The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Need advice on a stand mixer

Paul Paul Paul Paul Paul Paul Paul Paul Paul Paul Paul Paul's picture
Paul Paul Paul ...

Need advice on a stand mixer

I'm looking into getting a stand mixer, but I'm very indecisive and am having a hard time picking one out. It must cost 250 dollars or less and last at least a long time when I take care of it. I optimally was thinking I wanted a KA 600 but that's over my budget anywhere I can find it except on ebay, but then theres huge shipping. I was looking at the 5 quart mixer but I keep hearing about how kitchenaid products have all gone done in quality over the years, and for someone who wants to make a lot of bread, they will break down on me. I have another question- how many quarts does the mixer need to be if I want to make say 3 medium loaves per batch? So mainly I want your guys's opinions as to whether the KA 5 quart will do it for me, or if not what mixer is a better bet.

Nickisafoodie's picture
Nickisafoodie

try the search box, there are hundreds of posts on this both for kitchen aid and others like Bosch- me suspects you will pass on the kitchen aid...  try "Mixers", "Kitchen Aid" and lots will come up.  Worth spending the time given you are looking for something durable and 3 loaves at a time...

yy's picture
yy

Hi Paul. The Pro 600 is not necessarily outside of your budget. I found mine at Macy's for $225 because it was in a discontinued color. Check with some department stores that carry Kitchenaid. You never know what unadvertised deals they may have. So far it's worked for me without any problems.

HeidiH's picture
HeidiH

If you go to the website for the Kitchen Aid Experience Center in Ohio (http://www.kitchenaid.com/flash.cmd?/#/page/inside-kitchenaid-experience-center), they have refurbished 600s with all metal parts for $270.  If you click on special offers there's a code for free shipping.

I've had good luck with refurbished KA for both my food processor and immersion blender.  The people at the actual store are very helpful and warned me off some stand mixer attachments they believed needed redesigning.  My stand mixer is of unknown age, given to me years go by friends out of their basement -- probably from the 70s or 80s.  They had an unused "spare."  (I almost fell on the floor!)

Having read up on the KA controversy, it seems KA has used some plastic gears and gear housings with problems and also supplies some models with weaker motors to some of the retail chains -- I imagine to make them so the stores can sell them more cheaply.  They were using plastic gears and/or gear housings that were breaking down but have since redesigned this part and will replace this if you get to the right end of their customer service.  Also, if you get to the right customer service person they will tell you if the serial number of a machine you consider buying has the stronger parts.

My first line of attack would be to talk to the people in the actual store in Ohio so you don't get shunted off to some sort of customer service script.  If you are anywhere near Greenville OH, I'd make a stop there.  You can see the gold-plated mixer in the case downstairs.

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

Some of the Overstock. com ads that appear often list a Bosch compact mixer for about $210 with $2.95 shipping. The Bosch has a good reputation with many home bakers. At that price, they might be refurbished since many folks posting on TFL have mentioned that the mixer wasn't available in the US at the present time.

proth5's picture
proth5

You want to carefully examine the dough hook on any stand mixer you buy.  My older Kitchen Aide has a C shaped dough hook that is essentially useless for developing bread dough.  I believe that new models have a different design, but you want to check.

I use my Kitchen Aide for lots of other things  - and only rarely for bread.  I am generally happy with its performance for candy/cakes/cookies/creaming.  Mine is nearly 20 years old and has done yeoman's work - but I don't do bread (or large batches of cookie dough) in it. 

Frankly, if you are mixing no more than 3 loaves of bread at a time - and you have no other needs for a mixer - I would explore using manual methods such as stretch and fold or a favorite standby on this site "fold in the bowl."  These develop dough nearly as well as home stand mixer, incur less expense and take up less space.

Good luck with your decision.