Sunday, October 26, 2008

It's Time. Help me Decide... New KA Mixer.

Okay so many of you super loyal followers might recall when the TWD Brioche bread blew up my loyal KA mixer of 11 years. Well it was a combo of the brioche and my complete ignorance since I had it on medium-high speed for like 10 minutes which apparently is a BIG NO NO.

Now I know. The local KA guy said $240 to fix. I said I can get a new one for that price, my hub said I can fix it for 1/2 it came back home with me and bits and pieces and has sat in our garage for 3 months since then.

It's birthday this week and my better half asked what I wanted. Barring a few really ridiculous gifts... I thought a KA mixer. But he still wants to fix mine. Someday soon. However, I am not a patient girl and holiday baking is around the corner. I need a KA to do some of the things my hand mixer is pretty sucky about, like making fluffy boiled icing and SMBC to the correct consistency.

So here is where, lovely blogging followers come in. I know that many of you have a KA and I would like to know what kind. More specifically I am debating between the Artisan and the Professional HD, both 5qt bowl. My old one is a professional 6qt and it was always a little bit too big for regular baking. Even though I make a lot of cupcakes... I typically do not make 100 of the same flavor. And mixing up smaller batches of batter or frosting in the 6qt was really never a good thing.

I am leaning towards the Pro HD 5qt because of the more powerful motor and the all-steel gears... the Artisan seems like it's more a hobby cook kind of mixer, though I have read people saying they have done bread and the like in there though I guess it's not really recommended.

My main concern with the Pro HD 5qt is that I have read on various blogs here and there that sometimes KA mixers can easily overmix delicate batters such as for cakes and cupcakes. Since this is mainly what I do, I wonder if the Artisan's lesser motor is better for that. But I'd like to get a truly flexible mixer that can easily do doughs even though I make bread oh 2x a year.

I have also read that the Artisans' have lower bowl heights so that making 'double' batches of some recipes doesn't work super well, and that the tilt-back head can be a pain if you don't have a lot of cupboard clearing. I know the pro-bracket lift works because that is what I had for my old mixer...but not sure about the tilt in our kitchen.

I can get the Artisan refurb'd for about $200 (or new for like $240) and the Pro 5qt HD model refurb'd for $180. My old one was refurb'd and it lasted me 11 years and I got it for $200 on Amazon. So I am a fan of the refurb'd by manuf for these types of things UNLESS I can get a stellar deal on new for a few bucks I would probably get a new Artisan but a refurb'd Pro HD.

Any thoughts??? I'd love to hear from you all in comments, what do you use and if you have either the Artisan or the Pro 5qt HD please chime in. I am going to hopefully make a decision by tomorrow.

I am really interested in hearing about the overmixing of batter with the more powerful motor. I don't have this issue with the hand mixer but the lower speeds on it are far less than the KA's lower speeds so that is where the concerns come in. And just so I'm clear, I want something I can use mostly for cake and cookie batters...but I'd *like* it to be versatile enough to handle other things too like the random dough.

Thanks in advance, lovely readers!!


Koriann said...

We have a 5 qt artisan, and we chose the artisan because it fit under on our counter under our cabinets, whereas the professional would not have. We also chose the tilt head for that reason as well because the lift bowl was taller and wouldn't have fit.

My boyfriend makes baguettes in it and they turn out beautifully. I've also made cinnamon rolls and the dough was wonderful.

Hope that helps.

CB said...

Holy KA batman! You have put alot of thought into your purchase. I think my only criteria for mine was "red". HAHA. I have an artisan 5qt and I love it. You know I bake alot of cupcakes and I've never had any problems. GL with your KA purchase!

Heather B said...

I have a borrowed (from my mom until she moves into her new house) that is the Pro 5 qt HD. When I have to give it back and get my own, I'm going to get the Pro.

The Artisan will fit under my cabinets but I have limited counter space in my apartment so the Pro lift up bowl makes it easier to use the bowl than having to scoot the Artisan up to tilt the head back to remove the bowl. Umm...I hope that makes sense! lol.

Plus I like the flexibility that the Pro gives me. I don't make bread all that often like you but when I do make some, I want that extra power. Especially with all of my planned holiday baking!

Good luck with your decision!

Amelia said...

Dear Greg, please get your Mrs a brand NEW mixer. She has been so good all year, even wanting to save a few bucks for a *no no* refurb'd one! COME ON, a NEW mixer for her please. Yours truly, your boardgame partner in crime /=P

Jess said...

I do love my Professional 6 quart - I've had it for 7 years and it's never failed me, even after the brioche experiment (it did "dance" a little on the counter - I had to keep an eye on it). I find it to be a fine size for the home baker - I'm not usually baking for a crowd either, but if I ever want to do a double batch of something, I can. It does have to live permanently on my counter, but I have the space. To me, the advantages (power, capacity, longevity) outweigh the disadvantages (size, bulkiness, no tilt head). And tell your husband you'll need a Beater Blade ( as well for all your patience! (It's on my Christmas list.)

Mara said...

koriann...baguettes wow! can you send me some? hehee.

clara..yep i am an over-researcher on things like this, so silly i know!! but think about it, my last one lasted 11 years... this is kind of a long-term purchase hee!

heather...i hear ya on the holiday baking, that is why i am looking into this now, its going to be crazy town in my kitchen!

amelia...from your keyboard to Greg's ears...i told him you left him a special note. but gotta say, refurb'd by KA is not a bad thing, or at least it has not been for me in the past!! read my mind! i already checked out the Beater Blade to be sure it works with both the Artisan or Pro so that it won't factor negatively into the decision! it looks too cool.

Thanks for chiming in everyone... I am going to purchase today I hope, if I can find 30 minutes to do it. I am thinking PRO 5qt ... I was thinking black because it's just something different but it only comes with the flat blade not the dough and whisk (on Amazon) whereas the white comes with all 3 for same price, go figure?!?!

Faery said...

Dear Mara please tell your hub that we: your super loyal followers want a new KA for your birthday, Thank you
Wow a KA is not as expensive there, here a samll artisan worth four millions Bolivares (4000BsF the new name of the money but it is the same as saying 4000000 Bs)I want a BIG heavy duty :(

Kiki said...

Ha ha ha! This is EXACTLY what happened to me last week! Hubby wants to fix mine, too. I am trying to find a deal on a new one. Hilarious, Mara!

AmyRuth said...

Well????What did you decide? We want pictures.
AmyRuth he he he : )