reading what a lot of smart people on this website and elsewhere had to say. (I also spent a ridiculous amount of time watching short online mixer demos, and those are probably useless, so don't waste your time.) I find the Bosch bowl shape awkward, but it clearly handles dough more easily than the KA. That's my two cents! Good luck.

Ellen

 

Nickisafoodie's picture
Nickisafoodie

suggest you use the search box above, you will find hundreds of postings on KA and most are negative.  they dont make them like they used to, and the dough climbs the hook.  Please do the research.   If you got it for a steal and used it for cakes and mashed potatoes, go for it.  I you really only want it for bread, there are better choices that will come up when you search KA...

hanseata's picture
hanseata

It must really be a big difference between the old KA mixers made by Hobart and the new, pretty but rather flimsy ones made by Whirlpool.

I bought the KA-600 Pro, and it is not at all usable for bread making! The bowl starts wobbling and the divet jumps out of the holder even with a fairly soft dough, unless you hold it manually down. I'm very disappointed, so I bought a SideSwipe spatula mix blade to be at least able to use it for pastry doughs.

That was definitely the last KA Mixer that ever got into my kitchen, I wasn't too happy with the Artisan, either.

Karin

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

A big thank you to all who replied! Based on feedback - especially from those who have actual experience with this model or the Pro 600 - I've decided not to buy.

Such a shame that Whirlpool could not keep up the quality of the Hobart made KAs. I'll stick with my Hobart-made model K5A mixer. It just takes a licking and keeps on ticking. It will mix my dough ingredients and start the kneading - I've always favored finishing the kneading the dough by hand anyway. I use the slap-n-fold and stretch-n-fold techniques a lot and I learned about both on this forum from wonderful members like you.

I'm fortunate to have purchased both the Hobart-made grain mill attachment and the Hobart-made meat grinder for the K5A, both of which I've used for many years with this machine. Those 2 attachments can really stress the mixer and I've never had a problem with them or the mixer.

So, again, THANKS. It's members like you who make this forum so great. Best to all - SF

geggers's picture
geggers

SF, I'm happy to see that you didn't choose this mixer for bread. If you search this site, you will find another, much longer discussion thread on KA mixers. To summarize, and add to what was stated in this thread:

Neither the 5 qt or the 6 qt, nor any version of the current KA mixers are good with bread. Nix to the whole grains, the whole-wheat or any heavier flour, bagels, or multiple loaves. You could make one loaf of white bread with the 6 qt, maybe. The reason in that the gears in the 5 qt (I'll get to the 6 qt in a minute) are made of plastic, and as the motor heats up quickly when kneading bread, they melt. There are two caveats to this to consider. This I found out from KA when on the phone with customer service replacing my SIXTH mixer in less than two years. I may have set a new record. 

The OLDER, and I mean much older, 5 qt mixers had metal gears and were made by Hobart and lasted forever. I don't know what year they stopped making these and had Whirlpool take over. KA wouldn't tell me but maybe someone else knows. I had one for 8 years that I beat the heck out of with all kinds of bread and bagels, at all speeds, and it wouldn't quit. Well, it finally quit, but I did abuse the thing. My neighbor bakes constantly and has had hers for 20 years. Hobart ROCKS. Whirlpool should stick to making washing machines. 

The NEWER (much newer) 6 qt Professional mixers are only now being made with metal gears. I asked when that change was made, but they wouldn't tell me. Does this help? Hmm.... I just got one as a replacement for the fifth one that died, and in my opinion, while the gears won't melt, and the dough does not ride up the hook, it still heats up fairly quickly. Speed 2 is also fairly wimpy and it takes so long to knead that by then it has heated up. I will not even attempt bagels in this mixer, as I am saving it for cookies and other lightweight jobs so as to not have to call KA again and send back another one..... they hate me.....

Someone said the dough climbs up the hook. This is very true of the 5 qt. Not so much for the 6 qt. 

The other discussion thread on this topic (I'm sure you can do a search and find it), discusses more options for other mixers. I've perused it well, and would have purchased another one for bread had my boyfriend not given me a 22 qt HOBART for Christmas!! I am the luckiest girl on the planet. If you live in the U.P. of Michigan and want to come and use it, I'm open to sharing.....

moussky's picture
moussky

Does anyone have experience with this mixer? It apparently has steel alloy

gears,  1.3 horsepower DC motor, 500 Watts.  All stainless steel.

       We want a mixer primarily for bread.    THANK YOU!

BTW, the advertising says it doesn't get hot,   but the manual says that it will get 

hot with heavy loads, but not to worry about it (!)

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

While I do not have experience with this particular model, I think it can be accurately said that the KA quality is simply inadequate for bread dough.

Jeff

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

You might want to check your sources. One horsepower is 746 Watts (give or take a fraction).  Considering a good consumer motor is 85–90% efficient, a 500W  motor will deliver 0.6 shaft hp. Expect further loss in the gear train.

cheers,

gary

johnr55's picture
johnr55

I also had a KA K5SS.  It was and is a fine mixer, but not for bread.  The KA is a good cake mixer, but for bread there are better choices, by far.  Especially these newer Red Chinese made Whirlpool/KA's.

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

There very well may be better mixers for bread dough than the Hobart-made Kitchenaid model K5SS.

*However*, for those who may already own this model, I would like to say that I have used it for over 15 years to knead bread dough. As long as your dough hydration is fairly high (67% hydration or more) it can perform well for a dough load of up to 3.5 lb (prebaking weight).

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

I have the same mixer and agree with your comments. 

With regard to the newer KA's,  I just saw a brand new 6 qt. Professional KA mixer in action.  What a piece of junk!

Jeff

ninjacito's picture
ninjacito

That looks just like my Kitchenaid Heavy Duty Plus.  It's indeed heavy duty...kneads dough, whips at a high speed, anything I need it to do. It does get hot after kneading for 20 min.  The only problem I've had it that the dough likes to climb up the hook for a typical 2 boule recipe.

johnr55's picture
johnr55

The harvest gold KA K5SS that I had in the eighties, I passed on to my sister in the early nineties.  I already had the Assistent and two Universals and it was just being used for cakes.  I will say that my sister still uses it on occasion, but only for cakes.  The biggest problem I had with the KA was the overheating motor.  This on simple two-loaf recipes.  There was not enough room for the motor head to ventilate.  I've never seen inside the head of the Hobart N50 but I'd assume it had better cooling for the motor. Conversely, I've been able to run batch after batch in my Bosch machines for 30+ years without one ever overheating.  Never have with my DLX but I'd expect it to do it-it never even gets warm to the touch.  I wouldn't have one of those Red Chinese KA's in my kitchen; that took jobs and a great reputation away from our workers.

johnr55's picture
johnr55

Does anyone else on here get sick of hearing the word 'professional' connected with things that obviously aren't?  In the first place, there is absolutely no legal structure for the use of the word.  For my two little cents, I can almost guarantee that when I see the word 'professional' on an appliance it's not going to be.  I will look on it with skepticism from then on.