HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >

Discussion

question re. buying a stand mixer

  • p

Hello and greetings. I'm new to this site and would like to ask re. what standmixer they might recommend for mixing heavy batters for baking and what wattage would be appropriate? Thanks for your suggestions.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. I have a standard Kitchen-Aid standing mixer. My wife bought it for me as a birthday present a few years ago and I love it. It comes with a whip, hook, and paddle attachment as well as an attachment for adding powdered ingredients. You can also purchase seperately meat grinder attachments.

    1. I upgraded a year ago from my old trusty standard Kitchen-Aid and we bought the professional 600 Kitchen-Aid. It is a little different in that you have to use the crank to lift and lower the bowl.That takes a bit of getting used to. It is perfect for the bread doughs I like to mix and I use it for the initial kneading as well.The staff at Cook's Central here in Westchester helped me determine which one was best for our use.

      1 Reply
      1. re: lucyis

        Do you like it much better than your old one? It's much heavier, isn't it?

      2. Yes, it is heavier and doesn't come in all the designer colors the Artisan model does. But, it doesn't get overheated as easily and can handle heavy doughs. I will say that the motor makes an unpleasant whine at some speeds. If you don't bake a lot of bread I wouldn't spend the extra money.

        1. The Kitchen Aid Pro models are the best for any heavy duty baking. The basic attachments (bread hook for kneading, paddle for mixing and whip) are sufficient. I can whip out 35 dozen cookies in half a day because of the mixer. It's great. And with breads, the kneading is consistent.

          1 Reply
          1. re: SanseiDesigns

            I finally took the plunge and bought a KA Pro. Linens & Things ran a 20% off coupon in Sunday's paper & free shipping on their website, plus KA is offering a $50 rebate. So it cost less than the Artisan mixer...

          2. "heavy batters for baking" can be a problem. When I make cake batters, I just use a hand held, and it works great. If you are going to make cookies or pie dough, one of the Kitchenaids mentioned above is perfect.

            If you are going to do bread or pizza dough, watch out. Over the years, I have never used a home mixer I trusted to make bread dough and last for many years. In this case, I use the 5 qt. Hobart N50 I got at a restaurant auction a few years ago. New, this puppy will set you back 2 grand.

            I should also note that the 'wattage' ratings on mixers is a joke; the strength of the motor has nothing to do with this rating, which is made up by an advertising copy editor.

            3 Replies
            1. re: jerry i h

              I have an ancient (25+ years) Kitchenaid K45 which I inherited from my grandmother. It'll knead 6 - 8 cups of dough for 30 minutes without so much as a whimper. Everyone I know who's purchased a KA recently, though, has had to replace it within a couple of years of moderate use. Apparently Hobart no longer manufactures the Kitchenaid "consumer" line, thus the decline in quality and durability.

              If you plan to use this puppy to knead things, skip the Kitchenaids entirely and move up to one of the Hobart pro models. You can pick them up on Ebay.com for a reasonable amount (relatively speaking - this is high-end pro kitchenware which will probably last you to the end of your natural life).

              Oh, and don't even bother with the Viking stand mixers. I know someone who had hers literally go up in smoke the first time she tried to knead dough with it.

              1. re: cpanagakis

                Hobart no longer manufactures KA at all. They sold the division to Whirlpool, which may or may not be the reason current machines don't have the durability of the Hobart-made ones. I treasure my ancient Hobart KA mixer which hasn't skipped a beat in 25+ years.

              2. re: jerry i h

                A good used Hobart N-50 mixer from Ebay or a used restaurant supply store can be a great deal, if dependability and power are your main concerns. You will still pay anywhere from $300 to $600 for a used model.

                The problem is that a lot of people just have to have a new shiny surface and it is their concern rather than the function/durability. They think the used mixer is not a good investment compared to a new one.

                The truth is a slightly battered 1/6 hp Hobart N-50 will last 4 or 5 longer, and give lots more power, dependability, and better performance than a brand new 600 watt KA.

                The KA's 600 watts only means that 600 watts go into the mixer from the outlet -- and has no relationship to the output [power] torque and is considerably less than the Hobart.

                The Hobart's 1/6 hp rating is based on the amount of [power] torque of the mixer's beaters. It is gear driven and will handle much more strain on the motor.

                Just lift a N-50 and compare the weight of the KA 600. The KA is flimsy isn't it? That is because the Hobart is engineered and built to hold up for commercial restaurant/bakery and other food service applications.

              3. wow! this is a great site! I'm a newbie too, looking to buy a stand mixer. What about the Warings? And I read in the posts about KitchenAids that Electrolux has a model I can get, as I live in Europe. Anybody know anything about this?

                1. Celeste any Idea where I can find that $50 rebate? I'm thinking of getting the 600 for my wife for christmas. And it would make her even happier knowing I got a rebate too. I have that 20% off coupon already.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: lavelanet

                    Go directly to the kitchenaid website. You print out the form, fill it out & mail it in. It does require the UPC code from the box as well as a copy of your receipt.

                    Incidentally, I emailed KitchenAid about the much-debated plastic gear cover, and I received a prompt email response stating that if the mixer failed on account of the plastic cover, it would be replaced. I unboxed mine last week, made souffle, cookies, royal icing, kneaded bread dough...all good. No problems yet. And the instructional manual is pretty specific about how to use the machine for kneading...I followed the instructions and all went well. With the spiral dough hook, NOTHING will need 30 minutes worth of kneading! It works the dough very thoroughly.

                  2. Thanks Celeste I just purchased a 600 Pro last night for my wife (and myself)

                    1. I'm considering buying a Bosch stand mixer for mixing heavy batters (cheaper than Kitchen Aid). Does anyone know about this brand- good or bad?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Phill

                        Nononononono. I've worked with a Bosch, it's a severe pain in the ass. The drive motor's output is in the center of the bowl, and as such the basic mixing bowl's cross section is two Us put together. It's hell to clean, the mixing action isn't as complete as with the Kitchenaid, and if you're trying to do a small recipe (whipping a little cream or some egg whites) you're out of luck.

                        I went with a vintage Kitchenaid K5A made by Hobart, and have been thrilled. It did a double recipe of cranberry-pecan-chocolate chunk oatmeal cookies with aplomb.

                      2. Okay, I've read the reviews for this but need to know more. Opinions on the Wolfgang Puck Commercial Stand Mixer? Is it really as bad as I've heard (i.e. noisy, heavy vibrations, etc.)?

                        1. This post is making me rethink my recent decision to start saving to replace my old KA 5-qt with the KA pro.

                          My mixer (about 15 years old) works great, although I would like a bigger bowl. I got on the kick of getting a new one, though, because the only beater I can get is the plastic-coated one, which inevitably chips and gets nasty. I purchased an additional set on eBay, but I already have chips. I want the metal beaters that are not plastic-coated.

                          The love of my life is the giant Hobart mixer that I see at restaurants & the school cafeteria. It's so big you can climb in it. haha Like I have a use for that. But it thrills me to no end to see that industrial beauty!

                          FYI - My mixer has been repaired once. Some gear was stripped or something (I can't remember now). But my mom has a Kitchenaid stand mixer that she has had for a good 30 years. It's been through a housefire and too many moves to quickly count. It's still going strong.

                          Does anyone know if the Kitchenaid attachments work on the industrial Hobarts? For instance, I just got a great ice cream maker for my Kitchenaid, and I like my grinder, juicer, other attachments. There are more I'd like to add. It's really convenient and space-saving to have those attachments rather than the individual appliances. I'd like to get rid of my pasta machine and get the Kitchenaid attachments. They have many appealing choices.

                          But not so great if they don't work with the Hobart!

                          Anyone who has information on that, I'd appreciate your input. Thanks!

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: luv2bake

                            I recently got the Artisan and it worked perfectly through the holidays. I haven't used it for any heavy duty stuff like bread but I am very pleased with it so far.

                            "It's been through a housefire" WOW! That's amazing! BTW I'm fascinated by the giant Hobart mixers too. How do you like the ice cream attachment? I am considering getting one but have read several bad reviews on epinions.

                            1. re: bbqbob

                              The outside of Mom's mixer (white) is now yellowish due to the smoke stains, but, yeah, thru a major fire that was declared total loss by the insurance co. The mixer itself didn't sit in the midst of the blaze, but the neighbors on the kitchen side of our house couldn't enter that side of their house while the fire was burning, and the heat messed up pavement many yards from the fire. The mixer was in the room next to the most major part of the fire, so that really says something.

                              I love the ice cream attachment. If you have a spot in the freezer where you can keep it all the time, then you basically can have ice cream in about 20 minutes. Some ice cream recipes require cooking, so if you used one of those, you'd have to prepare well in advance. But I made Almond Joy ice cream and pina colada sherbet in about 20 minutes. And both were delicious.

                              One drawback would be if you want more than 1 1/2 - 2 quarts of ice cream at once or sooner than 12-15 hours. The bowl has to be in the freezer that long to freeze to make the next batch of ice cream.

                              I highly recommend it, though. I will have to go to epinions and post a positive review, I guess! :)

                              1. re: bbqbob

                                ps sorry it took me so long to reply. This thread fell off my list, and I forgot to add it to my watched topics. Last night in bed, I suddenly got some thought about this thread for some reason and thought I'd better come check it out today.

                            2. The Viking is serious at 7 qts. It's also about $600.

                              1. Don't know if anyone is still reading this, but I thought I'd comment on an experience from this weekend. I went to see friends, and they have an all-Viking kitchen. The reasons for this I will not get into (to protect the innocent!), but suffice it to say that the appliances are all brand new and top-of-the-line Viking. This includes the beautiful (it really is pretty) huge stand mixer. LOVED the beaters (metal, NOT plastic coated).

                                I was completely disappointed in the machine's performance. It does not mix as well as the KitchenAid. In fact, it doesn't mix as well as the KitchenAid hand mixer. The beaters don't seem up to the task as KA's are. Wrong size or something. They look nice, but that's where the beauty ends. The batter was not mixed smoothly like it is with my KA; I had to mix the end by hand to get all the chunks smooth. The bottom and sides, even with scraping down with a spatula, held batter, keeping it unevenly mixed (hence the hand mixing at the end). The speeds weren't as effective as my KA's. The engine sounded ... weak? I could go on & on with the disappointment.

                                And I was sorely disappointed. My friend could get me a deal on a Viking, and I thought that might be my next stand mixer. No way. I'd walk 50 miles and pay double for a smaller KA over that Viking.

                                1. I used to have a bigger KitchenAid than the one I have now, and my advice would be to buy the biggest they make and never let it go. The deeper the bowl the better for keeping dry ingredients where they belong. (I hate that silly plastic guard attachment.)

                                  A word of caution to those new to KitchenAid ... the serial number is on the bottom. Whatever you do, do not turn the thing over to read it, I don't care if the KitchenAid person is on the phone telling you to do it. Doing this breaks a seal, lubricant leaks, and an expensive repair will be required. Don't ask me how I know this ...