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Need a mixer for my girlfriend

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Ok you pastry chefs out there christmas is coming and my girlfriend is in cooking school for pastries i know she wants a mixer...but i have no clue what im looking for the limit for us is 200 but im willing to go 300 or even more if its worth it lol so i need help from you guys :thumb:


deals would be awesome to
post #2 of 21
The market is pretty much "you get what you pay for."

In the under $300 range, the Kitchen Aid 5 qts are pretty much as good as it gets. If she's serious about baking at home, they are good units but a little undersized and underpowered.

In the $300 to $400 range, there are two Kitchen Aid 6 qts, the two Cuisinarts, the DeLonghi, and the Viking. These are all very competitive with one another.

I think the Viking might have a slightly weaker review and customer feedback record.

The DeLonghi doesn't actually have much of a rep one way or the other, but it's been a big favorite forever in England and the Empire under the Kenmore (no relation to Sears) name.

Outside of the usual individual customer complaints, I haven't heard anything bad about the Cuisinarts. But I haven't heard anyone who knows very much say they're any better than the Kitchen Aids either.

One further step in price will land you a Bosch, or a Hamilton Beach Commercial.

With the HB, "commerical" is very much an operative word -- even though it's more of a semi-pro than an actual pro. Don't buy the under $200 home model. It's not enough machine for a serious baker -- even one who doesn't do much bread. I've heard that the HB can be a little iffy on very small amounts -- say meringe from one egg white. Otherwise they're supposed to be very powerful and quite good.

The Bosch is a good machine -- but if you buy one, for heaven's sake buy the metal bowl. The plastic bowl deforms with heavy loads. It works, but it looks as weird as snake wearing suspenders. Creepy. One of the nice things about the Bosch is that you can get a pretty good mixer attachment for a reasonable price. If you don't want a mixer attachment ... you still get the integrated mixer tower. More weirdness.

Top priced home unit is the Electrolux; if what you want to do is mix a lot of bread dough, it's probably the best choice. Does everything well. Expensive though, pricey attachments too. Personally, I wouldn't buy one with my money. But then, I've gone back to mixing and kneading bread by hand not just because I had to, but because I'm happy to exchange the extra dozen minutes for the extra quality.

A final word about Kitchen Aid: You'll no doubt get a lot of "stay away," advice based on the fall off in quality since Hobart spun KA off to Westinghouse. The first new machines introduced after the spin off had plastic in various places it shouldn't be -- notably the gear housings. These machines were indeed bad news, and failed like crazy. Worse, KA did not do a good job of supporting their customers.

Happily, that's in the past. KA redesigned the machines so that everything which should be metal is metal and improved their customer support as well (not that it's perfect). But, the internet loves bad news and doesn't forgive easily. No doubt, you'll hear the old truths repeated as if they still had validity. As Antony observed, "The evil that appliances do do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones."

In the interests of disclosure. I was an owner of one of the early, plastic wonders which I bought to replace one of the older last-forever models that went with my ex. The new one broke; got fixed (not cheap); broke again; and KA no longer makes the replacement parts -- so I'm SOL.

When I do replace the machine, I'm pretty much stuck with KA so as not to render all of my KA attachments redundant. That doesn't make me unhappy though, as the old problems appear to be gone. Attachments aside? Probably another KA. I'm just not in a hurry.

As to which e-tailer has the best price for a given model -- you'll have to do your own research.

Hope this helps,
BDL
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post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
****.....this will def help alot thanks
post #4 of 21
Just one small addition to BDL's superlative run down.

Don't confine your search to e-tailers. When I bought my Pro-6 I had actually decided, for monetary reasons, to go with the Pro-5. That was after an exhaustive internet search.

Then I went to Bed Bath & Beyond, just to see what they had in stock (I always prefer handling something before buying, when possible).

Low & behold: BBB had the Pro-6 on sale. And there was, simultaneosly, a KA rebate on it---which BBB recognized instantly. Long and the short of it is that I bought the Pro-6 for very little more than what most retailers were asking for the Artisan.

One other thing to consider: Does she have any feature-biases you're aware of? F'rinstance, in my case, I have an antipathy to tilt-head designs, which limited the models I even looked at.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #5 of 21
Just one more addition...you are going to buy her something else as well aren't you? ;)
post #6 of 21
I would go with the commercial kitchen aid, it is a good machine and even in a commercial kitchen they last for years, at home you will be giving it to your grandkids.
The mixers BDL mentioned are all good and he is quite right in all his points. KItchen aid is the most widely available and if you look at bed bath and beyond for example you cen get 20% off coupons once in a while, also Williams Sonoma offers a professional discount, usually they do not ask for credentials. Look around, have you considered e-bay? Great deals there as well.
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post #7 of 21
i would definitely go for a kitchen aid, they are great mixers and they come in some awesome colors that your girlfriend is sure to love!
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Good cooks never lack friends.
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post #8 of 21
If it were 1990 I'd say yeah, Kitchenaid all the way. Today I'd say go for something else. The quality has gone way down. My MIL had a KA blender fail after six months and my KA mixer is busted after only 2 years.
post #9 of 21
There seems to be a "when", as well as, "what model", issue when it comes to KAs.

My Pro 600 is three years old, gets a pretty good workout (bread at least once a week, plus other chores) and has never given me a lick of trouble. Never even had it overheat.

Yet, reading about them here and other places, you'd think it was the most trouble-prone mixer ever made.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #10 of 21
No, just the best selling by far. I'm pretty sure they've got their "value-engineering" problems worked out. (on the other hand, I owuldn't buy naything else from them.)

whatever you decide on, there are a couple things to keep in mind. One is what you're going to do with it. If you're not kneading bread dough, almost anything will work just fine. Second is size and weight. stand mixers are big. They're heavy. IF you don't have lots of counter space, a big mixer will be in the way when you're not using it. They're heavy, so they're a pain to pickup and put away. Of course, lots of people (including me) think they're worth having on the counter all the time. I thought that when I had 8 square feet of counter.
post #11 of 21
When you look at the various KA models check the watts and or amps. The same size machine can come is 3 different motor sizes. I use bothe 5 and 6 qt KA at the shop I'm in and I don't like the 6qt. There is a hesitation when the unit is on to when the mixing actually starts - very annoying and it makes a very strange sound!! I think the 5 qt does a better job.

My boyfriend gave me a 5qt KA and a marble slab for Christmas over 20 years ago and we are still together!!

Chef Jo
post #12 of 21
If you go to a rest. supply you may be able to pick up a good used rebuilt bench model Hobart for about $350 to 450. It will last a lifetime.
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post #13 of 21
You can't say I didn't warn you about what you'd hear about Kitchen Aid. It bears repeating that they went through an extended period of bad machines and bad customer support, but apparently have emerged from the other end.

I can certainly understand why Kuan wouldn't want to deal with them again. He's carrying a grudge, and rightly so.

The smallest, least expensive, Hobarts run over $2,000 new and pretty close to $1,000 used. If you find one for $350 to $450 in a restaurant supply, it's already leasted someone else a lifetime. For a true, non-hobart commercial, expect to spend more than $1,000, for a bottom of the line, true commercial machine in a residential size; and expect to spend around $600 used for something in good shape. Even if you're willing to spend the money, and you bake lots of stiff doughs, unless you're going to be using the machine continuously (you aren't), you'd be better off with an Electrolux on the counter than a true commercial.

The hesitation pchefjo describes from her shop's KA could result from any one of a number of things; but is most likely the result of the electronics (as opposed to electrics) which are programmmed (you can't program electrics) to "ramp" the start. All modern, residential machines -- KA, Cuisinart, Viking, etc -- are electronic (as opposed to electric), mostly to prevent damage by having the machines stall-out instead of burn out. Also, note that pchefjo's shop does use a couple of KAs and they're up to the task.

The old 5qt KA she got from her boyfriend was made when KA was owned by Hobart. Those were and are lifetime machines -- but unfortunately they aren't available. Other than the electronic/electric thing the new KAs are supposedly now built to similar standards with all metal transmissions and gear housings; but they aren't quite as good the old ones. On the other hand, they're very likely among the best available choices for people who want a near commercial stand mixer.

BDL
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post #14 of 21
You, the slab and the mixer or you and the boyfriend? :)
At weddings, my Aunts would poke me in the ribs and cackle "You're next!". They stopped when I started doing the same to them at funerals.
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At weddings, my Aunts would poke me in the ribs and cackle "You're next!". They stopped when I started doing the same to them at funerals.
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post #15 of 21
All the KA's are workhorses...some just a bit more powerful than others. Their customer service is unparalleled. If for any reason you are not happy they send a new one and pay the shipping for the old one. I have had this happen twice in 2 years and now I'm a loyal lifetime customer. Buy the machine with the largest capacity mixing bowl that you can afford.
post #16 of 21
Need a mixer for my girlfriend ...


...Seems like a fair swap
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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post #17 of 21
LOL!:lol: This I like!
At weddings, my Aunts would poke me in the ribs and cackle "You're next!". They stopped when I started doing the same to them at funerals.
www.kyleskitchen.net
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At weddings, my Aunts would poke me in the ribs and cackle "You're next!". They stopped when I started doing the same to them at funerals.
www.kyleskitchen.net
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post #18 of 21
:lol::lol::lol: :thumb:
post #19 of 21
Only you Bughut !

Great ! :p

Petals
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Served Up
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Wine and Cheese
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Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(162 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
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post #20 of 21
I've seen lots of Hobart N50s in good shape for 600 bucks or so. Wouldn't be surprised to find one for less.
post #21 of 21
All 4 of us!! The slab is a bit scratched, I burnt out the mixer making biscotti (small business) about 10 years ago and had it fixed - almost as good as new (the repair man put a hole in the underneath part of the housing and replaced it with a different color!) The boyfriend is showing his 20 years as I am too!

I keep the 5qt for lighter duty then biscotti dough and bought a 20qt Hobart for the biscotti. I bought it used, for 1800 and put about 500 into it for an overhaul. I LOVE MY 20 QT!! It hasn't needed to be serviced since - what a machine, too bad everything else doesn't last like a Hobart.

Chef Jo
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