The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

KitchenAid Mixer Let Down

Cooptville's picture
Cooptville

KitchenAid Mixer Let Down

 I asked for and recieved a KitchenAid Professional 5+ mixer for Christmas. I wanted it for larger batches of bread and it advertised 12 Cups of Flour Power. I mixed up a batch that between the pre-ferment and final mix contained 4 1/2 cups All-purpose flour and 4 1/2 cups Bread Flour - a double batch of French bread from The Bread Bakers Apprentice. In less than a minute the mixer shut down and failed within seconds with each attempt to restart the mixer. Nine cups overloaded it. That was far from the promised 12 cups.

A call to KitchenAid left me angry. I was told the mixer would handle 12 cups of all-purpose flour as used in the recipes included in the Use and Care Guide that came with the mixer and that it would handle only 6 cups of specialty flour. Specialty flour, I was told, was anything other than All-Purpose flour as used in the recipes in the Use and Care Guide.

KA's advertising claims 12 cup of flour for bread. The Use and Care Guide comes with the mixer and the only statement that there is a lower capacity for flour is buried on page 54 and says, "· NEVER use recipes calling for more than 12 cups all-purpose flour or 6 cups whole wheat flour when making dough with a 5 quart mixer."  Please notice it states WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR and not all other specialty flours as I was told on the phone. Please remember also that the book comes with the mixer so you have no knowledge of the one-half of promised capacity until after you have purchased and received the machine.

Has anyone else experienced this disappointment and fallen victim to KitchenAid's misleading advertising? I would love to hear from others who have. I am pursuing complaints through a number of agencies and hope to stop KA from continuing their false advertising and to make very clear the true capacity of their line of mixers. Please let me know if you have had a similar experience with KitchenAid.

sewwhatsports's picture
sewwhatsports

I have 2 KA mixers and from reading your post I knew the problem before I even got half way through it.  Yes they say 12 cups of flour but whole grains are much heavier and you need to adjust the flour power level down.  What your mixer did was shut itself off to protect itself.  It should restart without a problem after about an hours rest.  I have a Pro 5+ and love it and make many loaves of bread in it, often double batches.  Do not give up on the mixer because of this first experience.  I too had this happen once and have never had a problem since.  Hydration of the whole grains is a very key issue with the stand mixers and an autolyse period is essential.

There is a forum called KitchenAid Conversations that you can access from their main website.  It is wonderful information on your stand mixer and great help quickly.  Give it a try and do not give up on your mixer.  You will love it!!

Rena in Delaware

Cooptville's picture
Cooptville

Rena,

No whole grain flours were in my mix. Half was All-Purpose and Half Unbleached Bread Flour. Now the Bread flour has more protein in it which will develop more gluten that ends up making greater resistance to the motor, but the mixer didn't run long enough to create one molecule of gluten. Bread flour itself has no more mass than all purpose flour.

I bought the mixer because I wanted a tool. I don't want to baby it. They advertised 12 cups and it should do 12 cups - not 6. It is false advertising and purposefully misleading. KitchenAid needs to be forced to pull back those claims and advertise the true limited capacity.

mattie405's picture
mattie405

If it's still possible I would pack up the machine and return it, then take the money and put it away towards a DLX from Electrolux, or a Bosch. I have burned out one KA (and never even tried bread dough in it) and just yesterday got my DLX and can't believe how great it is for doughs. I typically work with at least 12 cups of high protein bread flour so I needed the larger capacity, I also have a Bosch clone (Dimension 2000) and that is the amount of flour I have used in that one for the past 4 months since I started making bread. The DLX is able to handle almost twice as much flour and it didn't even break a sweat doing it. The dough came out silky and blistered and I needed NO flour on the table to form it, after it baked it was light with a crispy crust. Right now I have whole wheat rising and again the dough came out of the mixer (DLX) smooth and blistered with the gluten perfectly formed. I could kick myself for not getting a DLX years ago when I first heard of them. mattie

Cliff Johnston's picture
Cliff Johnston

Which do you prefer the DLX or the Bosch?

I've been looking at the Bosch Universal Mixer as it claims to do a mix for 6x1.5# loaves at a time.

I've got a Kitchen Aide ProLine mixer, but I never use it. My wife loves it though.

Cliff. Johnston
"May the best you've ever seen,
 Be the worst you'll ever see;"
from A Scots Toast by Allan Ramsay

mattie405's picture
mattie405

Cliff,
To tell the truth I like both the DLX and the Bosch. The Bosch seems to get the dough together faster but the DLX seems to clean up faster, so it comes down to either you spend more time making the dough or you spend it cleaning up the machine after it's done it's job. I will say the DLX seems to like large amounts more than the Bosch but the Bosch seems to do better on smaller amounts than the DLX. The Bosch sometimes walks on the counter when it's mixing and my machine actually took a fall off the counter, I did manage to catch it before it hit the floor but I don't leave it alone to mix anymore. The DLX stays where you put it. The Bosch also seems louder to me then the DLX. I haven't tried the plastic bowl or the whips that came with the DLX yet but I have used them on the Bosch and they work great, there are new cookie whips for the Bosch and I may get a set of them sometime down the road, I don't make a lot of cookies so I could actually do them in the small Hobart that I have. All in all I would replace the DLX in a heartbeat if I had to as I seem to really prefer it but I don't know why I reach for that machine over the others when they all can make decent bread, maybe it's because I would rather spend my time using my equipment than having to clean it. If you are doing 1-2 loaves I think a Kitchenaid might be fine, if you do up to 5-6 loaves then the Bosch, anything bigger the DLX. Maybe others with more experience with these machines will speak up soon, I am by far no expert on any of them as I only started trying bread baking a few months ago but I hope this helps. mattie

Cliff Johnston's picture
Cliff Johnston

...on the Bosch, and its tendency to walk - definately not a good characteristic.  Yes, I'd rather spend less time on clean-up too.  I wasn't familiar with the DLX - took a look at one yesterday - it's in a class all by itself.  It is some machine!

Cliff. Johnston
"May the best you've ever seen,
 Be the worst you'll ever see;"
from A Scots Toast by Allan Ramsay

BlueDevil0206's picture
BlueDevil0206

I actually heard about this so I opted for a the Pro 600 model.  Says it can handle 14 cups flour.  It has a 575 watt motor and is completely gear driven so it's pretty strong.  I've over 6 cups of whole wheat without a struggle whatsoever.  

 

staff of life's picture
staff of life

I've had two KAs: one was my mother's older one (i.e., with metal gears) and a new one I bought in June of 2006.  I was so disappointed in the new KA that 3 months later I bought the Electrolux.  In the new KA, I could never get the dough kneaded to the silky smoothness that I can in the older model and in the Electrolux.  And because I make all our bread, I didn't want to have to make lots of little batches, or have to baby the machine in order to make it work.  The new KAs, in my opinion, are not worth the money.

rcrabtree's picture
rcrabtree

I had the same reaction to the capacity problem.  My mixer hasn't shut down but I've never pushed it that far. 

 I felt the same as you about the false advertising;  and it's not limited, in my opinion, to just the 12-cup claim.  I bought the grain mill attachment (which works fine), but started to notice that every time I use it, the machine heats up sufficiently to liquify the motor grease, which then runs out the attachment socket and gets all over the driveshaft of the mill.  I don't mill more than the "10-cup per sitting" limit (another caveat I didn't find out about until after purchase) but this happens anyway.  After losing all that grease, the motor is starting to run noisy.

I contacted KitchenAid to find out where to get the replacement grease and how to re-grease the motor.  I was told that they do not give instructions because they want us to take the machines to an Authorized Repair Center.  I was then reminded that the warranty is only for one year, so the cost is on me.  Also, there are no Authorized Repair Centers in my state (!).  So to address the problem, I either have to drive 100 miles to the nearest repair center or ship it to KA at substantial cost.

In my opinion, it is also a form of false advertising to sell these attachments that the mixer can't actually handle (and I have the 475-watt model).  Now I have to stop using the attachment ($120 wasted), find somewhere to service the machine (which is supposed to be lubed for life at the factory), and probably end up buying a real grain mill.

Cliff Johnston's picture
Cliff Johnston

The KA does have some good uses though.  The meat grinder attachment is excellent as is the shredder.  Those are the major uses for it around our house now.  Unfortunately both of these attachments have developed radial cracks in the plastic around the shaft - can't win...

Cliff. Johnston
"May the best you've ever seen,
 Be the worst you'll ever see;"
from A Scots Toast by Allan Ramsay

syllymom's picture
syllymom

I just got a Pro600 KA.... I hope this one is ok.  So far the only complaint I have is the C hook.  I want the S hook but can't find it in Canada.

Val's picture
Val

You can get the S hook over the internet from a number of sources. It's about $20 (USD). It works very well compared to the C hook.

cooksalot's picture
cooksalot

When I got my KA it was 18 years ago.  Back then Kitchen Aid was owned by Hobart.  Since then they have sold they name brand and they are not the same.  So far all I have done is replace the bearings once.  It still can't handle the load of dough I now make so I bought a Bosch Universal.  So if I was asked to day I would not buy a Kitchen Aid since I know it is NOT the same machine it was 18 years ago. 

Cooksalot

I_know_my_1st_name_is_anadama's picture
I_know_my_1st_n...

The web is full of chatter about the "lemon factor" of the newer Whirlpool Kitchenaids, and it is a real shame that such an icon of American-made workmanship has gone down the toilet. It makes me angry because a lot of people are basically being duped by an outside appearance of solid steel and solid craftsmanship.

http://www.consumeraffairs.com/homeowners/kitchenaid_mixers.html

I recently got rid of my newer Kitchenaid in disgust. I am now the THRILLED owner of a 1962 HOBART Kitchenaid K5-A that I aquired off of Ebay. My former new mixer growled and screeched like a cat but this old soldier runs quiet and smooth and does not balk at ANY bread recipe I throw at it. Who has time to mollycoddle a mixer? People are for pampering, not machines! I found a company, http://atomiceramachine.com/, to update the mixer to 2007 safety standards (3-prong plug) and do a small repair on the speed control. 

The money I spent on the mixer and the tune-up was still far less than I would have paid for a new mixer. I now truly feel that I have a mixer that I can pass down to my children.

SDbaker's picture
SDbaker

What a great site for repair of old mixers!  50 Dollars for inspection and overhaul? Amazing.

Love the moniker on the webpage.. "Atomic Era Machines"   Makes me want to put on the lounge music and make a martini. 

 SD Baker

Squid's picture
Squid

I feel for your frustration, Cooptville. I spent an embarrassingly gross amount of money on my KitchenAid range. I've been waiting on a trim piece since Sept and I can't bake bread on the middle rack, which leaves me having to place my tray (for water) on the top rack, which I don't like b/c of the potential to scald my hand.

I have the KA 5+ mixer as well and was disappointed to find out that 12 cups meant all purpose flour. I agree that they should make that more clear on their packaging. As it is, I know I have to baby my mixer. So far, it's been ok.

chuckws's picture
chuckws

This is an OLD thread but anyone looking for atomic era machine and old Hobart parts should go to:


http://atomic-era-machine.bravehost.com/


 


Just FYI...

rhomp2002's picture
rhomp2002

I have the new Bosch Universal Plus and it does not walk at all.   It has sucker feet on the bottom and it just stays put - no walking at all no matter the size of the load.   I made dough for 5 loaves of 1-1/2 lb bread and it just stuck there and mixed like a champ.  I also have the Bosch Compact mixer and it walks a little but not much and I have made 3 regular sandwich loaves of whole wheat bread in that with no problem.   Have never been able to overheat either mixer.  Very satisfied with both of them.  With the Universal be sure to get the cookie dough paddles.  They work like a dream.