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Not like the old Kitchenaid mixers
on June 2, 2016
In my journey for a new stand mixer I have tried many brands. I have come to distrust online reviews almost completely (yet here I am writing another review). Some people never use mixers for heavier tasks, ignore the shortcomings of their brand, or sell their soul for the price of a free mixer. It seems like all the old mixers are the great ones. Sunbeam, Kitchenaid, Kenwood and others shine from blogs and videos online yet the new line of mixers on the market don't seem to be the same.
When I buy a new product I like to make sure it is going to last me so I break it in properly. The Kenwood KM080ATCA Cooking Chef looked like it would meet all my needs, yet it died on day one despite all the glowing reviews online. Online reviews won't tell you about the E06 error and other problems from the "new" Kenwood line. My old reliable mixer is a 450W Kitchenaid stand mixer so I decided to break down and finally buy the Kitchenaid 575W stand mixer thinking it had more power than my old one. I couldn't have been more wrong.
Online reviews were positive (again) and I missed that fact that most positive reviews hardly use their mixer for much. So I ordered it and started testing it about five hours after arrival.
Day one I had the grey batter problem despite numerous cleanings before usage. Looked it up online, followed the advice of washing with baking soda followed by vinegar and it stopped making my batter grey. I made brownies and two cakes (chiffon and angel) and all turned out well. It didn't whip as fast as my old Kitchenaid, but I ignored that since it was making more orbital movements. After all this is 575W and my old one is 450W.
Day two I thought I would be making two loaves of bread and cookies later in the day. I put together my standard bread recipe and started the mixer on speed 2. Again it really seemed like there was a lack of power, but it was only 5.5 cups of AP flour. Once it came together it started "chugging". The dough hook would occasionally stop then try to go again limping around the bowl like it was ready to die. This wasn't even wet like sweet dough yet the mixer couldn't handle it. Finally I can smell something burning. It's the mixer so I turn it off and touch the top and it is cooking hot. The smell coming out the back is horrid so I unplug it. So I returned it and chose not to get another one.
As I go online to look up this problem I see it happening to many people in the negative reviews with comments telling these people NOT to make bread with this mixer. I'm sorry folks but the big brag on the side of my box proclaims how many cups and pounds of bread dough this thing can handle. If I want a machine to make simple batters I'll buy a hand mixer. It is also at this point that I find out that wattage means nothing today in stand mixers. It's a simple deception to think you are getting more power if the wattage is higher. They manipulate you when they play with words like "peak" and ignore "continuous" power (look these terms up). There are old 325W mixers that destroy most mixers around today because they have more horsepower. Wattage is usually just showing you the peak power usage of the mixer not it's actual power to the bowl. Continuous horsepower (not peak) is the key to a good mixer.
So when you do buy a mixer drive it for the first week to make sure it will last you for the needs you have at home. I have spoken to some people in the industry and they don't like anything on the home market today. Some have recommended the 7qt Kitchenaid to me but I don't know if I really trust them anymore since other recent KA purchases have died as well and again rating it by "peak" power. I am amazed that in the price range of $500 or more you can not find a reliable mixer anymore. The Bosch is attractive, but I despise that plastic bowl and find it does not meet all my needs properly. Maybe I'll just try to find parts for my old Kitchenaid online since it seems companies care less and less about what they are selling to their customers today.