The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Best stand mixer in $200-300 range

ChrisinMO's picture
ChrisinMO

Best stand mixer in $200-300 range

Hi, I have been reading and learning since joining a few months ago. Now I have a question for you folks:

My wife's father has offered to buy her a stand mixer in the $200-300 price range. I realize that this is pretty low on the scale, especially if we're talking about kneading much dough. Still, she wants to know what is the best value, in you opinions, within those limits. If you can please explain your reasoning, it would help us. Thanks very much for your help.

By the way, he insists on buying new and probably online as he doesn't get around much anymore.

Christopher

kkinderen's picture
kkinderen

I can't say for sure what is best. I have a KA model that's a bit out of that range. I will say that I used a discount coupon from Bed Bath & Beyond for 20% which allowed me to trade up a little. I think all I had to do was sign up on their website. The prices even without discount seemed reasonable. 

winstonsmith's picture
winstonsmith

You might look at the Bosch Compact which seems well thought of. Try a search and best of luck.

Donkey_hot's picture
Donkey_hot

Hello Christopher,

What do you guys usually bake or planning to, and what is your idea of "much dough"?

 

ChrisinMO's picture
ChrisinMO

We sell at a farmers market on Saturday mornings during the season, usually between 28 and 36 loaves of various breads, about 2# prebaking dough weight each, sometimes more. All the kneading is done by hand. We did knead four loaves at a time, but found that we got better results (and didn't strain as much) kneading only two loaves ( about 6 cups of flour). We would love to go with something like an electrolux, but our personal finances just don't justify it at this point. When my father-in-law offered this, we were thrilled, but all of our research had been geared toward a higher budget. So thanks to everyone who has offered advice.

Thanks again.

Christopher

mariana's picture
mariana

If I had to mix that much dough and had 200-300 for the machine, I would definitely mix in Cuisinart, Christopher. It takes 1-2min to knead and fully develop gluten in dough, you mix and knead about 1-2 lb dough at a time. It costs $199- 250 depending on a model (14 cup) and has 20 years warranty on motor. It is literally d e s i g n e d to knead dough. Nothing else comes close. I bake a lot and most of it knead in Cuisinart. I combine all ingredients in a big bowl into a rough mass, and then mix to homogeneity and knead pieces in Cuisinart. The best.

http://www.amazon.com/Cuisinart-FP-14DC-Collection-14-Cup-Processor/dp/B002I5DMU0/ref=pd_vtp_k_1

 

mariana

Donkey_hot's picture
Donkey_hot

Christopher, in this case I would defer purchasing  and put this money into a "mixer fund", for you really need a commercial type of equipment, not a small fix such  a compact consumer grade machine that really doesn't suit your needs.  And at this point, I would research used bakery equipment sales, and get a good quality commercial  mixer.

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Bosch compact stand mixer.  

http://www.pleasanthillgrain.com/bosch_compact_mixers.aspx

Much stronger motor than my KA Artisan and never overheats.  I've mixed two pounds of high gluten flour at 58% hydration in the KA.  Had to stop it every minute or so to let the motor cool down.   Resorted to putting an ice pack on top of the motor head to try to keep it cool, then gave up and bought the Bosch.

I mix the same amount of HG flour at 58% hydration in my Bosch and the motor barely gets warm.   Also like the orbital action of the dough hook.   I use it for all my mixing needs now.  Keep the KA only because I have the grain mill and meat grinder attachments, otherwise I'd sell it.

The Bosh is very well made, has a small footprint and can be easily lifted with one hand.  Don't try that with any KA model.

Pleasant Hill has excellent customer service and offers a 30-day satisfaction guarantee.

butterflyblue's picture
butterflyblue

I just bought it a few months ago, and have never owned a Kitchen Aid to compare it to.  I researched and read a lot of reviews, and so far it has met my expectations and I'm pleased with it.  The largest batch of dough I've made in it was around 7 cups of flour, half whole wheat and half white.  I have no idea what the hydration was. :)  Anyway, it has handled that several times, and all smaller batches I've done with it, with absolutely no problem.  The recipe in the owners manual calls for 10-12 cups of flour, so I assume it will handle that, though I've never tried.

Franko's picture
Franko

I had a KA for almost 17 years and it mixed a lot of dough, bread and pastry before it finally packed it in, but I haven't  missed it at all since replacing it with the Bosch Compact. It's a little beauty in terms of weight, motor strength and versatility, perfect for all my home baking when I need a mixer for something. My one complaint is I feel the attachments could be a little more robust than they are. The actual size of them isn't an issue but I think the paddle  should have thicker wires in it, and to some extent the whisk as well to pick up more of the mix. The dough hook has much better kneading action than the KA, but again I'd prefer if it was thicker so that it grabbed more of the dough per revolution. It takes a bit longer to develop a dough with BC than it did with the KA, but maybe that's a good thing as well. It'd be very hard to over-develop a dough with the BC, and usually  find I need to finish off the dough by hand for a minute or so to bring it to the level of development I want. Dollar for dollar the Bosh Compact is a better engineered machine than the KA IMO, but has some room for improvement as well.

Franko      

wayne on FLUKE's picture
wayne on FLUKE

love my Bosch compact, highly recommend

wayne

ananda's picture
ananda

For all that some excellent bakers above are recommending the Bosch, I really do counsel you to think very carefully about Donkey-hot's advice.

If you are baking on this sort of scale then your remit is beyond what can reasonably be expected from a home kitchen type mixer.   I would advise you try to find some means to purchase a commercial grade of mixer; and that doesn't include Kitchen Aid in my books.   They are hopeless, so too any of the cheap ones from China which have dreadful specification.   You get what you pay for I'm afraid.   I have a Hobart mixer, I paid £393 including delivery [that's around $650].   It was built in 1957, and it is still working perfectly well.   You have to exercise a great deal of caution with modern mixers if you want to use them for a commercial operation.   Many are really  not up to it.

Best wishes

Andy

grind's picture
grind

I have a Hobart mixer, I paid £393 including delivery [that's around $650].   It was built in 1957, and it is still working perfectly well.

 

Hi Andy, which model do you have?  Thanks.

ananda's picture
ananda

Hello grind,

It's an AE200 20 quart Planetary mixer

Best wishes

Andy

hyrdr's picture
hyrdr

Costco has thr KA 600 Pro mixer with a special 5.5 qt bowl instead of the 6 Qt.

 

I think it is like $349.00 and there are dicount coupons out there. By son bought his for about $300.00 out the door.

Go to CostCo's website to check the deal.

I just bought a 600 pro ... breads rising and here I am reading this forum........

yy's picture
yy

I got a KA Pro 600 for $229 at Macy's because it was in a discontinued color. Couldn't hurt to go to your local department store and see if they have any similar deals. I have never used anything other than KA mixers, but I've used both the head-tilt and the bowl-lift models. The Pro 600 is far superior and has performed admirably with intensive mixing of highly enriched doughs. I've never ahd problems with overheating, although the machine can be quite noisy sometimes.

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

I bought a Kenwood Kmix54 that I *really love*. Unlike the previous Kenwood models the Kmix line has the engine on top, just like the Kitchenaid. In my case the power is 500W.

It's very silent and very efficient. It takes half the time to make my doughs come together respect to my Clatronic 3400.

The Kmix also has an electronic speed regulator: at any speed setting it keeps the RPM constant increasing the power usage according to the dough consistency.

The only defect that i found so far is the lack of suction pads at the bottom, so at high speed or when it's using more power than usual it walks a bit on the bench and you have to keep a look at it.

I paid it 246€.

sarakaun's picture
sarakaun

It'll take more than suction cups to keep this thing steady. That's like using bandaid to hang up a painting. :)

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

on the Clatronic. Even at max speed I've never seen it walking.