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Has The KitchenAid Mixer Lost Its Mojo?

Nancy Leson
Nancy's old KitchenAid: kneading, not needy.

They've been saying, "They just don't make'em like they used to" since shortly after the first stone ax was updated.  But when that old saw is applied to the KitchenAid stand mixer, Nancy Leson says it's true.

Nance loved her old 1988 cobalt-blue KA stand mixer. But now that she's baking more bread, she thought she'd upgrade to a bigger model. 

"So I went to the store and I invested in a [KitchenAid] Professional 600 Series. But when I brought it home the motor was like eurrrrah, eurrrrah. I didn't like the way it sounded," she said. So Nance took it back to the store, "and replaced it with the devil I knew," which, in this case, was her original, five-quart lift-head model.

But that fell short, too.

"Well, darn if this thing isn't making as much of a racket as the other one and worse, I can't make bread in it.  The dough hook just goes eurrrrah, eurrrrah," she said.

Okay, let's get a second opinion here. When Nancy's husband Mac tried to mix a lightweight 3-to-1 flour to water dough, it was overwhelmed. Even at the very low second speed, "It just starts lugging... and if you move it up to 3, it has this horrible reciprocating action like a double diaphragm pump, clunk-clunk-clunk," he said.

So how bad does Nancy's mixer sound?  

This bad.

...unlike the perplungent puissance of my industrial cement mixer:

Feel the power!

And it's not like Nancy has it in for the company or anything. Up until now, she's been a big KA fan. So what's the consensus on this issue?  Has the KitchenAid stand mixer really lost its Mo(tor)Jo? Nance asked on her Facebook page and found that many, though not all, KA users thought so, too.

Nance called KitchenAid and learned you should blend at no higher than the 2 speed when using the dough hook. It says that in the instructions, too, but Nance kneaded at higher speeds on her older model, as have I. And she's got video of her mixer creaking along at the 2 speed:

Me? I'm sticking with the old-reliable model I've had since Yesteryear was Modern Times. As the mob boss in "Casino" says, "Why take a chance?"

So who's bought a KA mixer in the last year? How do you like it? And if we can no longer look to KA for a reliable, powerful stand mixer, where should we look?

"How long are you gonna let that thing run?"

– The lovely and talented Cheryl DeGroot

Dick Stein joined KNKX in January 1992. He retired in 2020 after three decades on air. During his storied radio career, he hosted the morning jazz show, co-hosted and produced "Food for Thought" with Nancy Leson and wrote and directed the Jimmy Jazzoid live radio musical comedies and 100 episodes of Jazz Kitchen.