The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Electrolux mixer-- used 450 watt or new 600 watt?

Mamatomany's picture
Mamatomany

Electrolux mixer-- used 450 watt or new 600 watt?

My older kitchenaid pro 500 is dying (big surprise) and since I'm baking (make that was baking) large batches of bread, pretzels, pizza dough, etc on a regular basis to feed my own darling teeming horde I've been looking to replace it with something that will last me until they've all left home.  I'm pretty decided on the electrolux (correct me please if this is a bad idea).  

My question is this:  I can buy a lightly used, older 450 watt model for about $400.  I can buy a new, 600 watt model for $600.  What, if any, are the advantages of a higher wattage model?  Is it worth the extra $200 to get a new model with the accompanying several year warranty?  

I welcome any and all advice as I dive into your world!

 

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Personally, I think that the lower wattage machine at a lower price will do a fine job. You will probably never stress the motor for batch sizes you are likely to make (and if you accidentally get in that zone once, you won't go back).  The warranty should be thought of as the manufacturer's level of confidence in their design/manufacturing and the machines have a 10 yr warranty in Europe (same machine in US has a shorter warranty - I presume because the competition doesn't demand any more

Mike Avery's picture
Mike Avery

I really like my Electrolux and highly recommend them.

In your shoes, I'd look around and see if there is any bad word on blogs and such about the newer mixer.  If no one is bashing it, or if the bashing seems unfair, I'd go with the new mixer.

For most consumer products, the warranty is not transferable, so with the $400 machine you are getting no warranty.  With the $600 machine. you are getting a full warranty.  It may not matter, it could be a proverbial life saver, it could help you sleep better at night.

As a final comment, I have an ancient KA and an aging Electrolux.  The KA is largely retired from bread duty.  I mostly use the Electrolux when I am making rye breads, bagels or when I'm prepping for a class and need to do other things while the dough is being mixed.  Things like measure the next batch or do other prep work.

Other than that, I don't use the mixers.  Making bread by hand really isn't all that hard.  I sold bread at a farmers market without a mixzer, doing about 200 loaves a day for the Saturday and Sunday markets.  It REALLY isn't hard to make bread by hand.  And it leaves you with $400 to $600 to use for other purposes.  I have two tutorials on my web site that may help.  One is on how to knead, the other is on how to avoid kneading.  A third page covers how I baked for the farmers market

To paraphrase what Craig Ponsford told me, "If I was onoly doing 200 loaves a day, I wouldn't bother owning a mixer!"

 

breadman_nz's picture
breadman_nz

To each their own :)

I only make a half dozen loaves a week, and I wouldn't be without an electric mixer. Yes, it's not that hard (although 10+ minutes of hand kneading a pasta dough gets your arms working), but having a mixer allows one to do other tasks while mixing. Good for the soul, is hand mixing, but if time=$$$ or other opportunity, then mixers have their advantages.

As to the original question, the 400-watt 'lux is plenty enough power. I've never heard of anyone straining the motor on the old (or new) mixers. That said, the points others are raising about warranty may or may not be a factor in your decision.

Mike Avery's picture
Mike Avery

We'll ignore the comment about pasta dough... we're talking about bread here.  Pasta IS a pain to work, no matter how you do it.  Still....

Time is money only if you're being paid for your time.  What else would you be doing with the time?  Are you taking a baking break while at work?  While investing in the stock market?  While working on a book?  Seriously, so many time saving appliances don't meet their goals.

I find that the kneading time is the same whether I use a mixer or do it by hand, about 15 minutes for most breads.  I knead for 5, let the dough rest for 5 and knead for 5.  Again, for most of us, there is no time savings.  Most people supervise their mixers, so they are pretty much stuck in the kitchen.  You might as well do the kneading as supervise the mixer.

Also.... if kneading is good for the soul, and you forgo kneading..... what have you saved?

 

Mamatomany's picture
Mamatomany

I have six children, ages newborn to nine.  Five are boys.  They already eat me out of house and home.  i currently use my mixer for mashed potatoes (I do about 8 pounds at a go), cookies (I prefer to do about 9 dozen at a time so I can freeze some), and large batches of pretzels, pizza dough, bread, etc with the occasional cheater brioche or whipped cream.   I think my KA mixer got unhappy the most about the cookie dough and the  six-loaf bread batch I was throwing at it -- I can really blame it I guess!  Whatever I'm using isn't going to see a lot of down time.

Anyway, no I don't get paid for my time, and I do like kneeding bread, all else being equal.  But when you've got several tiny kids roaming around at any given moment, even saving a little time can make a big difference.  Also, I don't want to deal with mashing potatoes or creaming butter and sugar by hand.  

My options seem to come down to finding a good deal on another kitchenaid and killing it too within a few years (if I'm lucky), or saving up and forking over for the electrolux and hoping it will last until they're bringing the grandkids over for cookies.  That being said, I'm a mom, not a professional baker, I'm barely out of my twenties, and I'm certainly not at a point where I can just pull wads of cash out of thin air, so I want to make a good decision here.  I've read loads of threads on all the options, but it's so hard to know what's right for me.

breadman_nz's picture
breadman_nz

Mamatomany indeed!

With a couple more kids, you could probably justify a second-hand 20 quart Hobart A200 mixer ;)

At least here where I live they come up frequently for around $600-$800USD. They will easily handle whatever load any domestic kitchen would throw at them AND it would still be in use by your grandkids (although if it did need parts / servicing, it could get expensive).

With the volumes you're putting through it, the 'lux would be your most cost effective bet, IMHO (as someone who owns both a DLX2000 and a Hobart n50).

Mike Avery's picture
Mike Avery

Six loaves is a KitchenAid killer, doubly so if you're making whole grain breads.

I would suggest looking at the stretch and fold technique I mentioned in an ear;ier post if all you're doing is making bread.  However, your needs go beyond that.  You might well be better served with a mixer.  (Again, when I was running the bakery, I made 20 loaf batches by hand using the stretch and fold.  It really IS easy.)

A quick thought - do you have LitchenAid accessories?  They won't work with the Electrolux, which is the big reason I still have my KitchenAid (though I did use it last night to whip some cream for Irish Coffee).

-Mike

Mamatomany's picture
Mamatomany

I only have what came standard with my mixer.  Will the electrolux mash potatoes and whip cream?