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Stand Mixer Question - What do you use?
Posted: 18 November 2007 06:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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I currently have a 6qt KitchenAid Professional that I bought in 2002 that is currently broken (the gear shaft is broken, which I think happened when I moved in 2003). That mixer is sitting at the bottom of my linen closet waiting for me to find someplace to take it to for repairs.

When I broke my 6qt mixer, I went on Ebay and found a 4.5 qt Hobart KitchenAid (circa early 1980s). I won that mixer for about 150 dollars, and I love it. It’s my work horse. Of course, it can’t handle large batches of anything, but I rarely make anything really large anyway.

For stiff bread doughs, I use my KitchenAid Pro, 14-cup food processor (a wonderful piece of equipment). I use it for bagel doughs, pizza dough, and heavy whole grain breads.

I also have a KitchenAid 5 speed hand mixer that I use for whipping potatoes, eggs, and cream, and mixing cookie doughs. I still consider a hand mixer an essential piece of equipment.

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Posted: 20 November 2007 08:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Hi Patrincia, I know you had this mixer question for a while.  Many choices, but I am sold to the Kitchen Aid, both the 6 qt pro and the 5 qt artisan.  KA warranty is EXCELLENT (yes, there are a lot of complaints, but really, if you work the system, it is good service).  Yes, Hobart doesn’t make them anymore, it is now Whirlpool.  Yes, the Hobarts were better, but honestly we need to move forward.  The KAs are readily fixable, almost any mom/pop appliance fix store will be able to fix your KA at a very reasonable price.  The parts are also readily available (internet search, consumer purchase thru the same mom/pop appliance fix stores or thru parts stores).  You can do it yourself too, find diagrams online.

The price of the KA is very competitive, the refurbished models are a great deal.  I have a 6 qt pro (green, new), and two 5 qt artisan (orange and red, both refurbished).  If you are concern about the refurbished look, there is NONE (looks new). 

My 6 qt pro green is actually a replacement of a replacement thru KA 12 month warranty.  The original was a 6 qt pro and that got replaced by a 6 qt pro white; both had the plastic gear box cover which I busted out.  Now I know when is the limit, and I always stop my mixer when I start hearing a struggle.

For egg whipping, the KA works very well.  The planetary action, shape of the bowl, shape of the whisk, non moving bowl, lack of a center axel, air flow, are really well made and trusted.  I would say it is KA’s original (either Hobart, same now in Whirlpool).  Many other brands have copied this planetary action.  YES, the other brands can be stronger, more watts, better parts, but really for egg whipping, the KA has no issues.  For small batches of whipping cream, I prefer my 5 qt, the 6 qt bowl is overwhelming and it takes a while for the whip to grab onto the whipping cream.  The 6 qt now has an optional 3qt bowl which has good reviews.

For bread dough making, pasta dough, attachments with strenuous power (pasta roller for example), the KA struggles.  But as long as you keep the recipes sizes medium to small and listen to the motor to avoid a struggle sound, you will have no trouble.  I burned my KA when mixing a 6x batch of Rose’s Bread Bible panettone, who wouldn’t?  When mixing cake batter, I believe the true test is compared to mixing bread dough which is tougher.  I think even the heaviest butter based cake batters zip fine on the KA.

I have to add a comment, and perhaps support Matthew on his stand mixer zero use.  Matthew also prefers to mix pastry by hand (pie crust).  I made Basic Sourdough Bread by hand, and really I had a better feeling and feedback on what was going on with the bread, like the elasticity, tact, moisture, spring back, additional amount of flour and water needed; which is more difficult to tell when done by the mixer.  The bread came out stupendous.  I did this by hand in a foreign country with a flour I never used before and with ambient temperatures much colder than what I have trained on.  I believe that by mixing my hand, my hands could tell my brain how to proceed against these odds and when to know that things were right.

By reading the equipment section of Cake Bible and of Bread Bible, and even perhaps the little mentioned on Pastry Bible, you have the research done.  Rose describes the many stand mixers systems out there, concentrating on design more than brand.

I also have a variety of KA other appliances, tiny and big food processor, immersion blender with whisk and chopper, fruit juicer, and blender, these help too.

I could not do w/o the KA stand mixer, specially since I am so used to it for whipping eggs and do the other small things I mention above.  However, I do wish to have in addition:  a Zo for bread, a Bosch or Electrolux also for bread, and a Pasta Magic with bronze disc for pasta.  Yes, a 10/20 qt hobart would be next, but for now having several KAs is a good compromise.

Enjoy this link, you can see what I mean.  The bread is the one I made in Italy, I did have to sleep next to my starter to keep it warm.

http://www.hectorwong.com/roselevy/MyMixers.html

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Posted: 20 November 2007 09:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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I had the old Sunbeam, graduated to the Kitchen Aid 5 quart, and then the 6 quart. Like Clysandrou, I kept both and use whichever one suits the job.  I have a Zo bread machine that I use to knead breads.

Matthew, I am impressed that you do all your mixing by hand. I have carpal tunnel syndrome, so that is completely impossible for me.  I don’t think I could bake if not for the aid of machines.

MrsM

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Posted: 20 November 2007 10:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Oprah just gave one KA Artisan to each person at today’s show!

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Posted: 21 November 2007 12:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Hi Hector - I saw that Oprah give away today - I wonder if the people get to choose the color mixer they get?  I am very heavily leaning towards to 6qt kitchenaid, but when Rose mentioned how much she liked the cuisinart 7qt I just had to know more.  I really like the built in timer it has, but my 5qt kitchenaid has been a dream all these years, so I hate to give up on something I know is so reliable…  Thanks so much for telling me about the new 3qt bowl for the 6qt mixer - that is very good info.  Love you photos too btw… nice improvised water jacket!

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Posted: 21 November 2007 01:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Patrincia, the water jacket is not improvised, it is made for it, now discontinued.  I “stole” it from Williams Sonoma last season.  Love it.

Hmm, now you have a 5 qt KA, try get a second KA, any size.  Things can get a bit complicated if you have 2 mixers of 2 different brands!  My my KA I can use all attachments across, and simpler to use since you are used to the brand.

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Posted: 21 November 2007 02:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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hectorwong - 21 November 2007 05:38 AM

Patrincia, the water jacket is not improvised, it is made for it, now discontinued.  I “stole” it from Williams Sonoma last season.  Love it.
.

haha - I guess you’re right…. in the photo it looks like a large cake pan under the bowl.

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Posted: 21 November 2007 03:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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How can I dare add anything to Hector’s advice?  Wonderful info, Hector!

I recently graduated from a hand-held to the KA 6qt. pro.  I love it.  I’m not sure how I got along without it….no, I do…not well, really.  rolleyes  (I’m very impressed, Matthew.)

Just to give you a gage, I know you were thinking in terms of being able to mix more at one time.  I can mix a maximum Rose Factor of 10 in the 6qt, carefully.  (Sometimes I need to keep my hand at the opening of the shield guard if the batter gets too close.)  That amounts to 1- 2 layer 14” or any combination.

There was a special going on with Linen’s and Things and KA mixers and a web coupon code I found…don’t know if it still is.  It gave me $100 off when all was said and done.

Have fun with your search!

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Posted: 21 November 2007 04:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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What I write comes from my heart and my emotion, it is not always technically correct, so please follow at your own risk =)

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Posted: 21 November 2007 09:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Cathy - thanks for the Rose Factor “visual”... very helpful!

Hector - You are the BEST!  Can’t wait to see more of your Italian vacation photos!

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Posted: 21 November 2007 11:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Kitchen Aid Professional 6—- it has been quite the workhorse for me.

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Posted: 21 November 2007 02:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Patrincia, thank you. I am holding off a little before posting more Italian vacation photos (they are all food photos) because I have the impression that my first set (pig photos) are still being digested by the bloggers!  Also, I am still gathering more information (accuracy of my food descriptions) since my friend Isabella from Bologna, Italy, has screamed at me regarding some wrong fact at my pig posting!  In fact, I think the best food photos I have are from Bologna, Isabella knew exactly what I loved and took me to food heaven.  I can tell you know that perhaps Italy’s best known food export is Parmesan cheese (parmigiano reggiano).  This cheese is from the region of Emilia Romagna, many cities belong to this region, including Bologna, but it is in Bologna where this cheese is the most sold/traded!  It was super easy for me to bump into mountains of Parmesan cheese blocks in Bologna!

I will be posting photos every now an then, whenever I find a blog/forum related topic.  Also, I don’t want to make people envy of Italy, as the Italians that have seen my photos have warned me several times!

Happy Thanksgiving, finally THE YELLOW KITCHEN has resumed normal schedule!  Not easy, considering takes me near 30 hours of travel and 11 hour time difference from Italy!

Regarging the mixer, you ought to get a refurbished Artisan as low as $125.  It won’t me money tossed, and I guarantee that you will be happy to have 2 KAs.

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Posted: 21 November 2007 03:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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Hector - can’t wait to see your Thanksgiving photos too.  I’m sure the Rose Levy Beranbaum inspired meal your are preparing will be GOBBLED up by all.  (gobble-gobble)

Your food photos from Italy are amazing!  I especially liked the gigantic salami (?), the room filled with Parmigiano Reggiano, and the wine celler with the meat and cheese hanging from the rafters.

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Posted: 21 November 2007 03:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Patrincia, those photos you mention, I think I haven’t publicly shared yet, you have them on your private email!

Yes, I am gobbling!  Monday, November 19th, I assembled the Graavlax with everything I can find locally.  I used 1 lb each of 3 different fish, instead of only 3 lbs of salmon.  Fresh island Mahi Mahi, flown in Atlantic Salmon, and fresh island grade #1 Ahi (red tuna sashimi).  It was very inexpensive, except for the Ahi:  you do find Ahi inexpensive in Hawaii and indeed excellent freshness and taste, but my fish monger tempted me with the grade #1 which is not even red (but pink due to the high fat content and lack of cartilage).

Photo here, pay attention to the colors, the photo captured the true colors pretty accurately!

http://www.hectorwong.com/roselevy/thanksgiving/2007-11-19.html

Also, the blog thread is under:

http://www.realbakingwithrose.com/2006/11/great_tip_for_your_thanksgivin.html#comment-70941

Ok, mixer forum people, I promise to not deviate the topic more.

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Posted: 22 November 2007 07:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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Hector, that was some great information.  I know I was originally concerned when Whirlpool bought KA from Hobart, but my fears turned out to be unfounded.  I can’t ever see owning anything else.

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