View Full Version : Recommendation on Stand Mixer
10-14-2012, 03:52 PM
I'm looking for a stand mixer with a bread hook for the wife. We have a budget of around $500 & would like to get something for general mixing & making bread. I would like it to last for years. Any recommendations?
10-14-2012, 04:12 PM
I've had the Kitchen-Aide stand mixer for 15 years and it's always been satisfatory for me. I've not used any other products though.
10-14-2012, 05:46 PM
For general mixing I like the kitchen aid for the price.
For bread I like the Bosch (had two kitchen aids break with in a year trying to mix bread weekly).
For both a like the Electrolux assistant, now called the Verona.
10-14-2012, 05:49 PM
He beat me to it, what he said ^
I have a KA mixer it isn't that great for large amounts of bread, but it is for everything else. If bread is the only goal I'd get something like this
I am not sure if the KA pros have been updated to a metal gear or whatever used to break under bread making loads, if they fixed that problem those are probably good as well.
10-14-2012, 06:01 PM
That Verona Mixer looks really nice! I'll run that by the wife.
Any other ideas, I'm still open to suggestions.
10-14-2012, 06:13 PM
Are you just wanting to do bread or do you want it to be an all purpose machine. The KA is like the iphone/ipod marketing hype, decent unit not the best, but has every accessory ever built for it. My personal choice if I had to do it would be the Electrolux or the Varimixer w5a(wayyy out of your price range)
10-14-2012, 10:05 PM
I killed 3 KitchenAids making bread. A 5-qt model jumped off a counter, a 6-qt professional model burned up its motor and dripped black powder into everything it mixed (replaced under warranty) and the gears stripped on the replacement 6-qt pro model. 2 years ago I got the Electrolux Assistent (now sold as the Verona.) I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. It was a little cheaper a couple years ago, but I'd probably still get it today. If you check the bread making forums (thefreshloaf.com, etc.) there are a LOT of people who have problems with the kitchenaids for making bread. I always followed the instructions and kept it below the maximum capacity of the machine, and only ran it for a few minutes (yes, no more than 3 or 4) at a time as recommended when making dough, and it still tore itself to pieces. My Electrolux has more capacity, is MUCH quieter, and is easier to move around. I can set the timer for it to knead bread and walk away--I don't have to worry about it taking a leap off the counter, and I can run it for as long as I like. Cooks Illustrated gave it a bad review, but I don't think they read the instructions before using it. There are also a lot of videos on line--the bottom line is put your liquids in first, then as you add your flour, etc, if the dough starts moving up the roller, adjust the roller so there's more space between the roller and the edge of the bowl. With the KA I was making double batches of dough and it died. With the Electrolux I make triple batches, and the machine doesn't break a sweat. I also like the open bowl so that you can add ingredients without fighting the spinning hook.
I generally only make bread with it, but it comes with a plastic bowl with beaters that I've used once for making a cake--it worked just fine. I don't like the plastic bowl as much because it has a tower in the midde (kind of like a bundt pan) with the drive shaft for the beaters and you don't have that nice open bowl to work with. Next time I make something like that I'll probably just try the regular bowl and roller and see how it works--some people have said that the big bowl is too large for small batches. I've used both roller and hook to make bread, and they both work well. The hook is nice for big batches of heavy dough.
I've also heard very good things about the Bosch. But if you're looking to make a lot of bread, the KitchenAid may not be your best bet. Cuisinart and Viking stand mixers have a lot of followers, but they have a lot of negative reviews, too. I know King Arthur Flour used to use Viking mixers in their test kitchens and sell them online, and now they only sell Cuisinart, fwiw.
10-14-2012, 10:14 PM
Interesting to see so many bad/poor experiences with the KA...I've only used mine for bread a few times, maybe that's the big difference.
If I ever get around to replacing it, I'll have to check out the Verona/Electrolux.
10-14-2012, 10:33 PM
If I were to do it again, I would (eBay) bid on an older KitchenAid mixer made by Hobart in the '80s (K5-A or K45). It will cost less and is older, but from what I hear they have metal gears and are less likely to strip out than some newer KA models. There are some good tutorials on YouTube about regreasing the gears, and I think Jim did this on this forum. Anyhow, once you know it works, get the wife to pick out a pimped paint job via Un Amore (http://www.un-amore.com/gallery.html). It might be spendy, but by saving on a vintage model and doing some DIY, she is less likely to balk on a pimped up paint job.
Or you can just wait until November or December when mixers go on sale and buy a new one. You can usually find a better deal in a month or so on new ones.
10-14-2012, 10:36 PM
Was going to discuss Kitchen Aid, but no need now.
Restaurants and especially bakeries close up shop seemingly every week. If I had $500, what I would do is be patient and scour Craigslist and auctions and buy a used 12qt Hobart. A 20 qt will run $1500 to $2000 but I've seen some steep discounts for "pick up today only with cash" sales. Of course you need to live in a metro area to pull it off, I live at the edge of the world so I miss all the deals.
10-14-2012, 11:16 PM
Do the participants in the bread forums refer to themselves as "dough-nuts?"
I've seen the KAs trashed there, but my experience is 20+ years with a KA-5 and its been to the shop once for a switch failure. I can tell its working hard if using more than 6/8 cups of flour in a recipe. I would get another but only with metal gears.
I've used a Viking and liked it. But. Viking has discontinued their small appliances and would not count on long term support.
10-15-2012, 01:58 AM
...get the wife to pick out a pimped paint job via Un Amore (http://www.un-amore.com/gallery.html).
I just spent way too much time checking out this website!
10-15-2012, 06:55 AM
We've had our Hobart/Kitchen Aid for better than forty years and it's still going strong. Wore out the bread hook and had to replace it a few years back, but that's been the only issue.
Love the copper bowl insert for egg whites. :thumbsup:
10-15-2012, 07:49 AM
I bought a 5ltr robot coupe mixer for home a few months ago , it has been very good for for what it is.
However no planetary mixer should be regularly for making bread or ever for very low moisture doughs.
The gear system in a planetary mixer is just not designed for this , even the large commercial mixers ( void the warranty )
If you are going to make to make bread dough regularly, a spiral dough mixer is the go .
10-15-2012, 08:17 AM
Thanks for all the feedback, it has been very helpful!
I ran the Verona past my wife last night and we both like it very much for our needs. We plan to budget for a couple months and then buy it for Christmas! That's going to be great timing with all the holiday baking as well.
10-15-2012, 09:43 AM
I got my KA Pro 600 almost a year ago, on sale on Amazon. As Drinky says, they tend to go on special before the holidays, so I waited and got the Pro 600 for net $178 after savings and two MIRs. AFAIK it has the revised gear box. In 11 months I've made around 40 batches of no-knead dough with it along with a couple of dozen batters, egg whites, panettoni, marshmallows and shredded chicken breast and pulled pork. No issues, noises, smells, black powders or dancing off the counter. It just works.
10-15-2012, 01:35 PM
I pulled out the Assistent (now the Verona) this morning and made a couple small cheese souffles for breakfast to check out the plastic bowl/egg beater function since I've only used it once. To be honest, for beating a couple egg whites or whipping cream, I'd rather use a hand mixer and a bowl. Less mess, less fuss. A small batch of cookies I'd stir up by hand or use the hand mixer to cream butter/sugar and then stir the rest by hand. The bowl, drive shaft, and gears on the Assistent are plastic, so they aren't intended for big heavy batches of ingredients. And I'm not too fond of the drive shaft coming up the middle of the bowl so that you're working in a ring.
There are a lot of reviews on line if you search on Electrolux Assistent or Magic Mill DLX. I'd recommend you read them before buying the Verona to see if there are issues that won't work with your style of cooking. In my case it's used almost exclusively for making multiple batches of dough, and it excells at that. This was only the 2nd time in 2 years that I've used the beater/plastic bowl combo. Another thing to consider is the warranty/service on whatever mixer you buy--some are only for a year, some can go as long as 5-7 years. The service on the DLX is done by one man in New Jersey, if I remember correctly. Kitchen Aid and Cuisinart are probably easier to get serviced. If the Verona is the right machine for you, watch for deals on Black Friday--I think Amazon had it on sale last year.
The Assistent did do a fine job of beating 2 egg whites. The souffle was delicious.
10-15-2012, 05:10 PM
I have owned a KA from Costco for about 7 years now, mix pizza/bread dough in it regularly, and have had no problems so far. IF I could afford something more high-end I'd go with Hobart (http://www.mixedupjake.com/).
03-17-2013, 09:43 PM
Well, we finally squirreled enough coin away and picked up the Verona and a hand mixer. Thanks to everyone for the recommendations.
Here they are......
Baking the first batch of French bread today. Appreciate the help.
The New Mexican
03-18-2013, 03:14 PM
Nice! I love my assistent (the previous version of the Verona.) The trick seems to be to put the liquids in first, and if things creep up the side too much, adjust the arm so that the "beater" is closer to the center of the bowl.
I used the stainless bowl & the regular plastic attachment to whip up an angel food cake the other day (I'm not wild about the plastic bowl/beaters) and it worked just fine. And it's really quiet compared to the KA.
03-18-2013, 05:26 PM
I go through Kitchenaids like candy. The old old ones had metal gears. They're plastic now.
I'm in the hunt for a 8qt. used commercial counter top mixer. Too big for a home unless you have the space. You might find one for $500.
03-18-2013, 06:15 PM
I used to bake 3 loaves of 6cups coarse ground wheat flour bread every sunday with my KA, never had an issue and i have the 4.5qt "classic" model, never had an issue, just found a bread off store shelves that was exactly what i was making....and i got lazy lol
03-18-2013, 07:11 PM
I go through Kitchenaids like candy. The old old ones had metal gears. They're plastic now.
Actually many of the kitchenaids are now back to metal gears! I recently bought one from Costco when it was on sale for $300. It has metal gears. There are also some cheaper ones that have metal gears as well, but you'll have to research those because there are so many models I couldn't keep up with it all.
I've got a KitchenAid pro 6-quart that has seen me through 20+ years, two wives, several cross country moves, and thousands of loaves of bread and batches of cookies. I have no idea whether it has metal or plastic gears, since I've never opened it up or had it serviced. Maybe I oughta give it a 500,000 mile tune-up....
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