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Mixers?

I've always had a simple hand mixer. Now I'm in the market for a stand mixer, not too expensive, but sturdy enough for bread dough. Probably a Kitchen Aid. I know there are different "levels" of 'em, but would appreciate any suggestions. BTW, can a hand-held mixer ever truly achieve the proper consistency of stiff-but-not-dry-egg-whites? Appreciate all ideas!

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  1. Kitchenaid.

    For home use a 3.5 Q bowl is a good size. I prefer the PRO model with the bowl that moves up (rather than the head), but it seems like a lot of home cooks like the one with the head that moves. You want a stronger one.

    The more power the better, especially if you're going to be using attachments, or doing heavy mixing (meringue, kneading bread, etc.). My model is pretty standard, I really wish for MORE POWER.

    1. Kitchenaid is still probably your best bet without spending serious money, but it's not what it used to be. The thing is, bread dough is extremely hard on a kitchen mixer. You could make cake all day, but bread is a different story. Go for the highest watt mixer you can afford, I think the basic KA is about $200-$250, the Artisen is a bit more but higher wattage. The Pro is even more expensive and higher wattage yet. If you try to mix bread dough with a low wattage mixer eventualy, sooner rather than later, you will burn up the motor as it just isn't going to have enough power. I honestly don't think any of the mixers that are less than the KA will survive very long at all with bread dough.

      3 Replies
      1. re: mikie

        My kitchen Aid K-45 is from the 60's. Over the years have bought every add on they sell, use very few. The basic mixer is still perfect, except in looks. Bread no issue, does dough mixing fine, my hook is metal not plastic though, if that makes a difference

        1. re: Delucacheesemonger

          What I believe makes a difference is that it's from the 60's, this is when Kitchen Aid was still owned and made by Hobart. The old ones never die, that can't be said for the new ones. Our KA is from the early 70's and still in use although it's been replaced on the countertop with a 7qt DeLonghi. The older KAs had only 4 qt bowls if I recall correctly and we needed to step up in size.

          1. re: mikie

            I've got two KAs, both from the mid-'50s - one is pretty beaten up, bought off the dirt floor at the Nashville Flea Market and rebuilt at the local repair facility. 20 years later I got a refurbished one at an antique shop in California. Each one cost me about $150 for a usable mixer, and is worth every penny and then some. And both all of the oldest attachments and all of the newest ones fit perfectly. I've not tried breadmaking yet, but I have made choux paste, beating eggs into a very stiff dough; pretty hard work, but that old sucker handles it just fine.

      2. To answer your second question, a hand-held mixer is fine for beating egg whites. It will beat egg whites to the stiff consistency.

        1. Go by the flour rating for size that you need , go bigger is a good bet. Costo sells a 5.5qt 575 watt Kitchen Aid with the bowl that lifts up to the head for 399.

          http://www.costco.ca/Browse/Productgr...

          1. Thanks, everyone. Hubby is still in sticker shock at the prices, but he's not the one who's in the kitchen everyday! Actually, I do like making bread dough/kneading by hand, but age it catching up with me. Appreciate all the ideas.

            1. I know that they are expensive, but I would look at a Viking and a Cuisinart before opting for the KA. The kitchen shop i work in does not sell KA's because of the poor repair record and we did not like having to deal with returns. Do as Will suggested if you want a good KA look for an older model at resale shops etc. If i had to replace my mid-80's KA which mas made more pounds of bread dough than i can guess, I'd get the Viking. The motor is incredibly powerful.

              This is a piece of equipment that you want to last forever. It is worth it to have to cry only once over the price.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Candy

                Right about getting an older one, Candy, especially as all the current accessories fit. I resisted getting a new meat grinder because I had a cast steel one from the '30s, and the new ones have plastic bodies. However, when I found a NOS one for $20 (same antique mall as the second KA) I snapped it up because the old one had only the fine disk, and subsequently found that the plastic body is a lot easier to clean, and the grinder actually works much better.

                1. re: Will Owen

                  I am going to have to replace my meat grinder for my KA. The thing, except for the screw and blades, is plastic and it is beginning to split.

                  1. re: Candy

                    I was wondering about the durability of that plastic body. Why don't you try to find the steel body? It's marked "Made in Sweden", and was current at least up to after WW2 sometime. Mine came with a small mixer they made only in 1932-33, trying to sell into a depressed market, but it fits ALL KitchenAids, and the screw, blade and plates are interchangeable too. The fit between the screw and its housing is not quite so tight, I think, and the thing weighs about a pound anyway, but it's probably immortal.

                    I'd offer you mine, but Mrs. O would throw a fit …

                    1. re: Candy

                      Mine cracked too. So instead of buying another kitchen aid I bought the cuisinart stand mixer and their meat grinder which has a metal housing.

                2. If you love baking, you'll probably enjoy the Pleasant Hills Grain site, where they have done detailed research on all sorts of baking-related and food stuff. I have friends that can't live without their Bosch Universals, so here's the link to PHG's Bosch page....

                  http://www.pleasanthillgrain.com/Bosc...

                  And then just youtube it for any products that you want a demo of, and you'll probably find one or more....

                  1. You have probably already purchased your mixer, but if I were to replace my KA I'd be buying the Viking or Cuisinart. Probably the Cuisinart. Power, design etc are superior. The new KA's are just not what the older models were.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Candy

                      No, my deer in the headlights phase continues--still haven't purchased a stand mixer, altho' I'm always looking at them in stores! Have read that the KA isn't as well made as the "olden days," and some friends also love their Cuisinarts. Now I'm not convinced I need one at all--after 40 years in the kitchen without one, it's a hard sell to Mr. Pine!

                    2. I have two mixers, a large KitchenAid and a Bosch mixer.
                      I personally use each of them for different things but I find that I use the Bosch much more frequently than I do the KitchenAid because the motor is stronger, so its better for bread.
                      :)

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: freia

                        I think freia brings a very important point. Kitchenaid is a good all-round mixer, lik many other one in that category. My wife burned one making the friday night challah bread. Even if it is weight appropriate rated, it doesn't have the torque and power to handle the 5-plus pounds of the Shabbat staple. Now we have a KA and a Bosch mixers and the each use its own. We don't have room in our kitchen for a floor standing Hobart :).

                        1. re: mrotmd

                          LOLOLOL I looked at a floor standing Hobart, too! Seriously! I love making bread and I too burned out not one, but two KA motors on the heavy duty mixer. I was within their total flour limit, but the motor just wasn't strong enough. I was lucky enough to buy a Bosch Concept 7 direct drive mixer, flat enough to fit into a kitchen drawer. I love love LOVE it. Large batches of cookies, fruitcake and breads get the Bosch treatment. Small batches of cookies, cakes, potatoes (for twice baked potatoes) etc. get the KA treatment. :)

                      2. if you live in Vancouver walmart has 4qt kitchenaid mixer for &$199 just went on sale

                        1. I never participate in these discussions but i tripped across your question. I burned out my KA the first time I tried to make bread dough. After that I tried whatever had the best mixer ratings at the time (Cuisinart I think) and did not have and better luck. After that I did a LOT of research All I can say now is BOSCH. I have the compact version (which is much more affordable) and I make bread so easily it is almost ridiculous. It has replaced any need I have for any more traditional blender. I love the available attachments as well.

                          10 Replies
                          1. re: Amyl1

                            what the model # name of your bosch

                            1. re: ukjason

                              Bosch Compact 450W Kitchen Machine. I also considered the Bosch Universal, but the compact is far more affordable, and I rarely need to make more than 2 loaves of bread.

                              1. re: Amyl1

                                The Compact is AWESOME. I'd love to have a DLX (Electrolux) Verona Assistent but have neither the cash, room, or need for one (plus I live alone), so went with the highly recommended Compact (the model number for mine is MUM 4750; it's discontinued). It's an astonishing little machine that takes pretty much whatever you throw at it without complaint. Pleasant Hill Grain has them in stock now; I highly recommend picking up the caddy to hold the beaters/hook as well. You can check them out on YouTube--there are a number of very nice videos that give a good overview of what the Compact can do.

                                1. re: MacGuffin

                                  I have the Compact 7, and like you, I love love LOVE it! Especially since it fits in a cupboard taking up minimal room. I have no idea why this was discontinued -- I wouldn't change it for anything!

                                  1. re: freia

                                    It's back in production for the time being; my particular model was discontinued although I think some vendors might have old stock. It's the model with the stainless steel bowl and is rated at 450 W. What's especially cool is that it "parks" as soon as you turn off the machine--it has a pulse feature instead of "park." A lightly used one went for about $200 with shipping on eBay the other day: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?... . I belong to a mixer owners group and while a number of members have KAs and like to use them for light tasks, virtually no one recommends buying one. Almost everyone owns either a DLX and/or one or more Bosches (Universal/UPlus and Compact). Many of these folks are very serious home bakers and they love their Compacts for smaller jobs.

                                    1. re: MacGuffin

                                      I'm sorry! I should have said CONCEPT 7 not compact 7 LOL...just so excited that someone else loves their Bosch! This is the one I have:
                                      http://iweb.cooking.com/images/produc...
                                      I think the Concept 7 is still discontinued...sigh

                                      1. re: freia

                                        The Concept was really cute! It came and went pretty quickly from what I could tell. I've never liked the "tower" on the Universal series although I guess it's kind of essential for the add-ons. Someone on the mixer group to which I belong thought it was discontinued because there were lots of issues with it so you've apparently been lucky. :)

                                        1. re: MacGuffin

                                          Never had any issues! I don't know why it was discontinued because it is a terrific mixer, with easy storage since the base unit is so flat. I have no room for a countertop mixer -- even my kitchenaid is in a cupboard! I heard from my vendor that it was discontinued because people prefer countertop appliances and this didn't look so "attractive" on the countertop. Interestingly, a version of this was once and maybe still is sold that was/is an undercounter mount, with the top and gears poking through the countertop, with a metal cover on top -- the MEK 7000 that uses Concept 7 components. Almost went for it, but decided that it would be a PITA to undermount and disturb the countertop:
                                          http://www.mixerpro.com/machines/buil...
                                          :)

                                          1. re: freia

                                            I think I remember reading about that one--I think it was described as "installed." And I don't think I'd have gone for it either.

                                            Have you ever used the dough hook that came with yours?

                                            1. re: MacGuffin

                                              All the time! The stainless steel one is my go-to for multigrain breads (too heavy for my KitchenAid). Interestingly, I also use it when I make double and triple batches of my grandmother's Christmas Cake recipe. The recipe is extremely heavy on the raisins and nuts, with a minimal amount of binding liquid, making for a very very heavy batter. I used to mix by hand, but thought a few years ago I'd try the doughhook/Bosch and I can do a double cake batch inside of 5 minutes. Love it!
                                              I think I'll be investing in a couple of sets of cookie dough hooks for the Concept 7. I stocked up on extra parts once I saw that the 7 was discontinued -- I have 2 small food processor attachments, 2 large food processor attachments-- and I'm wondering if the meat grinder is a good option. I use my KA for grinding meat, so it may be redundant...
                                              :)

                          2. I'm in the market for a stand up mixer that can handle dough too. I initially thought a new KA would be best, but after reviewing the thread I can't decide if I should try to find a KA refurbished older model, or buy a new model but just not KA. I'm so confused now...

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: michele cindy

                              PLEASE look into a Bosch Compact. It may not be anywhere near as pretty as a KA and in fact looks like a toy but I promise you that it'll handle two loaves of bread with ease, not to mention lighter tasks like cake, cookies, meringue, etc. And it takes up so little room. And check out the Yahoo mixer owners group--if you're serious about a mixer, they're the people to ask.