Is anyone else NOT thrilled with their Kitchen Aid ?
I was so desperate to get a Kitchen Aid mixer... I find now it just looks fabulous !
So far my problems have been...
1. adding ingredients when the mixer if operating..it is too akward. It is too annoying to put the side guard thing on and even if you do that, then you can't lift the head when your wisk attachment is on...
2. Made cake batter...ended up splattering the walls at the stage before the flour went in...
The pasta attachment has been the best part about it.
Does anyone else think these mixers (Artisan stand mixer) are over-rated ?
Does anyone know when the fall-off in quality in KitchenAid mixers happened?
It seems the older models are workhorses that never break, as written in several posts in this thread and in many threads on KA. The newer models are flimsy and break often, once again a comment heard rather often.
What happened and when? When KA was sold by Hobart, was that when the flimsiness began?
re: maria lorraine
I think it was in the late 1980's that Kitchen Aid was bought out by Whirlpool, 1986 or 1988- IIRC. I bought mine in 1990, but it was a display model that had been up for over a year or more, so mine was either one of the last ones under Hobart or the first under Whirlpool, before any changes were really made. Its traveled all over with me and has not always had the gentlest handling, but its going strong still. At the time, it was the biggest & most powerful one they made- a 5qt, bowl lift, 325watt ProLine that only came in Imperial Grey- much to my dislike as a 19 year old-lol.
re: maria lorraine
Kitchen Aid does seem to have developed quality control issues in the last few years, judging from comments I've seen posted here and on other boards as well. So it does seem to be a little bit of a crap shoot if you end up with a good machine or not. But I bought my Kitchen Aid 6 qt pro about 7-8 yrs ago, use it very regularly, including mixing bread and pizza dough, and have had no problems with it whatsoever. In fact, I just bought the food grinder attachment on Amazon for $40 to make fillings for dumplings using the recipes in "A World of Dumplings" by Brian Yarvin. (I already have the pasta roller attachments) Can't wait to spend a day in the kitchen playing with all my toys. :)
I have an Artisan stand mixer that has stood me well over the 7 years I've had it. The only time I experience splattering is if I start at too high a speed - for example, when adding flour to wet ingredients or starting a wet mixture, I've found that if I start with the lowers speed and gradually increase to the desired higher speed any splattering is contained within the the bowl for the most part. I do get small splatters on the mixer when whipping cream, but I think some splattering is to be expected. If you use a hand mixer you'll experience the same thing.
I don't use the splatter guard. I too find it difficult to add ingredients when the mixer is running - perhaps because the Artisan is a bit smaller than the model where the bowl lifts up, so I always stop the mixer, lift up the head if necessary, before adding any new ingredients.
I love my mixer, especially for those stiff batters that I could not make by hand (how did cooks manage before stand mixers?!).
If anything happened to my Kitchen Aid stand mixer I'd get a new one in a heartbeat. Yes, adding ingredients can be a bit of a pain. I have a pouring shield, but never use it. I lift the head, often move the paddle by hand so it's out of the way, and dump in what needs to be dumped. Sometimes, but not always, I'll put my ingredients on a sheet of waxed paper, which makes it easier to pour the stuff into the mixer. I find all this finagling a small price to pay for making comparatively short work of what would otherwise be a lengthy or arm-tiring process.
As for spattering, janniecooks is right. You need to start at a low speed and increase it as the ingredients begin to be incorporated. I forget which author (Dorie Greenspan, perhaps?) recommends putting a towel over the mixer when beginning to add dry ingredients. I do this sometimes; but not often.
What annoys me more that either of the things you mention is the constant stopping of the machine to scrape down the sides of the bowl. But someone posted a link to a new product on the Cookware board that attaches to the paddle and scrapes the sides as you mix. It wasn't cheap, but I'm giving it serious thought.
If the tilting bothers you you might want to look into the larger bowl-lift models.
I never found the splatter shield to be awkward. In fact since it gives you a chute to pour into, I find it much easier than trying to pour directly into the bowl.
And I agree with others that if you start it slow and let things incorporate a little you can pretty much eliminate flying ingredients.
About my only gripe is that the motor on the Artisan is a little bit weak and I worry about it breaking which causes me to sometimes not use it for some of my denser breads.
I have one that I bought in 1974. It has been used & abused. It is as good today as the day I bought it. I wouldn't trade it for a new mixer of any brand.