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Dec 17, 2008 10:06 AM

Did I break my KitchenAid?

I used my KitchenAid this morning to mix and knead bread dough. It's relatively new- I've only been using it for a few months. The motor seemed to get really hot and steam started rising out of the top. Is it broken? Or did it just overheat?

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  1. I had something similar happen to mine when I made dough for steamed pork buns a month or so ago. Even though the amount of dough should have been fine per the manual, the machine was very unhappy and got hot and smelled a bit. So, I continued with half the dough in the machine, and kneaded the other half by hand, to give the machine a rest. It's been working fine since then, but I also didn't get to the "steaming" point. I'd be inclined to call KitchenAid and inquire. My machine is probably about 12 years old, by the way.

    1. Just curious- did either of you have your mixer plugged in to an extension cord? The reason I ask is that once I hooked my weed wacker to an extension cord that wasn't heavy enough, and it had similar symptoms...

      14 Replies
      1. re: Clarkafella

        No, mine was plugged into the wall.

        1. re: MMRuth

          Yes, it was plugged into an extension cord which was plugged into a surge protector.

          Ruth, mine is brand new. It was a wedding gift, but I returned the original and got a larger one. I just started using it this fall. I'll call KitchenAid tomorrow. And if it's broken, I bought it from Bloomingdale's, so I'm sure they will take it back.

          1. re: cheesecake17

            If you get another one, try using a much heavier extension cord- I have a feeling that the motor was burning up due to using one that didn't have the capacity or whatever they call it...

            1. re: Clarkafella

              I'll look for a better extension cord. I bought the cheapie one to connect the mini food processor to the wall. Prob not strong enough for the kitchenaid

              1. re: cheesecake17

                Well, I'm kind of hoping that someone who knows more about such things chimes in, but I *think* that you want to use the shortest length possible, and the heaviest gauge that you can find. Otherwise the resistance is futile or something like that, and the motor burns up.

                But ask the person at the hardware store to be sure- like I say, I'm just basing this on my weed-eater experience...

                1. re: Clarkafella

                  I'll do that. When I went to the hardware store to buy the one I'm using, they didn't ask what it was for.. so I assumed it didn't matter. Stupid move.

                  1. re: cheesecake17

                    I would recommend that you purchase an extension cord made of at least 12 gauge wire. That will handle almost all household tasks. You probably won't be able to find one less than 25' but they are worth it. Most of my cords are 10 gauge but I usually run with 100' cords outdoors. If the cord you were using was made from that little black or white flat wire, it was at best 16 gauge, and couldn't supply the demands of your KA.

                    1. re: Grillncook

                      I have an extension cord that is intended to be used for window A/C units. It's very heavy gauge and they were available as short as 3' (I think mine is 12' or 15'). That would probably work well for a stand mixer.

            2. re: cheesecake17

              You didn't say which model you have, but even the most powerful 600 watt Kitchenaid would only draw 5 amps. Any UL listed extension cord would have no problem with that.

              For the technical types, here's a voltage drop calculator:
              Even a 100 foot, 18 gauge extension cord would only have a 3.2615 volt drop - definitely not enough to be noticeable.

              Most likely you used more flour in your dough than the machine could handle. The recommended maximum amount of flour should be listed in your instruction manual. In fact, I see the KA web site actually rates the mixers by "flour power" - cute.


              (That rating is white flour, BTW - whole wheat is about half that.)

              1. re: srgoodman

                The link didn't work, but I used 8 cups of flour- 5 whole wheat and 3 regular. Do you think I should try to turn it on again to see if it works?

                1. re: cheesecake17

                  I'm travelling and so don't have my manual with me (surprise - since I do have several LC pieces and four cookbooks in the car!), but I think that may have been a bit much, particularly with so much whole wheat flour. I'd take a look at your manual if I were you, but do try to use it again - can't hurt.

                  1. re: cheesecake17

                    Given that quantity of flour, I believe only the largest 600 watt model would handle it. Is that the model you have?

                    I agree with MMRuth that you should give the mixer another try - it may be fine.

                    1. re: srgoodman

                      I don't have the 600 watt model. I have the one a bit smaller than that, not sure how many watts. Anyway, after the bread baking episode, I think I'll leave the bread baking to the professional bakers at Fairway!

                2. re: cheesecake17

                  Ok now I'm curious, because I was searching for surge protectors used with mixers. I'm not sure if it protects the mixer at all or not.

                  Long story short I was using a surge protector to plug in our hot water pot and Breville smart oven. But the surge protector just died. I ended up donating the one I use on a separate plug for my mixer because I couldn't find another strip in the house and can't make it into town to the store today.

                  I'm in an old house with no GFI plugs in the wall and very few 3 prong outlets. The hot water pot is on 24/7 ( it's a Zojiriushi) and the Smart Oven gets used numerous times a day. I've never blown the circuit they are plugged into though.

            3. KitchenAid uses a similar housing for many motors, sold to a variety of vendors. If there is steam or smoke from a 350 watt or 450 watt model, then you need a more powerful model. It is too bad that KitchenAid has low powered models in their massive structure.
              Cuisinart has a bigger motor in a similar machine.

              5 Replies
              1. re: jayt90

                Amen brother - and Cuisinart has a better warranty... but what I've heard from folks here warranties don't matter because Kitchen Aid is great anyway (yeah right). Here's a prime example of why a 10 year warranty (Cuisinart) is better than a 1 year warranty (Kitchen Aid).

                1. re: HaagenDazs

                  That assumes something like this would even be covered by a warranty by either manufacturer. It doesn't exactly sound like a defect in workmanship...

                  1. re: jzerocsk

                    I can almost guarantee that they will not send a team of investigators out to the house to interrogate the user and find out if a less-than-optimal extension cord was used. I'm pretty sure if the electrics burn up on the inside then it is considered a defect in the product and they will replace or repair the item.

                    1. re: HaagenDazs

                      No, they won't send a team of investigators, but I pretty much expect any company to attempt to weasel out of warranty repairs whenever possible. "Oh it looks like it was overloaded. So sorry. We'll fix it for $200?"

                      1. re: jzerocsk

                        Well, now the original poster knows he/she can "weasel back". If they ask about things like the use of extension cords, etc. just lie. Don't let them in on the fact it could have been your fault. I'm not one for always being dishonest, but it's not like Kitchen Aid or Cuisinart is in financial ruin.

              2. KA don't seem to handle bread dough very well - my husband has killed several KA over the years - even the heavy duty models. I will admit that I'm sure he has overloaded the machine several times but the last one (heavy duty pro-series) was supposed to be able to handle the amount.

                Everything but dough? Love the KA...but if you really, really need it for dough as well, you might want to consider another brand. (currently we have a Bosch which is perfect for my husband's bread hobby but too freakin' huge for my needs)

                1. Hi!

                  I've heated up my Kitchenaid pretty well on a number of occasions in the past (although it's never smoked) and it's always been fine once it cools off.

                  My graduate degree in physics tells me that the issue isn't the extension cord. If the extension cord itself was getting hot, that would be a big problem since this means that you're overloading the cord by connecting appliances that need too many watts for the wire size of the cord. That situation could cause a fire. The thinner cords will overheat more easily. And, anytime an extension cord is hot to the touch, it should be disconnected immediately.

                  But, overheating the cord won't make the appliance hot to the touch unless there's so much heat coming off the cord that the radiant heat from the cord heats up the appliance. But, you would know this because the cord would be hot to the touch. And, again, that would mean that the cord is being overloaded. Not good.

                  So, I don't think the issue is your cord. But, for safety sake, you should find out the wattage draw on the mixer and find a cord that can handle that much draw.

                  As far as the durability of a Kitchenaid is concerned, I have had two KA mixers for at least 8 or 9 years and they are both used a ton. I've heated them up plenty, but they both have come through fine. I've never had any problems with either of my Kitchenaids.

                  Good luck!

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: MEH

                    Thanks so much. I usually don't connect it to the extension cord because I put it on the kitchen table and it can reach to the wall plug.

                    I think I'm going to stick to hand kneading bread dough.. or work on acquiring my mother's rarely used bread mixer.

                    1. re: cheesecake17

                      No problem! And, from your other posts, it sounds like you just got married. Congratulations!

                      Take care-

                      1. re: MEH

                        It'll be two years in January. The KitchenAid is a long story- a wedding gift from my aunt and uncle.. but it was pink.. by the time I got around to returning it and getting a new one.. it was a year later!!

                        My mother is anti-kitchenaid b/c she isn't a baker... cookies to her means calling me and placing an order :) Thanks so much for all your help! Now I know who to ask if my food processor decides to die.