Guest post incoming
Have at it. Rant away. I am on my 3rd home mixer in well less than 10 years, which is somewhat embarassing, and I can tell it's nearly time to start looking again. Once a long long time ago, I had a Hobart that was a workhorse, and another time had a first gen Breville that was too small but held up better than expected (though a subsequent model did not.) But I keep going back to a Kitchenaid, because I would love to have just one sturdy all-around mixer that is as good for meringue as it is for breads. I am starting to think I should have had two mixers all along.
I have two Kitchen Aide stand mixers, one large one small, and I have never had a problem and I do whatever the recipe calls for. I never realized there is a manufacturer's recommendation of such limited use - yikes. Lately, I have been using a $10 pawn shop Cuisinart bread machine for the first mix/knead - I think it does a better job than either of my Kitchen Aide mixers (I never use it to bake, though).
I am using a vintage Kitchen Aid, Model KSM90/300 Watts/115 Volts/Hz 60 with a stainless bowl that locks /twists into the base. I have a professional model at another location. I can't say the performance is any different, but since the vintage model was not used for decades, oil would leak from the motor for several uses. It heats up with prolonged, high speed mixing, but seems to perform as it should. I do have to stop and scrape the bottom of the bowl to ensure no dry flour remains. If and when these puppies break down, I would like to invest in a European mixer. I remember my mother's old Sunbeam mixer from the 60's ran for years. Why can't machinery be built to last or be repaired to continue functioning, so we don't create so much waste? I once saw a donut forger on a battleship museum that looked like it could still function. I would like to see something engineered and built in the US that isn't disposable and is worth the investment, for many years of use.
So how much does one have to spend to get a warrantied stand mixer that can handle bread doughs at faster speeds and longer times? The Wilfa goes for over $1000. King Arthur sells a Ankarsrum mixer for $750, which ATK just highly rated (they dinged every single Kitchen Aid mixer due to the warrenty issues you just mentioned.) Anything else?
Interesting. I've been making bread in my Kitchen Aid all along at whatever speed/time I want without knowing this guidance. I haven't killed it yet, so fingers crossed!
Thanks for this information. I have a Kitchen Aide that has to be over 30 years old. I agree with why can't things be made that will last. I don't want to continue buying appliances that should last and disappoint.
I'd be curious to know when or what model Kitchen Aid started saying that. Everyone I know with a 30 or 40 year old Kitchen Aid is happy with them but everyone with a newer one struggles. With bread at least. I had a frustrating time with a 6 qt Pro trying to make 2-3 loaves at a time. I bought an Ankarsrum and never looked back. Despite the conventional wisdom that there's a steep learning curve with an Ank, mine only lasted one afternoon.
Looking forward to the rant. I left my KitchenAid for an Ank ... but it too has its problems. Still in search of the perfect mixer.
I’m tempted to get a Braun. I have a 20 year old 6 qt Pro KA and it struggles with well hydrated dough.
Honestly, I never do dough in the mixer anymore, since I went low-knead (I call it the Dan Lepard approach because I learned it from him). I now have a 1970s avocado Kitchenaid that I inherited from my grandma and it's only for cake and cookies.