/> a mother's heart » Blog Archive » buh-bye Kitchen Aid…

I know this is going to sound silly, but I really am quite heartsick about this:  my Kitchen Aid, Professional 600 Series stand mixer (the top of the line in Kitchen Aid mixers) that Mark generously purchased for me in early December, died unceremoniously yesterday.

As in kaput. No mas.  Il fait mort.

What did I do?  I mixed a lump of dough and was starting to knead it.  Just like I did every week, once a week.  For the last multiple years I did it in a refurbished Kitchen Aid Series 5 and upgraded to the 600 series in late 09.  One loaf, once a week.  3 cups of flour – all whole wheat.  Beautiful bread – the delight of my kitchen and for the enjoyment of my family’s tastebuds, I baked bread.

So why did I upgrade?  I was concerned that the 5 series wouldn’t last for the hoped-for 15+ years, as its motor was only 375 watts.  Mark suggested the upgrade after discovering that the newest model (the one he bought for me) was 575 watts – more than enough, he reasoned, to provide years and years of whole grain bread dough kneading.  I sold the old model while it worked and was excited for the upgrade.

Fast forward to the end of June.  Literally one of the last things I pack is my mixer; I baked two loaves of bread for the journey to Arizona, because I knew that buying store-bread wasn’t gonna cut it.  I spoiled my guys and Brendan won’t touch store-bread now.  In the box the mixer goes, padded with towels, chair cushions, and all sorts of things that will take the brunt of the move and preserve my precious mixer.

I took nearly a month off – for nearly 4 weeks we had no bread.  Of course, Brendan doesn’t want toast… until we have no bread.  Then he wants toast for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, and bread with dinner.  Doesn’t that just figure?!  I picked back up with breadmaking in late July and was working on my weekly one-loaf batch yesterday.

The noise that came from the kitchen was awful – like something squealed, groaned, and then just >broke!<  And then there was a horrible squealing as the motor kept turning … but the arm of the mixer didn’t.  😥

I’m trying not to freak out, but I can see that something is stripped or broken or… something.  I check the manual and it hasn’t a thing in the troubleshooting section for a time like this, it merely says “Call our 800 line for hassle-free returns.”

I spent 25 minutes on the phone with the CSR who verbally scolded me for a) kneading my dough too long (it was kneading for the proscribed time when it broke!) and b) not using the right amount of flour.  I was informed that I couldn’t use the full 14 cups of flour the machine can “handle” if it’s not all-purpose.  Huh.  I used THREE CUPS.  The CSR went on to say that for non-AP, I had to use 9 cups of flour, maximum.  I reminded her that indeed, THREE is still LESS than NINE.  Her response was, “Oh.”

The upshot of the situation is that I didn’t abuse my machine.  My old machine was likely made when Hobart made the motors – and Kitchen Aid was sold as a division of Hobart to Whirlpool a few years back, after my refurb mixer was purchased.  KA/Whirlpool them farmed out the labour to China – shocking, right?  And even their “all-metal construction” promise that made me believe I would have a sturdy, steady appliance isn’t the same.  Because we know that China produces things on the “cheapest possible”-model to increase profitability.  So “all-metal construction” in the US doesn’t mean the same as “all-metal construction” in China, just as “children’s toys” made here generally don’t contain lead and somehow DO contain lead when coming from the PRC.  Metal – alloys – cheap alloys – who knows the difference when it’s inside a shiny, pretty case and marketed to those who are serious bakers and cooks?  Unfortunately, I now know the difference.  😥

Kitchen Aid is sending me a new mixer and I’m to ship my old one back to them with a prepaid label.  The don’t have my chosen colour (meringue); they do have glossy white.  But I’m not going to open it – I’m going to sell the dumb thing.  Why sell it?  I’m not willing to risk the purchase price and lack of more than a year warranty if in another 8 months the new machine keels over.  With the proceeds of my mixer-sale (I can’t decide if I should eBay it or hit CraigsList with it), I will buy a Bosch Universal.  Considerably less sexy than a KA Stand Mixer, but far more useful.  With 800 watts of power and a motor that’s designed for bread-making, I’m not worried about killing this with 3 cups of whole wheat flour.  This puppy can handle 15 POUNDS of dough and keep going.  There’s a three-year warranty, and with the beater attachments, I know I’ll be back in business soon.

I’m truly sad about the situation, but I am grateful that this happened while it was still under warranty and things will soon be right again in my kitchen.

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  • http://sharpenyourscissors.net Laura Webber

    WOW, that really stinks- too bad Bosch doesn’t have a sexier model… ;)!

  • http://www.mamasheartblog.com sue

    isn’t THAT the truth, Laura!? 😉 Seriously though – if I wasn’t baking bread, I would probably still have a KA and highly recommend it to everyone. I think it’s a great machine – for non-bread-bakers. The brownies, cakes, frostings, and ice cream bases I whipped up in this were *perfect*. But in the spirit of Alton Brown, I can’t have a uni-tasker hanging around my kitchen, so I’m not going to have a Bosch and a KA. Too bad for KA. :\

  • http://flickr.com/photos/mswatty Watty

    I’m sorry about your mixer. I got one a few years ago (it was a mixup on Lowe’s website…I got the brushed nickel one…$150! WOOT took 3 months to get in but I GOT IT AT $150!) Hardly use it. It’s still in the box. I baby that sucker! HAHA!

    I have a breadmaker , culinary center to make bread (which I rarely do too, though I made whole wheat rolls last week) That thing has been around over 10 years. (Thanks again to my grandmother for that gift! :)

    Hope the new one comes quickly and you’re exchanged, upgraded, and baking again in no time. :)

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