Kitchen Aid Professional 5 Plus Series Bowl Lift Stand Mixer Review
Long a status symbol in American kitchens, the Kitchen Aid brand speaks of solid craftsmanship, dependability and value. The first Kitchen Aids came on the scene in 1919. As American’s love affair with their kitchens grew, so did Kitchen Aid’s line of mixers – offering a wide range of prices and styles to suit every cook and every kitchen.
(Please be sure to check out my article on How to Choose the Right Stand Mixer for You)
Of all of the Kitchen Aid models available today, I am most excited about the Kitchen Aid Professional 5 Plus Series. First, let me give you a brief overview of this mixer’s features, and then I’ll explain why I am so excited about them. But, here’s the information you need to know if you are considering buying a Kitchen Aid stand mixer.
Sturdy and reliable direct-drive all metal gearing
67 point planetary mixing action
5-quart capacity bowl
Automatic shut-off to prevent overheating
Hub with hinged cover for attachments
Comes with a pouring shield, and paddle, whip and dough hook mixing attachments
Spiral dough hook replaces the older C-style dough hook
Locking Bowl-Lift Mechanism to raise and lower the bowl
10 mixing speeds
You might look at the above list and say 450 watts doesn’t sound like much.
The real question isn’t watts, though. When it comes to stand mixers, you’re looking for power and torque & how much power does the wattage deliver, and how powerful is the rotational force of the drive shaft? A direct drive transmission delivers the power you need, regardless of the wattage. Almost all commercial mixers have direct drive transmissions.
All-metal gears are very important, as well.
Some mixers that are designed to run quietly actually have gearing that is made of nylon. Make a heavy bread dough once or twice, and you’ll soon find out that those nylon gears will strip out, leaving you with a beautiful and expensive counter decoration.
What exactly does 67-point planetary mixing mean, exactly?
Well, look down at the bowl, and divide the circumference into 67 pieces – that’s how many points around the bowl that the attachments hit (they don’t really hit the bowl, but they come very close). This helps to make sure that everything in the bowl gets mixed thoroughly and quickly. To date, this spiral planetary action is unique to the Kitchen Aid Professional 5 Plus.
No matter how powerful the mixer, sometimes they overheat.
If you’re mixing bread dough or heavy cookie dough, the dough hook or paddle could seize up. If power isn’t shut off quickly, the heat can build up and fry your mixer. The automatic shut off is like an internal breaker that can sense when the mixer is overheating shut it down before the inner workings are damaged. A very good feature, indeed, and not available on all mixers.
The hinged hub-cover ensures that you don’t lose the cover.
In other models and older styles, the hub cover was held on by a screw in through the side of the housing. Many an older Kitchen Aid is missing the screw, the cover, or both.
The paddle attachment is the workhorse attachment.
This is the one you’ll use to mix most of your cake batters, cookie doughs, icings and frostings. The whip attachment has an abundance of wires to ensure rapid foam formation. This is the attachment you will use to whip cream, egg whites, whole eggs or to make fluffy marshmallows or European-style buttercreams. The dough hook, of course, is used for mixing and kneading heavy bread doughs. This new spiral design mimics hand kneading much better than the older C-style dough hooks, allowing you to knead 20% more dough.
The pouring shield is a nice extra, although I don’t find it strictly necessary.
The shield snaps around the top of the mixer and helps prevent ingredients from splashing out. It also provides a chute down which you can add ingredients without having to stop the mixer. Personally, I find that it gets in my way as I have to remove it every time I need to scrape down the inside of the bowl. It is included with the mixer, so by all means use it if you like it.
The Soft Start feature is fairly self-explanatory.
Even on high speed, the first several rotations begin at a low speed to help keep ingredients in the bowl, not on the counter or all in your hair.
All Kitchen Aid stand mixers offer one of two ways to get the attachments in the bowl where they can do their job.
One style is the tilt where the head of the mixer tilts up and out of the bowl. It locks in either the up or down position to keep the attachments in place. The alternative, the bowl lift, is also the type of mechanism most often seen in commercial kitchens. The Professional 5 Plus has a bowl lift mechanism whereby you can raise or lower the bowl by means of a lever on the side.
One benefit of the lift mechanism is that it requires no extra room.
Since the bowl raised straight up and down, you can place it close to the wall. With tilt-type mechanisms, you have to make sure that there is enough room behind the mixer to be able to tilt the head up.
A potential negative of this feature is that the bowl-lift style mixers are taller, to allow for clearance.
They are often too tall to be put on the counter under your upper cabinets. You will need to make sure that there is nothing above them, and you may have to keep this mixer elsewhere for storage as it doesn’t neatly tuck by the wall under cabinets the way tilt-style mixers do. Again, though, this is a personal decision based entirely upon your preference and the constraints of your kitchen.
Ten mixing speeds are standard on Kitchen Aid mixers.
The lowest speed is ideal for kneading heavy doughs. The highest setting can be used in short bursts to finish off whipped creams and meringues (mix on medium speed for the majority of the time when making foams). Ten speeds do allow you to efficiently mix batters, dough and frosting of a wide range of consistencies.
The Kitchen Aid Professional 5 Plus really does offer a wonderful balance of styling and functionality. It comes in 8 different colors, so you are sure to find one to complement your kitchen decor. Honestly, the real proof is in the great pains Kitchen Aid took to provide the home cook with a powerful machine that takes its best features from commercial mixers. I believe they were successful, and you will too.
onlinesources: Small Kitchen Appliances
There are lots of sources for purchasing quality small kitchen appliances including blenders, toaster and mixers. I suggest you check out your local department stores and kitchen supply shops but if you’re looking for a wide selection of products and prices, you may want to check out Amazon.com where I buy many of my favorite pieces of cookware.