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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.