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KitchenAid Professional 600 Mixer


Shelby
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5 hours ago, Big Joe the Pro said:

   This reminds me of the extended warranty offer I received from KA soon after buying my unit.  I threw it away in disgust, but if I remember correctly they wanted US $ 500 to cover it for five years?  Can you imagine?  I think I only paid about $ 300 for the thing.  Crazy.  First-of-all, if it breaks within five years it's going straight back to Kohl's.

 

I'd never get an extended warranty. I do the opposite and buy them refurbished, which saves a ton of money (in exchange for a 6 month warranty). Which is fine if you use it a lot ... you'll know in a couple of months if anything's wrong with it. Now that I know how easy they are to work on, I'd take the thing apart and regrease it the minute the warranty's up.

Edited by paulraphael (log)

Notes from the underbelly

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3 hours ago, Big Joe the Pro said:

 I always have to stop the KA several times during the first minute or two and 'nudge' the wet starter and dry flour together.  

 

I always start dough with the flat beater. This includes the initial mixing before autolyse, and the wet mixing before adding the final quantity of flour. It's much faster and works the dough much harder than a dough hook can. Once the dough develops some body switch to the hook (mandatory ... you'll break something if you don't).

Notes from the underbelly

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   Yes, I also start with the flat beater with completely dry dough, but I'm a little afraid to use it at the point of mixing the starter and autolysed dough together.  Like you say; you could break something.  I'll have to give it a try.

 

   I never ever get those extended warranties either.  The companies obviously make a profit on them, so the odds are in our favor, right?  I'll never forget KA's offer of five years of coverage for $500 though.  It didn't instill me with confidence in my shiny new machine.

Maybe I would have more friends if I didn't eat so much garlic?

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I understand the logic of extended warranties in some circumstances. Like if you have plenty of money to spend and zero tolerance of hassle. But if that's your position, just buy an overpriced KA mixer from Williams Sonoma. They warrant everything forever (at least they did last I checked). 

 

The other issue with KA is that they're so easy and inexpensive to fix, assuming you have some patience and free time.
 

For me this has become the nicest thing about the mixer. That I was able to use the thing hard for 8 years, break it, and then for under $50 in parts and an few hours' total tinkering and Youtubing, have a brand new mixer. 

 

This is worth a lot, because ALL consumer planetary mixers are going to break if you use them hard. They all have underspecified motors, light duty bearings, and casual manufacturing tolerances. If they didn't, they'd be commercial mixers and the entry level would be $1000. That's just life. 

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There are many other countries that use 120V as the standard. Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, Columbia, Equador, Guyana, parts of Brazil, Guatamala, etc.  220V is by far the majority but it isn't just the USA.

 

Because of my background in electroincs engineering of industrial equipment that shipped world-wide it is interesting to note that many "220V" countries did provide ample 120V power in their control rooms so that they can easily use equipment from 120V-centric countries.

 

I'm not going to change the world but I would have prefered the USA to have standardized on 220V when electricity came into common usage.

Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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2 hours ago, Big Joe the Pro said:

     I never ever get those extended warranties either.

I don't buy them either.

 

If you want to have a little fun, when they ask you if you want the extended warranty, put on a worried expression and ask if there is a problem with these machines.

Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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13 hours ago, Porthos said:

There are many other countries that use 120V as the standard. Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, Columbia, Equador, Guyana, parts of Brazil, Guatamala, etc.  220V is by far the majority but it isn't just the USA.

 

Because of my background in electroincs engineering of industrial equipment that shipped world-wide it is interesting to note that many "220V" countries did provide ample 120V power in their control rooms so that they can easily use equipment from 120V-centric countries.

 

I'm not going to change the world but I would have prefered the USA to have standardized on 220V when electricity came into common usage.

 

Just be thankful that your mixer isn't running on DC.

Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

 

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14 hours ago, paulraphael said:

I understand the logic of extended warranties in some circumstances. Like if you have plenty of money to spend and zero tolerance of hassle. But if that's your position, just buy an overpriced KA mixer from Williams Sonoma. They warrant everything forever (at least they did last I checked). 

 

Not anymore they don't!

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On 3/14/2016 at 11:05 PM, paulraphael said:

 

I always start dough with the flat beater. This includes the initial mixing before autolyse, and the wet mixing before adding the final quantity of flour. It's much faster and works the dough much harder than a dough hook can. Once the dough develops some body switch to the hook (mandatory ... you'll break something if you don't).

 

   Ok, I took your suggestion and used the flat beater to start to mix together the wet starter and drier autolysed flour, and it worked pretty well.  The flat beater was 'dirty' already from mixing the autolysed flour, so it's not even any extra washing up.  It was kind of a pain to get that gluey dough off of the flat beater, but nothing is perfect.  It didn't seem to strain the KA Pro 600 in the least, but I just do single loaves.

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Maybe I would have more friends if I didn't eat so much garlic?

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11 hours ago, paulraphael said:

 

Well, that pretty much removes the last justification for their existence, doesn't it?

 

Pretty much.  Reluctantly they still seem to have things not available anywhere else.

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Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

 

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My rebuilt mixer has survived its first few uses, and does seem to run quieter and cooler with the new grease. I think switching to the synthetic grease is a significant upgrade. As is realizing that KA's claim of "lubricated for life" is an insult to the intelligence of every engineer or semi-sentient tinkerer. If you use a mixer hard, you should relube it every few years or so. You might get lucky and get one that survives decades of abuse, but it's not the best bet.

 

One issue with KA mixers is that the transmission is built around a worm gear. These allow huge changes in speed and torque in a compact arrangement. But they introduce a lot of friction, which means added stress and heat for both transmission and motor. I found one study on worm gears that showed an upgrade from mineral oil-based grease (like KA's) to synthetic grease increased efficiency by 15%. This means a reduction in heat produced by both the transmission and the motor. 

 

Other benefits include consistent lubrication over a wide temperature range, and much improved resistance to grease breakdown from heat or oxygen or water. No more black goop dripping into the mixer bowl.

 

Unrelated: be very careful not to strip any of the machine screw holes that are threaded into the shell of the mixer, that attach the transmission cover. Some people have done this and had their weekends ruined.

 

 

Raphaelson-1.jpg

Fresh guts with fresh synthetic grease.

Edited by paulraphael
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  • 1 month later...

LOL.  I'm making bagels today.  Haven't done that in quite a while.  Looks like since 2011???  Anyway, I still have the same KitchenAid 600 and by golly, it still overheats when making bagel dough.  I decided to search EG and lo and behold, I had started a thread. xD  

 

Anyway, I guess I just wanted to update.  Gives me something to do while my mixer cools down.

 

Sigh.

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On May 15, 2016 at 1:39 PM, paulraphael said:

How big is your batch size (by weight)?

 

(I'm asking because I suspect many—maybe most—of the problems with these mixers are the result of KA's insanely optimistic recommended capacities)

 

It's not very big.  I did weigh it because I wanted to divide the dough into equal pieces but I don't remember the weight now.

 

This is the recipe I used:

 

http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/water-bagels-recipe

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43 minutes ago, Shelby said:

 

That's not as bad as some of KA's suggestions. It's about 1300 grams, 57% hydration (taking into account the malt powder).  A lot of bagel dough is 50% hydration; a recipe this size would break any small planetary mixer. But at 57% it should be more pliable. A workout for the machine, but it probably shouldn't overheat it or break it.

 

My guess is that you're kneading it much more than necessary. That recipe uses the old-school approach of throwing all the ingredients into the mixer and letting it work until the dough is perfectly formed. This requires many times more work than more modern approaches.

 

If you're committed to using this method, I'd suggest cutting the recipe by about a third. If you want to make it this size, try the following:

 

1. Add an autolyse step. This means, when you first mix the ingredients together, leave out about a third of the flour. Mix it together with your flat beater, and only until it forms a loose dough. Cover it and let it sit for at least 20 minute. Preferably 40. This allows the starches and proteins in the dough to hydrate, and allows the gluten to start forming. These processes take time whether the dough is being mechanically mixed or not. There aren't advantages to working the dough before it's hydrated. So you and your mixer can just kick back and watch a movie.

 

2. Wet mix. Still with the flat beater, work that soupy dough on low speed for a bit. It will be very wet and, and will quickly get sticky. You don't want to mix too long, or the gluten will start to break down. I'm guessing that with this dough a minute will be enough. If you see it starting to look less elastic, stop. 

 

The dough is so wet that even with the flat beater, this is very easy on the mixer. But it works the bejeezus out of the flour proteins on the molecular level. A minute of this is like 10 or 20 minutes of dry kneading. 

 

3. Switch to the dough Mix in the rest of the flour, only until it's well incorporated. You'll probably have to stop a couple of times to scrape the sides of the bowl. cover the bowl and let it sit again for another 20 minutes, so the new flour can hydrate. Share a cocktail with your mixer.

 

4. Knead with the dough hook. At this point, 90% of the work is done. Use speed 2, and watch closely. If the dough is really stiff, the bowl can be forced off the supports. Mix only until the dough looks smooth and homogenous. This should take at most 4 minutes. The mixer should barely get warm. 

 

5. Lightly flour the counter and finish off with a couple of hand kneads, just to make sure the texture is right. 

 

This method adds time, but greatly reduces the work for you and the machine. It will generally give better results, because you're not overheating or overoxygenating the dough with too much mechanical mixing. 

 

It's not KA's fault that these stiff doughs are hard on the mixer. It's KA's fault for pretending otherwise. For reference, here's Hobart's capacity chart. The N50, on the far left, is their small countertop mixer. It costs over $2000, and is powerful enough to puree a Kitchenaid mixer. Notice that for "Heavy Bread Dough—55%" and for pasta dough, and pizza doughs of any hydration, they don't recommend the mixer at all. They're saying, if you want to do this tough stuff, get a 12 or 20 quart mixer and pay up!

 

I think Hobart's being overly conservative. But then again, you never hear the complaints about Hobart that you do about KA. You're getting what you pay for from each company. But one of them promises too much. 

 

FWIW, you can overheat or break a Kenwood or Delonghi or Cuisinart as easily, if not more so. They're all wimps compared with the Hobart.

Edited by paulraphael (log)

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