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stand mixer opinions
Posted: 16 February 2009 02:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Monsieur P?tisserie - 06 February 2009 01:39 AM

What do you guys think of Viking stand mixers? I saw the Viking stand mixer with the 7qt bowl, three attachments (whisk, paddle, and dough hook), and optional attachments (I think). The mixer is only$40 more than the KA Pro 600 so I thought it might be worth it if it doesn’t have the same issues as the KA mixer. I have heard from more than one person now that the newer KA stand mixers out there aren’t what they used to be and that they don’t hold up as well as their older counterparts so it made me consider other brands. I also noticed that Cuisinart has a couple of stand mixers on the market, but I don’t know much about them either. Any feedback will be appreciated.

Thanks smile

My experience with the Viking 7qt is dismal.  I bought multiple bowls, and two whips.  One whip broke while beating whites for a meringue - not a lot of stress on it so I didn’t expect a new beater to break so quickly.  The other one is fine, and the broken one was quickly replaced and I’ve not had any problems with it.  But the mixer itself is not as powerful as I hoped; things at the bottom of the bowl don’t get incorporated and the tilt mechanism is very loose.  On the whole, I wish I hadn’t bought it.

I do have quite a collection of mixers, though.  I have 2 KA 6qts, 1 KA 5 qt, a 10 qt Thunderbird and a 20 qt Hobart.  And the Viking.  Which I’ve taken to calling “Dusty” in the kitchen because when I have a choice, I won’t use it.  The KA 6qts are loud, as Hector says, and on those times when I have to use the Viking, it is loud too.  The T-bird is so quiet you don’t even know it’s on!

I would not buy another Viking if I had a choice.  At the rate I’m going, I’d probably buy a Cuisinart just to have a complete range of manufacturers represented in the kitchen smile!!

And if needed to make bread dough frequently, I’d buy an ElectroLux.

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Posted: 16 February 2009 05:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Another reason I love my Hobart K5 is that any of the newer attachments that fit the current K5 will fit on the Hobart, minus the ice cream maker—which I don’t need anyway. So my Hobart was definitely a good investment. Speaking of which, I really should take it in to get a thorough cleaning and a tune up so it can run good for another 50 years smile.

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Posted: 16 February 2009 09:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Wow, this all seems so overwhelming now. Between the quality of construction of the KA mixers on the decline and parts breaking on other mixers, it seems like there isn’t a real good stand mixer for household use. It seems like the only way to get a hold of a good mixer is to buy a professional grade one like in bakeries (which I cannot afford). I’m just concerned that I will spend several hundred dollars on the wrong stand mixer only to have to turn around and spend more money fixing/replacing parts it in a short period of time and possibly somewhat often. I have received a lot of good feedback from everyone here and now I just need to make a decision.

Thank you all for your time and advice. I really appreciate it.

~ Matthew smile

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Posted: 01 June 2009 09:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Hi everybody,

  I finally got my stand mixer! I ended up getting the KA Professional 5 Series Plus model. It’s this one:

http://www.shopkitchenaid.com/zoom.asp?edpZ=31937

  I have a few questions for you folks. In the instruction manual it states that the mixer mixes faster than other mixers so the amount of time needed to mix a batter will be less than other mixers and warns the consumer about over mixing cake batters. Is this true? Are the speeds that much faster? And is it possible to over mix cake batter? If so, how do I convert directions in TCB from low speed, med speed, and fast speed to the numerical value on the stand mixer? Is it dependent on which model you have? My last few questions about this (for now) are about the attachments. If I understand things correctly, I should use the paddle for heavier substances like cake batter and cookie dough and I should use the wire whisk for eggs. Is this correct? What about frostings (any type)? Do I use the paddle or the wire whisk? Also, could you please tell me what speeds are best for cake batters and buttercream frostings? I’m super excited to use this thing. I’m guessing making cake batters and frostings, especially large batches, will be a lot faster than what I could do them in with my hand-held mixer (which I love). No more having to make the batches in installments because my hand mixer can’t handle the amount of flour and other ingredients!

Thanks,
Matthew smile

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Posted: 02 June 2009 07:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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MP, congratulations on your new mixer!  What will you make first with it?

I have the pro 600 6 quart, which looks similar to yours but must be a little older.  I use 4 for Cake Bible medium, mixing cake batters.  For whipping cream, I crank it up to 10.  For whole egg foams, I do 10 for the first five minutes, then 4 for 2-5 minutes longer.  For egg white foams, I think I usually whip on 8, but I would imagine anything from 6-10 would work since you are going by peaks rather than time.

For buttercreams, I use the paddle to cream/whip butter before making the buttercream, then the whisk to whip eggs/add sugar syrup/add butter. 

Have fun!

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Posted: 02 June 2009 11:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Matthew, congratulations! Once you start using the mixer you will not be able to live without it.  LOL  I know I can’t. I too use the same speed levels and attachments as Julie.

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Posted: 02 June 2009 02:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Thanks for the tips and advice you guys. I really appreciate it. smile

Julie, I plan on making the All American Chocolate Butter Cake. That was the last cake I attempted to make but things went horribly awry in the final stages of assembly. I haven’t made any cakes since the chocolate cake debacle of 09 so I’m looking forward to this first attempt with the new mixer. I’ll let you know how things go when they’re done.

-Matthew

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Posted: 02 June 2009 02:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Congrats MP - love your choice!  You’ll never want to be without it again.  I’ve moved mine across the country several times and I wouldn’t trust it to the movers… it always goes with me.  One more a friend of mine wrapped it in super cushy blankets and strapped it into a kiddie car safely seat smile.  After all, it was precious cargo! (don’t worry… the kids flew w/their grandmother to the new location).

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Posted: 02 June 2009 02:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Oh, forgot to mention that Rose uses stand mixers when she develops most of her recipes, so do whatever she says.  Basically, most cake recipes will be this way, unless they specify “hand mixer”.  If that’s the case, use your KA one speed lower than the recipe states.  After you make a few things, you’ll instinctively know what to do.

If you use Rose’s 2-stage method for mixing cakes, you won’t have to worry about over mixing your batter.

I use the whip for all buttercreams, meringues, whipped creams, etc.  I use the paddle for all butter cake batters.  If a recipe is written by a true professional, they will specify the whip if that’s what you should use.  I find it’s very useful to have an extra whip, paddle, and bowl.  Btw, the new mixers come with aluminum paddles and dough hooks, but you can purchase white coated ones through KA.

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Posted: 02 June 2009 08:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Thanks for your input here, Patricia. I find it interesting that you folks use two different attachments for buttercreams. I’ve grown fond of the mousseline bc from TCB. If I understand you folks correctly, this means I should mix (cream) the ingredients with the paddle first and then switch to the whisk attachment for the second half when the syrup is added and then the rest of the butter one tablespoon at a time?

On another note, I do plan on getting an extra bowl for the mixer and then possibly extra attachments, as well. The ones I have are fine for now. I don’t know if KA changed their policy, but my mixer came with the dough hook and paddle that have the enamel coating on them. I made sure to ask the folks at KA before I ordered it. By the way, if you’re i the market for a new mixer now is a good time. KA is running some ridiculous deals on many of their stand mixers. Sadly, if I had waited another week to order mine I could have got it for another $30 cheaper. I can’t complain, though. I still ended up saving 5 off the regular price and I also got a rebate for a free grinder. I’d rather have the pasta attachment, but a free grinder is nothing to complain about either.

Thanks again for everyone’s help here.

-Matthew smile

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Posted: 02 June 2009 09:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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I only use the whip attachment when I make buttercream… I don’t cream the butter with the paddle first anymore, I just bring it to room temperature and throw it in the bowl a glob at a time as the mixer whips away.

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Posted: 02 June 2009 11:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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MP, for mousseline, I cream the butter only with the paddle, then switch to the whisk for whipping the whites, adding the syrup and finally, adding the pre-whipped butter.  I found when I moved to the KA6QT from a lesser mixer, that I overbeat an egg foam cake that I didn’t know could be overbeaten.  I also found that the higher speeds on the KA minimized curdling of mousseline, something that had never been possible with the small mixer.

Good Luck!

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Posted: 22 June 2009 06:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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Hey you guys, thanks for all the tips here.

I was wondering if any of you could recommend the speeds I should have the mixer set to for whipping the buttercream? Julie, you said high speeds help prevent the curdling; what do you consider high (6, 8, 10)?

Also, can anyone give me an estimate of how long it will take from start to finish, and possibly an estimate of how long each step will take, starting from the point where the syrup is made and it is time to start adding it to the mixer? I have no idea how long this should take and I’m concerned about overwhipping the buttercream and having to start over.

Thanks!

~Matthew smile

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Posted: 22 June 2009 09:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Let’s see, it is possible to overwhip the whites before you add the hot sugar syrup, but they’ll have cream of tartar and granulated sugar in them to protect against that.

Pour the hot sugar syrup in a steady stream over the course of, say, ten seconds.  You don’t want to syrup to cool off too much or you’ll end up with blobs.  I do it with the whisk running on 8, I don’t turn the mixer off to pour, but rather aim between the beater and bowl.  The whites expand a lot with the sugar syrup, I can’t do more than a double batch of mousseline because of the volume of the meringue.

Then it can take a while to cool the meringue- it normally takes me a good ten minutes or so on low (after the couple of minutes on medium), you can speed that up with a cool water bath.  I usually clean up the kitchen or fold laundry so I’m not tempted to add the butter too early, or else add a bit of colder butter first to bring down the temp.

Beating in the butter- I start on 5, (it’ll deflate a lot, that’s OK, it’s just what it does), but then increase to 6-7-8 when I see it begin to curdle.  This takes me a long time, not sure how long, but if you really wait until it’s whipped smooth before adding more butter it can easily take half an hour to get all the butter in.  Sometimes I don’t have that much time and I just keep adding the butter anyway.  It still comes out smooth and wonderful by the end.  If you still have curdling at the end, turn it up a notch or two and whip for a few minutes, until it emulsifies and smooths out. 

I think it’s really hard to overbeat mousseline.

How did the chocolate cake turn out?  Did you make it yet, or are you starting with the mousseline?

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Posted: 22 June 2009 09:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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Matthew, I place an ice pack under the KA bowl to cool the egg whites faster if I’m in a hurry. I also beat the buttercream at speed 10 for a minute or so after all the butter has been added and well incorporated. As Julie said, I don’t think you can overbeat the mousseline. I think you’ll do fine. You have made it before just not in your KA, right?????

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