HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
What's your latest food quest? Tell us about it
TELL US

Is anyone else NOT thrilled with their Kitchen Aid ?

p
pinktori71 Feb 17, 2008 10:23 PM

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 ?

  1. b
    brannondlb Feb 17, 2008 11:21 PM

    I bought one from QVC. It lasted about 2 months. It fell apart. As far as the splattering, don't they have a splash guard attachment?

    6 Replies
    1. re: brannondlb
      maria lorraine Feb 18, 2008 04:29 PM

      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?

      1. re: maria lorraine
        JoanN Feb 18, 2008 05:11 PM

        No idea. But I can tell you I bought my Hobart made KitchenAid in 1983. It fell off the counter once, got a small dent, and hasn't missed a beat since.

        1. re: maria lorraine
          a
          anniemax Feb 19, 2008 12:07 PM

          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.

          1. re: anniemax
            MMRuth Feb 20, 2008 04:18 AM

            I bought mine in the mid-90s, and have had no problems with it.

            1. re: anniemax
              s
              sueatmo Feb 22, 2008 03:55 PM

              I believe that the small appliance line was not bought out by Whirlpool. If someone knows more about this, I hope they will share.

            2. re: maria lorraine
              flourgirl Feb 20, 2008 05:03 AM

              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. :)

          2. j
            janniecooks Feb 18, 2008 03:47 AM

            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?!).

            1 Reply
            1. re: janniecooks
              sfumato May 30, 2008 09:11 AM

              Ditto here- I could have written your post, janniecooks.

              I have an Artisan that I bought in December 2005. I love it and don't know how I lived without it! No problems so far, and we definitely give it a workout.

            2. JoanN Feb 18, 2008 04:27 AM

              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.

              2 Replies
              1. re: JoanN
                j
                jacksback Mar 16, 2008 12:01 PM

                hi JoanN
                I am interested to know where I can find that link of the new product that attaches to the paddle and scrapes the sides. Can you help me out with that. thanks
                Jack

                1. re: jacksback
                  k
                  Kelli2006 May 30, 2008 09:50 AM

                  http://www.sideswipeblade.com/

                  Chowser started a thread about these blades approx. 6 months ago. They are not yet available for the lift-bowl mixers, but they will be in the near future.

              2. j
                jzerocsk Feb 18, 2008 06:47 AM

                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.

                1. r
                  rfneid Feb 18, 2008 07:59 AM

                  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.

                  1. f
                    Fritz Feb 18, 2008 09:34 AM

                    I bought a Bosch Concept 7, a very different animal. I bought it because the KA is not what it was 5 or 10 years ago. The don't stand up like they once did.
                    The Bosch, thus far, 3 years, has been fine.

                    1. AnneInMpls Feb 18, 2008 09:53 AM

                      I have a 20-year-old Kitchen Aid, which I like very much. But you're right - there are definitely issues with adding ingredients and avoiding splatters.

                      1. Try using a flexible cutting board (or piece of waxed paper) to pour in dry ingredients.

                      2. Always start on the lowest speed, and increase the speed *very* cautiously. You'll get used to this as you become more familiar with the machine. For me, it's now second nature.

                      And always remember to scrape the bowl's sides. This is the most annoying feature, in my opinion, so I was interested to see JoanN's tip on the "side scraper" attachment. If I baked more, I'd definitely get one.

                      To help you bond with your new mixer, try a recipe that requires a lot of beating or whipping (marshmallows, perhaps?), so you can walk away and do something else. For me, this is the best feature of a good stand mixer. I'll forgive its other design issues because I love the ability to multitask.

                      Anne

                      1. Jennalynn Feb 18, 2008 09:57 AM

                        If you take the mixer down to "stir" when you add your ingredients and then ramp it up, you should have no splatter problems.

                        Either that or you're trying to put too much in.

                        But no, I've never had a problem and I've had mine for 18 years, using it at least 3 - 4 times a week.

                        1. firecooked Feb 18, 2008 05:46 PM

                          I remember the first time I used a Kitchen Aid. It was at my (now) MIL's house, I was making chocolate chip cookies -- which I had done many many times with a hand mixer. Just as I dumped in the flour in and turned it on high, my neatnik MIL walks into the kitchen (and resulting cloud of flour). I still have that same mixer (MIL gave it to me at some point)... its probably at least 30 years old now (when was Havest Gold in style?)

                          1. a
                            anniemax Feb 19, 2008 10:06 AM

                            It sounds like you are using the higher speeds too much; unlike a hand mixer, you really don't need to use the top speeds very often. Take a look at your manual and notice what speeds they recommend for cake batters- most use speeds 2-4, with a few going up to 6 near the end. For most things, think of 2 as low, 4 as medium, and 6 as high, when compared with other mixers....then we have extra coverage of stir below low & speeds 8-10 above to handle specialized jobs most mixers can't do. The only time you need to use speeds 8-10 is when you are whipping egg whites, cream or such. The also recommend stopping the mixer to add additional ingredients, which in some cases you have to do....though I will admit I'm guilty of just slowing mine down and carefully adding ingredients all the time (but I also worked in bakeries to put myself through college, so I was use working with these types of mixes before I got mine).

                            Also, you mentioned not being able to lift your machine head w/whisk on when using the splatter guard. What types of things are using the the whisk for? The flat beater is your main work horse- its for normal to heavy mixtures, everything from cakes, cookies, quick breads, creamed frosting to meat loaf & mashed potatoes. The whisk is used for things that need a lot of air mixed in, like eggs/egg whites, marshmallows, angel food cakes, and mayonnaise. The dough hook is of course for mixing & needing heavy bread doughs & such.

                            I've had my mixer for 17 years now, and it going strong as ever, though I do need to replace the whip since one of the tines broke recently. That's the only problem I have had with my mixer (5qt, bowl lift, 325watt ProLine) in almost 20 years of use...wish I could say the same for my other appliances.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: anniemax
                              w
                              warneral Feb 19, 2008 02:34 PM

                              I've had my artisan for 8 years or so and love it. It's not even the heavy duty one. I've never had problems with it. As far as the mess factor, I just turn the speed down when powder goes flying or liquid is splattering.

                            2. Caroline1 Feb 19, 2008 04:08 PM

                              My Kitchen Aid K5A has to be coming up on thirty years old some time soon, but has the bowl lift, not the tilt head. Knock on wood, it is unstoppable!

                              When adding flour or powdered sugar or any other fly-about ingredient to any mixing bowl (not just Kitchen Aid), you have to reduce the speed to a 1 or 2 setting until it's incorporated, and I find sliding it into the bowl from a sheet of parchment works a lot better than those collar things that are such a pain to put on and take off and that harbor dusty stuff in the cracks. Clean up doesn't have to be a major undertaking.

                              I've never used a tilt-head Kitchen Aid, but I did once have a Mixmaster. Do they still make those? I would think that ANY "planetary" mixer that has.beaters that move around the bowl in an orbit pattern does a better job than one where the bowl has to rotate, or a hand mixer, I don't know about the newer "flimsy" Kitchen Aids, but the Hobart built Kitchen Aids make bread baking a breeze! Unless you have a driving need to knead out your agressions, the dough hook is freedom! And very very fattening if you're not careful.

                              I've never been interested in any of the attachments for a Kitchen Aid. The damned (but lovable) thing is heavy enough to push around when I want to mix something, never mind make pasta or ice cream or sausage. I think the Kitchen Aid juicer attachment is a joke. I have a wonderful inexpensive Oster juicer that sits on my countertop and all I have to do to make juice is put a glass under the spout push the fruit down on the reamer. Everything goes in the dishwasher. And it weighs about three pounds for the sake of stability instead of 400 pounds like the Kitchen Aid. Okay. Slight hyperbole. But I do have a gazillion attachments and extra disks for my Cuisineart! Which is also an ancient work horse. Love 'em!

                              All of which begs the question: Is eBay the best place to buy a Kitchen Aid?

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Caroline1
                                TonyO Feb 22, 2008 04:05 PM

                                I will say this about Kitchen Aid, their ovens are CRAP ! I have two built in units and have had problems with both. I guess they are kind of like Maytag: at one point they were the gold standard until a larger company gobbled them up and made profit more important than quality not realizing that the two are one and the same over the longhaul.

                                1. re: TonyO
                                  c
                                  chuckl May 30, 2008 11:09 AM

                                  amen to that, Tony, I had a Kitchen Aid cooktop and after a few years was down to a single burner. I'd had a Kitchen Aid stove before and it worked great, but the cook top sucked

                              2. f
                                foodwich Feb 22, 2008 04:01 PM

                                my KA was a mother's day gift from the fam and i love it. after reading this i did add ingredients more cautiously but havent had powder flying or anything even thoughi use it for dough making a lot. the speed is very very low when i do this and it works fine. like it a lot. would i buy it again ? yes i would probably the same color too. i have a red one.

                                1. p
                                  Piek May 29, 2008 05:47 PM

                                  3 weeks ago my partner put a pot filled with 3.5 inches on the stove to boil. 5 minutes after she turned the element on, she went to remove the pot. When she did, the copper base fell off onto the stovetop and liquid aluminum started dripping and spewing everywhere!!! She put the pot in the sink, after dumping out the water. Later that day, I called Kitchenaid Canada, was rerouted to Meyer Canada, the company that produces Kitchenaid products. After a few days of relaying information to Suzie Iacono, one of the Supervisors with Meyer Canada asked for photo's and documentation of the incident. Just over an hour after I sent in the required documentation, she responded by accusing me of having let the pot boil dry!!! However, from my understanding, when a pot boils dry, it chars and smokes, which is clearly seen on the exterior base part of the pot. Mine.. does not look like that... at all. Beware!! Their products suck and their customer service is worse!

                                  1. Gio May 29, 2008 05:59 PM

                                    I *had* a vintage KitchenAid mixer till DD decided she wanted it. Mine was my mother's ..... I would guess about 1950 or there about. No tilt a whirl or any other new fangled updates. Made many a perfect merengue, whipped creams, cake batters...I did have to replace a bowl in the '70's.... but it was still the bestest mixer on the block. I hope DD is still loving it. Came in basic white...mellowed to faded yellow if I recall...RIP.

                                    1. d
                                      Docsknotinn May 29, 2008 07:28 PM

                                      No I don't think mine is over rated at all. I've had it since the mid 90's. There are a lot of different models. Quality or being over rated has little or nothing to do with the quirks in your post. If you don't want splatter use the splatter guard or turn the mixer down. Same goes for any mixer including full size floor models.
                                      I've processed at least a dozen deer with the grinder on mine and I don't even have one of the high HP models. If I needed a new one today it would be a Kitchen aid.
                                      Their stoves are another issue. I had one. Never again.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Docsknotinn
                                        danna Apr 28, 2010 01:23 PM

                                        Love my KA, husband bought it for me in 1990, I use it probably twice a week. I have never used the side guard (not sure one came w/ mine). Honestly, once you have used it a couple of times and apply common sense (which I am not particulary known for) you won't have any problems w/ splatter.

                                        I have the shredding attachmetn and the meat grinder as well. they work fine.

                                      2. l
                                        LadyCook61 May 30, 2008 12:35 PM

                                        MIne was bought before the company changed hands. I have been satisfied with my KitchenAid, in fact I have 2 old ones. One with the tilt head and one with the bowl lift.
                                        As for cake batter splattering , perhaps using a lower speed would help when putting flour in the bowl.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: LadyCook61
                                          k
                                          kitchenaidcrap Apr 27, 2010 05:18 PM

                                          My KA stand mixer is the ONLY thing from KA that isn't a piece of garbage. Long list includes: toaster, range (big disappointment there), dishwasher, microwave. Thank goodness we bought our fridge from another manufacturer - I don't think I could handle any more let downs.

                                          Their lousy appliances only fall second to their lousy customer service. Cross your fingers nothing breaks or shows up busted out of the box because you nothing but alone on that one.

                                          1. re: kitchenaidcrap
                                            b
                                            Beckyleach Apr 28, 2010 09:06 AM

                                            On the contrary, I found their customer service extraordinary. Admittedly, the *reason* I found out is because the NEW "stainless steel" bowl to my NEW Prof. 6 Quart mixer RUSTED on the lip, in the dishwasher (hello??)....but, I called, got a real person almost immediately, gave them my serial number and model number, and within four days a brand new replacement bowl was at my door!

                                            Oh, and my $40 rebate (unlike many rebates that seem to be mere "bait and switch" tricks, because they always find some way to reject your form, or it's "lost" in the mail, blah blah) arrived in less than a month, as well.

                                            1. re: Beckyleach
                                              Sooeygun Apr 29, 2010 01:56 PM

                                              When I got the attachment set (grinder, slicer, etc), one of the grinder plates was missing. I was living in Banff at the time. The mixer and attachments had been purchased in Toronto for me by my parents and I has already brought them back to Banff with me when I noticed the missing piece. So there was no easy way to return it. Called customer service and they sent the missing one no problem.

                                        Show Hidden Posts