Advantages Striking, streamlined, and powerful
Disadvantages Not up for the long haul as a heavy-duty appliance
As a cook, I favor basic tools in the kitchen. I have my hand tools, if you will: spatulas, wooden spoons, scrapers, whisks—that sort of thing. I also have a good hand mixer. But I have never really wanted or needed a big stand mixer.
Himself, on the other hand, likes his gadgets and power tools. He also likes an occasional foray into the kitchen. He has a handful of special recipes for which he is the master, and he prepares them two or three times a year. To enhance his equipment base, at retirement he decided to add a KitchenAid Professional 5 Plus stand mixer to our kitchen. He went with KitchenAid because of its reputation as first in class. All the better for making the perfect cheesecake--or so he reasoned.
We waited for a sale and bought the item at $299 rather than the full $399 purchase price. That was still, in my opinion, a hefty cost when compared to my sturdy Black and Decker hand mixer procured 15 years ago for $49. Nonettheless, the Pro 5 Plus is a lovely item—even beautiful. Himself chose the model in basic black enamel, with a stainless steel 5-quart bowl, plus the dough hook, flat beater, and wire whip. It looks positively impressive on our appliance cart. It's available is several other colors, including fire-engine red, white, and cobalt blue, and yellow. The unit is designed for ten speed settings. It has a handle on the side allowing the user to raise and lower the bowl, and it uses 450 watts of electricity. It contains the basic bells and whistles for an appliance of its kind, and those bells and whistles are smarter than your average sort.
As designed, it’s a powerful machine, and frankly I always found it intimidating. Himself, however, swore by the smoothness of the batters the KitchenAid produced and the lightness of his meringues. It was for him the difference between being a cook and a chef. It gave him the right tool for his baking challenges, and it gave him the confidence to try the occasional new recipe to add to his short list of specialties.
Last winter during the holiday cooking season, after only 5 years of use twice or thrice per annum, the thing burned out. Well, it didn’t fully burn out, though it sent up the caustic odors associated with that sort of event. It still runs. It just can’t handle the pressure of a heavy dough. It’s still fine for a meringue, but it will never again handle kneading bread—or cookie/biscuit dough for that matter.
The KitchenAid Professional 5 Plus came with only a 1-year ‘hassle-free’ warranty. The manufacturer is doubtless unimpressed with the fact that our unit is still virtually new. It retains its place on our appliance cart, allowing us to look like chefs, but sadly it too is now virtually retired.
Moral of the story: If someone in your household wants one of these upscale mixers, get an extended warranty if you can. Overall, the quality of maker may be very good, but if you get the particular unit that is the exception rather than the rule, it will become a costly decorative item in your kitchen.
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|Cleaning & Maintenance|
|Value for money|
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