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Breville BEM800XL Scraper Mixer Pro 5-Quart Die-Cast Stand Mixer
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- Planetary Mixing Action
- Load Sensing Technology with Motor Protection
- 12 Speed Electronic Control
- 10 Minute timer with Auto-Off
- Lift Assist Mixer Head
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Why the Breville Scraper Mixer Pro stand mixer?
Light and fluffy baked goods begin with sticky ingredients. How do you make perfect baked goods without making a sticky mess? The Breville Scraper Mixer Pro stand mixer helps make your baking stress-free. The designers at Breville are determined to make the baking just as enjoyable as the baked goods: no more scraping sticky bowls, no more splattering ingredients when you add them to the bowl, no more guessing how much more time you need to mix.
Designed by bakers, for bakers
The next step in the evolution of the stand mixer, Breville’s Scraper Mixer Pro stand mixer takes the classic features of the stand mixer to the next level. Features that are standard on other mixtures are upgraded with a level of attention to detail that only Breville can provide.
Do you get tired of stopping to scrape down the batter from the sides of the bowl? Breville’s scraper beater attachment makes it easy to mix without stopping. The flexible edges of the scraper beater continuously folds and scrapes the sides and bottom of the bowl, including the dimple at the bottom, for exceptionally thorough mixing. This essentially eliminates the need for hand scraping with a spatula, cutting mixing time in half. And, with the Scraper Mixer Pro’s unique planetary mixing action, you can be sure that the batter will be mixed evenly—no pockets of ingredients left behind. The counter-clockwise motion of the mixer head combined with the clockwise sweep of the extra wide attachments provides 360 degree coverage of the bowl.
The Scraper Mixer has twelve different speeds, controlled by an easy-turn dial. An LED light strip shows the speed for easy reference. Another LED display shows a timer that can be programmed to count up or count down, so you can set it to a recipe’s specifications or time how long your favorite recipe takes, taking the guesswork out of the equation.
Beauty and function
Like all Breville products, the Scraper Mixer Pro was designed with both function and aesthetics in mind. The 5 quart stainless steel bowl can easily accommodate most recipes, even for large portions during the holidays. The tilt-release head locks into place for the safe addition of ingredients, so you don’t have to worry about the mixer head falling down when you’ve tilted it back, while the pouring shield prevents splattering when adding ingredients while the mixer is on. The handle on the front of the mixer and the handholds on the bottom make it easier to transport and lift, and the power cord conveniently stores inside the base of the mixer. From its main features down to every single detail, the Breville stand mixer was built for baking.
- Lift assist handles on the mixer head and base allow for easy handling and maneuvering
- ‘Tilt-release’ button releases the mixer head into the open ‘tilt-back’ position for easy removal and addition of ingredients, attachments, and mixing bowl
- LED speed indicator LEDs illuminate to display the selected speed/mixing task
- 12 speed control dial ‘pause’ function temporarily stops the mixer and pauses the timer
- Internal cord storage located in the rear of the mixer. Cord pushes into the mixer base for convenient and tidy storage
- LCD screen with timer so you can set the timer to count-down according to a specified receipt time before automatically switching off
- Attachment shaft attaches the scraper beater, flat beater, wire whip and dough hook
- 2-piece pouring shield minimizes spattering when mixing and adding ingredients
- 5 quart stainless steel bowl
- Bowl locking recess securely locks the bowl in place for safety and stability when the mixer is in operation
Top customer reviews
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Before purchasing I determined that I wanted a tilting head to my stand mixer and eliminated the KitchenAid 600 Series. I have worked with the 600 series before, and other mixers like it in the restaurant industry, and do not like the bowl locking mechanism and just prefer working with tilt head when scraping the sides of the bowl and scraping/removing the beater blades. If you are looking for a larger machine or a machine that will primarily be used for making bread dough, neither the Breville BEM800XL or the KitchenAid KSM150 Artisan are for you. Spend the money and get a commercial grade stand mixer from a company like Hobart. If like me you are looking for a machine that will tackle cake batters, single and double batches of cookies, quick breads, and the occasional bread dough read on.
For over 30 years I have used KitchenAid (KA) stand mixers. Both my mother's, which I have used extensively, and my sister's have seen years of use, both intermittent and doing heavy work, and are still going strong. One was purchased before Whirlpool bought KA out, the other shortly after. I bring this up because there is a good number of negative reviews about the newer KA mixers. They claim that the newer mixers are not being made to the same level of quality control as they had been when Hobart made them and also that KA/Whirlpool's customer service leaves something to be desired. I have had no first hand knowledge or experience with these problems, but I must admit that it was a factor in purchasing the Breville. I will point out that there is most likely only a small fraction of Breville stand mixers being used compared to the number of KAs, so I do not believe that Breville is the perfect company either.
I have owned the Breville mixer for less than 2 months as of this review. In this time I have made 8 single batches of various cookies, 2 batches of cinnamon rolls, 2 large loaves of bread and 1 batch of cupcakes.
SEE UPDATES AT END.
On to the review and what I hope will be a direct comparison of both the Breville and KA Artisan Series stand mixers.
Both mixers retail for around $300. I got the Breville for $285.53 with free shipping and a free 4-quart stainless steel bowl (retail $50). I am not sure what I will use the second bowl for, but free is free. If you shop around, you can get the KA for less than $300 as well.
What is in the box (Advantage Breville):
Both mixers are pretty much have the same accessories (pouring shield, 5-quart bowl, wire whip, dough hook, flat beater). There are two additions to the Breville that I appreciated. The first is the inclusion of a scrapper blade and the second is a thin spatula that is designed and shaped to scrape the Breville's bowl. The spatula allows me to easily clear the sides right down to the bottom of the bowl.
Scrapper blades are available for the KA, but are not included with the Artisan mixer as of this writing, so if you want one, and you should, it will set you back an additional $20-25.
I would also add that there are a number of aftermarket KA scrapper blades that I think would outshine both Breville's and KA's offerings. The SideSwipe scraper blade being one that comes to mind and it is only available for the KAs.
Of minor note, I prefer the shape of the Breville bowl to that of the KA. It is a bit wider at the mouth with less tapered sides at the top and not as tall as the KA bowl. They both claim 5-quarts, I simply prefer the shorter, more squat Breville shape and find it easier to scrape down without lifting the head assembly.
Lastly, the pouring shield on both the Breville and KA mixers are less than perfect. Putting them in place is inconvenient. Not difficult, but not easy. They do help with keeping flour and other dry ingredients from spraying out of the bowl when they are first added, but careful attention to the mixer speed can have the same effect. Most irritating is the fact that the head can not be tilted back when the pouring shield is installed on either mixer, so it must be removed to lift the head and scrape the bowl.
I include this as its own comparison because there is a great deal of confusion as to what the wattage ratings of the motors mean. The Breville claims 550-watts and the KA Artisan 325-watts. These numbers are all but meaningless. I teach physics and work on all types of electronics and small appliances and find the wattage ratings for home stand mixers misleading and I am guessing inaccurate for reasons I will not go into here.
If you want to see a perfect example of this, google the Hobart N50 5-quart Stand Mixer. It is a commercial mixer that is all but indestructible (I have used them in commercial kitchens), retails for around $2000 (yes, that is two thousand dollars), and has a 1/6 horsepower motor rated at 350 watts. It will run all day and never overheat or breakdown, something I can not say about any home stand mixer.
Again, wattage means nothing here.
There is nothing similar about the controls on the Breville and KA mixers. I am still getting used to the Breville after years of using the KA, but believe that the Breville controls are safer than the KA and they have a few additional features I personally like.
The Breville has a push-button located on the top back of the motor assembly that must be pressed to raise or lower the tilt head and a handle in the front which aids in this motion. Lowering and raising the motor assembly is a two handed job, as you need to press the button with one hand and lift with the other. Due to the positioning of your hands during this action, there is no real way to pinch your fingers in the hinge assembly (I have never done this on a KA either). I was also impressed/irritated that once the motor assembly is raised about half an inch it cuts power to the motor making the removal of a spinning beater impossible. I say irritated as well because it precludes the unsafe practice of pulling the beater out of the bowl slowly to allow the batter to be flung off. A practice that I occasionally used with the KA.
Mixing speed for the Breville is controlled by a knob placed on the back left of the machine. The knob has a positive feel to it and each subtle click lets you know that you are stepping up in speed. The mixer speed is also displayed using a vertical series of blue LEDs above the speed knob. Although difficult to see when standing in front of the Breville, they are easy to read and are labeled to indicate the type of mixing (kneed, cream, whip) which is helpful. Also printed on the mixer stand is a guide of what beater blade to use with what speed range if you are ever in doubt.
The last control, and the one that I find useful when creaming butter or making cake batter is the countdown/up timer. Whenever the mixer is running the timer counts up to reflect the time the mixer has been running. The timer can also be set to count down from a desired time, which is a nice feature if a recipe calls for mixing a batter for a given number of minutes. On the down side, if you lift the Breville's head assembly while counting down or up, it resets, which makes little sense if you need to lift the head to scrape the sides of the bowl. There is a "pause" position on the control knob, but it to is overridden by lifting the head.
The KA relies on the tried and true sliding switches, one on each side to the motor assembly. The one on the left controls the speed and the one on the right locks the head in place. The speeds are labeled from stir to 10 in increments of 2. Experienced bakers should have no trouble determining the correct speed for a given task, but others my need to get used to what speed works best (here you can simply consult the KA owner's manual). I personally have always felt that the speed control on KA mixers were just okay. They have a positive feel to them, but the total distance the switch moves is shorter than I would like and I often found myself readjusting the speed more than once.
My main complaint about the KA's control setup is that I have, on more than one occasion, pushed the head assembly lock into the unlock position when I wanted to simply turn the mixer off. This can be a real problem when making heavier batters and breads, as it forces the head to kick up as the beater spins. Since the KA does not cut power to the motor when the head is tilted up, the beaters just keep spinning.
The only real concern I have with the Breville is the more complex series of electronics (timer, speed display, dial) vs the very simple, and unbreakable KA switch. Only time will tell if this will be a problem. (SEE UPDATE AT END)
Aesthetics (Not Considered):
Lets be honest, the Breville comes in one color, stainless steel, and that really isn't a color (Update: the Breville now comes in 3 colors: stainless, black & red). On Amazon, the Artisan is offered in 46 different colors. I still appreciate the industrial look of the KA but like the Breville as well for different reasons. At no point did I even consider the aesthetics of the two machines when making my decision. If I had gone with the KA, I would have gotten white. I keep my mixer on my countertop most of the time and hope to have it for decades so the thought of having a tangerine, persimmon, or pistachio mixer simply puts me off.
If you are worried about this, the advantage goes to KA, but if color is the deciding factor, perhaps you should stick with a hand mixer.
Accessories (Not Considered):
Here the KA shines in both accessories to aid in the kitchen (ice cream maker, meat grinder, pasta roller, glass bowl, etc) and products made by other companies (beater blades). I originally considered this to be a major plus for the KA, but after reading a review somewhere I was enlightened to the fact that I could purchase a dedicated machine to do any of the tasks that the KA could perform for the same price or less. I also believe that a dedicated ice cream maker, meat grinder, or pasta maker would perform better than the KA attachments. I also realized that in all my years using KA mixers in homes, not once did anyone have any of these attachments. So, despite the fact that the Breville does not support such a wide range of attachments, it really is not an issue I found worth considering. If I find myself in need of any of the items that could have been attached to the KA I believe I would be better off researching and spending my money on the best stand alone appliance I could get.
I also have images of a drawer full of mixed accessories, all for the KA, that simply becomes more trouble than it is worth and sucks up space in my kitchen that could be used for takeout menus, old keys, and various items that I have long forgotten about.
Weight and Convenience (Breville):
Breville BEM 800XL - 16.0 lbs.
KitchenAid Artisan KSM150PS - 23.0 lbs.
Yes, that is a 7.0 lb. difference between the two machines. When I first opened and removed the Breville I was surprised at how light it was. Having spent years pulling my mother's KA out from a low cabinet and lifting it to the counter I was pleasantly surprised with the ease with which I can move the Breville around. Additionally, the weight seems more balanced on the Breville and there is a number of hand holds under the mixer as well.
I was worried that the Breville mixer might creep, or move around while mixing, but I have not had any issues. To be fair, I never had any issues with the KA moving either, even when kneading heavy doughs.
The only other item of note here would be the cord storage on the Breville. The cord must be manually pushed into the base of the mixer, a task that is not easy or quick, and I gave up on it after attempting it once and simply wrap the cord around the base as I have on all KAs I have used.
I score this one for the Breville, especially if you are planning on keeping it under counter when not in use.
Having used both the Breville and KA for most mixing tasks, I can say they stack up fairly evenly. Both fly through basic doughs and can handle double batches of cookies with relative ease. Of note is the fact that the head of the Breville does move from side to side (about 1/4" furthest from the pivot) when using the scraper beater and mixing bread dough. I am not sure if this will greatly weaken the pivot joint between the head and stand, only time will tell. The KA's I have used have the same movement, it is just not as pronounced.
When making bread, I have found that neither the Breville or KA do an adequate of kneading dough. I generally mix in the majority of the flour I need to achieve the consistency I am looking for and then finish by hand kneading. Again, if you want a dedicated machine for high gluten doughs or simply make a lot of bread, look for a different machine.
Some part of me lives in dread that the Breville will not live up to my longterm expectations. Of course, had I purchased the KitchenAid instead I know I would be feeling the same way. Overall I am sure I would have been happy with either machine. Both have their potential flaws and pluses.
For everyday use, I believe the Breville to be an outstanding stand mixer with a host of features that equal or exceed the KA.
My last bit of advice is to simply ignore the negative reviews for both the Breville and KA mixers for the most part. Both companies sell tens of thousands of mixers each year if not more and the vast majority continue to perform flawlessly over time. Which ever mixer you buy will serve you well and will hopefully last to be handed down to future bakers in your life.
I will update this review in 6 months to see if anything changes.
UPDATE: I have been using the Breville for 8 months now and have no complaints. Having read through my review again I still feel the same way about both the Breville and the KA and do not regret my decision to purchase the Breville. I will state again, regardless of which which mixer you purchase, make sure you have a scraper blade. I bake at least once a week if not more and am still amazed at the functionality of the Breville scraper blade. It makes creaming butter effortless and when working with small batches of batter or dough it easily mixes everything without the need to stop and scrap the bowl.
The only complaint I will add is that the whisk blade sits about 1/8 inch (3mm) off the bottom of the bowl. When trying to whip small amounts of butter (one stick) or cream (1/2 cup) I have to raise the bowl up by detaching it from the base. The same problem exists with the KA, so it is not unavoidable. The truth is, other then when making breads or whipped cream, I always use the scraper blade for the reasons mentioned above.
UPDATE (May 2015): My mixer is still going strong and has seen weekly use most months. I have not regretted this purchase and find the Breville a joy to work with.
UPDATE (August 2017) I can't believe that I purchased this 3 1/2 years ago. I continue to use the mixer at least 2 times a week on average while making cookies, whipping egg whites, cake batters, etc... Most of the time I use the included scrapper blade and it is a godsend. The scrapper blade has held up extraordinarily well and I can't imagine not using it. The included spatula has seen better days and is still in use but I do not know for how much longer. It is cracked in a few places along the edge of the blade. I continue to have no complaints about the mixer and would still purchase it again. I will add that the electronic selection dial that sets the speed sometimes fluctuates between two adjacent settings from time to time. This has been happening intermittently for the past 8 months or so. The issue does not seem to be getting better or worse nor does it effect my ability to use the mixer. I do find it funny though as this was the only potential issue I brought up in my original review. I will update this review if there is any further developments.