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Old 01-19-2011, 11:27 AM   #61
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Pacanis,
I truly believe you would be very happy with the stand mixer. Just remember, the meat grinder is an add-on and will cost you more. You can get an accessory pack for one price, but I decided on just the grinder, as I would most likely not use the other accessories.
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:29 AM   #62
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Oh I know I would be happy with it, whether I used it or not!
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Old 01-19-2011, 12:20 PM   #63
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Pacanis,

To help address some of your questions. I have the KA 600Pro mixer. It is a lovely machine that really does the job.

  • When I make bread I usually use 8 cups of flour. The mixer handles this like a champ.
  • For a small amount of flour (less than 4 cups) it does have some issues picking it up while mixing. Once the the dough is mixed the kneading works very well.
  • For grinding the attachment does a good job. The mixer is a tool that is being made to do the job, not a tool made for the job. I usually grind 4-5 pounds of beef at a time. Doesn't take too long to do. Regrinding can be a bit difficult. The grinder's throat is a bit small and the pusher was not (re)designed well.
  • For stuffing it does ok. This is one of those jobs that having a tool made for the job would be so much better. I did 5 pounds of breakfast sausage and it took about 45 minutes or so. Again it is the design of the attachment and pusher. You just can't feed it in well. When we had a good feed it pushed into the small casing very nicely, it was keeping the auger fed with meat that was the real issue.
  • I bought the attachment pack. The shredder/slicer attachment is nice when you need to do high volume stuff. For a single carrot it would be so much work setting up and cleaning. You can grate a huge amount of hard cheese in nothing flat though.
  • The vegetable extractor thing is neat, not something I use a lot. Kathleen made wine and I used it to crush the strawberries. It would be good for other things as well, but I don't use this bit often (I think twice now).
  • I have not used the food grinder on anything but meat.
  • I do wish the food grinder came with more plates, though I have found places that sell aftermarket plates (up to a 3/8).
  • I have creamed 2 sticks of butter just fine, even though the bowl is really large. I did have to set the clearance on mine before the first use as the bowl was set a touch low from the factory.
I don't use my mixer every day. I do use it at least once a week though. Until I started making bread I didn't think I needed one. I do have a bread machine but I don't like the loaves from it. It also wouldn't handle the size and number of loaves for me if I used it just to knead. Having the mixer on the counter ready to go means bread gets made when I need to. No waffling about it, just get it done. From measure to having it rising in the bowl is less than 20 minutes and very little work other than clean up.

Hope this helps.
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Old 01-19-2011, 12:47 PM   #64
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I use mine to make bagels and mix batters, whip cream and cookie dough.

Of course, you sometimes have to scrape the sides of the bowl. You'd have to do that if mixing by hand too.

I don't think I'd bother with the KA mixer to mix cheese with a stick or two of butter. That's too easy to do by hand.

When making a cheesecake, for example, the benefit of the mixer is that your hands are free to add ingredients and keep mixing along. Whipping the butter and sugar together is effortless. You just stand there and watch.

It mixes bread dough in half the time it takes by hand and all you have to do is watch.
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Old 01-19-2011, 12:49 PM   #65
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Oh.. and it takes 15 minutes to turn cream into butter.
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Old 01-19-2011, 01:21 PM   #66
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Good description, Frank. Sounds like it's a jack of all trades and master at a couple.
I had forgotten all about creaming butter. I do that by hand now. If it can cream butter on its own, leaving my hands free to add the sugar, that would be sweet

Andy, I guess what I was getting at with mixing butter and cheese is if it would grab everything rather than the problem I have with a FP, just basically mixing the bottom. I don't mind a little scraping and the open bowl would make that easier than what it is with a FP. I've never seen a stand mixer in use and am not familiar with the characteristics of the blade, paddle or whatever it's called.

One thing I just thought of, if I do use it to knead dough rather than using my bread machine, everything is dishwasher safe. Not so with the bread machine's bowl/paddle assembly.

Thanks for your inputs.
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Old 01-19-2011, 01:25 PM   #67
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Certain parts of the mixer are dishwasher safe, some aren't. I don't have a dishwasher so it isn't an issue for me. I do, usually, start a tub of hot soapy water so while I am working I can toss things into it.
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Old 01-19-2011, 01:54 PM   #68
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The KA bowl is DW safe. If the paddle and dough hook are coated, they're also DW safe. I have uncoated aluminum paddle and dough hook so I hand wash them so the DW detergent doesn't discolor them.
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Old 01-19-2011, 02:54 PM   #69
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I just might start poking around for a smaller one on sale. I certainly don't need the $300 model.
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Old 01-19-2011, 03:00 PM   #70
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If you have access to one of the warehouse stores, they usually have good deals.
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