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As I start to bake more and more, I've been dreaming about owning a Kitchenaid mixer. For example...this weekend I made a pumpkin brioche and a loaf of bread. In fact I haven't bought bread since this summer - instead I'm making my own. (ok it's no knead but I plan to branch out) And of course I'm making souffles, cookies, etc... which could all be made easier with a Kitchenaid mixer.

 

So here are my issues:

 

-- If I bake more, I'll eat more sugary, buttery, goodness.

-- Where the hell will I put it?

-- They're damn expensive, even on eBay. Can a deal be found? Should I just get married so I can put it on my registry?

-- Chad's experience

 

 

 

 

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As I start to bake more and more, I've been dreaming about owning a Kitchenaid mixer. For example...this weekend I made a pumpkin brioche and a loaf of bread. In fact I haven't bought bread since this summer - instead I'm making my own. (ok it's no knead but I plan to branch out) And of course I'm making souffles, cookies, etc... which could all be made easier with a Kitchenaid mixer.

 

So here are my issues:

 

-- If I bake more, I'll eat more sugary, buttery, goodness.

-- Where the hell will I put it?

-- They're damn expensive, even on eBay. Can a deal be found? Should I just get married so I can put it on my registry?

-- Chad's experience

 

If most of what you like to bake is breads I'd skip it if space/money are an issue. I have one and as I become a more experienced bread baker I find myself using it less and less. When I stroll around the bread fora a lot of the poster there seem pretty disdainful of mixers, and at first I thought they were just being typical obsessives, but now I sort of see their point.

 

About the only thing I make these days purely in the kitchenaid is pizza dough. all the other breads I knead myself after pulling the dough together in the KA.

 

That said I use the Ice Cream maker a bunch during the summer, the meat grinder often enough I'm glad I have it, and the mixer itself is invaluable for the few times a year I make cookies and cakes (Xmas and birthdays - I'm not a big sweets person)

 

Long-story short - if you view it as a tool for baking only its not worth it, if you also view it as a power source for a bunch of tools I think its worthwhile.

 

Look for a reconditioned one to minimize cost, but even that isn't cheap.

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I agree that they are built-to-last, but I think that kneading a bread dough ball is asking a lot from a mixer. Irregular forces like you get when that dough-hook spins around and slaps the dough are not very friendly to bearings and gears. Use your hands for that.

 

I still find lots of uses for my 16 year old KA mixer and wouldn't want to give it up.

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I've had mine for almost 15 years and one of the best things I bought for it was a second bowl and the plastic tops for them. Every now and then there is a recipe that requires multiple components -- like Julia Child's flourless chocolate cake -- which has a whipped cream component and a whipped egg component. Great to not have to empty one part of the recipe into another bowl to prepare the other part of the recipe.

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My 23 year old KA spent the first 3 years of its life being used every day in our restaurant. It certainly doesn't get that kind of a workout any more. But, it is still works just as well as it did in the beginning.

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I find that if you're apt to use your kitchen in Maxed-Out Mode, cooking all kinds of different things at once, a standing mixer is a must, if only because you can switch it on to blend or mix one thing while you walk away to tend to another. And yes, yes, a thousand times yes to a second bowl.

 

I MUST get one of those scraper attachments.

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i love mine, it serves me well and sits out on my countertop, with my processor and blender, so that i will actually use them. i don't really use it for bread and i tend to like to mix cake batter by hand unless it's a huge amount or i am multi-tasking, though it's turning out to be an important tool for gluten free baking. i really, really want one of those scraper paddles and will likely buy a few attachments this year as i am eating fewer processed foods and am too old and frail to be working up a sweat int he kitchen. you gotta get a second bowl. the latest anniversary edition hads a glass bowl. i wish i had a tilt head instead of a lift so that i could have a glass bowl.

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I love my KA. We got it at a kitchen supply store that has a special arrangement with the company to sell promotional versions, ends of lines etc. so it was quite affordable. It lives on top of my baking station. I rarely if ever use it for yeast breads, but still use it a lot for cakes, cookies, quick breads etc. We also use the grinder attachment fairly often for homemade sausage. I have the lift model and prefer it to the tilt for space reasons, although, as splinky says, this limits me to a metal bowl until someone clever devises a liftable glass bowl. I keep meaning to buy a spare bowl. I also belong to the ranks of people who want to buy a scraper.

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To all of you who want scrapers: they do work very well but you might want to be sure that you have a pouring shield in place when you use it. I think it tends to make additions of flour much more exciting.

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To all of you who want scrapers: they do work very well but you might want to be sure that you have a pouring shield in place when you use it. I think it tends to make additions of flour much more exciting.

 

The pouring shield is also a must, with or without the scraper (one of which I am going to acquire one of these days.)

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To all of you who want scrapers: they do work very well but you might want to be sure that you have a pouring shield in place when you use it. I think it tends to make additions of flour much more exciting.

 

The pouring shield is also a must, with or without the scraper (one of which I am going to acquire one of these days.)

 

Hmmm... I got one with my set and ended up discarding or losing it, finding it got in the way too much.

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