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Ken Krone

Large home mixers: Ankarsrum? KitchenAid? Other?

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I am considering the purchase of a larger mixer than our old KA 4.5 quart mixer, which does well on single recipes but doubling recipes causes the motor to labor.

As I have done research on what is available, I am finding it a bit difficult, as I do not know if all of the KA-bashers out there are "religious" zealots or if they are speaking from considered opinions and experience. It caused me to look further than the ProLine/Professional/NSF KA models, and I found the Ankarsrum, of which I had not heard before.

If anyone has some experience with either or both, I would be grateful to hear it.

Thanks 
Ken K

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If you weren't so far away, I'd trade you my 7 quart Cuisinart for your 4.5 quart KA.  The big monster is very heavy.  I don't need anything that big.  Don't double recipes very often.  My DH bought it for me and I hardly ever use it for those reasons. 

 

Good luck.


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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hhmm.  disclaimer:  I have a mid '80's 5 qt lift bowl KA - and I'm happy with it.  325 watt, 5 qt.  I only do small(er) batches of breads and pizza dough - make butter, whip cream, and souffles.  take note that eggs whites and heavy cream are not famous for offering a lot of resistance.....

 

that said, there is megatons of truth in the stripped gears, poor design, etc., you will see reported on KA mixers over the years.

the product has a history.  the "name" / "brand" was sold and the new owners, seeking more milk out of the cash cow, gave the brand a pretty darn big black eye.

 

some say the problems have been resolved.  some say it's still the same old broke down cow.

every year or so new KA models come out with bigger motors (wattage wise) and etc.  the critics say it's the same old motor, just new Chinese math on wattage ratings.....

 

the best expert on factual KA stuff I've read can be found here:

http://leoladysw.blogspot.com/2012/02/introduction-and-timeline.html

 

the "other" market has many converts.  they swear by x y z.  at double the KA cost + , methinks I'd swear as well....  it's not like KA are cheap.

 

the basic issue is how big a batch are you demanding / requiring.  few counter top models are intended for mass production - they are designed for the "home kitchen" - I say this as once upon a time came a similar query - and as it later turned out the poster was looking to do 20-30 loaves of whole grain breads per day.  that's not a home kitchen, that's a small bakery.....

 

and the really bad KA news is,,,, reading reviews of the newer 575 watt models, the happy campers sound like June Cleaver doing a happy-happy-happy dance, the unhappy campers sound rather gear-grounded in real life.  makes one wonder about the reality of some reviews.....

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I too have a mid 1980's 5 quart.  Never had any problems with it -- though it's a valid observation about egg whites and heavy cream.  I've never used a KitchenAid for making bread.  In recent years this mixer has seen little use, since I seldom anymore make cakes.  Last year when I had to find counter space for a chamber vacuum sealer the KitchenAid was banished to the living room.

 

However last month I acquired a KSM8990WH, the 8 quart NSF commercial model, and now the rice maker is in the dining room.  The reason I needed a larger KitchenAid is that the Precise Heat Mixing Bowl attachment did not fit on my 5 quart.  I can't say I have given the KSM8990WH a heavy workout by any means, but I've run it constantly for an hour and a half and also used it for grinding meat.

 

So far I am very pleased.

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I like the new Kenwood with induction heat. I have used it at work and it has a lot of great features like a timer and a thermometer. I still use a 7qt (under the DeLonghi label) 2007 Kenwood at home and make full bowls of bread at least once a week with it. It has more power than most similar sized mixers.

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I wonder how the Kenwood with induction heat compares with the KichenAid PHMB?  I thought about the Kenwood with induction heat myself, but as I recall the KSM8990WH and PHMB combined were less than half the cost.

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hhmm.  disclaimer:  I have a mid '80's 5 qt lift bowl KA - and I'm happy with it.  325 watt, 5 qt.  I only do small(er) batches of breads and pizza dough - make butter, whip cream, and souffles.  take note that eggs whites and heavy cream are not famous for offering a lot of resistance.....

 

that said, there is megatons of truth in the stripped gears, poor design, etc., you will see reported on KA mixers over the years.

the product has a history.  the "name" / "brand" was sold and the new owners, seeking more milk out of the cash cow, gave the brand a pretty darn big black eye.

 

some say the problems have been resolved.  some say it's still the same old broke down cow.

every year or so new KA models come out with bigger motors (wattage wise) and etc.  the critics say it's the same old motor, just new Chinese math on wattage ratings.....

 

the best expert on factual KA stuff I've read can be found here:

http://leoladysw.blogspot.com/2012/02/introduction-and-timeline.html

 

the "other" market has many converts.  they swear by x y z.  at double the KA cost + , methinks I'd swear as well....  it's not like KA are cheap.

 

the basic issue is how big a batch are you demanding / requiring.  few counter top models are intended for mass production - they are designed for the "home kitchen" - I say this as once upon a time came a similar query - and as it later turned out the poster was looking to do 20-30 loaves of whole grain breads per day.  that's not a home kitchen, that's a small bakery.....

 

and the really bad KA news is,,,, reading reviews of the newer 575 watt models, the happy campers sound like June Cleaver doing a happy-happy-happy dance, the unhappy campers sound rather gear-grounded in real life.  makes one wonder about the reality of some reviews.....

I frequently double recipes, and with pizza dough or croissant dough, it can put a bit of  a stress on the motor which manifests in some laboring of the motor as well as some heat generation.  I do not put out scores of loaves of bread or pizzas a week--I weigh enough already...!

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actually, there's nothing wrong with a motor under load.  or a motor getting warm.

 

if it gets too hot to hold your hand on "indefinitely" that is running into a bad area.

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Ken,  what are you planning to use it for?  For bread, there is really no contest. The Ankarsrum is a bread making monster.  It is extremely well engineered, built like a tank, and has some features that the KA doesn't have.  The motor is awesome.  It never slows down no matter how much you put in it, and it doesn't whine or growl or get warm while kneading. The bowl is very big and very heavy duty.  Most of the time when you watch a TV show where they use a KA, the person using it reminds the audience not to turn it on when you just added flour, you need to pulse it on until the flour is mixed in, otherwise the dough goes everywhere, and most complain that it is pretty awkward to add additional ingredients.  The  Ankarsrum doesn't have either of those issues -  flour doesn't fly everywhere, and there is no problem adding ingredients as you go, the bowl is wide open.  It also has a timer -  if you want to knead for 5 minutes, set the timer, and 5 minutes later it turns itself off.  It can knead very small amounts of dough with no problem - other machines can struggle getting a good knead on small quantities.  The main downsides are the cost and  there is a learning curve on how to use it.  While some come with a kneading hook, most of us use the roller and scraper, so it takes a little time to learn how to use it.  I have not used it for cake or cookies, so can't speak to that.  I have made puddings and mousse with no problems.  BTW,  I have an older KA lift bowl mixer, and have owned and used Bosch Universal ( though not the plus ) Bosch Concept and Bosch Compact.  If you haven't already, check out the reviews on Fresh Loaf.   

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Most of the time when you watch a TV show where they use a KA, the person using it reminds the audience not to turn it on when you just added flour, you need to pulse it on until the flour is mixed in, otherwise the dough goes everywhere, and most complain that it is pretty awkward to add additional ingredients.

 

I don't have a television, so I am not sure what you are speaking of, but I have not had this problem with KitchenAid.

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Back in the '90s, I burnt out two KAs - 5 qt lift bowl models - trying to mix and knead the Struan bread from Brother Juniper's bread book by Peter Reinhart, I bought an AEG Electrolux mixer - now called Ankarsrum - and it got a lot of use in the early days when I was doing a lot of baking of large batches of "artisan" breads.

 

There is a bit of a learning curve and it is more expensive, but it has held up with no problems and still works perfectly after 20 years.

 

Having a timer is especially handy for me as I can set the speed and the timer and walk away to do something else, instead of hovering over the mixer to stop it and/or scrape down the sides (the latter is annoying to me with the KA because it isn't easy to get in and around the paddle with a spatural to scrape down the sides of the bowl).

 

I have written about the mixer numerous times in the past in various threads on this forum. 

This is one discussion

 

And in this thread about stand mixers, I again wrote about how I use it:  Post # 422

 

When I bought my AEG in November 1994, I paid $439.95.  - For me it has been a bargain.  Pro-rate that over 20 years.

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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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Whoa!That Ankarsrum is nice. I like how it has that open area to add ingredients. My  beloved 5qt. KA gets flour everywhere even when I'm careful. How does the Ankarsrum perform when making cake batter?


Edited by Susie Q (log)

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Susie,  sorry,  I don't make cake, so I haven't tried it for that.  I did use it to cream whipped cream, and that came out well.  It has a separate bowl and whisks for egg whites and a separate whisks for thicker ingredients.  Unfortunately, the manual is more IKEA pictographs than descriptions, so I am not exactly sure what they recommend for cake batter.  There is an Amazon review from back in 2006 that says it is great for cakes, but you need to have the butter at room temperature  http://www.amazon.com/Electrolux-White-Assistent-Stand-Mixer/product-reviews/B00006WNNH.  These reviews are of the Assistent Model sold under the Electrolux name, but it is the same manufacturer as the current model, and the same machine, except the current model has a higher speed and a larger motor.

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Whoa!That Ankarsrum is nice. I like how it has that open area to add ingredients. My  beloved 5qt. KA gets flour everywhere even when I'm careful. How does the Ankarsrum perform when making cake batter?

I have mixed lots of cake batter in my AEG with great results.  Small two-layer cakes as well as quick "breads" banana, pumpkin, etc., but where it really shines is in mixing enough batter for larger cakes - 1/2 sheet pan size and 14 inch rounds.  - Can't do that with a regular KA.

It will also mix enough batter for a thin sponge cake baked in a full-size sheet pan - has to be thin so it can be easily rolled. 

Before I got the AEG I would have to mix two batches - which is why I had two 5-qt bowls for my KA - had a copper liner for one (sold it on ebay) to beat egg whites. 

The capacity in the beater bowl is enough for a full-size angelfood or sponge cake and it does a bang-up job on egg whites and I have used it for Italian meringues many, many times.  As I said in another post from a few years ago, it is much easier to pour the hot syrup into the AEG than it is into the KA with the beater running.  I love the open top.

 

Here's a photo of cake batter in the AEG using the roller/scraper - NOT having to scrape the sides of the bowl saves a lot of time..

cake batter.jpg

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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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