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Need Advice on Which Kitcenaid Mixer Model to Buy (Attention Carb Lover)

n
niki rothman Nov 5, 2006 03:03 PM

I've been thinking about buying a Kitchen Aid mixer for a very long time. Please tell me if I should get this one or another and why.
Carb Lover posted about a Kitchenaid mixer she bought but I think it was more powerful than this model. If so, and she or anyone could tell me is there a better model I should get, please do let me know.

Today's Special Value, price available today only, on QVC TV (QVC.COM) is the Kitchenaid Professional 5 quart stand mixer: 450 watts, 10 speed, gear driven, available in colors I like, with paddle/flat beater, dough hook, and whip - metal covered with a white coating (does it chip off or dent?), made in America. It is featuring a very nice new wider bowl which obviously makes it easier to add ingredients, and a port for attachments (I really want to get the pasta maker and meat grinder attachments - any other attachments important?): $247.56 plus tax and $15 s & h. QVC item # K5923 If you have questions QVC = 800 345 1515. (QVC is very reliable - that one of the reasons I'm thinking about buying this today)
So, my main questions: Best model? Powerful enough? Good price?
Thanks for any advice you can give me.

  1. l
    l sharp Sep 14, 2008 08:48 PM

    I have wanted one for years and bought a Wolfgang Puck model, which is loud and suction cups to the counter and I never use it. I bought the chrome color one, but of course it is a color, it is not real chrome? The W. Puck icecream maker I bought in chrome and it is just a shiny color of chrome , which can chip off, but the self contained unit is incredible for making home made ice cream. I bought the KA food processor too. Is it the best one out or is cuisinart the best?

    1. yayadave Nov 6, 2006 03:34 AM

      Some one should write to Alton Brown and ask him where he got his customized.

      3 Replies
      1. re: yayadave
        n
        niki rothman Nov 6, 2006 02:19 PM

        Ever see that MTV show, "Pimp My Car"? Maybe there should be one, "Pimp My Mixer" - I'm all excited about my chrome one that's on its way now. The other top contander was the "caviar" color: black with glitter embedded in the enamel. But really what finally decided me was that I'm an old restaurant baker/cook and spent years slaving over my huge Hobart mixer in the prep kitchen. It looked just like exact the chrome one I just bought - so there's a nostalgia issue. But, if the copper one had been available in the deal I just took advantage of, I would have fallen for it - drool...copper.

        1. re: niki rothman
          yayadave Nov 6, 2006 04:57 PM

          Whatever color it is, you're gonna luv it!

          1. re: niki rothman
            i
            icknic Dec 20, 2006 03:43 PM

            There are KA mixer flame decals sold on ebay for $20. Airbrush is $150, but I didn't want to lose that for a warranty return.

        2. l
          librarian Nov 6, 2006 03:27 AM

          I have a KitchenAid HD5 which I bought from Costco. The current list price is US$280.00. It has a 5 quart capacity and a 475 watt motor. I bought mine in white (the rest of my kitchen appliances are white).

          I consider my KA to be indispensible. I use it nearly every day. In addition to the usual cakes, cookies and quick breads, I use it to make yeast bread, pizza dough, pasta dough and tortilla dough. It cuts down my prep time and generally makes life easier. I don't think I could be without it.

          1. cayjohan Nov 6, 2006 03:19 AM

            Love this thread! We all love our Kitchenaids, but have color envy! I thought I was the only one! Mine - heavy duty crank-up bowl type, 15 years old, has been a wonderful kitchen friend. But, like everything else my mother would gift me with, it's white. My kids call it "The Beluga" for its similarity in looks with the whale. I lust for red or orange, or lavender, or, or... but when push comes to shove, it's been a real workhorse. Buy what color you like, grin if it's outta color-style in a couple of decades, and ALWAYS buy extra bowls.

            1. w
              Winemark Nov 5, 2006 08:44 PM

              Wow the lowest I have seen the Pro 600 was in the high $300's.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Winemark
                n
                niki rothman Nov 5, 2006 11:37 PM

                QVC has the 600 for $350. If Williams Sonoma has the 600 for $275 that's really amazing. But I'm going to stick with the chrome 450 - hell, what with global warming and all, and one poster who said she uses her workhorse 250 all the time and has for 25 years, what in God's name do I think I want the SUV of mixers for anyway? Those toll house cookies will come out the same either way, no?

                1. re: Winemark
                  emily Nov 6, 2006 01:27 AM

                  There were only a few colors at that price and only in the stores (not online)... I think the colors were copper, sky blue, lavender and brass. Supposedly all "clearance" but some of those colors are back now at the full $399.

                2. MMRuth Nov 5, 2006 08:44 PM

                  BTW - I seem to recall reading negative things on CH about the ice cream attachment - so you might want to check that out before investing in one. Congrats on your purchase - the chrome sounds lovely (mine is black).

                  1. emily Nov 5, 2006 08:43 PM

                    Re the Pro 600 discussion above, a good price would be $275, which was what Williams Sonoma was selling a few colors for in July. The free additional bowl offer was in place, which was a much added benefit to me.

                    1. n
                      niki rothman Nov 5, 2006 07:06 PM

                      OK, I want to thank everybody, especially dear Carb Lover, for heeding my urgent call for help and for the wisdom to somehow know I was actually thinking about nooodles - Carb Lover is amazing. Now I'm all excited and contemplating a virgin run of orthodox Nestle toll house cookies - seems like an appropriate first thing to make with it, although the guy on QVC TV keeps yelling about making a ten pound batch of mashed potatoes with the thing.

                      I just took the plunge and ordered the metallic chrome Kitchenaid since my husband weighed in after much deliberation, he prefers the chrome. I really forced the dear guy into choosing. Like most men, he kept trying to escape the room as I compulsively clicked over and over between the different colored enlargements on the QVC website. There was a dramatic last minute cliff hanger moment when I noticed that there were actually two black colors - one called "caviar" had tiny metallic sparkly bits mixed into the black enamel. How exciting! But we finally opted for the chrome anyway - we're in our 50's after all - and let's face it, our sparkly Kitchenaid days are over.
                      So, Thanks for all the good advice everybody! You really made me feel good about this big purchase.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: niki rothman
                        w
                        Winemark Nov 5, 2006 07:19 PM

                        Good luck with your purchase. I saw that you noted the desire for the meat grinder. It is a great attachment as is the pasta roller. Making sausages and then your own pasta on a lousy weekend in the Fall or Winter is a great way to spend time and utilize your KA

                        1. re: niki rothman
                          FoodFuser Nov 5, 2006 07:27 PM

                          Niki, it sounds like you've already pulled the trigger on the color choice, but something else to consider is that the meat grinder attachment is white. Since I leave the grinder mounted all the time ready for instant use, I've been happy with the way the grinder color matches my white mixer.

                          1. re: FoodFuser
                            n
                            niki rothman Nov 5, 2006 08:07 PM

                            Yeah, it is nice for you that they match up like that but I never would have gotten the white one just for that reason. Could you please give me your best hints for using the meat grinder attachment? I see you can buy it separately or along with a shredder and chopper for $122 or buy the grinder by itself for around $50 I think. But as I have a Cuisinart I don't think I need that whole set. I'd love to hear your hints, advice about how to use the meat grinder, things you like to make with it, even any recipes for meatballs or meat mixes or cuts you like to use for hamburger or anything else. Meat grinding is totally new to me but I want to jump in with both feet.

                            1. re: niki rothman
                              w
                              Winemark Nov 5, 2006 08:33 PM

                              My old Girlfriend went to culinary school and had some good tips. When grinding meat get it really cold so the fat will grind not strech and tear. Chill the grinding plate and cutter. You can store them in a baggy with flour in the freezer so they will not rust.
                              Skip the shredder if you already own a Cuisinart. Also skip the ravioli attatchment just go for the 3 piece pasta Roller attachment with wide and thin noodle cutter attachments.
                              Try making sausage on a lousy day the quality you can turn out at home is surprisingly high and you can be sure of what is in there. Most grocery stores will sell you some casing. A small amount for $2-3 dollars can make about 30 lbs. of sausage. This is a fun machine you've bought

                        2. n
                          niki rothman Nov 5, 2006 04:59 PM

                          QUESTION FROM NIKI: I made my husband look at the colors and it's down to black or mettalic chrome. Any opinions which is nicer/better? You can see the colors if you go to QVC.COM and click on Today's Special value. Can you think of some reason for choosing one or rejecting one? Yes, I am picky. It's an important purchase for a chowhound and I'll, hopefully, be looking at this thing for a long time.
                          Thanks!

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: niki rothman
                            LindaWhit Nov 5, 2006 05:11 PM

                            What do the rest of your appliances look like? I know I said black above, but if you have a white fridge/stove/oven, I'd go with the metallic chrome.

                            1. re: LindaWhit
                              n
                              niki rothman Nov 5, 2006 05:45 PM

                              My kitchen has a lot of black AND chrome, with lots of tacky vintage thrift store finds. Cuban travel poster on the wall. Fridge, stove, bullet style garbage can, rotisserie oven, convection toast-r-oven, wall clock, linoleum - all black. But mixer will be sitting on vintage golden oak table next to chrome foreman grill and a big vintage map of SF framed in chrome. Shelves in kitchen are chrome. I hope that helps...LOL.

                              1. re: niki rothman
                                LindaWhit Nov 5, 2006 06:17 PM

                                LOL! Well, I don't think you can go wrong with either, but I think my preference would be black, considering all of your appliances are black. Maybe print out a "big" picture of both colors and eyeball it at arm's length in your kitchen to see which you would like.

                          2. r
                            rootlesscosmo Nov 5, 2006 04:39 PM

                            I doubt you'll ever need a more powerful motor--I think there's a certain giantism about motors, as with cars that can go twice the speed limit. Who needs it? I have the 350-watt--it grinds meat, it kneads pasta dough for 15 or 20 minutes without balking, it does everything I (as a six-days-a-week home cook and baker) have ever wanted it to do. As to other attachments, if you don't have an ice cream maker, the ice cream bowl is good and not too expensive (like the Cuisinart machine it's the type where you have to freeze the bowl overnight before each use so if you make a lot of ice cream, a spare bowl is nice.) I've never had a problem with chipping the enamel coating on the paddle or dough hook; the manual says don't put them in the dishwasher, so I hand wash them.

                            The price sounds reasonable but browse around Amazon, and check this place

                            http://www.thegourmetdepot.net/

                            which sometimes has very good deals on store demonstrator models. (They also have good prices on attachments.

                            )

                            Final word: I love my KitchenAid mixer.

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: rootlesscosmo
                              n
                              niki rothman Nov 5, 2006 07:24 PM

                              You make excellent points. Since you love your mixer and use it a lot, and you cook every day, like me. I'd love to hear your most common uses for the Kitchenaid. And thanks for mentioning not to put the paddle or dough hook in the dishwasher. I am very lazy about reading directions and I would have gone ahead and stuck them in the dishwasher and probably ruined them. Thanks also for the great link to the kitchen equipment website. I bookmarked it for later browsing. I totally agree with what you so wisely say about the vital importance of not buying something that wastes energy you do not really need.

                              I'll think about the ice cream bowl - sounds like fun, really. Fresh fruit, maybe Splenda sweetener, non-dairy creamer - oddball dietary needs here - just brainstorming. Could be easy and delicious, and healthy - my 3 favorite things. About other attachments: number one is going to be the meat grinder, then the pasta and ravioli makers. I'm going to go online now and look at that website you gave me & the QVC website for other attachments.
                              OK, thanks so much for the good advice. I really appreciate your help.

                              1. re: niki rothman
                                r
                                rootlesscosmo Nov 5, 2006 08:17 PM

                                My pleasure. Have you ever, in your life, met a middle-aged man who didn't jump at any opportunity to offer advice?

                                One thing I forgot: an extra mixing bowl. Mine came with the big bowl; I later bought a smaller (3-quart) bowl for small jobs, like 4 egg whites. I also bought the plastic shield gizmo that lets you add dry ingredients easily; I use it when I'm adding sugar to egg whites so the sugar doesn't fly all over the counter.

                                My most common uses? Cake batters, egg whites, pasta frolla (uses room temp butter and eggs, works beautifully on low speed with the paddle), grinding meat for meat balls or ragù Bolognese, kneading and then rolling out pasta dough. I think of it as a 3/8 horsepower motor just waiting to have things attached to it--veggie juicer, even this

                                http://tinyurl.com/oflsv

                                alarming thing.

                                I think chocolate chip cookies are a very good way to inaugurate yours. Have fun!

                                1. re: rootlesscosmo
                                  n
                                  niki rothman Nov 5, 2006 11:31 PM

                                  Yikes! When I clicked on the "confectionery panning device" my jaw dropped and I stammered "Good Lord!" You are funny - but in a good way. Talk about middle aged men loving to give advice, exceeded, as I demonstrate so well, only by middle aged women's need to set people straight.

                                  I will get that 3 quart bowl you recommend. You might be interested in the new wide bowl - it looks like it will be a better design for easy adding of dry ingredients than the old high/narrow bowl. And I have always thought that clear plastic collar seemed so cumbersome.

                                  One poster turned me on to a great website for attachments. thegourmetdepotco.com
                                  The prices are on a par with QVC.COM but they have different products offered. I wonder if there is another source with lower prices. I'll try amazon. So far I want to get the ravioli maker although $100 seems very steep. Also want to get the ice cream bowl, and definitely (my first choice) the meat grinder.

                                  Could you please tell me your procedure for making hamburger? What cuts do you use, which blade on the grinder? Do you grind more than once?

                                  Which attachments do you use for pasta? I see they have one that is 2 metal rollers similar to what the manual machine looks like, then there is a different set: white plastic discs/plates. Which do you have? QVC sells the metal rollers and gourmet depot sells the white plastic discs. I'm very confused.

                                  Finally, what is pasta frollo?

                                  1. re: niki rothman
                                    r
                                    rootlesscosmo Nov 6, 2006 12:29 AM

                                    I don't make hamburger exactly--I make ground pork, starting with shoulder. If you're in San Francisco, check out Lucky Pork, Mission between 22nd and 23rd--they usually call it Carne para Posole. A nice balance of lean and fat, and inexpensive.

                                    I have the stainless pasta roller. It does a fine job BUT the pasta cutters don't work on thin pasta which is the whole point. (That Gourmet Depot has a retail store on Folsom, near 4th--a couple of doors up from LuLu.)

                                    Pasta frolla is a pastry dough that uses flour, sugar, softened (room temp) butter, lemon zest, egg yolk, and sherry (or Marsala if you have it.) I put everything into the KA bowl with the paddle and run it on the slowest speed just till the dough comes together. The filling is ricotta plus sugar, more egg yolk, more lemon zest, golden raisins; I make a lattice crust, brush with egg white, sprinkle on pignolis and bake at 350° until the edges of the top start to brown.

                                2. re: niki rothman
                                  MMRuth Nov 5, 2006 08:25 PM

                                  Interesting - I obviously did not read the part in the manual about not putting the paddle in the dishwasher - which I've done for about 10 years now, with no problems. But I will stop doing so now.

                                  1. re: MMRuth
                                    h
                                    Hal Laurent Nov 6, 2006 02:50 AM

                                    I'm pretty certain that the manual that came with mine says that the enamel-coated paddle and dough hook can go in the dishwasher, but that the uncoated aluminum ones can't.

                              2. Carb Lover Nov 5, 2006 04:27 PM

                                Hi niki, are you sure it was me who posted on the mixer? I do have one, but I bought it about 7 yrs. ago when I was a poor grad student so didn't get a great model. Mine is a white Classic 250-watt 4.5 qt. model from Target that sold for around $160, IIRC. It's held up well and served all my needs thus far, but I don't typically use it for stiff doughs like cookies or bread.

                                The model you describe sounds like a good deal to me. I've never ordered anything from QVC, but sounds like they've been reliable for you. I remember some past threads on this, and I recall that people have found good deals on Amazon and have even recommended refurbished models as a way to get a more powerful model for the $. No tax and sometimes free shipping through Amazon. Good luck deciding!

                                8 Replies
                                1. re: Carb Lover
                                  n
                                  niki rothman Nov 5, 2006 04:51 PM

                                  Hi Carb Lover,
                                  Thanks for responding so promptly. Sounds like it must have been someone else then. Funny though, I have been carrying around this whole scenario for my contemplated Kitchenaid stand mixer purchase process for like a couple of years now. It was, "...find a bargain Kitchenaid and ask Carb Lover if it's the one she got" For some reason I thought you had some strong opinions on there being a superior model. So, phew...that is a weight off my mind. I'm going to get this one then.

                                  Yes, I cannot recommend QVC highlly enough. They are there 24/7 always ready to respond to my need for retail therapy. They stand behind everything, they only sell high quality products - they do the homework, and they make it very easy to return something. You just basically check a couple of boxes on a return form, slap on a self adhesive address label, and tape up the box. And, as I don't drive and live on the 4th. floor in a typical old SF walk-up apartment, I love having the UPS guy put the box right in my hands - especially if it's going to weigh 20 pounds. Yes, I love QVC. Sometimes when I'm feeling low I just browse their millions of products on the website.

                                  Now, the only question is black, cobalt, red, cinnamon, metallic chrome, matte pebbled texture grey, white, very dark grey. It's down to fire engine red, chrome, or black. Anyone have any opinions?

                                  1. re: niki rothman
                                    LindaWhit Nov 5, 2006 04:56 PM

                                    As MakingSense said above, go neutral. WIth your choices, I'd go black.

                                    1. re: niki rothman
                                      Carb Lover Nov 5, 2006 06:00 PM

                                      Hi niki, perhaps you were thinking of this thread started by Pei (formerly nooodles):
                                      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                                      Regardless, sounds like you're on the verge of buying the QVC model. I don't think you can go wrong w/ KA and 450 watts sounds like plenty. From your 3 color choices, I would choose red myself, but color is completely personal. Target only carried the white color, so I had no choice. Probably best to take your husband's preference over mine! :-)

                                      1. re: Carb Lover
                                        n
                                        niki rothman Nov 5, 2006 06:29 PM

                                        You are absolutely right! It WAS nooodles! That's funny. Yeah, I just called and bought the metallic chrome. My husband likes it the best.

                                        1. re: Carb Lover
                                          Katie Nell Nov 5, 2006 09:19 PM

                                          I have red and I adore it- it's the centerpiece of the kitchen though!! I just bought my parents the cinnamon for Christmas and it is positively gorgeous, probably my favorite color I've seen! (I can't wait!! I want to give it to them NOW!!)

                                          1. re: Carb Lover
                                            Pei Nov 5, 2006 09:29 PM

                                            Thanks for saving me the trouble of re-typing all that! I was reading through this thread thinking "Oh, no, I bet Niki is remembering me and my Accolade shill."

                                            My friend just bought a NEW 5qt Kitchen Aid in the DC area for under $150. I'll have to ask her exactly how she accomplished the feat.

                                            1. re: Pei
                                              n
                                              niki rothman Nov 5, 2006 11:12 PM

                                              Hi nooodles/Pei -
                                              I'm very happy with today's purchase of the metallic chrome 450 watt after reading all the posts. I really don't need all that extra fire power. One veteran cook said she's been happily using the 250 for 25 years. I see QVC has the 600 watt for $350. Do I really need that when all I'll be doing is a batch of cookies or a cake for a pot luck? But, I guess I was carrying around this chip on my shoulder that since it was probably going to be a once in a lifetime purchase I had to have THE BEST. I was actually seduced by the new wide bowl and the fact that this is the first QVC Kitchenaid "Today's Special value" in two years - and as I said, I really like dealing with them and trust they chose this one model for good reason - I think they do a lot of market/product research. Besides, I get to pay in a bunch of monthly installments with no interest - so it's not even going to represent a splurge. Can't wait to take it out for its maiden voyage making the toll house cookies!

                                              1. re: Pei
                                                Carb Lover Nov 6, 2006 12:01 AM

                                                That's a great deal. No matter how good of a deal you get, someone always gets better!

                                                I have this sickness for remembering most threads and just had a hunch that Niki was thinking of the discussion you started. Of course, the search engine makes it way easier to find what I remember, and simply searching for "kitchenaid" gives lots of advice for those in the market for one (as well as attachments).

                                        2. m
                                          MakingSense Nov 5, 2006 04:23 PM

                                          I have had the K5SS, 300 watt for at least 25 trouble-free years. That was the heavy duty home version back then. It has been a real work-horse. I have given essentially the same model as gifts to both of my daughters.
                                          Sounds like a good price on a stronger motor that you have found. You may want to get a neutral color rather than a "fashion" color as you will have this for a lifetime. Do you really need more power? I have only had trouble once and that was because the recipe volume was too large for the bowl - the power was fine.
                                          I have gradually added attachments, some of which I use more than others. Some are useless. Depends on what and how you cook.
                                          An extra bowl is a must-have.
                                          A dust cover is very useful; mine lives on the counter and deserves the space as I use it constantly.
                                          It will whip one egg white or make a batch of cookies in no time flat.
                                          You'll wonder how you lived without it.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: MakingSense
                                            n
                                            niki rothman Nov 5, 2006 04:37 PM

                                            I would love to hear the things you use it for. Right now, I'm scratching my head thinking about MAYBE making a batch of toll house cookies, I'm not much of a dessert eater and my husband is trying to lose weight. But even so, I'd like to hear everyone's ideas on what they use their Kitchenaids for. Maybe I'll start another thread after I order this one I mentioned.

                                          2. w
                                            Winemark Nov 5, 2006 03:22 PM

                                            Try and look for the Pro 600 with the six quart bowl. The extra power is something you may want in the future. I use mine regularly and it is great. My friends who cook a lot with smaller KA's are envious of the Pro 600

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Winemark
                                              n
                                              niki rothman Nov 5, 2006 03:32 PM

                                              What is a good price for the Pro 600? And as you noted, one can never ignore the importance of a consumer product being able to provoke envy in one's friends.

                                            2. s
                                              Scary Bill Nov 5, 2006 03:13 PM

                                              Great mixer, great price. A bit noisy though as it's gear driven. Very sturdy, who cares if it gets a chip or dent here or there, just shows you're using it.

                                              Attachments are only important if you use them a lot for large quantities or money is not an issue. You can buy much cheaper manual versions that do the same thing with a bit of elbow grease.

                                              Buy it, you'll like it.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Scary Bill
                                                n
                                                niki rothman Nov 5, 2006 04:02 PM

                                                So, you would say I should not worry about there being a more powerful motor? It's a one time purchase most likely. But I do love a bargain. You know, it's one of those things I don't need, but that I want. I actually have a tiny kitchen so it's kind of crazy. I'll tell you a funny reason I want it. I have wanted to make chopped liver and grind my own meat for a very long time. I bough an old fashioned hand grinder and it promptly got rusty, froze up and had to be given away. I am actually more wanting the grinder than the mixer. But, you know, once you buy something like that you find lots of uses for it. What do you use your's for most? I need some motivation. But my very own meat loaf mix, meat ball mix and the best ever hamburgers ground out of fresh chuck roast any time are pretty powerful motivators.

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