The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

What kind if KitchenAid to buy?

Dries's picture
Dries

What kind if KitchenAid to buy?

I'm looking for a new kneader. I mostly hear the name kitchenaid around on forums.

But when I looked on their website they have so many different versions of their mxier.

Can anyone help me withwich one to buy?

 

Thanks,

 

Dries

 

madbakerbakes's picture
madbakerbakes

I recently got the artisan kitchenaid. For home baking I think that's a pretty good model. 

If you're planning to use it for huge batches of batter or dough then get the heavy duty version, the one with clamps on the bowl.

yy's picture
yy

I would recommend the KitchenAid Pro series. I think I have a Pro 600, which is one of the heavier-duty bowl-lift models (in contrast to the head-tilt models). In 5 years, I have had to replace one of the gears once, which was a relatively easy fix that you can do yourself.

Depending on what your needs are, you may want to look into other brands as well, such as Bosch or Electrolux. A search on this site will turn up multiple threads debating the merits of all the different possibilities.

richkaimd's picture
richkaimd

I have had a large KithenAid stand mixer for many years.  It was made well before they started making plastic instead of metal parts for the innards.  I use it only for small batches of dough.  It works well for that and for lots of other tasks such as small batches of cookie dough, cake batter for up to two layers of cake.  What it doesn't do is any kind of hard work while remaining stable.  I've taught bread classes to people using their newer models of such mixers.  They all have the same instability and two other design flaws that annoy me:  1.)  it's always hard to add ingredients to the mixing bowl once it's attached to the base.  This problem is somewhat helped by purchasing a plastic spout.  2.)  The newer models seem to have a cut-off switch to protect the motor from overheating.  The mixer simply won't restart until the motor cools down.  This latter problem may have been fixed in the past few years.  Be sure to check on this especially if you're planning to make bread.  You'll have the problem every time you make a denser kind of dough.  Bloody nuisance!

By the way, there are other mixers that look something like the KA.  They all have the same problem with adding ingredients.

There is another style of mixer you might consider.  Look at the Bosch and the Electrolux mixers.  Both are great because their design has the bowl spinning, not the dough hook or beater.  This difference means they simply never are unstable while working.  In addition, because the bowl's spinning, not the mixing tool, they both have lots of space for adding ingredients.

A final point:  I am of the opinion that the popularity of the KitchenAid design, originally developed I think by Hobart, is a current fashion.  People like them because everyone else seems to like them.  I just don't think they work all that well.  Other machines are better designed.

 

 

 

Melesine's picture
Melesine

I agree with every word of your post. 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

is good for all kinds of baking except bread dough. i can't recommend it for bread -0it just isn't made tough enough.    I only use mine when it comes to bread for highly enriched dough where getting the gluten development to windowpane takes a long time, the dough is very slack and easy to mix - like brioche and panettone.  I've also used it for one loaf of high hydration bread too but it is really inferior to slap and folds for non enriched breads.  If you are making more than one loaf, of one of lower hydration, then the KA is really near breaking the plastic gears when it tries to knead bread.  Plus the warranty is void of you go over speed 2 for bread as well.  Even KA knows that their mixer is not designed right for bread making.   It is only a matter of time before it breaks with normal bread making use but if you are making one loaf of wet bread at a time - it will be fine. 

I think there are much, much, better home mixers out there like Bosch and some others that do a way better job at bread making than any KA can - especially with batches larger than 1 loaf but they might not be as good for making cakes and cookies.  You can make 3-6 loaves at a time and a larger batch of 53% hydro bagels with other mixers and never have to worry about nburning them up!

With the Holiday panettone baking coming up, i am looking forward to using the KA the one time it gets used for bread making every year:-)

Dries's picture
Dries

What do you use personally than?

 

Dries

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

I make.  Since I only make a loaf or two of high hydration bread at a time, once a week, I use no knead, slap and folds and or stretch and folds to develop the gluten.  No mixer to clean to clean up either - yeah!.  I'm not too old - yet, too lazy ( a really good reason), physically handicapped, making large enough batches of bread or any other reason to use a mixer.  Others aren't like me and need a mixer to make bread.  The first loaf of bread you make with one.... makes that bread cost at least $300.   After 2 years the cost of the mixer is still $3 a loaf after 100 loaves of bread mixed with it.

Lets face it, great non enriched bread is easily made by hand if you aren't making large batches and are physically able to manipulate the dough using slap and folds or stretch and folds.  No knead bread fills the void for those who can't do these methods and this method makes great bread too.  But, if you are making a lot of bread at one time a mixer is the way to go if you can't physically handle say 6 loaves of dough in a large cambro - and a KA just won't handle that much dough either.  My KA is a 325 W Artisan 51;2 quart - about the middle of the rad for their mixers.  A Bosch Universal or compact is better but I have only seen them demonstrated at a Bosch dealer.  There are other mixers that other home bread makers use with success.  Many TFL'ers bake a lot of bread  at home to sell at farmers markets, gift shops or have clients they bake for every week..  They have a variety of mixers that they use but I'm guessing not one of them is usung a KA. 

I'm not sure what you are going to be doing bread wise to make a recommendation that will fit your bill but once you tell us I'm sure there is a TFL'er who will pipe up that have a mixer that performs well and does what you plan on doing with it.