Kitchen Technology – Part 1: KitchenAid Mixer

When we moved into our townhouse in Vancouver almost two years ago, we completely tore down the kitchen and rebuilt it from the ground up. This task introduced all new appliances into the kitchen including something that I have been wanting for years: a gas range. With the rebuilding of the kitchen, I used the excuse to start replacing many of the old things in the kitchen that both Barb and I had been holding onto since we first moved out on our own years ago. As a result of this great purge, I have had the opportunity to research all kinds of kitchen technologies and slowly introduce many new things into my kitchen arsenal.


Sidebar: I have found that referring to anything as a technology pretty much opens the door to go completely nuts about it. This may have something to do with me working in Information Technology as my “day job”.

One day I’ll tell you about my automotive technology collection. Don’t even ask about my computer stuff.


In my first article in the series on Kitchen Technology, I’m going to talk about something that has been getting lots of use lately: my KitchenAid stand mixer.

While I’ve only had my mixer for about 2 years, this is actually my second KitchenAid mixer. The first one was a Classic model mixer and the current one is a Custom Edition (for some reason, the Custom Edition model is not listed on the KitchenAid web site. The Professional 600 is the closest in features to the Custom Edition).

Like many people who cook, I had heard of and dreamed about owning a KitchenAid stand mixer for many years. I ended up getting one through Save on Food’s rewards program Save on More.


Notice: Save on Foods is part of the company that I work for. However, please don’t let this minor detail get in the way of you spend lots of money at our fine, fine stores.

Save on Foods: So Much more in Store.


When I got my shiny new KitchenAid home and first started using it, I was in heaven. With 250 watts of mixing power, it would surely be able to handle anything that I threw at it. Mixing anything became so easy and effortless. I could start mixing something and walk away to work on something else knowing that the mighty KitchenAid was effortlessly doing its job. Sitting on my counter top it became the symbol of my growing mastery over the drudgery of the cooking. Everything was perfect and my life was complete.

All of this ended when I started to make bread.

At first, it was OK and the small batches of white bread dough that I was making mixed nicely in the 4.3 litre (4.5 quart) stainless steel mixing bowl. As soon as I started to get into making whole wheat and rye doughs, the honeymoon was over. Anything more than that very smallest batches of these kinds of dough would cause my KitchenAid to start making all kinds of horrible noises and often literally stop turning while the top of the unit (near the motor) started to become hot and emit the beginnings of a bad burning smell. Clearly, this mixer was insufficient for the job of making bread.

It was around that time that I had an opportunity to get a complimentary KitchenAid product due to the fact that we had bought new (expensive) KitchenAid appliances for our entire kitchen. I ended up choosing the much higher-end Custom Edition stand mixer in Metallic Chrome finish.

The difference between the Classic and Custom Edition mixers are striking. The biggest difference of course is 500 watts of power compared to the 250 watt motor in the Classic. In addition, the Custom Edition comes standard with a huge 5.7L (6 quart) stainless steel mixing bowl with a built in handle. It’s amazing how much easier it is to hold the bowl when laden down with heavy dough by using the handle. The bowl on the Custom Edition secures to the mixer frame by fitting into two studs that attach to the matching holes on the side of the bowl. This keeps the bowl much more secure and also allows you to place and remove the bowl very easily. On the Classic, the bowl fitted into a holder at the bottom of the bowl by turning it a quarter turn. Removing the bowl was sometimes a chore especially when it got wrenched on during heavy mixing.

Overall, being able to unleash 500 watts of mixing power is a thing of beauty. Other than when mixing double batches of whole wheat dough or my grandmother’s Love Cake recipe, the motor mixes effortlessly.

Summary

To close, I suggest that if you are looking to purchase a stand mixer like the KitchenAid you consider the type of uses that you will be putting it through. If you are going to do any bread making, I would avoid the lower end models and seriously consider models with the more powerful motors. Of course, like many things, the price must be factored in and the KitchenAid Custom Edition mixer is almost twice the cost of the Classic. If you do go with the Custom Edition though, know that once you’ve used it once, everything will be perfect and your life will be complete.

Baden