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Stand mixer - worth having?

The impulsive "love all kitchen tools" side of my brain really wants a stand mixer, but the voice of reason keeps asking "why?". I'm not much of a baker, though if it were easier I might be. I do like muffins, and we make bread and pizza fairly often.
Do you use your stand mixer often? What do you use it for? What brand/model do you like best? Bottom line, is it worth the hefty price tag?

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  1. get the big lift bowl KA.

    take two aspirin - when the bill comes in - and check back in about a month when you are wondering how you managed prior to . . . .

    eggs - think souffle.
    whipped cream - no thinking required....
    breads and leavened doughs - aaaaaaahhhh....
    home made butter - which I make actually not for the butter but to get the 'real' buttermilk for pancakes and waffles.

    1 Reply
    1. re: PSRaT

      Agree completely. I don't bake much either, but DH does, and I don't regret anything except the fact that I didn't get the big lift bowl Kitchenaid, I got the smaller KA. I DON't think you can go wrong with KA- they have a lot of attachments and accessories that you may fall in love with, too.

    2. Ask yourself: do you have room for it on the counter? will it look good on said counter? if you store it away, how often do you think you will lift up/out?

      I've lived quite well without one and I do bake, make pizza, bread, souffles, whipped cream, etc.

      20 Replies
      1. re: gourmanda

        Well, it depends on which part of my brain I ask, lol, I can justify about anything ;) Yes, I could probably get by just fine without it, but I'm also curious what things I am not doing now that I would do if I had it...

        1. re: lizmari

          "...what things I am not doing now that I would do if I had it..."

          nothing. absolutely nothing. I'd wager everything you are now doing or would want to do the home setting has been done 'by hand' seriously long before electricity was available, much less a mixer.

          it's a time/effort saver - takes the 'chore' out of it.

          1. re: PSRaT

            pasta, ice cream, and meat grinding were the biggies for me. the only thing this machine replaced for me was my hand mixer as i didn't have a meat grinder, ice cream maker, or pasta roller and cutter. so for me, it really expanded my repertoire.

            also, make a ton of deviled eggs is a breeze.

            1. re: eLizard

              I have the pasta attachment
              I have the meat grinder attachment.

              imho, neither is worth a hoot.

              1. re: PSRaT

                did you have a hand roller or grinder? i had neither.

                1. re: PSRaT

                  The KA meat grinder attachment is crap with a plastic housing. Plus it's small.

                  1. re: rasputina

                    I've been grinding five to ten pounds of meat with mine for probably five years with no problem whatsoever.

                    1. re: c oliver

                      i've never had a problem with mine either.

              2. re: PSRaT

                whipped cream is a bitch to make without it.

                1. re: Chowrin

                  Sometimes we take out the old wire whisk and say that anyone who wants to eat the whipped cream calories has to first expend some calories whipping it by hand.

                  Then at other times, we throw the cream into the KA and let 'er rip.

                  1. re: sandylc

                    A group of us always spend Thanksgiving together and part of the ritual is that everyone takes a turn with the whisk. :))

                    1. re: MacGuffin

                      Funny. At a dinner party I threw last year, the dessert was 4-person Chocolate Sabayon. Four of us took turns with the whisking and had a blast!

                      1. re: nofunlatte

                        It's part of Thanksgiving now. :)) I still remember the year someone almost turned it to butter. I've become an irritatingly scrupulous overseer since then. I buy cream from Jerseys; it doesn't take much to turn it to butter.

                  2. re: Chowrin

                    I always hand-whisk my whipped cream. It takes all of 2 minutes.

                  3. re: PSRaT

                    I can state with 100% certainty that my repertoire has expanded exponentially with the purchase of my KitchenAid KP26M1XPM 6-Quart Professional 600 Series Mixer.

                    Think about it this way. A hand mixer is, essentially, a convenient alternative to a whisk. That's why people don't understand the value. A high power stand mixer is so much more than a whisk-replacer. It's a true workhorse-- of course it does the "whisk-replacement" tasks magnificently (whipped cream, creaming sugar into dough, mixing cake batter etc.), but the motor is so much stronger that it also can knead bread or pizza dough, thick cookie dough that would sieze up a hand mixer or clog a whisk, and with inexpensive attachments you can grind meat or make sausages. With an expensive attachment, you can extrude pasta or make ice cream.

                    I have a small 1 bedroom apartment kitchen, so the beast lives on top of my fridge (next to my KitchenAid 12-cup food processor). Just a lift and pivot and it's on my counter, ready to go.

                    Mr Taster

                2. re: gourmanda

                  I love the meat grinder. Of course, I only do a couple of pounds at a time.

                  1. re: WinePaul

                    I don't know whether or not this is true of the KA but it bears mentioning that for Bosch mixers (and I believe the Ankarsrum), the meat grinder is essential as a base for other attachments. Despite being a vegetarian for a very long time, I scouted eBay religiously for a deal on the meat grinder for my Compact because it's necessary for both the grater and berry press.

                    1. re: MacGuffin

                      On the Ankarsrum, the fine grater ( nuts & chocolate), strainer, cookie press and pasta extruder discs attach to the meat grinder.

                      1. re: rasputina

                        I thought that was the case but wasn't sure--thanks for confirming!

                3. meatloaf, mashed potatoes, pulled meats, dips, baked goods, pasta, ice cream, corned beef hash, egg white whipping, cream, pancake and waffle batters. you'll have to pry mine out of my cold dead hands.

                  also if you've ever attended a cookie swap and had to make 10 dozen cookies from a stiff dough, this is worth it alone for that one task once a year.

                  make sure your cabinets have enough clearance. and if you can, get the bowl lift. i love mine. 6 qt. 9 years old.

                  1. I got a KA one at Costco for around $200 and don't see the need for anything more expensive.

                    I've only just begun baking but I really bought it in order to get the pasta maker and meat grinder attachments. The grinder alone is worth the whole price as far as I'm concerned. It's about $50 and we now make THE best burgers. I have room for it on the counter (and I consider my kitchen a work space so aesthetics don't play a big part). When I didn't have it on the counter, I rarely use it.

                    Just this morning I've made bread dough and a mayo and am heading in to make a different mayo.

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: c oliver

                      love having mine out. also, can you give up your burger blend and grind technique, please? thanks!!

                      1. re: eLizard

                        Boy, what I do is SO plain. I grind beef chuck or pork shoulder with nothing else. I grind it one time with the large holed thingy. We do five or more pounds at a time, form into 4oz patties, which we wrap tightly in plastic wrap and then into zipping bags for freezing.

                          1. re: eLizard

                            Not sure I understand. After making into patties, we freeze them. We make several months worth at a time.

                            1. re: c oliver

                              before grinding do you put everything in the freezer? or do you grind straight from the fridge?

                              1. re: eLizard

                                Ah, gotcha. Unlike some, I don't put the attachments or the meat in the freezer and have never had a problem. I keep the meat in the fridge til I'm ready but that's it.

                                1. re: c oliver

                                  yeah, i'm not all uptight about pie crusts either. just make sure the butter is from the fridge. that's about it.

                      2. re: c oliver

                        I could totally see getting one to grind meat (if I ate much meat). That would be worth it, IMO.

                        BTW, I was listening to some cooking program on Sirius and a woman who purported to be from Kitchenaid called in to say one style (bowl-lift, I think) was better than the other for grinding meat as it's all metal construction.

                        1. re: gourmanda

                          Good point- my smaller one is older and metal construction, but I think that changed a while back and the quarter turn bowl models aren't all metal any more.

                      3. It's well worth it. You'll find yourself baking more and whipping up cream and souffles and all sorts of delicious things.
                        I adore my KA lift.

                        1. If you bake, get a stand mixer. It makes life much easier. You can easily develop small batches of bread dough, cream butter & sugar, egg yolks, make meringues, just an endless list of tasks.. You can do some of these tasks in a food processor but generally not as easily or as well. When Kitchen Aid stand mixers were born it sent hand mixers close to near extinction.

                          1. I couldn't imagine not having a stand mixer. I have a KA 6qt lift bowl and I would never go smaller. I bake a lot , use the pasta and grinder attachments etc. I keep mine on a wire shelving unit close to my counter. It's no big deal to just pick it up and move if to my counter.

                            1. Is the pasta attachment easy to use and clean?

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: lizmari

                                easy and easy. i remember getting it out of the box and whipping up pasta immediately. and cleaning is just brushing it out really.

                                1. re: eLizard

                                  Are you talking about the pasta roller or the pasta extruder? Two very different attachments.

                                  Mr Taster

                              2. If you are going to use it, then yes.

                                You can mix dough for baking, and with attachments grind meat, make sausage, and mix, roll, and cut pasta. Today we use ours primarily to grind a good batch of various meats on a quarterly basis, freezing it in zip bags. We started with a fold-out metal shelf, but lift our mixer out of an overhead cabinet to use. The fold out device was taken off and up to a property in the mountains for slicing meat.

                                Stand mixers take up counter space, and even the quietest of models make noise. Ours registers somewhere between a AB-380 and a Hammer film Banshee. The space solution is to put your stand mixer, or other devices away in a cabinet if you can, along with the associated mixing bowls, and attachments, as shown in the photos.

                                Best not to operate the mixer on that fold-out device by the way, or it will loosen and shake off with the vibrations.

                                 
                                 
                                4 Replies
                                1. re: SWISSAIRE

                                  My KA is tucked back in a corner and I only need to pull it forward to use it.

                                  1. re: monavano

                                    mine's tucked into a corner, too. barely have to push it forward since it's bowl lift.

                                    1. re: eLizard

                                      Mine's a lift, too. I like it displayed.

                                    2. re: monavano

                                      My is pushed back also to the right of the toaster oven and maybe a foot from the left side of the sink. That's pretty much dead space anyway.

                                  2. I dithered for danged near a decade, and now I love my KA stand mixer. If you have access to CostCo, wait till they go on sale--got the 6 qt, bowl lift Pro model for much less than anywhere else. Also got a freebie ice cream bowl for it, which works great.

                                    The first time I dumped in ingredients and WALKED AWAY (sorry for shouting), it was a revelation. Very nice.

                                    Only thing I don't care much for using it is mashed potatoes. There are only 2 of us, so if we had a bigger household and therefore a big bowl of cooked potatoes, that might be different. But, our puny few cooked potatoes don't get as well squished in the KA as I like. Hardly a big problem, though.

                                    8 Replies
                                    1. re: pine time

                                      thanksgiving spuds are where it excels in our home. also, groupon often has kitchen aid 6 qt bowl lift models.

                                      1. re: eLizard

                                        Costco has the 6 qt. lift for $349 now.

                                        1. re: monavano

                                          here's the groupon.

                                          $280 i think.

                                          http://www.groupon.com/deals/gg-kitch...

                                          it is refurbished, though. which i think means a 6 month warranty instead of 12.

                                          1. re: eLizard

                                            I saw this in my inbox today. It's refurbished but this mixer sells new for $400.00 or more.
                                            http://1sale.com/home-family/kitchen-...

                                            1. re: zackly

                                              winner winner chicken dinner!!

                                          2. re: monavano

                                            I bought mine when CostCo had it as a coupon deal (late last fall), for $290, and then the free ice cream bowl. Good deal. Bet they'll have 'em again next month (i.e., pre-holiday season).

                                        2. re: pine time

                                          I love mine for mashed potatoes, but I can see where it wouldn't be as useful for small quantities. We're only a household of three, but my husband always eats FAR too many mashed potatoes, and I like to have leftovers to whip up shepherd's pie, so I usually make quite a few at a time.

                                          1. re: jw615

                                            I wasn't aware that there could be "too many mashed potatoes." I was in Spud Heaven the other night at Keens with my sizable side of "mashed" (and trust me, theirs are sublime--nary a lump to be found).

                                        3. I'm vegetarian, so the meat attachments are not appealing to me (though may be to some who may be lurking on this thread with the same question). The pasta feature is huge for me - I have had a pasta machine (hand crank) on my Amazon wish list for almost a year I think. My mom used to make pasta when I was a kid, and not only was it delicious, but it was fun to help her hang it (maybe my son will think so too someday).

                                          I have a cart just for storing small kitchen appliances, lol, so it would just be a matter of making room. I could probably get rid of the bread maker my MIL gave us, since I only use it for mixing dough (I think it makes funny shaped loaves, so I bake in the oven), which would probably free up exactly enough space for a stand mixer :)

                                          There is a CostCo being built just up the road from us, so soon that will be more convenient than it is right now. How much are they at CostCo?

                                          I'm still a bit on the fence, but I'm teetering dangerously towards the "buy" side...

                                          7 Replies
                                            1. re: lizmari

                                              if you replace your bread maker with the KA you are getting a dough mixer and so much more in return. the pasta is so fun. ravioli might be my fave (and i don't have the ravioli attachment, i just fold over the sheet).

                                              keep in mind, the pasta attachment isn't cheap. so check that price so you can make a fully informed decision.

                                              1. re: eLizard

                                                Re bread dough, here's the link to the New Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day:

                                                http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/201...

                                                They show mixing by hand. I use my mixer with the dough hook and it's done in about five minutes. I don't have strong hands and could never do it manually.

                                                I do ravioli like you do. And pasta is WAY fun :) Here's a picture.

                                                 
                                              2. re: lizmari

                                                Hi Lizmari-

                                                1. Donate your breadmaker away.

                                                2. When you find a good value for a stand mixer, buy it and don't think twice about it. Use it as often as you can, especially for bread dough.

                                                Better practical usage for you.

                                                1. re: lizmari

                                                  When I was vegan, I used a meat grinder to make ground up seitan.

                                                  1. re: lizmari

                                                    The models sold at Costco always differ slightly from the standard offerings. QVC sells them at a good price which usually includes shipping. I use my 6qt bowl lift style for lots of things, including pasta. I could never seem to coordinate properly the hand crank models without third or fourth hands. The rollers and cutters are nice. Heavy, quality, Italian made. I also recently got the pasta extruder which, to my thinking, makes better spaghetti than the rollers.

                                                    I also bought the water jacket. I'm sure someday I'll use it for cold or hot water but I usually just add semolina to the pan and let my extruded pasta fall into it. The semolina keeps the noodles separated before drying.

                                                    1. re: Susangria

                                                      really? better pasta from the extruder? i'm intrigued. tell me more!

                                                  2. I vote yes. I have a basic KA that I bought nearly 25 years ago so the cost, amortized over all that time and regular use at least weekly, is pretty negligible.

                                                    1. Get the biggest KA stand mixer you can afford and be done with it. You will never look back.

                                                      1. Love my KA. I don't have the lift bowl style, just the regular one (Artisan, I think). It sits in the corn of my counter, and I just pull it forward when I need to use it. I'm not a big baker, but I do make the occasional cake, or batch of cookies or muffins. I love the kneading hook for making "atta", or the dough for Indian roti, as that normally takes some effort to knead by hand. I just add in my flour, add some water, turn it on, keep adding water until it's the right consistency, and then let the knead hook continue for a few minutes.

                                                        We also mix things like pancake batter, dips, etc. I don't have any attachments for it, but I do want to get the pasta attachment.

                                                        1. Ankarsum, made in Sweden for 30+ years. I use it for everything from cakes, cookies, icings, meringues and all kinds of yeast doughs including 100% whole wheat from home milled flour. Plus grinding meat and extruding cookies.

                                                          Personally I gave away my KA, it's a piece of crap compared to the Ankarsum.

                                                          http://www.pleasanthillgrain.com/elec...

                                                          27 Replies
                                                          1. re: rasputina

                                                            <Personally I gave away my KA, it's a piece of crap compared to the Ankarsum.>

                                                            Well, there is the price tag to consider.

                                                            Some drivers might think a Corvette is a piece of crap compared to a Mercedes AMG SL63, but a Corvette is not, objectively, a piece of crap. Nor is a KA mixer.

                                                            1. re: DuffyH

                                                              Indeed. For some of us, the KA is a luxury kitchen item purchase and we wait for a good sale and for the Bed, Bath & Beyond 20% coupon to show up in the mail. Others haunt the Goodwill resale stores waiting for a miracle donation to show up. A mixer, however wonderful it might be, that costs twice the price of a good KA, may as well be an AGA cooker. It's just not on the radar.

                                                            2. re: rasputina

                                                              Ras and I have always been on the same page about the Ankarsrum. It's a marvel but it might be overkill (not that there's anything wrong with that!) for someone whose needs aren't heavy.

                                                              1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                It's overkill for anybody whose wallet isn't packed full of cash. $800 for a mixer is far too rich for my blood.

                                                                1. re: jpc8015

                                                                  It's not overkill for someone who needs it. There are people who bake a LOT and the Ankarsrum is a godsend for them because they'd be spending a lot more on prepared baked goods over the course of a year than $800. Both the Bosch (usually the Universal Plus) and the Ankarsrum are backbones for families who are part of the "make all of your own bread at home from whole grains" movement (they often mill their own flour, too). Many of these folks are families that homeschool, have more than 2.5 children per couple, and who often supplement their income by selling Bosch and Ankarsrum mixers. In addition, they bake for community functions as well. Firms like The Bread Beckers have been at the forefront of promoting this (they also have terrific demo videos for both the Bosch UP and the Ankarsrum): http://www.breadbeckers.com/# . Personally, I think it's quite nice.

                                                                  1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                    I'm sure it is really nice. I'm sure it is also really nice to be able to afford it. I can't.

                                                                    We'll just have to get by with our "piece of crap" KA.

                                                                    1. re: jpc8015

                                                                      I merely offered evidence that it represented good value for, well, a segment of the population that doesn't include you (or, for that matter, me). It wasn't a comment on your finances. I can't afford it either but I'm aware that it's a very good fit for others.

                                                                      1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                        It hardly seems like a good fit for the original poster who is pondering as to whether or not she even needs a stand mixer. An Anskuram is hardly an entry level item for someone who doesn't do a lot of baking.

                                                                        Is it a good fit for some people? Sure it is. But would you try to sell a 2015 BMW M5 to someone who is looking for a first car for their teenage daughter?

                                                                        1. re: jpc8015

                                                                          I believe my original response to rasputina mentioned that "it might be overkill (not that there's anything wrong with that!) for someone whose needs aren't heavy."

                                                                      2. re: jpc8015

                                                                        KA are far from a piece of crap!
                                                                        If someone wants to spend twice as much for something, let them.
                                                                        I don't believe for a minute that the KA makes cooking and baking taste half as good ;-)

                                                                    2. re: jpc8015

                                                                      You won't kill a KA with whipped cream, mashed potatoes or cakes, but go onto any well known baking forum and you will read numerous posts from people that killed more than one KA with bread dough. I'd rather invest in something that meets my needs as an avid baker and will be a one time purchase than keep replacing a something that doesn't. It's the same reason I have a Vitamix. Plus from my experience using both, the Ankarsrum is a superior product even for people that don't bake bread. It creams beautifully and the open bowl is a godsend and less messy than the KA overhead motor when adding ingredients and it much quieter and doesn't walk the counter. The automatic shut off timer is very handy, since it doesn't have to be babysat too.

                                                                      1. re: rasputina

                                                                        But is it reasonable to recommend that product to someone who isn't even sure they need a mixer when there are other options that will meet their needs for 1/4 the price?

                                                                        I am not arguing the merits of the Ankarsum. I'm sure it is a fine machine and it had best be superior to a KA for that price tag.

                                                                        1. re: jpc8015

                                                                          Yes of course it's reasonable. Why wouldn't it be? I'm all for informed decisions. I sure wish someone had told me about the Ankarsrum before I bought the KA, and then the Cuisinart stand mixer. I could have put that money towards the Ankarsrum I ended up buying in the end. Plus the cost of buying meat grinders for both of those mixers and other attachments.

                                                                          The questions the OP asked are these, which is what I answered in my post.

                                                                          Quote: Do you use your stand mixer often? What do you use it for? What brand/model do you like best? Bottom line, is it worth the hefty price tag?

                                                                            1. re: rasputina

                                                                              The meat grinder for the KA is around $50. Best money I've every spent.

                                                                              1. re: rasputina

                                                                                I would add that I think it's reasonable to let a rookie who's interested (which I was at one time) know what's out there. I like knowing what's out there, even if it's not for me, because it expands my knowledge in general about the product I'm looking to purchase. E.g., if I know there's something like the Ankarsrum available, I can use it as a standard by which I can judge less expensive mixers. I can't afford an Ankarsrum (someday . . . ) but I know what it can do and that my Compact compares very favorably for my needs. That, as well as endorsements from people who bake a lot, helped me to make an informed decision that fits like a glove.

                                                                            2. re: rasputina

                                                                              You'd think that if I can't "kill" a KA grinding 10# of meat at a time, then making bread dough wouldn't do it.

                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                My KA makes bread a couple times per week and has for about a decade. It doen't seem to have slowed down at all.

                                                                                1. re: jpc8015

                                                                                  So have lots of others. The people I know who have killed a KA have done it by making repeated batches of tough stuff, or repeatedly overloading it, or by trying to knead dough on too high a speed setting. Heat kills them, but given a rest, they last a long time.

                                                                                  1. re: dscheidt

                                                                                    My brother's wife is one of those people who can kill damn near anything. Lot of heavy pizza & bread dough. Very last minute "Rush...Rush" and she managed to kill 2 KA's. For her a medium commercial duty mixer would be in order.

                                                                                    1. re: Tom34

                                                                                      She doesn't need to go commercial. A Bosch Universal Plus or Ankarsrum should be able to handle anything she throws at it as long as ""Rush...Rush" doesn't include actual misuse of equipment. If "commercial" somehow guaranteed indestructibility, manufacturer warranties would be for a much longer period of time than they are, e.g. http://www.hobartservice.com/service-... .

                                                                                      1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                        Growing up I shoveled snow for an old timer who was a retired commercial kitchen appliance repair man. At the time he still did repairs for local restaurants out of his garage.

                                                                                        He told me that kitchen labor was brutal to equipment and manufactures of commercial equipment quickly learned where their products were vulnerable and beefed those areas up as product reputation was everything.

                                                                                        I can't speak to Ankarsrum but medium & heavy duty rated commercial kitchen appliances with a 2 year warranty will likely receive more abuse in that 2 year period in a commercial kitchen than in 6 lifetimes in a residential setting.

                                                                                        Downsides with commercial are usually cost, size and especially weight.

                                                                                        1. re: Tom34

                                                                                          Oh, I agree entirely. In fact, a friend told me just last week that a bar he visited in Key West sees such continual demand for frozen margaritas that they literally burn out Vitamix drink machines within three months (I can only imagine what would happen to cheaper blenders). My guess is that they probably take advantage of Vitamix's very generous 3-year commercial warranty and that there are a gazillion backup units on hand. However, that doesn't translate to a home-user's being unable to destroy a commercial appliance due to misuse, or to such an appliance's being appropriate for home use (really, who needs a 12-liter mixing bowl at home?). Both Bosch mixers carry a 3-year warranty and the Ankarsrum's is 5 years. Regardless, the onus is on the owner to RTFM and heed it in order to get the best performance out of an appliance.

                                                                                          Incidentally, for those who feel they MUST have a commercial mixer at home, both Varimixer (the "Teddy") and Häussler Alpha make counter-top models that are appropriate for home use (PHG carries the latter). If memory serves, the warranty for Varimixer line applies only to commercial use.

                                                                                2. re: c oliver

                                                                                  Those are two different functions and there's no gluten to be developed in meat grinding. In fact, if memory serves, I don't remember anything elastic about meat.

                                                                                  1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                    Right. But when you're grinding 10# of meat it's much longer process than bread dough.

                                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                                      Yes, but grinding is a cutting--not a kneading--process i.e. there's not much resistance, just as using a manual meat grinder to grind 5 lbs. of chuck (which a small child can handle--I know, because we had one) is much less physically taxing than effectively kneading a similar volume of whole wheat dough by hand. I suppose one could burn out a home stand mixer by grinding massive amounts on a regular basis; I'd also imagine that at that point, the purchase of an actual meat grinder would be in order.

                                                                        2. Hi lizmari,

                                                                          I've got a KA 6qt bowl lift model, about 9-10yrs old. It used to be on the counter, but now it's underneath (we've got room, but like a less crowded look).

                                                                          I used to use mine for mashed potatoes, but prefer the finer mash I get from a ricer.

                                                                          I used to use it to mix meat loaf, but now I like a looser mix, so do it by hand.

                                                                          I rarely mix anything in it anymore. Cake, muffins, brownies and corn bread are too easy to mix by hand, in a bowl. However, I *require* the mixer for pizza and bread. I hate mixing pizza or bread dough by hand. I have to pull it out for that and consider it worthwhile to do so. Otherwise, not so much.

                                                                          If you keep it under the counter, you may find, like I did, that by the time you set it up, you could have mixed the batter by hand.

                                                                          I'd advise that if you want to use it a lot, you should plan to keep it on the counter, in the place you plan to use it. That's important. You don't want it across the kitchen from your mixing area. If you do this, you'll use it constantly, for everything. Otherwise, use your food processor for bread/pizza dough and keep mixing the easy stuff by hand.

                                                                          Duffy

                                                                          9 Replies
                                                                          1. re: DuffyH

                                                                            "I used to use mine for mashed potatoes, but prefer the finer mash I get from a ricer."

                                                                            I like to rice, then whip, but I'm also one of those deviants who loves instant.

                                                                            1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                              Hi MacGuffin,

                                                                              Far be it from me to yuck all over your yum. I often use potato flakes when pan frying fish, or other applications where panko might burn. They add a nice surprising crunch without adding potato flavor.

                                                                              1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                Cool! Did you think that up yourself?

                                                                                1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                  Nah. I'm not that creative. I had some potato flakes sitting around from a Thanksgiving meal (we had a guest who only ate instant) and went looking for a way to use them. I love the inter webs. I can find anything there.

                                                                            2. re: DuffyH

                                                                              I'm pretty much in the same boat. It's stored under the counter and such a pain to get out, set up, clean up, put away, etc. that it's quicker and easier to mix by hand or else use my trusty hand mixer!

                                                                              I do use it if I'm making dough. No way am I kneading by hand. I guess I'm a lazy cook?

                                                                              I actually find I look for muffin/quick bread/etc. recipes that have melted butter so I can skip the creaming step LOL!

                                                                              1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                Ah, but this is the beauty of the Compact! My excuse for a kitchen has virtually no counter space but I can put the Compact in a little utility shelf unit. Very portable and easily tucked away until needed.

                                                                                1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                  I just looked at the Compact online. It looks great! Do you find that the bowl is big enough? Also, I read that it doesn't have the cookie paddles. Making cakes and cookies works out OK?

                                                                                  1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                    Absolutely large enough unless you're doing a huge recipe! As for cookies, you go one of two ways depending on the dough. For something very stiff, e.g. oatmeal cookies, you use the bread hook, otherwise you use the cake whisk at a low speed. What I should have elaborated on earlier is that it's a planetary mixer, i.e. the mixer head simultaneously spins and revolves which makes for extremely efficient mixing. I rarely, if ever, have to scrape down the sides. It really does a nice job with everything.

                                                                                    I erroneously mentioned a pulse function in a previous response. My own Compact (which I got barely used on eBay) is a model that has since been discontinued, and its "park" position on the dial is replaced by the "pulse" function. Mine "parks" as soon as the mixer is turned off. Also, even though it's described as having four speeds, the Compact really has seven because there are three settings "half" settings as well.

                                                                            3. I have had a KA 5-quart lift-bowl on my counter for 24 years. I use it several times a week. I has had minor repairs one time. It is one of my favorite kitchen decorations/tools.

                                                                              1. KA with bowl lift of course & the older model (Says Hobart U.S.A. on the label band that goes around the motor) if you want both power and Quiet & you have to find them used; New out of the box can be noisier. Use for everything & if mashing potatoes use paddle on properly cooked ones that will crush if squeezed & mix only on speed 1 or 2 for less than 30 Seconds or you can end up with sticky potatoes: NEW Type Potatoes do not mash as well, as those used for baking. Testimonial from me is I had 5 quality rental homes equipped with both KA Bowl Lift mixers and attachments and a Chambers Gas stove (With accessories). I rented to faculty at a major Missouri University and my kitchens are what sold leases to those wanting more bang for the buck and those folk ranged from large families down to single loner types. Most of these people were cooks that enjoyed cooking or liked cooking & had little spare time so needed professional tools to get'er done and present a good table for visiting friends or family, plus can knead any kind of Bread even Hard Rye. Worth the Price a "Huge YES" vannatta1@gmail.com for furthers!
                                                                                CMVHighPriest

                                                                                1. I love my KA stand mixer (5 qt, 10-15 years old now). I don't have room for it on the counter, so it lives on top of my fridge, but it's definitely worth it, IMO. I use it for bread dough (you do have to go slow for this, or you can have issues), cookies, egg whites ... all sorts of things. :)

                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                    Wow, that's a good workout lifting and lowering!

                                                                                    1. re: monavano

                                                                                      That's what I tell myself as I start mixing up butter and sugar ... lol. :)

                                                                                  2. KA mixers can often be found lightly used for a song. Check Craigslist & Ebay. The older "Hobart" KA's are the most durable. Like many things back then, they were fully repairable and to the best of my knowledge the parts that carry the load during operation are still avail.

                                                                                    1. Have had mine now for about 3 years. Use it to whip egg whites for chile rellenos, pizza dough, Chinese dumplings.

                                                                                      1. If your needs aren't huge (i.e. for more than four people on a regular basis) and you want something that will do it all, including bread dough, I offer two words: Bosch Compact. It looks like a toy, it out-performs KA on all levels, and it's ~$200. They're built like tanks. Join our Yahoo Mixer Owners group if you want to pick more brains, including those of some very seasoned and experienced home-bakers, many of whom own more than one mixer: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/M... . All in all, it's a friendly bunch and it includes quite a few VERY happy Compact owners (myself included), some who've had theirs for 20 years. :)

                                                                                        8 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                          Thanks, I will look at the Bosch! And join the Yahoo group :)

                                                                                          1. re: lizmari

                                                                                            Looking forward to seeing you there!

                                                                                          2. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                            Could you elaborate on how it "out-performs KA on all levels" please?

                                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                                              Despite its looks, it's built like a tank. It can easily handle 6 lbs. of whole wheat bread dough, despite its small size, without crapping out and the gluten is beautifully developed. I beat cooked flour frosting at highest speed for the requisite 10 - 15 minutes it takes to pull it together, also without its crapping out. I can use the dough hook to mix heavy ingredients in recipes such as spinach-based dips that are a PITA to incorporate by hand, in a mixing bowl that looks tiny but holds an entire gallon. There are a number of folks in our mixer owners group who've been using the same Compact for ~20 years. I have yet to read a complaint about its longevity. I do know that someone in our group who owns a Compact and a KA (as well as other mixers) dissuades first-time mixer owners from buying a KA. About the only thing the Compact can't do is process cold butter (something my mom's old Sunbeam did quite well).

                                                                                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zIjF...
                                                                                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzOJg...

                                                                                              There's no hype here. Ask any owner; it's all true. It's a wonderful fit for a single person or small family.

                                                                                              1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                                All I know, from five plus years, is that my KA does it all. I couldn't ask more from it. And you know one person who dissuades people from buying something at half the price (or better). Whatever works.

                                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                  "And you know one person who dissuades people from buying something at half the price (or better)."

                                                                                                  I do?

                                                                                                  I'd also add that "all" depends on what you're asking your appliance to do. I don't know what kind of bread you make but excepting soda/wheaten (which I do by hand because there's no gluten development and it has to be handled fast), my dough is entirely whole grain or entirely from bread flour or a combination of both. That's a lot more taxing on a mixer than bread made with AP flour which is why firms like Pleasant Hill Grains and The Bread Beckers, which cater to the kinds of people I mentioned in another post, only stock a few select brands of mixers. Lizmari and her family, after exploring the options mentioned here, may decide that they want to eventually metamorphose into the kind of family that grinds their own grain and bakes most of their own goodies, especially if it turns out that doing so is fun/satisfying--such things have been known to happen.

                                                                                                  1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                                    "I do know that someone in our group who owns a Compact and a KA (as well as other mixers) dissuades first-time mixer owners from buying a KA. "

                                                                                                    Yes, so far I've only used bread flour and AP.

                                                                                          3. I NEVER thought I be willing to spend that kinda money for a stand mixer!?! My SIL got a basic model several years ago and was RAVING about it at Thanksgiving that year. She bakes a LOT and I don't... holiday cookies and an occasional pound cake is about it. She FORCED me to haul her's home that day, with the strict promise to return it the following weekend.

                                                                                            I made the dough for double batches of maybe 5-6 different kinds in no time. "Room temp" butter in my kitchen in late November isn't even really spreadable, and I just dumped stuff in mixer and let it do all the work. No wrestling with wooden spoons as dough got really heavy toward end of adding all the flour.

                                                                                            After I returned her KA, bought one for myself on the way home that same day.It's your basic model... a little less than $200. It does take up counter space, but that's OK. When weather gets cold, I make pizza almost every weekend. Making the dough is a total dump recipe now... mixer does all the kneading.

                                                                                            THEN I found a "vintage", faded yellow, crank up/down model at Good Will for $20, and just couldn't pass it up. Larger capacity, came with whisk/paddle/hook and bowl, ran just fine. I thoroughly cleaned it up with degreaser, taped everything off, and spray painted it flat-black with paint meant for outdoor gas grills... looks brand new. A few weeks later found a spare bowl (with tiny dent) for $5 at GW.

                                                                                            My sister bought herself a messa attachments a while ago and I got "gifted" the stuff she didn't LOVE!?! Pasta EXTRUDER... total waste of time. Some kinda slicer/dicer gizmo... food processor does that. Meat grinder... no complaints.

                                                                                            Kinda like if you've had a few food processors and then buy a GOOD one (not a million $$, just not $29.99), ya end up kicking yourself for wasting money on other ones.

                                                                                            I say YES, stand mixer is definitely worth the $, weight, and space it takes up.

                                                                                            1. Ice cream
                                                                                              mashed potatoes
                                                                                              (used it to juice lemons once)

                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: Chowrin

                                                                                                Juice lemons? In a mixer? Please tell :)

                                                                                                1. re: lizmari

                                                                                                  Not to step on Chowrin's toes but the Compact has a very cute juicer attachment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7T1l... (the demonstrator is so sweet--I want to adopt her!).

                                                                                                  1. re: lizmari

                                                                                                    The Bosch, Ankarsrum and KA all have juicer attachments. I had one for my KA, but I didn't bother getting the one for my Ankarsrum because I already had a Waring Pro.

                                                                                                2. I drooled over KA mixers for 43 years. I kept telling myself I wouldn't use it. Finally Sam's had a 500 watter for $300, and I caved. Now I'm ticked that I waited so long. I have the pasta attachment, grinder, & ice cream maker attachment. It's a lovely dark red and looks great on my stone counter. I've used it more in the last six months than I used my hand mixer in the last six years. It makes you want to experiment.

                                                                                                  1. If you are not going to use them much these things are just very expensive, huge, heavy, hard to store, status symbols or worse yet, dust collectors. If you have the use for them, the interest in finding more applications and more attachments, and the finances to afford one there is no better appliance than the 'Hobart' stand mixer from Kitchen Aid. I have gotten a couple thousand hours out of mine making bread and pasta alone. Grinding meat and stuffing sausage casing are also huge on my list. These become indispensable within a few months of use. They are also as tough as a tank. Well worth the price.

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: TsqdSF

                                                                                                      I agree with the poster who asked if you had room for it on the counter, because lifting it in and out of a cabinet would be enough of a chore to make me limit my use, I suppose...BUT...mine lives on the counter (KitchenAid, smaller model, tilt-head) and if the house catches fire it is going to be the first non-living thing I save from the flames. I use it constantly. Bread. Mashers. Whipped cream. Sauces. I recently acquired the meat grinder and I love it. I do smallish quantities at a time, I've never had a problem. My husband bought the grain mill attachment, he grinds rye and barley for brewing.

                                                                                                    2. Just to add to all that has already been said, I've had a KA K5ss (5 qt. lift bowl model) for two decades and keep it out on my counter because I use it frequently.

                                                                                                      You asked about getting a KitchenAid from Costco. Costco (and Costco.com) has carried a couple of models. The current one is a "Proline 600" with a liftbowl and seems to run about $350. Coupons often take the price below $300. The tilt-head models often can be had for less and I've seen the "classic" at WalMart recently for under $200. It will do a pretty good job with pizza and bread doughs and handle most other mixing tasks with aplomb, at least for quantities approriate to its size and power. If you have access to Cooks illustrated, check out their mixer ratings.

                                                                                                      As for whether or not it is worth having one, that can be hard to answer "yes" or "no" rather than "it depends." Stand mixers (whether by KA, Cuisinart or whomever) are merely tools. They come in varying sizes and capacities. You match the tool to your needs and budget.

                                                                                                      When it comes to bread doughs, breadmakers actually do a pretty decent job when making small batches of dough. Small being (to me) one or at most 2 pound batches. If the only real dough making you do is for small batches of bread, I'd say just keep using the bread maker for mixing them. (Heck, King Arthur Flour's test kitchen touts using Zojirushi breadmakers for preparing small loaves which are then baked in a regular oven.)

                                                                                                      For many other tasks (say, whipping cream) a hand mixer, a powered whisk, or even a hand whisk may be fine. How much such stuff are you planning on making and how frequently will you be doing so? If you make enough cookies for, say, two baking sheets, the power of a stand mixer can be big convenience. But, if you only make batches of six cookies to bake in a Breville Smart Oven, a stand mixer will be overkill and will go largely unsued.

                                                                                                      They are good for mixing things that hand mixers and whisks won't do as easily and great for things like heavier doughs and batters and also for letting things mix while you attend to something else.

                                                                                                      Add-on mixer attachments are ... well ... conveniences of a sort. They are add-ons, not the primary reason to get a stand mixer.

                                                                                                      If you don't make meatloafs, terrines, sausages and such -- which, as the vegetarian, you won't --- then you don't care about the grinder attachments. I will say in response to some of the other posters, that the KA meat grinder attachment seemed adequate to me when I used one. One might note that Michael Ruhlman used a Kitchen Aid grinder attachment for the meat grinding for his book Charcutiere. But, personally, I've found that I'm far more likely to use a tool when it makes my job easier and I've found a powered, dedicated grinder much better for the 10# batches I grind for burgers, terrines, meatloads, sausages and etc. I do that often enough that the dedicated tool is a boon for me where it might be a boat anchor for somebody less interested in that kind of cooking.

                                                                                                      So also is it with having a stand mixer versus whisks, spoons, and hand held mixers.

                                                                                                      If you like grinding your own grains for flours, KA makes a decent grain grinder attachment. For about 16 years, I've been using mine to make nut flours in addition to grind wheat and rye berries etc. for whole-grain breads. I've been using this attachment for about 18 years, but it is one of those minor conveniences which is an afterthought rather than a primary reason for buying the stand mixer.

                                                                                                      I don't own a KA pasta roller and extruder, but I've used a friend's roller from time to time. I would find it a useful convenience if I regularly made fresh pasta. The KA pasta roller was about like getting a motor for the small, home-model pasta roller I once had (an Atlas, IIRC). No easier to clean, but rolling and cutting the pasta was definitely much faster and easier, as was mixing the dough. If nothing else, there is a great convenience in having the rollers rolling while I could use both hands to drape the pasta sheets through the rollers. (Of course, somebody's Italian grandmother is now rolling in her grave because using a machine is is so inauthentic and tha pasta won't taste right! So, I guess I am a barbarian with no taste or standards.)

                                                                                                      Never tried the pasta extruder or the ravioli attachments, so I can't speak to those uses.

                                                                                                      As for blowing out KA mixers and the "reports in baking forums," it seems to me that some of those bitter laments are from folks with lemons (inevitably there are some in every product line) and from others who tried regularly mixing overlarge batches for the mixer capacity and did not understand that KA mixers have a built-in overload protection in the form of a sacrificial gear that strips out when the mixer is too heavily loaded. It is meant to break when the abuse gets too great, and the repair is cheap and easy. I blew out my 20 y.o. K5ss about seven years ago when mixing seven pounds of rye bread. That was the kind of task for which an Anskarum Assistent is well suited, but I was cutting corners. As it turned out, the replacement gear was $4.50 and replacement took me, maybe, 20 minutes, including gathering and putting away the tools.

                                                                                                      Read up on KA mixers for any time and you will inevitably run across people who vehemently insist that current KAs are now crap because they don't use "all metal" gears like the KA models had before the revered Hobart sold the line to Whirlpool in 1986. In point of fact, the Hobarts used the same sacrificial gear and fail-safe system. It is an inexpensive, extremely reliable fail-safe protection.

                                                                                                      If keeping the mixer on the counter is a problem, then the Bosch and Anskarum Assistent mixers are considerably lighter and easier to stash out of the way when not in use. There are learning curves and the prices are higher than some stand mixers. The Bosch Universal, IIRC, is currently running about $400 and the Anskarum Assistent is around $800. Kitchenaids run the gamut from under $250 (sometimes $200) for the "Classic" models on up to $550 for the biggest 7 quart "Proline" liftbowl models. (There are some commercial models that are more costly. The smallest Hobart commercial model, the N50, which was mentioned in another posting her, is a real beast of machine. It also priced at something north of $2k last time I checked.

                                                                                                      1. I have a big Kitchen Aid, love it but rarely use it. Never use it for muffins-you will develop the gluten in the flour & make them tough. I have simplified my kitchen & only keep butter (no shortening). By melting the butter in the microwave, I can stir up cookies easily by hand. I have also collected a number of cookie recipes that use oil so they are easy to mix by hand. I use a bread machine for bread &/or dough.

                                                                                                        1. I love to get into very creative tamale making with homemade masa...stand mixer is indispensable for making awesome homemade masa....plus it kicks butt on pretty much everything else. Love the meat-grinder attachment, sausage stuffer attachment....the attachments ramp it up many more notches. Oh...and the pasta attachments...yes, plural. I say thumbs up...I have 2: the 6qt bowl-lift one (what a powerhouse!) and a somewhat lighterduty 4.5 qt tilt-head. I have to store mine on a low shelf near my tiny kitchen counter and the small one gets points for ease of use as it's lighter to move around, and the tilt-head makes it super-easy to add ingredients but has limitations due to smaller bowl size. So I do whip out (well...drag out...) the bigger one when needed. I noticed many tv chefs use the tilt-head version but I think that may in part be that it films better. I also have a Cuisinart hand mixer for when I am too lazy to hand-whisk whipped cream and similar little tasks; it just cannot replace the standmixer/s...I may have a bias as I grew up with one of those classic Sunbeam Mixmaster stand mixers; they rock! ....The Kitchen Aid larger bowl-lift version with glass bowl is an awesome thing!

                                                                                                          1. Regarding KA sizes, I have heard that the 4-1/2-qt is too small for serious bread baking, and the 6-qt is too large for egg whites, so I'm glad that I have the 5-qt.

                                                                                                            Regarding the Compact mentioned elsewhere in the thread, it is 4-1/2-qt; I wonder if this smaller size impacts bread baking?

                                                                                                            If I were to ever start a baking business, I think I'd go for a Hobart!

                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                              "Regarding the Compact mentioned elsewhere in the thread, it is 4-1/2-qt; I wonder if this smaller size impacts bread baking?"

                                                                                                              That would depend entirely on how much bread you plan to make. There are plenty of videos on YouTube demonstrating baking bread with the Compact from start to finish. It's for 2 - 3 loaves. If your needs exceed that, better start looking at a Bosch UP or Ankarsrum.

                                                                                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                i beat 2 egg whites for a soufle'd waffle recipe no problem in my 6 qt

                                                                                                              2. I always debated getting one but never "pulled the trigger" I never SAID anything about it to my wife, but last year for Christmas, I got one out of the blue....totally floored me. Now, no idea why I waited so long. This is awesome. When I make my cheesecakes, my wrists do not hurt from trying to mix.

                                                                                                                I love mine.

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. I lived fine without mine. But then I got a Hobart-era vintage KA on Craigslist (model K-45) for $80 and I've really enjoyed having it. A lot of people say that the older models work better. I'm not sure about this, as I have no experience to compare it to, but I'd say it's worth checking Craigslist or thrift stores/garage sales in your area.

                                                                                                                  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQSDF...

                                                                                                                    I posted this not to necessarily suggest a UP (which might be overkill for your needs) but to illustrate Bosch's quality which also applies to the Compact. If you do decide to invest in a stand mixer, it's worth knowing that there are some very reliable, long-lived options available that aren't sold in stores and that don't get a lot of hype.

                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                                                      MacGuffin, do you know anything about the Bosch compact's icecream or meat grinder attachments?

                                                                                                                      1. re: iyc_nyc

                                                                                                                        I picked up the meat grinder attachment cheap on eBay; it's necessary as a base for a number of the other attachments (and there's one listed now, if you're interested--you missed a recent Buy It Now for $39). I seem to recall seeing Amazon reviews that claimed it did an excellent job of actually grinding meat. :) There was an ice cream maker listed on eBay as well but I think it finally ended; I don't know how good they are and I think they've been discontinued. Several good Compact listings on eBay as I type, BTW. The sellers have good feedback. I picked up mine used on eBay several years ago and couldn't be more pleased.

                                                                                                                    2. Just saw this deal on a KA. It's new not reconditioned but it only is being offered in red. Maybe it's a discontinued model?

                                                                                                                      http://1sale.com/home-family/kitchen-...

                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: zackly

                                                                                                                        might want to check the internet reputation of that site.

                                                                                                                        1. re: zackly

                                                                                                                          http://www.ebay.com/itm/KitchenAid-Pr...

                                                                                                                          Just read that this model has the coveted metal worm gear unlike the Artisan series which has a plastic gear. If I needed a new mixer, I'd be all over this deal.

                                                                                                                          1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                                                            I've hade one for about two years. I think it's a good quality machine. I mostly use it for bagels and for making bread recipes with lots of butter or other sticky doughs which a difficult to kned by hand without adding additional flour. I have made a few cakes with the scraper beater and whipped cream and marshmallows etc. too.

                                                                                                                            1. re: ecclescake

                                                                                                                              Thanks for the info. I simply CANNOT decide what to do about a mixer. I really hate my KA stand and generally just use my hand mixer. The thing I don't like about the hand mixer is that the beaters on mine don't have that center "post" (or whatever you call it), so creaming butter is difficult - hard to get all the lumps out.

                                                                                                                              Seems like no "perfect" option exists! (BTW...I have the same issue with a coffee maker LOL!)

                                                                                                                          2. I am not much of a gadget person, but the only two big electronics I don't think I could do without are my KA stand mixer and my food processor. I don't use them for everyday cooking, but when I am having guests or doing holiday cooking, they make my life so much easier, they are worth the price.

                                                                                                                            I have the KA 6 QT lift and it sits right on my counter waiting for me to use it.

                                                                                                                            9 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: NE_Elaine

                                                                                                                              Me too! Love my KA and Cuisinart FP.

                                                                                                                              1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                                As much as I love my Vitamixes, I'd never divest myself of my Japanese Cuisinart. I've had it since 1989 and it runs as beautifully as the day I forced my boyfriend to buy it for me. :)

                                                                                                                                1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                                                                  Are you comparing your Vitamix to a Cuisinart food processor? Food processors and blenders really shouldn't be conflated. They're different appliances utilized for very different applications.

                                                                                                                                  Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                    Bingo. Yes, I'm comparing my Vitamix to a Cuisinart food processor because some of their functions overlap. My preference depends upon the specific function.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                                                                      To my mind, the things a blender are particularly good for (blending soups into a puree, crushing ice, making smoothies-- applications that use the central vortex to blend into a uniform puree) are not the things I'd use my food processor for (chopping, pulsing veggies to make a salsa or pesto, mixing meat and panade for meatballs or burgers, etc. where dicing or chopping rather than puree is the goal, so the central vortex of a blender is not necessary.) I find my 12-cup food processor to me MUCH more useful than my blender.

                                                                                                                                      For what types of applications do you overlap use of your blender and food processor?

                                                                                                                                      Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                        I didn't post that I overlap, I said that functions overlap.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                          Every time I make tomato sauce I have to decide; blender, food processor or immersion blender. All three alliances produce identical results. The FP and blender take the same amount of time. The stick blender takes longer, but is easier to clean.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                            Not to mention that there are those who make smoothies and nut butters in their FPs and who mince with their blenders (including sticks). I have all three, all excellent quality, and all seeing use, e.g. if I'm going to brown onions, I much prefer to pulse them in my Cuisinart rather than in a Vitamix, even though the Vitamix does a nice chop.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                                                                              As you said, overlapping functions.

                                                                                                                              2. Well, 170+ responses in a week or so! I only add my two cents because it's a bit different, for what it's worth. I have been tempted but never got a stand mixer.

                                                                                                                                First point: I do NOT make cakes, quick breads, cookies or any batters very often, nor do I cream sugar and fat together or do any number of other more pastry-like preps with any frequency. Otherwise, I'd get a stand mixer in a minute, because they rule there. But....

                                                                                                                                I often use a bread machine for kneading doughs--in my case almost always high-gluten bread doughs of the sort that stand-mixers (apart from $1600 Hobarts or old-school KAs) struggle with a bit. And even then, many of my recipes go with the no-knead approach. My bread machine is a quality Zojirushi, but most any bread machine does that process well, and they're to be found for a song used at Good Will or whatever.

                                                                                                                                Interesting to see that people make meat loaf and mashed potatoes in stand-mixers. I'd think stand mixers would be too violent for that, but I have no experience. In either case, however, I'm alway making a point of not overworking things there: mix meat loaf by hand; mash potatoes with either my food mill, my hand masher, or my manual ricer.

                                                                                                                                I have a pasta machine, too, but no power-roller attachment, as it's pricey, but that would be genuinely useful for lasagna and raviolis. The KA has such an attachment, but likewise very pricey.

                                                                                                                                Some of the issue for people might be quantity. How many are you cooking for? I cook for 2-4 most always. I really don't see a stand mixer justified for the space it takes, not to mention cost. But where something is genuinely useful, I don't balk at cost. But who needs another counter appliance around without knowing there's plenty of use for it?

                                                                                                                                Bread machine (used), power hand mixer, ricer and pasta machine could be had for $100 easy.

                                                                                                                                34 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: Bada Bing

                                                                                                                                  I hate stand mixer mashed potatoes, my mom makes them that way. I just use a food mill. One time through and then a couple quick stirs with a spoon to add milk, cream or roasted garlic. Over worked mashed potatoes are horrible IMO.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: rasputina

                                                                                                                                    Good old-fashioned potato masher for me. Our son's favorite is lumpy mashed potatoes.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: rasputina

                                                                                                                                      Dear friends of mine use their hand-mixer. I also loathe them (the potatoes, not my friends, see my previous post re ricing/then mixing). I imagine a Champion juicer would turn out smooth ones quickly; one could then fluff them with the usual add-ins in the mixer. Despite not expecting mashed quality when I smoosh a baked potato with butter/cheese/sour cream (which I think of as "the trifecta"), mashed potatoes have to be perfectly smooth.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: rasputina

                                                                                                                                        I like food mills too, although for modest amounts of mashed potatoes I use a ricer, as the cleanup is simpler (my food mill is aluminum: not dishwasher-safe).

                                                                                                                                        I love the fact that the old-fashioned food mill is something that can really do what no other tool does exactly as well: mashing items like tomatoes and eggplants while eliminating whatever you might not desire there (like seeds, skins).

                                                                                                                                      2. re: Bada Bing

                                                                                                                                        "I often use a bread machine for kneading doughs almost always high-gluten bread doughs of the sort that stand-mixers (apart from $1600 Hobarts or old-school KAs) struggle with a bit. My bread machine is a quality Zojirushi [...]"

                                                                                                                                        The Bread Beckers carry at least one Zoji and have a demo video for it. They're extremely serious about bread-baking; if they carry it, it's likely a good appliance. And I've also heard that bread machines can be picked up used at good prices.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                                                                          You can develop quality bread/pizza dough with a KA mixer but in limited quantities. I have a 5 quart model and it can handle 3-4 cups of bread flour nicely. My problem with bread machines is that they have very limited functionality. They may work better than a KA for making bread but you can do so much more with a stand mixer.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: zackly

                                                                                                                                            I agree (I never use the bread machine that Amazon gave me for review) but by the same token, you can do so much more than 3 - 4 cups of bread flour in a Compact than you can in a KA, despite its having a smaller bowl than your KA.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                                                                              You should send it to me for further review. I'm probably much more average than you are, only making bread a few times a year, making pizza more often, wanting to make pasta and jam. :-)

                                                                                                                                              1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                LOL I'm not allowed to give sell or give these things away. Incidentally, it's not a Zoji.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                                                                                  I know you can't. I figured it wasn't a Zoji. I'm occasionally surprised by some of the things that are Vine review items, but I'd expect that if Zoji did ever offer a bread machine, shocking in itself, it would be only be in a quantity of one or two.

                                                                                                                                                  I'm off to SA and GW in the morning to see what they've got.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                    This is OT but I got not one but two 55" 3-D HD Smart TVs in the course of two months.

                                                                                                                                                    "SA and GW?"

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                                                                                      Sweet!

                                                                                                                                                      Salvation Army and Goodwill. The only two thrift stores within 20 minutes. :-(

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                        Gotcha! I know of a number of people who've picked up some fabulous deals on appliances from both places. And you're supporting good charities as well. :))

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                                                                                          Picked up a bread machine to try at SA this morning, cheap at $5.67. Sadly, no amount of prying, banging or heavy plier use would dislodge the stuck paddle. Dude even pulled off the C-ring holding the stem assembly together. No joy. This machine was the best of 3 identical ones we saw today. So back it will go. I'm a serial re-donater.

                                                                                                                                                          So I ordered a cheapie from Walmart to get my feet wet. And it's paddle stem will be oiled before every use.

                                                                                                                                                          Sadly for me now, a few years ago I donated my West Bend Homestyle Plus, which was a pretty cool machine. It had a double paddle system (almost 15 yrs ago) and a swing-open front-loading door that made it a snap to use with cabinets overhead. Paddles never stuck, either. There are a few on eBay, but with shipping they're not worth it to me. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                            That's too bad that you donated your West Bend because it sounds like it was a good appliance. And I hear ya about shipping on eBay. Sometimes, though, I bite the bullet and go for it (e.g. my vintage, usually new Nesco Roast-Airs, my Dimplex towel warmer, etc.). Unfortunately, most stuff isn't made as well as it used to be anymore, which is why I glom onto the stuff that still is like there's no tomorrow.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                                                                                              <Sometimes, though, I bite the bullet and go for it...>

                                                                                                                                                              I was *this* close to pulling the trigger on one of them. But in the end, despite it's lesser (vertical) baking pan, I think I'll do well with the cheaper one. It seems to have everything my old West Bend had except an "add time" button for rise times. I think I could probably have done what Antilope does in her Zoji, use a regular loaf pan for the baking cycle.

                                                                                                                                                              Damn, that West Bend WAS a fine machine, likely the equal of the Zoji's of it's time. Perhaps not as rugged.

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                              I donated what I think was an Oyster that was my Grandmother's that went to my mom which went to Goodwill when she passed. Knob on the front, "low, high & maybe pulse or cycle. 10 or more speed "push" buttons. Built like a tank. Young and stupid I was!

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                These things happen, Tom. We file them in the head slap "I could've had a V8!" file and move on. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                  Easy there, Duffy.

                                                                                                                                                                  Rough on the Fontanelles with the younger ladies.

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                                                                                      Wish I could get Amazon to send me stuff!

                                                                                                                                                      But a question: if you don't want the thing, you're also not allowed to give it, even to charity?

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                                                                                          Wow. So your only option is to discard it? Or return?

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Bada Bing

                                                                                                                                                            No returns, just discard after quite a long period of time (I think it's 18 months).

                                                                                                                                                2. re: zackly

                                                                                                                                                  Actually, in addition to yeasted doughs--including very glutinous ones like bagel dough--bread machines can make jam, cake, pasta dough, bread pudding and a few other things I bet. At least in mine, which has a number of settings.

                                                                                                                                                  Not that many people wring such mileage from bread machines. For me, superior high-gluten lean bread doughs are the big clincher.

                                                                                                                                              2. re: Bada Bing

                                                                                                                                                I'm one of those people who has been thinking about this for decades. My kitchen remodel is coming in on budget, and so perhaps now is my time to splurge (I do love to bake).

                                                                                                                                                My question for all of you -- what is the deal with the Kitchen Aid mixers from Costco? They are just now going on sale, $319 for KSM6573CER, a professional grade bowl-lift model (see link below). Seems like a no brainer, except that in the reviews we are told that this is non-standard, and that it won't fit many of the KA attachments/accessories.

                                                                                                                                                http://www.costco.com/KitchenAid%C2%A...

                                                                                                                                                Please help me figure out if this is a good deal, or if I should plan to spend another $100 to get something more standard. Many thanks.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: lazy_lurker

                                                                                                                                                  If it is just the pouring shield that is the issue I wouldn't worry about it. I never use mine. If it is all the KA attachments like the ice cream bowl, meat grinder, etc...Then I would stay away.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: lazy_lurker

                                                                                                                                                    Just remember that the word professional is just the same of that line. It's not actually professional grade. It's not rated for restaurant kitchens.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: lazy_lurker

                                                                                                                                                      "a professional grade bowl-lift model"

                                                                                                                                                      Please don't buy into "appliance manufacturer foodie-speak." "Professional" and "commercial" aren't synonymous, the former being the hook for home-chefs who think they need commercial equipment to cook well at home.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: lazy_lurker

                                                                                                                                                        the pouring shield is a waste of time. but I don't see why it wouldn't fit the other attachments. it looks exactly like my 6 qt.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: eLizard

                                                                                                                                                          I disagree, considering the very small gap available to add ingredients due to the overhead motor the pouring shield does help somewhat in reducing the mess.

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: lazy_lurker

                                                                                                                                                          You can get a standard 6 qt KA bowl-lift model for virtually the same price through QVC. The non-standard bowl size on the Costco model means you won't be able to use the standard paddle, flex edge beater, whisk or dough hook.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Susangria

                                                                                                                                                            I bought this CostCo model, and the paddle, whisk and dough hook are included. I did also get the ice cream bowl, and yes, the CostCo model has its own ice cream bowl--it took 4 tries with KA via mail to get the correct bowl.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: pine time

                                                                                                                                                              Thanks for all the feedback. I do think its mostly the shield, that and the flex-edge beater. I'll look at QVC. What do you think about the other post regarding this one:

                                                                                                                                                              http://www.ebay.com/itm/KitchenAid-Pr...

                                                                                                                                                              If you had the $$, would you go with the costco or the smaller one?

                                                                                                                                                      2. Aside from my bread machine, my stand mixer is by far my favorite kitchen appliance yet! Then again, I am an avid baker so I'm biased. If you don't bake as much, a stand mixer can still be surprisingly useful to own. If you get a KitchenAid, for instance, you can get attachments that can help you with just about anything (chopping, dicing, shredding, pasta-making, ravioli-making, juicing, etc.). Of course the attachments cost extra but I think they're worth the price if you have the money to spend. Having a stand mixer opens the doors to a whole slew of recipes that you couldn't attack before. Like you, I wasn't big on baking before because it's near impossible without a good stand mixer. If you're anything like me, getting a KA will make you love baking.

                                                                                                                                                        If, however, you don't see yourself even remotely interested in becoming a baker, or having the money to splurge on attachments, I suggest you get yourself a bread machine. If bread and pizza are the two main things you want to use a stand mixer for, a bread machine will get the job done better, quicker, and cheaper.

                                                                                                                                                        Starter stand mixer recommendation: KitchenAid 325 watt (enough power to churn out anything you want without too hefty of a price tag)

                                                                                                                                                        Starter bread machine recommendation: Panasonic SD-YD250 (affordable, simple to use, and reliable)

                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                        46 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: difadifa

                                                                                                                                                          Good comments. Re: Bread Machines, I have and recommend Zojirushi, but Panasonics have a great reputation, as well.

                                                                                                                                                          In fact, Panasonic seems to do most small-motor things a cut above (like their cordless drills).

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: difadifa

                                                                                                                                                            I have to agree on the bread machine comments - I find it very useful for those things - I do love my KA and it is a better looking appliance for sure than a clunky bread machine I find the bread machine is my go to for dough/pasta I avoided a bread machine for so long because it just seemed like such a one note thing but I am finding it gets much use - my stand mixer mostly looks pretty but on the rare occasion I want to make a cake or whip cream it definitely is appreciated - also makes fantastic whipped potatoes.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: JTPhilly

                                                                                                                                                              There aren't many appliances that are better looking than a KA stand mixer.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                                                                                                Agreed! The KA is very sexy looking. I think that's why the Bosch Compact is a harder sell in the USA although it is apparently strong performer. If you were looking on culinary Match.com which one would you pick for a date?

                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: zackly

                                                                                                                                                                  ROTFLMAO I like to think that I find "smart" sexy, so maybe I'd substitute "competent" in this case and go with the Compact. However, if that KA were Raspberry Ice, I don't know if I could control myself. :))

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: zackly

                                                                                                                                                                    I don't think the KA is sexy at all. But then it's hard to just judge on looks when you've actually used it. It's certainly not sexy when it comes time to clean because trying to use it with the overhead motor just creates a mess all over the head, the bowl and the counter.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: rasputina

                                                                                                                                                                      I think that depends on what kind of KA you use, whether or not you're using the right speed setting, and remembering to use the splatter guard. I remember when I first got my KA, I accidentally cranked the speed up to 6 when whisking egg whites and there was a ton of splatter. That's easily fixed though by either turning the speed down or by using the splatter guard, which is super easy to clean afterwards. I've also noticed that the KA I own, which has the twist-and-lock bowl, is much easier to clean than my friend's KA, which has the lifted bowl feature. When used correctly, the KA really doesn't produce any mess. All I ever have to thoroughly clean are the mixing heads, the bowl, and sometimes the splatter guard if I'm using it. And just to keep the appliance dust-free, I do a quick whole-appliance wipe every week or so. Super low maintenance compared to other cookware, in my opinion.

                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: difadifa

                                                                                                                                                                        Speed doesn't change the fact that you have a couple inches to get food into the bowl with the motor in place. And I beg to differ that used correctly it doesn't produce any mess. That isn't my experience and it's amply proven false on every single cooking show where they are used.

                                                                                                                                                                        Mixers without an overhead motor and infinitely less messy.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jpc8015

                                                                                                                                                                              I think any number of former KA users have an axe to grind. A lot of them write Amazon reviews.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                                                                                                                These people write Amazon reviews too. That is not setting the bar very high.

                                                                                                                                                                                http://www.amazon.com/The-Mountain-Th...

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jpc8015

                                                                                                                                                                                  And this has exactly what to do with stand mixers that crap out?

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                                                                                                                    Hi MacGuffin,

                                                                                                                                                                                    I know of no appliance with a 0% failure rate.

                                                                                                                                                                                    What's your standard for a quality appliance? No lemons ever? 95% satisfaction? 90%?

                                                                                                                                                                                    Without specifying a standard, your observation that some former KA owners wrote bad reviews is meaningless.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Duffy

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                                      You know something? I think you're on target here because for my money, this whole thread has become meaningless. Someone wanted to know if a stand mixer is worth having. Fair enough but in the meantime the thread has metamorphosed into the criteria of what makes good bread, why using a bread machine means sacrificing quality, and how stupid tee shirt reviews are the standard by which complaints against KA mixers should be judged. Lizmari, I hope that you're happy with your decision, whatever it is, but at this point, I'm outta here, especially when Hounds start extolling the virtues of Cooks Illustrated.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                                        funny enough I own two KA stand mixers I bought cheaply - one for $35 and another for $15 that the only thing wrong with was user error - one put back together wrong and one the owner could not put together - if Mom does not want the second (nicer) one I will sell it I think because the other more that suits my needs.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                                                                                                                        You were the one who cited Amazon reviews. I am simply showing you that anybody can get on the internet and write a fake review for something. Hardly a reputable source.

                                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: jpc8015

                                                                                                                                                                                        Hey, those are some well-written, thoughtful reviews. Not the same quality as reviews for the Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer, but it's the gold standard.

                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.amazon.com/Hutzler-571-Ban...

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: rasputina

                                                                                                                                                                                <rying to use it with the overhead motor just creates a mess all over the head, the bowl and the counter.>

                                                                                                                                                                                Well, that's a bit of hyperbole. While it's possible to create a huge mess by going immediately to high speed, I know of no one who does that. Maybe a newbie owner.

                                                                                                                                                                                I don't own a shield for mine and have never had food spray all over the place. I make a bigger mess every time I use my immersion blender.

                                                                                                                                                                                It's fine to prefer another brand of mixer. It's wrong to paint the competition in the worst possible light in defense of that choice. Let your mixer stand on it's own merits.

                                                                                                                                                                                I do find it amusing that you include the bowl in your cartoonish mess. I think you may been a little over-enthusiastic in your exaggerated smear job on the poor KA. How do you keep food from getting in your bowl?

                                                                                                                                                                                BTW, I agree that the KA is not sexy, but that's how I feel about all countertop appliances. They're tools, nothing more. Only my coffee maker, microwave and toaster oven live in the light. I'd hide them if I could. All the rest, mixer, food processor, blender, etc... are in cabinets.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                                  Completely agree :)

                                                                                                                                                                                  I don't find the KA "sexy" perhaps but I do love it with quite some fervor since it makes my baking adventures so much easier. After trying to whisk egg whites by hand, you really come to appreciate the KA. And when you're making more temperamental pastries like macarons, hand mixers just don't cut it.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: difadifa

                                                                                                                                                                                    Hi difadifa,

                                                                                                                                                                                    We consume very few baked goods, aside from pizza and bread. I'm tired of the mess and guesswork that go with preparing homemade doughs, so I've ordered a bread machine to help with that. I'm a pretty shitty baker, except for pizza dough. And boxed cupcakes or brownies for my grands. I can rock those. It's all about knowing which brand to buy.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Anyway, if the bread machine works for me, I'll likely ditch my stand mixer for a handheld. I'm a rebel, I know.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                                      Haha, yup. When it comes to just homemade dough products, a bread machine is definitely the way to go. And if you're not a big baker, a handheld mixer is totally enough for any cooking projects you may have in mind. 99% of my KA use is for baking purposes. (Though I am dying to get those ravioli and pasta attachments someday.)

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: difadifa

                                                                                                                                                                                        "And if you're not a big baker, a handheld mixer is totally enough for any cooking projects you may have in mind."

                                                                                                                                                                                        Couldn't agree more. I used one for years until I wanted get into more serious baking.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                                                                                                                          Hi MacGuffin,

                                                                                                                                                                                          I've been mulling this over for a while now. I usually only think about it when I pull my mixer out from it's home in a base cabinet.

                                                                                                                                                                                          I don't know yet if it's worth giving up the "walk away" capability a stand mixer provides. To answer that, I'd probably want to keep a log of how I use it.

                                                                                                                                                                                          In the end, it might be better to keep it. *shrug*

                                                                                                                                                                                          Duffy

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                                        DuffyH,

                                                                                                                                                                                        There's no guesswork to baking if you:

                                                                                                                                                                                        1) Use a well-tested recipe from a professional, reliable source (not bloggers or sites like Chow which do not adequately vet their recipes). For example, Serious Eats or Cooks Illustrated. CI is particularly helpful because many of their recipes come with detailed videos that show you what to expect at each step.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2) Weigh your ingredients!!

                                                                                                                                                                                        3) Use quality bakeware, such as the Goldtouch line from Williams-Sonoma

                                                                                                                                                                                        4) WEIGH YOUR INGREDIENTS

                                                                                                                                                                                        If you have a 7.25 quart Le Creuset or other heavy, large pot with a heavy lid, I'd suggest you try making CI's "Almost No-Knead Bread". It's a dead simple recipe, and yields magnificent results, an order of magnitude several times better than anything you'll get from a bread machine.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Attached is a photo of typical results you can expect to get from that recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                                          Yes yes yes! I had always thought measuring with spoons and cups were accurate enough until I had to tackle harder, more temperamental recipes. Measuring by weight is the only way to go.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                                            Hi Mr Taster,

                                                                                                                                                                                            Despite ALWAYS weighing ingredients, ALWAYS using trusted sources (CI for 20+ years, Betty Crocker cookbook before that) and using USA Pans loaf pans, I cannot get consistent results in sandwich loaves. Like I said, I'm a shitty baker.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Now I'm not saying that *you* can't get great results every time, but I can't. So perhaps you'll forgive me for wanting an appliance that might help with this?

                                                                                                                                                                                            BTW - I make excellent NK bread in a 4-qt saucepan. But it's not what I want to eat day in, day out, and it heats up my kitchen.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Duffy

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                                              >> I make excellent NK bread in a 4-qt saucepan.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Well then, you're not as bad a baker as you claim to be :)

                                                                                                                                                                                              I bet you that if I observed your technique, I could pinpoint your problems. Did you ever consider taking a class with a pro that can correct whatever the errors are with your technique? (I'm not a pro, by the way. Just an enthusiastic amateur.)

                                                                                                                                                                                              Also, do you know if your oven temperatures are accurate? Do you have an oven thermometer to verify?

                                                                                                                                                                                              There aren't that many variables that can throw off a good recipe using quality bakeware. I'm willing to bet than whatever problems your having can be easily corrected with the right guidance and info.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                                                Mr Taster,

                                                                                                                                                                                                Please, give me a little credit for knowing about oven accuracy and thermometers. Check and Check. I'm not new to Chouwhound, you know?

                                                                                                                                                                                                I know that you're enthusiastic about baking and want to be helpful. I hate baking. I like cooking. Neither my dude nor I are big eaters of baked goods.

                                                                                                                                                                                                I want my baking to be easy, painless, cheap and foolproof. Many knowledgeable Chowhounds have told me a bread machine can help me with this. If it will accomplish my goals, why wouldn't I try it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                Duffy

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                  >> If it will accomplish my goals, why wouldn't I try it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  If your goal is to sacrifice quality for convenience, then I have nothing further to add :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mr Taster,

                                                                                                                                                                                                    My *goal* is to consistently make good bread. That's all. I don't need to bake the best bread in the world, I just want a decent sandwich loaf.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I see now. You hate bread machines. You could have saved us both a lot of time if you'd just stated this from the outset.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Duffy

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                      >> My *goal* is to consistently make good bread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Now we have to get into defining paramaters of what "good bread" is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      - Developed, complex, yeasty flavor
                                                                                                                                                                                                      - Chewy interior with large crumb
                                                                                                                                                                                                      - Crunchy, browned exterior crust

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I've yet to find a bread machine that can produce all three simultaneously. But if you've found one, hell-- I'd buy that machine in an instant!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I don't care if it's a machine, as long as the results are truly good (as opposed to "good enough".)

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                                                        oh sigh Mr Taster - I make bread machine bread - with my sourdough starter in the mix for flavor - it is OK, holds my sandwich fillings, dips in my sauce - etc - and it makes while I sleep - i control the sugars and fats and flours used - it is umpteen times better than the science experiment called bread available at the corner store - it takes 5 minutes of my time max and costs little. It's leftovers also yield breadcrumbs and get used in panade - It serves my needs very well. In the depth of winter I enjoy the oven baked breads but in summer I just want some bread - and I have total ban (except for during cookouts) on commercial breads.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hi Mr. Taster,

                                                                                                                                                                                                          <Now we have to get into defining paramaters of what "good bread" is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          - Developed, complex, yeasty flavor
                                                                                                                                                                                                          - Chewy interior with large crumb
                                                                                                                                                                                                          - Crunchy, browned exterior crust>

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Well, I can see better where you're coming from now. I like more than one kind of bread, and a lot of them don't taste like yeast, aren't chewy and don't have a crunchy crust.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sure I like that bread and it is good. When I want it I make NK bread. But to say that it's *the* good bread? What about a nice fluffy dinner roll? A hot dog bun? A rye loaf? Whole wheat sandwich bread? I've barely scratched the surface of good bread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Duffy

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                            See the recipe I linked to. That recipe only has a 20 minute rise but takes into account the lack of flavor development (from long fermentation, which this recipe lacks) by compensating with butter and honey. I'd be genuinely curious to know how that 2 hour recipe would compare with a machine-made loaf. That way it would be more of an apples-to-apples comparison.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Still, I want that crusty loaf, big open crumb machine, whenever it is invented.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                                                            CI has a pretty nice recipe for "Easy Sandwich Bread" that's done in 2 hours (including rising time). There's so little room for error, I think this about as foolproof as it gets without a machine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            http://orders.americastestkitchen.com...

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                        "I hate baking. I like cooking"

                                                                                                                                                                                                        ditto

                                                                                                                                                                                                        when it comes to baking I feel like the guy in the Lazy cookware thread who was universally recommended non-stick

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: JTPhilly

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hey JT,

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Well, not universally, but I do identify with the feeling. Someone recommended stainless steel to him. That made me laugh. Most of us don't consider SS a hassle to deal with, but we're not him. And that's the thing, isn't it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                                                                                                                      ...and you can make it yourself. It's magnificent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm not even talking about putting stuff in while it's running. The fact is that there is a very small opening between the motor head and edge of the bowl to add ingredients. You say I have an ax to grind, well I could just as easily say that the fan boi's are blind in their love for it that you'll even pretend that ingredients never splash the motor head or down the outside of the bowl or counter. It's easily witnessed on every single cooking show on tv along with home kitchens. I'm reminded every time I watch a cooking show. The shield with that little ramp exists for a reason.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: rasputina

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hi rasputina,

                                                                                                                                                                                                  <I'm not even talking about putting stuff in while it's running. The fact is that there is a very small opening between the motor head and edge of the bowl to add ingredients.>

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Lift the head or drop the bowl, then. No problem.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  <... you'll even pretend that ingredients never splash the motor head or down the outside of the bowl or counter.>

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Here's what I wrote:

                                                                                                                                                                                                  <... never had food spray all over the place.>

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Note that I wrote "spray all over the place", which you strongly implied happens every time someone uses a KA. I have certainly had to wipe parts of the mixer and counter down from time to time, but nothing like what you claim. Haven't you ever spilled anything around your mixer?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I get that you've used both mixers and think yours makes it easier to add ingredients because the KA is crowded around the bowl rim. Okay, fine. You said pretty much that very thing upthread. But now you're implying that extra care must be taken to avoid a big mess when using a KA. That's over the top, and it just isn't true. That's what makes people think you've got an ax to grind.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  <It's easily witnessed on every single cooking show on tv along with home kitchens.>

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Really? Every single show? Ax, meet grinder.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  <The shield with that little ramp exists for a reason.>

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yes, it's called convenience, to make it easier to add ingredients while the machine is running. I can see how that would help. But the shield isn't needed to avoid a mess, if a little care is taken. I don't own one. Never have. Mostly, I turn the machine off and drop the bowl. Easy peasy, no special skills or tools needed. Your claim that this can't be done without making a mess is just plain wrong.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Duffy

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I don't want to have to drop the bowl or tilt the head to put in ingredients just so it doesn't make a mess. I did that for years before I knew there was a better choice and my KA did have the pouring shield which I did use fairly often.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I grew up using my moms kitchen aid and used my own for 20 years. I grew up with an avid baker mother who taught me how to bake using it ( and by hand) and I'm an avid baker myself. Yes I often had to stop the machine so I could gain more room between the motor but frankly I think that should be unnecessary and it's tedious. I've never owned a bread machine because I don't see the point. I have extensive use with the KA even though you try ascribe newb status to my complaints.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: rasputina

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hi rasputina,

                                                                                                                                                                                                      < you try ascribe newb status to my complaints.>

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I did no such thing. I wrote that cranking the machine straight to high speed is a newbie mistake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      You know, what you just wrote about how tedious you found using the KA to be is perfectly valid, and demands consideration. But the overblown hyperbolic stuff you wrote before cheapens the value of your opinion, because it is easily dismissed as the writing of someone who simply hates KA.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Duffy

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                  My KA mixer doesn't go to high speed immediately. It takes a moment to come up to speed, even if you go directly from zero to ten.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I own the KitchenAid KP26M1XPM 6-Quart Professional 600 Series Mixer (Pearl Metallic).

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hi Mr Taster,

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mine does that, too. But when mixing flour or even thin liquids, it can spray out if I don't start on slow speed, then move it to the desired speed after ~2 seconds. Of course, that's mixer 101. I didn't do it with my first handheld (well, once), my Mixmaster or my KA.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Duffy

                                                                                                                                                                                      3. I was given a KA Professional ~ 6 (9?) months ago.

                                                                                                                                                                                        I am using it for the first time today. Making a basic chocolate cake.

                                                                                                                                                                                        I bake bread and make pizza dough regularly, but I prefer to knead those by hand since I rely on "feel"so much.

                                                                                                                                                                                        I grew up with KA and Hobart since my mother baked avocationally. I am not unfamiliar with the machines. I suppose I just never thought I *needed* one. I cook more than I bake.

                                                                                                                                                                                        So far my impression:

                                                                                                                                                                                        Easy to use.
                                                                                                                                                                                        Fun to watch.
                                                                                                                                                                                        Heavy!
                                                                                                                                                                                        More clean-up than bowl/spoon.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Right now I would say take one if you can get it for free AND if you have counter/storage space. Or if you ~bake~ bake.

                                                                                                                                                                                        I am going to try whipping cream for my cake later. I have no problem whipping manually...but I could see that if one has physical limitations (or again is dealing with huge amounts) using a machine could be advantageous.