Breville vs. Kitchenaid
Hi All - I was planning on getting my wife for Christmas,a Kitchenaid Artisan or Pro but I'm also intrigued by the Breville BEM800XL. I like the price and it looks like it has some nice features. Any advice?
Not good, according to Chow.com's own review just yesterday -- "Stand mixers are supposed to do heavy-duty work like kneading bread dough, and this one just doesn’t cut it." http://www.chow.com/reviews/50-brevil...
And Cook's Illustrated was perhaps even more damning in their review. They categorized it as Not Recommended -- "We can’t justify spending nearly $300 on a machine that’s no better than a hand mixer." http://www.cooksillustrated.com/equip...
So, the CHOW team went ahead and kneaded on medium high as specified in their recipe rather than the low speed recommended by Breville. I've kneaded a number of bread doughs in my Breville even double recipes of Peter Reinhart's bagels which are very low hydration. The Bagel dough comes out beautifully, much better than I was able to get it by hand before I got the mixer (In fact making bagel dough in a friend's mixer was what prompted me to get one myself). I always use the lowest speed for bread and although it moves around a bit while kneading the bagels, it never bounces.
The timer is very handy. The aforementioned bagel recipe states to knead for three minutes, then rest for five and knead again for another three. I set the mixer to knead for three minutes, then set the microwave timer for eight minutes and walk away and read chowhound. When the microwave timer beeps I go back and set it to knead for another three minutes.
The scraper beater is also extremely useful; I use it for all my cookie and cake batters. I do need to do one scrape down though because some of the creamed butter and sugar gets thrown up the bowl above where the beater reaches, but scraping that down is all I need to do.
The Breville weighs 8 pounds less than the Artisan, which could be a big factor if it has to be got out and put away each time it gets used. It also has indentations on the bottom so you can easily lift it from the bottom.
TopTenReviews.com http://mixer-review.toptenreviews.com/ rated them both as excellent but preferred the Artisan.
ConsumerReports.org http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/ne... prefer the Breville.
I won't name names, but most new stand mixers sold these days are Chinese crap. Notice how they now call them stand mixers rather than heavy-duty mixers, as before? There's a reason for that. There are still excellent mixers being made in Europe, but they cost a lot of money.
Look on eBay for a decent used American-made Kitchenaid or a British-made Kenwood. These are the fabled machines that people pass down to their children because they last forever.
i like this idea: about 5 years ago i GAVE AWAY (i know... i'm hanging my head in shame) an older KA because something was getting loose. i can't even remember what felt loose: i just was worried it was going to get worse. i should have kept it and had it repaired. instead, i bought another machine. it was a workhorse as well, but I often wonder if that lovely, old school machine is cranking away somewhere.
I'm all for repairing rather than buying new. plastic parts shear and crack much more than metal.
I haven't been on for awhile; I appologize for not catching the earlier reviews. That leads to my next question: the Kitchenaid Pro is selling for a lot less that the Artisan. I like the Artisan 'cause it's lighter and smaller than the pro but it has less power. Why does the Pro sell for less than the Artisan and which would you recommend? We're just normal users. I notice that several of the people on Food Channel use the Artisan. Thats why I chose that particular model.
Thanks. I value your advice and it's a huge help.
I'm getting a Pro in exactly 8 days: Costco's next ubiquitous coupon book just came, and on Oct 30, the Pro will be $60 off. I've been dithering about stand mixers forever. I also looked a lot at the Artisan (tilt head feature, mostly), but just decided the Pro had more umph for my bread doughs.
Food Channel is an "infomercial" for a lot of crap. Want a Santoku that cuts like a German Chef's knife - Thanks Rachel you got me with that one ... a sucker was born again and hangs his head in shame - it even had cullens ......
What is your budget? Google "Bread Beckers" and watch their video's. A little spendy but, that's where I would go today if my old school Kitchenaide ever dies beyond repair.
One question you need to ask is what size bowl do you want. We had an old KA (Hobart) that worked very well but my wife wanted a larger mixing bowl for large cakes. After searching and researching I found a DeLonghi made in Italy, it's the old Kenwood design and no longer available. Two of my girls have newer KA flip heads, well actually only one now as she moved up to the bowl lift model. The newer flip heads have a lot of shake, rattle and roll in them. As was stated above, Cook's Illustrated rated both KA models they tested as very good, but I wold lean towards the bowl lift model they listed first.
KA has components from China, but all of the others I've been able to find in the States are made completely in China and use a motor made in China. These are not high quality machines.