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723 of 739 found the following review helpful:
This mixer will change the way you cookAug 07, 2002
By R D
Unlike many of the reviewers, I've only had this mixer for about a year, and it's this specific model, the 250W 4.5 quart mixer (the bottom of the Kitchenaid line). It was a real splurge at the time we purchased it, but it has turned out to be well worth it.
Before the Kitchenaid, I didn't do much baking. I tend towards more "manly" cooking techniques: the hotter the fire, the spicier the recipe, the better as far as I'm concerned. But this machine is as satisfying to use as any power tool in the garage -- there is something about using the *right* tool for the job, and I've found no tasks that one might consider using a mixer for that the Kitchenaid doesn't excel at. But it's especially good for baking, and once you start using it, you'll have your oven running a lot more than you used to.
The big difference between this mixer and the standard "two beater" models you may be familiar with is that it uses a single mixing attachment that rotates in two motions- it not only spins on its own axis, it also is rotated around the edge of the bowl. This does an extremely effective job of mixing ingredients without need for the bowl rotating, since the mixing motion covers the entire bowl. For most mixing jobs, it also requires no scraping of the sides with the spatula. IE: when it's mixing, you can ignore it and work on other stuff.
The first attachment I'll mention is the dough hook, which is a godsend for kneading. In the last day, I've made pizza dough, bagels, and whole wheat bread. Although this is the least powerful machine Kitchenaid makes, it kneads stiff dough (like the aforementioned bagels made with high-gluten flour) that would turn your mother's mixmaster into a smoking, stinking heap of fried motor components. Machine kneading takes a *lot* of the effort and variability out of making bread... you never "knead in" too much flour to keep it from sticking to your hands, and the 20 minutes you normally spend working the dough turns into 10 minutes you can use to clean up the kitchen.
The other two attachments are the paddle and the whisk. The paddle is the all-purpose "workhorse" beater, and works extremely well for creaming sugar and butter together, mixing cookie dough or cake batter, or any other general-purpose mixing job. With the orbital motion, it comes right up to the edge of the bowl, so it is effectively scraping as it goes. The whisk is great for egg whites and making whipped cream. I'm sure it's good for something else, but that's what I've used it for.
As for capacity, the 4.5 quart model is suitable for pretty much any "normal" home recipes. It's a "standard mixer". It will easily knead enough dough at once for two loaves of bread, or mix a double-batch of cookies.
As for downsides: this thing is HEAVY. You won't be moving it once it's in place. If you knead very stiff dough, the bowl sometimes will get tightened to the extent that it is very difficult to remove from the base. It's OK if you remember to leave it a little loose beforehand, but I always forget and I end up wrestling with the machine to twist it out. The metal trim band on the mixer right above the bowl has come a little loose on my model- the machine got a bit hot after some heavy kneading, and I think some adhesive got soft. It's held in place well by something else, but sometimes it will slip when I'm wiping the machine off. It's purely cosmetic from what I can tell, and it's the only thing that feels cheap in any way about this machine. Other than that, I honestly haven't had a single complaint.
In summary: this is an expensive mixer, but it is very well worth it. Even novice cooks will find it's use enjoyable, and it will inspire you to explore new things that you probably didn't do before because of the time and effort involved.
209 of 217 found the following review helpful:
buy the right kitchenaidSep 23, 2004
Have never heard a bad word about Kitchenaid stand mixers until I read one here from someone using the smallest mixer for big chores. In the last two years I have purchased a total of 14 Kitchenaid mixers, from the classic to the 6 quart professional model...all on sale. They were purchased for gifts for my daughters, church members, choir director and friends. I bought 7 Classic models, 4 Heavy Duty models 2 Artisans and the 6 quart professional for myself. I have not received one negative comment. When you purchase a Kitchenaid, do not purchase it by bowl size...you must purchase it based on the motor size for the jobs you do. If you are constantly mixing bread and double batches of very heavy dough, you should purchase a mixer with a heavy duty motor. This information is found on the Kitchenaid website. The company clearly tells you what each mixer is capable of doing. I know women who have had these mixers since they were brides 25 years or more ago...they are still up and running. They are an investment like good knives and heavy cookware...no real cook should be without one, but should be smart enough to buy the right one. I only wish I had one when I started baking 43 years ago, maybe I wouldn't have tendonitis from mixing all those cookies by hand with a wooden spoon!!! They are worth every penny.
114 of 120 found the following review helpful:
I'm in love and his name is KitchenAid!Dec 16, 2001
I received a white one for an early christmas gift and just used it for the first time on he christmas cookies that are a tradition in my family. In the past years, I've used my mother's old stand-mixer, and I've also used a hand mixer, which is near impossible to do with this recipe. This year, I used my new mixer and I am blown away! These cookies, that usually take forever, were done in no time! And even though I didn't think the 4 1/2 quart bowl would be big enough for the whole recipe, I had no problem and room to spare! It's surprisingly deep. It also stayed relatively cool through the three batches of cookies I made (I'm used to beginning to smell smoke from my mothers!)
I only used the flat beater yesterday, but have some bread recpies that I'm dying to use the dough hook on.
Just a few concerns...The dough sticks to the side of the bowl, so I did have to stop from time to time and scrape it off, but that was nothing that I wasn't used to. And you cannot attach a larger bowl to this mixer...the only other bowl you can attach is one of the same size with a handle.
And definately invest in a splash guard. You only get lemon extract in your eyes once to make that decision.
516 of 569 found the following review helpful:
NOT FOR MAKING BREAD ON A REGULAR BASIS!!!!Nov 01, 2002
By M. Baker
A word of warning - the Kitchenaides made in the past 10 or so years have a less powerful and durable motor than the older ones. If you like making homemade bread (like I do) purchase a professional mixer to knead your dough (or do it by hand like I do now). Kitchenaides used on a regular basis to make homemade bread (especially using whole wheat flour) will destroy your motor. When you send the mixer in for repairs (under warranty) they will say you've been using it commercially and refuse to stand behind their warranty. If you tell them you use it to make bread they'll tell you it's not made for that (they can't explain why they provide a dough hook though or neglect to provide any warnings against breadmaking in particular). I've always loved Kitchenaide appliances, my sisters is 15+ years old and going strong but my poor 4 year old mixer overheats and strains doing the same recipes. My next mixer will be a Magic Mill DLX Kitchen Machine, its twice as much, but will last like the old Kitchenaides do. I have to give 2 stars for the lousy warranty service and lack of honesty in their manuals.
Update: August 2004
Haven't been using my KA for bread since (bought a breadmachine to mix my dough). Only using the KA for light use abut 4 times a month. Now it makes a grinding noise continuously while in use. Cookie doughs seems almost too hard for it too. My sisters is now over 20 years old and going strong (even with bread). I wish they made them like they used too........
138 of 153 found the following review helpful:
Amazon's price is not all it is cracked up to beDec 16, 2000
...The pour chute is not included in the manufacturers box, by the way.
The mixer does an adequate job on the usual mixing chores but tends to grind away at heavier jobs such as bread dough. It sometimes stalls on these jobs and needs to cool off for ten minutes or so before resuming.
If you need to make stiff batters and bread doughs, look at the 300 or 350 watt models.
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