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KitchenAid's manual for the stand mixer contains several warnings not to use the dough hook on any speed other than 2. While lots of websites explain how high speeds can overheat the dough, what can go wrong at low speeds?

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    My own KitchenAid mixer manual doesn't mention such a restriction. I checked several others, and they all seem to have the same statement: "Do not exceed Speed 2 when preparing yeast doughs as this may cause damage to the stand mixer." I can find no references saying not to use speed 1 with the dough hook. – barbecue Apr 11 at 17:00
  • @barbecue Interesting! This is the KSM45-KSM200 Series manual from 2017. Page two includes the sentence you quoted and then, a bit below, "Do not use Speed 1 to mix or knead yeast doughs." Page 13 contains the additional warning "Use Speed 2 to mix or knead yeast doughs. Use of any other speed creates high potential for unit failure." – hunter Apr 11 at 17:45
  • I suspect there's something specific to your model, as most of the manuals I've looked at don't include this warning. Also, it's interesting that yours specifically mentions speed 1, because most KitchenAid mixers don't have a mark for speed 1, they have Stir, then 2. Maybe' it's specific to the tilt-style mixers? Or do you have a 220 volt model perhaps? – barbecue Apr 11 at 18:40
  • My manual (for the 5K45SS, I think anyway I don't remember getting the bigger bowl model) says the same. Under the different speed settings it says never use Stir (1) for dough and under mixing dough it says only to use 2 for dough. Edit: I got it about 10 years ago too, so it's definitely not a new thing. – adaliabooks Apr 12 at 12:39
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A KitchenAid mixer does not have adjustable gearing; at low speeds it’s being run at low power. If run at low power with a viscous, resistant load like bread dough it can end up stalling, either continuously or repeatedly during the knead. This can overheat the motor and reduce its lifetime.

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    And a stalled electric motor doesn't know it is stalled, and will continue pumping power into the motor and burn it out. It's not like a car where a stalled motor shuts it off. – Nelson Apr 10 at 7:36
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    @Nelson Nitpick - it depends on the kind of motor and electronics. Some types (esp. those used in cars) do know when they are being blocked/overloaded and can reduce or shut off power accordingly. But that's not relevant to the kitchen aid of course. The competing product thermomix is claimed to be electronically protected against overload, so it is possible (but expensive). – Erlkoenig Apr 10 at 10:55
  • @Erlkoenig Or, alternatively, how it’s mechanically connected to the load. I don’t know of any stand mixers that do this, but I have seen other devices that either use a automatic clutch or an auto-shifting multi-speed gearbox (or both) to provide some degree of stall protection to the motor. – Austin Hemmelgarn Apr 10 at 11:56
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    The other alternative would be something like the Hobart N50, which does have adjustable gearing, so actually delivers more torque at low speed. Though for the price of a Hobart, you could just buy several KitchenAids and treat them as disposable. – Sneftel Apr 10 at 19:14
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    Not insufficient power, but insufficient torque to deform the dough is what stalls the mixer. Power is torque times rotational speed. If there were a low gear, the motor could be run with reduced power (by reducing its torque), and then the gear would turn this into a sufficient torque on the hook at a reduced speed. My point is that even with adjustable gearing, low speeds would be run at lower power, and this would be fine as long as the torque is sufficient. – nanoman Apr 10 at 20:55
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Simple, the motor of this mixer, when using the dough hook, will be overloaded at any other setting but 2. (They are not concerned about the temperature of your dough) Bottom line, this machine is underpowered for this job.

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    "This machine is underpowered for this job" ... if you define the "job" as "using a dough hook at power setting 1", then I guess this is true. I'm pretty sure this odd statement at the end of your answer is why you're collecting down-votes. – Roddy of the Frozen Peas Apr 12 at 1:50
  • @RoddyoftheFrozenPeas I thought it was well-known that blenders generally do use underpowered overloaded motors to save cost because nobody buys blenders based on quality. – user253751 Apr 12 at 8:46
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    This is a stand mixer not a blender. – Roddy of the Frozen Peas Apr 12 at 12:52
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    @user253751 It doesn't seem like the OP wants to use their dough hook on any speed other than 2...they just want to know why it is that they shouldn't use any speed other than 2. – user3067860 Apr 13 at 12:01

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