KitchenAid "Commercial" Mixer Quality?

Discussion in 'Professional Pastry Chefs' started by nightscotsman, Oct 14, 2011.

  1. nightscotsman

    nightscotsman

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    I'm going to be buying a stand mixer for my small bakery and I've found what I think is a good deal on a KitchenAid 5-quart Commercial mixer. This model is supposed to be more powerful and strongly built for foodservice businesses, as well as being NSF certified.

    I've used Hobart 5-quart mixers in the past, and that would be my first choice, but they cost around $2,000 new, and used ones are scarce (and still very expensive).

    So, I'm wondering if anyone has had experience with the KitchenAid Commercial model and if it will perform well and last a few years, or will I regret not spending the money on a true workhorse? I should mention that this mixer is primarily for soft creams and mousses - I'll have a big 20-quart for the heavy doughs and batters.
     
  2. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Got one, a "Costco" special. Been in use daily now for 5 years--no breads, but icings, whipped cream, etc.  Holding up pretty good so far.  I think the major difference is the gearbox  casing and the gears--the box bragged that both were "all metal".
     
  3. panini

    panini

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    The newer ones are garbage, not to mention noisy as all get out. Mostly plastic guts. They come in very nice colors though. Hum? let's see?

    October, we've gone through three so far. The green one seems to be holding the best.

    Your running a bakery with a 20 qt.?

    Search for outdated stock with metal guts.
     
  4. nightscotsman

    nightscotsman

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    Thanks for the responses! KitchenAid promises the Commercial model has all metal gears and gearbox (and white only), so not like the colorful home models. 

    The place is going to be very small and pastries only - no bread - so I'm thinking a 20 quart will be adequate.

    Anybody else have experience with the Commercial KitchenAid, or have recommendations on large mixer brands?
     
  5. jcakes

    jcakes

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    I can tell you what not to buy :)

    I have 2 6 qt KAs, 1 brand new 7 qt KA (very noisy), and old 7 qt Viking that I wish would fall off the counter ( am too guilty to push it myself when no one is looking) because the conical shape of the bowl means stuff in the bottom doesn't mix well; a 10 qt Thunderbird that stopped working after a year.

    The  5 qt KA I bought 22 years ago is in constant use and doesn't complain or sputter; the 6s are fine but I'm a little worried about the new 7 qt.  It's just so noisy that I am sure something is going to go wrong (I've had it since it went on sale a few weeks ago), and all I do in in it is cheesecake batter, some small batches of meringue buttercream, egg foams for bisquit....

    Good luck with the new venture!
     
  6. iceman

    iceman

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    I have a KitchenAid at home and I love it (11-12? years so far). I had a KitchenAid at work and I loved it too until two(2) thing happened, luckily at close to the same time; It broke down, and I saved enough $$$ for a Hobart. KitchenAid is a very nice brand, it just aint'e Hobart, for professional long-term use. 
     
  7. sherbel

    sherbel

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    In my heart, I have some serious lust for the N50...but I can't justify it. My old Kitchen Aid is clipping along just fine, as it's been doing for 17 years or so. It's a bowl-lift, bought back when Costco was "Price Club". Sheesh.
     
  8. ashugupta

    ashugupta

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    Hi,

    It is not a good choice. After a week or so it's machine will be free. It can not take a load. You can use only for mixing the food which is liquid enough.
     
  9. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Nightscotsman,

    DO NOT use a 20 qt for breads.

    All mnfctrs, including Hobart will not honour warranty issues if it is "deduced" that  a 20 qt mixer was used for bread or, more specifically, pizza or bagel doughs.

    Get a used 30 qt.  Most of them are more powerfull and more importantly, have a larger bowl capacity. Bread is only profitable if done in volume, and a 20 qt is too small for any kind of volume of bread. 

    Hope this helps
     
  10. nightscotsman

    nightscotsman

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    As I mentioned in my post above - not doing bread (or pizza, or bagels). The most taxing things I'll be making in the 20 quart are croissant dough (which requires basically no kneading) and cookie dough. I may look at 30 quarts as well, but I tend to think they are overkill for what I'm planning.
     
  11. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Don't believe the use of the word commercial. Kitchen- Aid does realy not make commercial product  Hobart does. The gears inside most kitchen aid machines are cheap plastic. Hobart uses metal and reinforced nylon bands. Don't belive me ? take off the housing and look for yourself.

    The commercial KA is simply a heavier duty built model then there base mixers. If you do bread doughs all time it wont last long.
     
  12. panini

    panini

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    I was just trying to help. The so called commercial come in colors. I burn up 3 to 4 a year. I don't want to but I have a compaction problem and have to use these grunts for table top.

    My small hobart has been on the bench for 14 yrs. , no problems.  A 20 quart doing croissant doughs won't make it. No oil pump. If you ask a question then please take the responses seriousely..

    Buy a 40 with a 30 collar and save yourself some money. A 30 with a 20 collar will probably be even better as food pump says. We're not sales people, we've just already wasted the money..
     
  13. indygal

    indygal

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    I have a 5 quart Hobart, it is at least 30 years old and still going strong.   I have to confess I don't use it professionally, but when I do use it, it is something challenging, like a big bowlful of yeast dough for egg rolls (sandwich rolls), or double and triple batches of buttercream icing.  So I think that counts.  :0

    I've seen them on eBay.  Every now and again I get a notion to clear out all my "extra" stiff.  but so far, have resisted selling it.  OH, I did have the seal fixed maybe a decade ago?  I forget.  I thought it was kind of costly, but then I'd have gone through 2 or 3 mixers by now had I not fixed it.  The man who works on it keeps trying to buy an attachment I have.  It is a strainer, with a paddle that rotates, pushing the pulp around and letting liquid go through automatically.   In tomato canning season I could not live without this, and according to this guy who works on these machines all the time, they are rare as hens' teeth.  So I guess I keep it just for that.

    My 2 ¢ worth.
     
  14. chefedb

    chefedb

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    The attachment your talking about is a puree ring. I do not think you can buy them anymore. They were fantastic for evrything pureed.. The dowled wood  direct attachment went around the basket like ring and did it all. It is at least 60 years old. Treat it with reverence, as it was a workhorse as was the old Hobarts.

    Old Hobarts  were about  $400.00 lasted  min 20 years   or $20.00 per year         Med Usage

    Kitchen Aids Cheapest $198.00  last if lucky 5 years*        or $40.00 per year        Med  Usage *if you do bread less

    Don't have to be genius to figure out which is better buy.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2011
  15. indygal

    indygal

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    Wow, that old?  I had no idea.    I got it from a neighbor, who got it from her church, which closed.  They were older, and moved to a much smaller place and she tried to talk me out of it, because I lived in a pretty small place at the time too.  But I recognized a workhorse when I saw one, so I bought it from her, and never regretted it a bit.   Yeah, it sure takes the work out of purree-ing things.  I don't reduce the tomato liquid at all, just bring it back to a boil and can it.   Everyone wants my tomato juice b/c it is so thick with very little clear watery stuff on top.  100% due to the Hobart thingy.   

    DD
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2011
  16. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    KA killed its reputation with those infamous plastic gears and housings when they separated from Hobart.  However, those problems were resolved some time ago when they switched back to metal (at least for the 5qt "Commercial" and 6qt "Professionals").   I'm pretty sure the KA warranty goes for a year on the gears and housings, you have to check.  Unfortunately for KA, it's not only the stench which lingers, people still downgrade them on the basis of plastic which is no longer there.  At any rate if you're worried about plastic, don't be.  Not the heavy duty workhorse that old KA/Hobarts once were, but a new Commercial might be the best choice for you.

    If you're wondering whether the 5qt Hobart is better than the KA Commercial clone... Yes, it's quite a bit stronger.  It also costs four times more.  Price being in issue, there are probably better choices for you. 

    You can certainly get more heavy-duty counter top mixers than the KA Commercial from Vollrath, Axis, Globe, Hobart etc., but they cost two to four times as much.   

    You might also look into the possibility of buying an Electrolux stand mixer (aka Magic Mill, aka Verona/Magic Mill DLX).  They're belt drive, very steady on the counter, and last forever.  The "dough bowl" is 8 qts.  The "whisk bowl" is 6 qts, and since the beaters come from below, you don't have to work around a drive arm when adding stuff.  I'm not sure if they're NSF rated though.  If it is, everything considered it's probably ideal for your purposes.   ~$700. 

    BDL

    PS.  Forgive me for poking my non-pastry chef nose into this thread, but I do know a bit about counter top mixers. 
     
  17. theunknowncook

    theunknowncook Banned

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    I had called KitchenAid several years ago, and their Customer Service Representative told me that "Commercial" and "Professional" were merely names for their product lines. The names, "Commercial" and "Professional" do not imply that their product lines were manufactured for usage in commercial kitchens or bakeries.
     
  18. blwilson2039

    blwilson2039

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    I have both a 5qt and 6qt KA mixers. The 6qt one (3 yrs old) does a great job with bread & cookie dough (up to 5#), but it has loosened up recently and I have to keep removing the housing to tighten up the head. It's a pain and I have to get somebody to look at it and make a permanent fix. The older one (about 20 yrs old) is missing the 2nd gear, but it's a total workhorse. As with all things, newer models don't necessarily mean better. I'm shopping for something bigger now anyway.