2,554 of 2,665 people found the following review helpful
A comparison to the Artisan Mixer,
This review is from: KitchenAid KP26M1XNP Professional 600 Series 6-Quart Stand Mixer - Nickel Pearl (Kitchen)
I already own a 5 Qt mixer from the "Artisan Series" but decided to upgrade to this model so that I could make larger batches of pizza dough. For my recipe, a single batch is 2 cups of bread flour. I tried making a double batch (4 cups) in my new Pro 600, but after about 15 min. of kneading, the motor just turned off. I thought I had burned it out, but after consulting the instruction manual, it seems this is normal. Normal?! Yes, that's what it said--all I needed to do was wait for the motor to cool off (it's also "normal" for it to get so hot it is uncomfortable to touch) for 30 min. and then try again. I find it hard to believe that this mixer could make bread with 14 cups of AP flour, as the box says. Having said that, here are my thoughts on this mixer vs. the "Artisan Series" mixer I already own:
1. The motor consumes over 50% more electricity (and is certainly more noisy) in the pro 600, but how much of that is being converted to extra torque, I'm not really sure. What I do know is that I can only do a single batch of bread at a time in either mixer.
2. As has been mentioned in other reviews, the Artisan mixer came with a "coated" paddle and dough hook, whereas the pro 600 has "Brandished steel". This means the Artisan's implements are dishwasher safe but the pro 600's are not. I had assumed those bright, shiny implements that I saw in the store display were stainless steel, but I guess not.
3. My Pro 600 model suffered the broken gear fate that other reviewers have spoken of. I was able to order the parts to fix it myself which was pretty inexpensive and not too terribly difficult, but I'd like to point out that my Artisan has never broken.
On the plus side...
3. I love the new spiral dough hook--it is much better than the C shaped one in my Artisan
4. The soft start feature is a nice touch. Then again, it would be even nicer if there was a speed lower than the lowest one provided.
5. The larger bowl is nice
6. There is more of a difference between speeds 7-10 than the Artisan
Things I'd like to see changed in the next iteration:
--A gear box. I have a cordless drill that has a high and low gear. As could be expected, low is for more power, high is for more speed. Why don't these mixers use a simple gear selector like that? This would be a HUGE improvement--it would not only provide more power, but the lower speed I would like, as mentioned in point 4.
Someone commented that you can get this on units that are well over $1000. My cordless drill was about $100 total so I don't see why this feature should add any more than $100 or so to implement. Just sayin'...
--Stainless steel implements as mentioned in point #2
--A clutch. The same drill has a clutch built into it. The purpose of the clutch in the drill is to prevent you from screwing things in too tight. On this mixer, the clutch would prevent this silly problem of the gears stripping when the load is too high. Again, the whole drill is $100 so this should not add much extra cost.
A very nice mixer, but so is my "Artisan". If you are going to buy a new mixer (and don't have an unlimited supply of money to throw at it), I wouldn't recommend the Pro 600--get one from the Artisan series instead--it is much cheaper and does just about as good a job. There are small advantages to the Pro 600, but even all together, I don't think they are worth the added price. If you DO get the 600, be sure the serial number starts with a number higher than "14", as Lynnster points out.
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Showing 1-10 of 84 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 19, 2006 7:11:42 PM PST
butterfly du jour says:
If you read the manual, it says that most bread doughs only need 4 minutes of kneading.
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 1, 2007 7:56:57 PM PST
I can't imagine any bread dough that would need 15 minutes of kneading with this mixer. It kneads in a fraction of the time of hand kneading. I make a double batch of wheat/white bread. After combining all the ingredients well and getting it to the knead stage it only takes two or three minutes of knead time and comes out wonderful. (It takes many minutes by hand for the same consistency)
Posted on Mar 28, 2007 6:51:48 PM PDT
Kristen Wheeler says:
If you read your manual it says to not knead (once the ingredients come together) for more than a few minutes - average 2. I had the Artisan and killed it after 3 years of making pizza dough which was really pushing it's flour power limit. If you are doing heavy doughs - pizza, brioche - you need the extra power. Honestly, I wish I had purchased the 6qt to begin with!
Posted on Feb 21, 2008 11:11:17 AM PST
P. Raphaelson says:
Stainless agitators are available. They're not standard, because they cost a whole lot of money to make, and all they save you is a few seconds of washing in the sink. Virtually all commercial mixers used in restaurants and bakeries use burnished aluminum agitators.
And you're right, a variable gear transmition is a much better design than a fixed gear. You can have it if it's important to you ... in a Hobart N50, that costs $1800.00.
My guess is that if you stop overmixing your doughs, you'll find that the 600 performs well on large batches, and you'll be happy you only paid 1/4 the price of the Hobart.
Posted on Sep 3, 2008 5:54:04 AM PDT
L. Spencer says:
I'm wondering why your kneading takes so long. An error in the recipe perhaps? I use my 600 to make 6-cup batches of dough routinely and they knead up to prefection in about 5 minutes without even heating the motor up. So, I'd guess either a problem with the recipe or a service issue with your 600 itself (hope not).
Posted on Dec 13, 2008 12:52:08 AM PST
Drewbacca the Bookiee says:
The beater and dough hook are available coated as accessories. Part # KN256CBT and KNS256CDH
Posted on May 29, 2009 11:21:42 AM PDT
In response to all the comments that suggested I knead my dough less, I tried it out and the other commenters are right--you do get very nice dough after only about 5 minutes. You don't get any "window paneing" (pull the dough and it will stretch so thin it becomes translucent before it tears) which is what I had been looking for, but for regular bread, you don't need to take it this far (I prefer to have my pizza dough's gluten fully developed for that nice, chewy crust).
Another update--my Pro mixer just came back from the shop from a broken gear. This was undoubtedly due to the fact that I was mixing so long, and yet my artisen hasn't given my any problems even though I've treated it the same way.
Posted on Nov 23, 2009 8:21:53 AM PST
Happy Mom says:
I have a Julia Child cookbook called "Baking with Julia" from 1996 and in the instructions it does state to knead the dough in a mixer for 10+ minutes for many of the bread recipes. It defines a mixer as "serious home equipment, most particularly, a heavy-duty mixer, one with a 4 1/2 or 5-quart mixing bowl and paddle, whisk and dough hook attachments." This sounds very similar to mixers we are talking about. My understanding is that you need to mix the dough long enough for the gluten to develop. Not sure how much difference there is in the taste & texture of the bread if you only need for 5 minutes vs. 10+ minutes though.
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 12, 2009 9:30:31 AM PST
I wouldn't consider Julia Child to be an expert on the nuances of modern appliance technology. In her day, mixers were probably powered by burning coal.
Posted on Dec 18, 2009 6:27:07 PM PST
A note: The reason that the Artisan is so much quieter, is that it has nylon gearing instead of metal. I personally would rather have a louder mixer that doesn't have plastic gears...but maybe that's just me.