Kitchen Aid for mixing only

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Kitchen Aid for mixing only

Postby Okawari » Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:00 am

I'd like to hear some thoughts on using a KitchenAid mixer just for mixing sausage (the primary bind). I use a manual grinder and a separate manual unit for stuffing, both of which I am completely happy with. I usually make about 2 to 2.5 kilos at a time. The one part of the process I don't greatly enjoy - possibly heretical - is mixing by hand. It takes me too long, makes the hands ache, and the low temperature isn't too enjoyable either. So while I like the purity of the all-manual process, I think I'm ready to consign this stage of it to machinery.

I've read some of the comments about KitchenAid for grinding, as well as some of the Amazon reviews where people say the motors can burn out, and counter-opinions that recommend not using them with extension cords and not setting the speed too high. So I just wonder what people think about these mixers for occasional use - about every 3 months - for a fairly small quantity of meat. I will probably continue to grind and stuff by hand.

The other thing is that I will buy new - I have no easy access to old machines from the Golden Era of KitchenAid. Other than sausage mixing - which wouldn't really justify the cost - I intend to use it for things like mixing dough for bread or cakemaking, but probably not very heavy use for any of these functions.
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Re: Kitchen Aid for mixing only

Postby tristar » Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:56 am

I can't assist with the question with specific regards to KitchenAid, but my Kenwood Major with the K beater is working fine for me.
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Re: Kitchen Aid for mixing only

Postby quietwatersfarm » Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:25 am

on small batches we have used one of the crank handle mixers often enough. They are quick, do a good sized batch at once and are not complicated machines. It would keep everything manual without the pain!
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Re: Kitchen Aid for mixing only

Postby Okawari » Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:02 pm

I also found out about those today, I hadn't encountered them before. I have them in mind as a possible alternative. My main reservation is that the shape makes them look far trickier to clean afterwards than a stand mixer bowl + blades.
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Re: Kitchen Aid for mixing only

Postby quietwatersfarm » Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:18 pm

really easy to clean, or even strip right down.
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Re: Kitchen Aid for mixing only

Postby johngaltsmotor » Mon Sep 16, 2013 4:48 pm

I tried my KitchenAid previously to mix sausage and found the mix simply too stiff. It actually tossed the bowl off the little hold down hooks even at low speed. The motor didn't have any problem, but with version that grabs the bottom of the bowl like a 3-tooth screw isn't strong enough. The larger ?Artisan? version that has 2 pins on the side of the bowl might be better suited.
I've simply reserved myself to a pair of dish washing gloves while mixing. I was surprised at how much they help with insulating the hands (unfortunately they don't eliminate the fatigue).
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Re: Kitchen Aid for mixing only

Postby vagreys » Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:43 am

My KitchenAid is 40 years old, and a heavy-duty model, for its time. I've used it for mixing and found that it didn't accomplish the task better than hand-mixing, but it did quickly warm up and smear was more of a problem, even starting with chilled parts. It is easy to clean. We still use it as an occasional grinder, when we need to grind a pound or two, once in awhile. I use a dedicated grinder for all sausagemaking, though. I no longer use it to mix, preferring to mix only as much as needed by hand. I never mixed long enough for there to be any apparent strain on the motor, though.
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Re: Kitchen Aid for mixing only

Postby Okawari » Tue Sep 17, 2013 2:52 pm

Great comments - very informative.

It is definitely starting to look like it's not going to be quite the mechanized solution I'd hoped for. Perhaps back to hand mixing then.
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Re: Kitchen Aid for mixing only

Postby Wunderdave » Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:56 pm

Okawari I use my KA mixer (the screw-in-at-the-bottom type) to mix sausage prior to stuffing with great success but I've found over many batches that a very large bowl (like restaurant/food service sized) with some rubber gloves on my hands gets the job done just as easily with less cleanup.

I usually prefer to make batches slightly more than 5 lbs though so this really makes a difference - the KA mixer bowl tops out at 5 lbs/2.4KG and even with that amount it can often make a mess of things.
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Re: Kitchen Aid for mixing only

Postby Okawari » Wed Sep 18, 2013 12:26 pm

My batch size will probably never go beyond 2.5 kg because I've got such limited freezer space and it's also about the maximum amount that my stuffer can take in one load. So unless I make a larger batch with a group of friends some time (in which case I can delegate mixing to the least assertive member of the group), I will continue with small batches. Still thinking about the KA, though it is a bit of a cost in this country (Japan). I don't really want the risk of burning one out. But I'm inclined to believe that with sufficient care not to overload the motor, this shouldn't happen.
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Re: Kitchen Aid for mixing only

Postby Wunderdave » Wed Sep 18, 2013 3:04 pm

I'm way more worried about burning out my KA mixing a heavy bread dough than sausage. It handles forcemeat no problem.
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Re: Kitchen Aid for mixing only

Postby Okawari » Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:07 pm

Good to know. Thanks.
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Re: Kitchen Aid for mixing only

Postby JerBear » Sat Sep 28, 2013 1:45 am

I've gotten mixed results.. I've got the 4.5 qt model with the screw-type base. Speaking only of mixing the meat (not grinding) I haven't found that it was too stiff for the motor, however, for some reason it just doesn't seem to do quite as good a job as hand-mixing. The other concern, similar to bread, is that the mixture can be over-mixed so you have to stop the machine somewhat regularly, test the mix to see if it's where you want and then go longer as needed.

With the smaller sized batches you're doing I think it's worth the experiment. Besides, if you overmix a batch you can always just toss it into spaghetti sauce! (the meat, not the KA :shock: )
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Re: Kitchen Aid for mixing only

Postby Okawari » Sun Sep 29, 2013 2:28 pm

Thanks.

I'm still thinking it over, and might well go for it. I have been thinking more of getting one as a general use mixer so that if it doesn't work out for sausage mix, I'll have other things to make with it.
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Re: Kitchen Aid for mixing only

Postby Laripu » Sun Sep 29, 2013 3:30 pm

Okawari wrote:Thanks.

I'm still thinking it over, and might well go for it. I have been thinking more of getting one as a general use mixer so that if it doesn't work out for sausage mix, I'll have other things to make with it.

My wife likes the dough hook for baking. I use the grinder attachment to grind meat for sausage, but I'm fully aware that a purpose made grinder would be better. (But we just don't have room for another mono-tasker.)

But for mixing meat, I don't want to give up the pleasure of squishing the ground meat by hand. :oops: ;)
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