There has been some concern over the last few years about the quality of Kitchenaid mixers. You see comments about the motors containing plastic parts. Sometimes you see concern over the production of KitchenAid mixers being moved to China.
KitchenAid mixers have gone through changes over the years. The mixers were originally produced by Hobart. Hobart is still the “gold standard” of mixers, they produce large commercial mixers that hold their value and outlast their owners.
The KitchenAid mixer productions was then transferred to Whirlpool. The fear of decreased quality came around the beginning of this century, when Whirlpool started producing parts in Asia. This is also the point where people began reporting more problems with the KitchenAid mixers.
The KitchenAid company had redesigned their motors and transmissions just before they started to off-shore production of the mixers. The problem most likely did not rest with the move to off-shore production, but with the redesign process. Since then, KitchenAid has fixed the problems with the new design. Now, according to this article I found at Plastics News, Kitchenaid will be producing it’s mixer parts in the United States again.
CHICAGO (March 22, 1:45 p.m. ET) — Whirlpool Corp.’s KitchenAid brand is bringing production of its hand mixers back to the U.S. from China.
That shift will mean new business for suppliers of the mixers injection molded parts, said Larry Simpson, global business development manager for KitchenAid Small Appliances, during an interview at the International Home + Housewares Show in Chicago March 10-13.
The company is in the process of moving production now to Greenville, Ohio, which is already home to KitchenAid’s larger stand mixers, he said. Motors will still be made by key suppliers for St. Joseph, Mich.-based KitchenAid in Asia, but the bulk of other components will move to local sources.
Among other parts, the mixers’ bodies are injection molded plastic, some of them painted and some using a molded-in-color process.
You’ll note from the article above that all stand mixer part production is already being carried out in the United States. The plastic housings on the KitchenAid hand mixers is just the last of the production being brought back from Asia. Some of the motor parts for the hand mixers are still being produced in China, but KitchenAid has fixed all of their production and design problems and their mixers are as good as anyone else.
KitchenAid has also gone back to using a metal housing on the heavy duty metal gears in their Pro 600 stand mixers, rather than the plastic housing that was causing problems for some people. If you do find you have purchased one with the plastic housing, KitchenAid states they will replace it under warranty with the new metal housing. KitchenAid’s customer service is highly rated by people who have contacted them regarding this problem. They will replace the mixer for you. The company is planning to change it’s 5 quart bowl lift models to the metal gear box housing as well. If you find you have purchased a Pro 600 with the plastic housing you can contact their Customer Satisfaction Center at 1-800-541-6390.
When you are deciding which mixer to buy consider what you will be planning to use it for. Cake bakers swear by the KitchenAid stand mixers. However, if you plan to bake multiple batches of bread dough back to back, you may want to consider purchasing a Hobart mixer. The Bosch and Electrolux stand mixers also receive good ratings from consumers that use them for making large quantities of bread dough. They have a different transmission system than the KitchenAid which is more capable of mixing heavy doughs back to back. However, they do not do small batches well.
You can avoid problems with your mixer by not kneading bread dough at high speeds. You should use Speed 2 to mix or knead yeast doughs.
You should mix and knead no more than two batches of bread dough back to back. Then, let it rest for 45 minutes before resuming bread dough mixing.
If you do happen to notice the mixer getting hot, letting it run with no load for a minute or two will cool it off quickly.
Do not use recipes calling for more than 14 cups of all purpose flour or 8 cups of whole wheat flour.
I have had my KitchenAid for over 10 years now and have not had any problems with it. It’s still runs like new and shows no signs of wear. I use it a lot. I use it for heavy doughs, double batches of dough, and use it several times a week. With proper care and use your KitchenAid stand mixer will last a very long time.