The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Difference in Kitchenaid mixers

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KenK's picture
KenK

Difference in Kitchenaid mixers

I've read a bunch on here about different mixers and how the newer Kitchenaid mixers compare poorly to the old Hobart made ones.


My question is; what is the difference between some of the five quart, lift bowl models?  There is a "Commercial 5" that costs $545, a "Professional 5" that costs $420 and a "Pro 500" that costs $350.  They all look about the same to me and the specs and description on the Kitchenaid website don't really explain the differences.


There are just two of us so I don't really have a need to make more than about two pounds of dough at a time.  I like all the attachments I could get for the Kitchenaid.  The guarantee looks good.


I don't guess I really need any kind, I've been doing ok by hand.  Just want one. : )

jgrill's picture
jgrill

I have a KA Pro 600 mixer (for about/maybe less than a year, and I bake bread at least once a week, frequently more often) and have been very happy with it. It was recommended (6 qt as opposed to 5 qt) by a cooking instructor. I've mixed as much as 4 lbs of dough with no apparent strain, but I wouldn't go much past that amount of dough. 


I think mine cost about or under $400, and I believe I ordered it online, from Chef's.


I'd go with the 6 qt. over the 5 qt. 


Good luck with your decision.

jgrill's picture
jgrill

Additional comment:


I had, for many years, mixed and kneaded dough by hand, and took pride in being a "purist," but I have come to love my KA mixer. It can do more than I can do by hand, and the results are both different and better, in my opinion. The dough is better to work with—as in folding rather then heavy-duty kneading. And, there are some doughs that I couldn't mix by hand (because of a bit of arthritis). The mixer is worth the cost, but get a 6 qt. one. 

LindyD's picture
LindyD

From the KitchenAid website:


ProLine series:  "The all-steel gears, direct-drive transmission, and commercial design give the power needed to handle large batches of heavy batter and dough. This stand mixer also features the PowerKnead™ Spiral Dough Hook in burnished metal and a 6-quart polished stainless steel bowl with a comfortable handle."


The KA Pro 600 can handle 14 cups of flour and has a 575 watt motor and six-quart bowl.  All steel/metal construction.


The $500+ commerical mixer has a 450 watt motor and a five-quart bowl, but it's certified for commerical use.


You can print out all the features and specs for each model.  That might make comparing each model easier.


As a sidenote, a friend of mine has a KA Artisan which she dragged around between their condo downstate and their vacation home here in the north woods. She received a KA Pro model for Mother's Day but didn't like it because she didn't think it mixed well, so she exchanged it for another Artisan.  I asked her if she adjusted the beater height and she claimed she had.  She said when she spoke with a KitchenAid rep, she was told that the five quart models did a better job mixing small amounts than the six-quart models.  I don't know if that is true or not and will add that she has never attempted to bake bread or mix dough in either KA. 

verminiusrex's picture
verminiusrex

I used a KA 600 for several years. I was able to make dough using 2 lbs of flour (forget measuring in cups), which makes about 3 1/4 lbs of dough.  It does well for home baking, but I destroyed it by using it for baking at a Farmer's Market, they don't like making 16 batches of dough in a day every Friday for 6 months.  


If you plan to go hardcore with the dough making, there are countertop commerical mixers like the 10 qt Anvil for about a grand, which will hold up better than a KA in the long run.  But a KA 600 is fine for most home use.

tananaBrian's picture
tananaBrian

...Don't forget the Electrolux DLX.  It'll probably be the next mixer that I buy.  My 17 year old KA is sounding tired but still going.... When it breaks, I think I will buy the Electrolux.  I do have a big box of attachments for the KA, but only use them rarely.  We use the cheese grater once every couple of years, and the meat grinder on a regular basis ...and the meat grinder isn't really up to snuff for our burger and sausage making.  Of course, if you take home 800 pounds of meat from an Alaskan moose, it's asking a lot of any mixer to do the grinding portion of the butchering job.  We're going to buy a low-end commercial grade grinder and sausage stuffer.   No real reason to keep the KA around once it gives up the ghost.


Brian


 

KenK's picture
KenK

I have a big Lem grinder that I use to process deer.  The downside of that for small batches is that while it can grind 2 pounds of meat in about 15 seconds; it takes a half hour to clean and put away.

tananaBrian's picture
tananaBrian

When cutting up the meat, we just toss all scraps and trimmings into a small plastic garbage can, then grind it all at once on 'sausage day' ...usually about a week after the initial slaughtering which takes too long already, and sausage making is time consuming ...sometimes we don't stuff the sausages either, and just freeze big pancakes of sausage instead.  Anyway ...we're diverging.  Mostly I'm convincing myself to buy something other than a kitchenaid this time around ...the Electrolux DLX is supposed to be a great machine and it resolves some of the issues with KA's ...like flour poofing back out if you accidentally add it just a hair too fast, and accessability on top of the bowl for adding ingredients ...without having to use a pouring shield (one more thing to wash).


 


Brian