General Question

shrubbery's avatar

What brand of stand mixer do you recommend?

Asked by shrubbery (10246points) March 1st, 2013

I love to bake cupcakes for my friends and family, and currently I bake a type of bread that doesn’t require kneading because I’m not very good at it, but I love to experiment and I’d love to get more adventurous with my baking and cooking. I have a pretty bad hand mixer and I’m kind of slow at baking in general so I’d love to get a stand mixer where I can let it do its thing while I move onto the next step, cutting down my time. I’d also like one powerful enough to knead bread.

I’ve always wanted a Kitchenaid, and have asked for a shiny red one for my 21st birthday present coming up. But as I was googling what the difference between the artisan and professional kitchenaid was, I came across some forums talking about completely different brands for stand mixers. No one in my family has owned a stand mixer and I guess kitchenaid gets more promotion on the cooking shows I watch or something because I’d honestly never considered other brands (also because it’s shiny, retro and comes in all different colours might be why it held my attention).

Now I’ve read that the Kitchenaid doesn’t have enough power to knead dough very well (the professional is 575W) and the newer ones have had problems since they stopped buying all parts from Hobart. The cuisinart and kenwood basic models are each around 800W.

Another factor is that I’m in Australia where the kitchenaid artisan costs $750 and the professional $800, and all the attachments quite expensive too (I’d love to eventually try to make my own pasta etc). The only problem is I can’t really find australian prices online for the Kenwood and Cuisinart models, so I’ll have to find a stockist to physically check.

In the meantine, I was wondering if anyone had any of these mixers or any other brands I don’t know of (bought in the last few years would be most helpful) that could tell me what they make with it and how they feel about it, and definitely if anyone’s used more than one kind if they could make a comparison for me? Thank-you!

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28 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I have the big kitchenaid mixer and it’s fine for bread and has more power than I have ever needed. I wouldn’t want to get my hand caught in it. I can check to see what the wattage is and the model if you like.

janbb's avatar

Kitchen-Aid is great. I’ve had mine for years.

bossob's avatar

+1 for the KA 575 watt. My wife thanks me for buying it for her every time she makes bread. I think it’s over 14 years old, and hasn’t had any problems. We don’t have the pasta attachment.

shrubbery's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe that’d be great, thank-you! When did you buy it?
@janbb & @bossob that’s the thing, sounds like people who’ve had theirs for years are happy but the recent purchasers aren’t.

Also if you don’t mind me asking how much did you pay for yours? Would you pay $800?

Judi's avatar

Is there anything besides kitchenaid? I’ve never heard anyone complain about theirs. I have one but its in storage. I don’t bake much.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@shrubbery Okay, I’ll look it up. I got mine a long time ago, maybe 15 years ago. I think I paid about $260 or so for it.

marinelife's avatar

Kitchen Aid

tom_g's avatar

KitchenAid – 11+ years and running.

gailcalled's avatar

I’ve had my shiny dark blue Kitchen Aid for yonks (20 years)...if I could attach four wheels and drive it around, I bet I could.

It has a bread hook attachment as well as the whisk and regular beater. However, I have not made bread. OTOH, kneading bread dough by hand takes only a few minutes and is easy and satisfying uless you have arthritis.

The newer ones I see on the cooking shows seem to be twice as big, twice and heavy and probably twice as expensive.

syz's avatar

I lost my KitchenAid in the divorce; it’s nearly the only thing that I miss.

dxs's avatar

My parents got a Kitchenaid mixer as a marriage gift 25ish years ago and it still works today. To make bread, my dad uses a bread machine. Oster is the brand. The bread that comes out of this machine is quite unique, however.

thorninmud's avatar

I’ve used both the big KitchenAid and the Kenwood. KitchenAid has a much bigger market share here in the US, and does have the advantage of all the cool attachments, but the Kenwood is a great machine, too. The Kenwood seems to struggle less with heavy work (judging from the sound of the motor and the heat it generates).

They have different systems for locking the bowl in. The KitchenAid holds the bowl with arms that raise and lower it relative to the motor; the Kenwood locks the bowl into the base, and the motor head pivots up and down. KitchenAid’s system offers you a better view of what’s going on in the bowl, which is very important for things like whipping cream and beating egg whites (where going beyond the critical point can be ruinous). You can just periodically lower the bowl for a better look without even stopping the machine. You can even manually hold the bowl up a scooch to bring the beater into better contact with the bottom of the bowl; that’s a little reckless, I guess, but common restaurant practice.

So I think that if you’re mostly doing bread doughs, you’d be better off with the Kenwood. It’s a real workhorse, and visibility isn’t so important. But for versatility, I’d go with the KitchenAid. It can handle dough well enough, and has the edge with the finickier stuff.

You really can’t go wrong with either of these.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Mine is the big KitchenAid. I make bread regularly and nothing else will do.

wildpotato's avatar

eBay has better prices, and you can find some new ones on there too if that matters. We got ours (300 watt) new on eBay for $120 (US) six years ago.

Edit: dangit, the link isn’t working. Just search kitchenaid stand mixer.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@shrubbery It’s a K45SS or KSM90, 250 watts.

shrubbery's avatar

@wildpotato There is no way I’m going to get a KA in Australia, even on eBay, for that kind of price unfortunately :( and if I got an american one from amazon or something I bet the postage would be crazy, and I’d have to buy a transformer :(

@Adirondackwannabe thanks, that’s interesting, that model isn’t even sold here at all!

So I guess what it comes down to is that since I’ve wanted a stand mixer I’ve wanted a Kitchenaid, and I would love one, but price is the barrier.

If you guys had to pay $800 for the Kitchenaid you have now, would you still have paid that?

thorninmud's avatar

Can you can get a Kenwood for considerably less? If so, that would be my choice.

shrubbery's avatar

@thorninmud I can get the basic Kenwood Chef KM330 for $350. It’s just not as pretty as a KA :(

shrubbery's avatar

It sounds like they might sell KAs cheaper ($500) at the one costco store we have here but I dont have a membership and that’s $60 so I’ve asked on facebook if anyone else has a membership that knows if they have them in stock before I check that out.

thorninmud's avatar

The KitchenAid does have nicer styling, but the Kenwood really is a very nice machine.

I have used both to make nougat de Montelimar, which is a very heavy mixture and takes a long time. The KA motor housing gets almost too hot to touch, but the Kenwood takes it all in stride. The KA whisks also don’t hold up well under the abuse of a commercial kitchen, while we never busted a wire on the Kenwood whisk.

shrubbery's avatar

@thorninmud I feel like the Kenwood attachments would be a lot cheaper too in the long run, though I’m finding it hard to find AU prices online to compare for those. Thanks so much for your help :)

I’m loving the look of the pretty coloured kMix kenwood machines but that’s only 500W, same as the artisan KA. I can’t help but be influenced by aesthetics though and it’s going to be my downfall :P

Bellatrix's avatar

@shrubbery I bought a Breville, Scraper Mixer Pro from David Jones at Christmas and it’s been great. It has a big motor and a motor protection system and good attachments too. I got this Ice Cream Making bowl as part of the deal. It was (as I recall) more than $200 cheaper than the Kitchen Aid. It also comes in different colours. I got the cranberry one.

hearkat's avatar

My fiancĂ© recently invested in the KitchenAid, and he has used it more than I thought he would. We get coupons from housewares stores for 20% Off, so we’ve used those to buy accessories. The pasta making is fun and delicious! We haven’t tried the ice cream yet.

If you get the basic model now, you can request the accessories for all the other upcoming birthdays and gift-giving holidays. The biggest problem for us is storing all these extras.

shrubbery's avatar

Okay so I just went to my local Good Guys, and they have a 1200W Kenwood model at the same price as the 575W Platinum Kitchenaid, $800. BUT for like the next month or so not only do you get the mixer, beater and dough hook with it, you also get the meat grinder attachment, the blender attachment, and the pasta roller attachment, each worth about $150 each. So. I think maybe I’m sold on that since I was about to ask my family to fork out the same amount of money for the plain old KA by itself. And at least this Kenwood model is stainless steel which is a little bit prettier than the old tacky white ones :P

thorninmud's avatar

You’ll love it. Sounds like a great deal.

shrubbery's avatar

So if anyone was still wondering, I finally got my mixer.

There was a sale on and I did a bit of haggling by paying cash and such so I got the 1200W Kenwood Major with the mixer, beater, dough hook, meat grinder, blender and pasta roller for $642.

I’ve already made short bread and a pavlova and I’m doing cupcakes tomorrow. I’ll have to try bread soon too.

It’s pretty big and pretty loud but it’s shiny and I like it :D

Bellatrix's avatar

What colour is it @shrubbery? Because obviously this is a vital detail when it comes to food mixers!

shrubbery's avatar

@Bellatrix it’s stainless steel silver. a bit more sleek and modern looking that the normal old white kenwood!

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