The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Kitchenaid 7 Quart Commercial

dwfender's picture
dwfender

Kitchenaid 7 Quart Commercial

Hey all,

I've been searching the internet and these forums for a while reading up on the Kitchen Aid 7 Quart Commercial mixer. I've read a lot of reviews and haven't seen too many on here about the machine. Most of the reviews talk about cookie dough and whipping cream and all that jazz so, I'm hoping that maybe a few of you pros on here have some experience with how heavy duty this thing truely is. It totes a pretty hefty price tag but I know they can go higher. I'm not really looking to spend more than 600 and I like the fact that KA would allow me to continue using the several attachments ive purchased without keeping two mixers around. 

Nate Delage's picture
Nate Delage

I have the 7qt mixer (the one they only sell at Williams Sonoma, not sure if that has changed). I use it almost exclusively for higher hydration bread dough (70%+) and it's worked out great.  Just this evening I mixed 4.8lb batch of sourdough without any issues.

It's not a professional spiral mixer, but it's doing the job beautifully for my needs.

dwfender's picture
dwfender

How do you think it would handle lower hydration doughs I.E. bagels and Pretzels...maybe 50 percent? I think I started stripping the gears on my current 300 watt KA when I was working on that dough. It was an intensive mix that took quite a while to develop the gluten. 

Faith in Virginia's picture
Faith in Virginia

I have two of KA's one is the lower watt and if I do any stiff cookie dough or bread dough it strains a lot and I can smell the motor cooking.  Some times it just stalls for a moment. I will need to replace the brushes soon. The pro model is some what better I still feel it and hear it straining but it's not burning the brushes.  If your looking for a big change from on to the next for the money you will be spending I think you will be disappointed.  But I think you will have enough change to get the job done.  Just my opinion.

caraway's picture
caraway

a Bosch?  I have an old KA 5 qt. from Hobart days which is still good and working for me daily.   But for anything like bagels I use my Bosch Universal.  Sometimes it's a pain to clean, especially with wetter doughs which ride up but it's perfect for heavier low hydration doughs or larger recipes.  Also whips cream and meringue very well.  Only my opinion but hope it helps.

Sue

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

This subject has had no shortage of air time her at TFL.  General consensus (with exceptions) is to stay away from the newer KA's where bread dough in concerned.  I agree.  If you search the archives here you will find a lot of comment on the subject.

Jeff

jdbridge's picture
jdbridge

Jeff,

with all respect, I believe you are incorrectly grouping the new KA 7 quart with the older Pro 4.5, 5, 5.5, and 6 quart models.  I did a lot of research before buying my newest mixer, and found that 99% of the comments regarding KA's on here refer to the old designs and not the new 7 quart.

In the previous designs, all of the KA in the bowl-lift series used the same planetary gear system.  They just installed a slightly more powerful motor and a bigger bowl on the "heavier duty" units.  This often led to failure, as one could load up the large 6 quart bowl with a low-hydration tripple batch of pizza dough and burn out the motor or strip the gears or other such things.  I know, because I did it to my 6 quart by running it on speed five (since I didn't bother to note in the manual it says speed 2 only for dough).

Anyway, I heard that the 7 quart commercial was an all new design, and the engineer in me wanted to find out the truth.  So, I managed to download the service documents from the old mixers and the new ones.  It is a *completely* new design.  It looks the same on the outside, but the new design resembles an automotive type rear axle.  Looking through it with my "engineer goggles" on, I decided that the design was significantly improved, and so I decided to replace my 6 quart with the new 7 quart series model.

The new 7 quart series is pretty amazing.  It is half the noise of the old ones, with much less "gear mashing" sounds.  The motor is computer controlled, so it runs light and cool until it is under load, and then the computer increased the power to get through the tough point, then lightens up again.  It doesn't even have an external cooling fan / vent like the old ones, and it still runs much cooler than my old six quart. 

I have been making triple batches of whole wheat pizza dough about once a week for the last few months, and never seen an issue, smelled any heat-like smells (hot plastic, hot grease, etc), and never seen it lack the power needed. 

The reason I wanted to stay with a KA style mixer was because I also do things like whip eggs, whip creme, mix cookie dough, etc.  The mixer still has the excellent performance for those more delicate tasks as the old one - now it just also is built to properly handle bread dough. 

If you do more than just bake bread, I'd take a good look at the 7 quart commercial or Williams Sonoma KA mixer.  I'm impressed, and I'm a pretty tough customer.  For me, it also made sense because all the old assessories still work, including the bowls and beaters, etc.  Now I have a complete spare set of implements to make multiple batches with, and the grain mill attachment works better than ever. 

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Your comments will definitely cause me to look at the 7 quart model and you are right, I did automatically group it (in my mind) with all of the other models.  Is it very unfortunate that under the ownership of Whirlpool, that the majority of the mixers have been reduced to near junk.  I just saw a brand new 6 quart model in action.  It was straight out of the KA box and I would call it junk.  The arms that hold the bowl rattle about and the bowl will not stay seated because the flimsy piece of metal that is supposed to hold it in place does not work and so on.  I watched the owners surprise at the lightweight junky nature of the thing as she has previously owned older KA mixers and was not prepared for the lack of quality that is so apparent.  

I am beyond disappointed when companies sell junk like this that must cost them little to produce as they are so willing so send another if it fails.   It appears to be a game of odds as they know that the majority of mixers sold will spend their lives collecting dust and only users (like this group) will run into trouble.    It would be nice to know that they have now made a real mixer.  Like most things today, it is all about greater profits and has little to do with real products.  That is a philosophy that fails in the long run.

Jeff

horacio's picture
horacio

Since this model is fairly new,the longevity issue has be ignored on most of the forums that I have seem.

Although I just purchassed a new unit based on the excellents reports I have seen on the 7qts models,I found

a detail that makes me unconfortable to think about. This mixer comes with a sealed motor and transmission unit,there

is no way to replace worn brushes and when that happens you will have to buy a new motor and transmission unit.

And though the gears are all metal,is hard to tell what quality of metal it is,Whirpool is just assembling this units in the US,

this is no longer a proud U.S made product and gets me uneasy to think that is built with cheap Asian made parts.

I feel sorry buying this mixer,I will sell it,save some money and buy me a real top quality U.S made mixer,the 8 qt Globe.

Horacio

 

mr_goodwrench's picture
mr_goodwrench

I am really happy to see this reply. My wife and I have been thinking about upgrading our mixer to the Williams-Sonoma 7qt model for awhile now. We currently have a K5SS that we got as a wedding gift back in '97. It has given us no real trouble and has gotten moderate to heavy use for most of the past 15 years. I have started got get more serious about bread baking and capacity is bigining to be an issue for me. 

Have you seen any mechanical difference between the commercial model and the W-S model? As far as I have been able to tell, the commercial model has added NSF rating and stainless attachments. Is there anything else that is different? Also, if you could point me to where you found the service information for the 7qt model, I would love to take a look at it.

Nate Delage's picture
Nate Delage

If anyone wants to see a video (and hear) the 7qt in action let me know. Tell me what to mix up and I'll post a video for everyone.

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

I would most definitely like to see the mixer in action.  Most here are probably interested in seeing the mixer handle bread dough at the highest possible capacity.

Jeff

jmuldoon's picture
jmuldoon

I bought this model in December from Williams Sonoma. I read that it was the same internally as the commercial model for a bit less. I was leary because of the older models too and was going to buy a Hobart N50. I haven't used it for bread dough so I can't comment. It has worked very nicely for other light duty uses for me so far. However this past week I'm having a problem with the switch where it won't start on the first few tries. I know it's under warranty but to be honest I feel like getting the N50 now. The KA while the motor might be better than previous models really just feels cheap throughout.