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Not sure if it's ok to mention specific brands or not, so I won't. But I'd like to pick up a stand mixer and the two models i'm considering have either a 325 or 575 watt motor and 5 or 6qts respectively.

I've never been a big baker but I want to start baking, as well as making pasta. I'm assuming the only reason to get the more powerful motor is it would have an easier time mixing up a bigger/heavier/denser batch of dough vs the smaller motor? On the flip side, i'm guessing the bigger capacity model would be less efficient at mixing up a smaller batch?

How big of a batch of pasta dough (in terms of number of portions) would each one be likely to handle? Or what about baking bread? How many average sized loafs would each one be likely to handle at one time?

I'm leaning towards the smaller one because I don't think i'll be making huge batches of anything, and i like the way the bowl loads in the smaller vs the larger (tilt vs lift). The price difference between the two isn't huge, so I'm mainly just interested in picking the one that I'll get the best use of.

thanks

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I was on a similar quest before Christmas. Here is what I learned:

A 6qt will hold about 12 cups of flour, enough for 13 dozen cookies or 8 loaves of bread. A 5qt will hold about 9 cups of flour which would be about 9 dozen cookies or 4.5 loaves of bread according to Kitchenaid.That's good information for when you are working on large batches of something.

My own train of thought on power is: The more powerful machine would last longer than the smaller because it wouldn't be pushed as hard. This may or may not be true, I could not find any information on the average lifespan of these machines. My previous mixer was a 325 watt model (not KA) and was plenty strong enough for making big batches of cookies and kneading bread and is still in great working order. I wanted to upgrade to a fixed bowl type mixer.

It seems like most home bakers prefer the the 5qt. mixers. Based on reading numerous reviews at Amazon it appears as though professional/semi-professional cooks choose the the larger mixer for it's capacity and mixing strength, but that is overkill for everyday home use. The bigger mixers are heavier and taller (If you plan to put the mixer on your counter and there is an upper cabinet make sure to measure to determine that you have enough room). And there were a few reviewers that had both, liking the bigger model for big jobs & the smaller model for small jobs.

There is an excellent review of mixers at Cooks Illustrated. Their first choice was a Kitchenaid Proline 7qt. Second place and best buy went to Kitchenaid Classic Plus 4.5qt. (275 watts which held is own in testing against the bigger/more powerful models) Third place went to the Kitchenaid Professional 600 series 6qt. All other models that they tested were rated below that.

  • thanks - sounds like for my needs the 325 watt model would be more the adequate. I doubt I'll be making 9 dozen cookies or 5 loaves of bread, much less 13/8 so the smaller one should work i think. – merk Jan 4 '16 at 9:25
  • @merk I have a lighter duty (tilt head) one and it's not powerful enough for most bread doughs... If bread is your goal, get the heavy duty one. You can buy smaller bowls if the bowl size is what worries you. – Catija Jan 4 '16 at 20:01
  • @Catija so there's no issues mixing up smaller batches in the larger size model? – merk Jan 4 '16 at 22:51
  • @merk I don't have a larger one, but, as I said, you can get a smaller (5 qt) bowl for the bowl-lift style of KA mixer... regardless, the way the mixer mixes seems to not matter what the volume is, really... it's not like a food processor in that way. – Catija Jan 4 '16 at 22:59
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The wattage directly indicates how strong the motor is. If you plan on using your mixer often and/or more for heavy duty than light duty, then by all means get the stronger mixer.

Heavier duty is things like kneading heavy doughs, or mixing thick batters or meat for meatballs and meatloaf, or using a food grinder attachment.

Light duty is lighter batters, storing dry ingredients, and not asking the motor to work very hard at all.

  • well right now i think it'll mainly be for making pasta and breads - maybe the meat grinder but i kinda doubt that. – merk Jan 4 '16 at 9:24
  • Then I'd get the heavy duty – Escoce Jan 4 '16 at 13:23

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