04-12-2013, 10:37 PM
#1
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Sorry gents, I posted this on another shave forum, but I'm really stoked about being back in the "making our own bread and pizza" mode. I just had to share this here as well.

A few months ago we were given an essentially 3 year old Kitchen Aid stand mixer. OK, it was older than that, but for most of the time it was just an ornament in the kitchen of the owner. She actually used it for just 2-3 years at most before it was given to us. We used it for bread and pizza dough for 2-3 months and it pooped itself. Typical of KA, it was the worm gear. Got that fixed and more, but clearly it isn't going to do the job for us. So began the search for a new mixer that would stand up to the use we put a mixer to.

OK gents the hammer dropped on the new mixer today.

First, it works nothing like the KA planetary gear motion. It takes awhile for one to wrap ones head around it. The bowl spins and the mixing action happens because of that motion.

In my researching, videoing, digging, and whatnot, and I put many hours into this, I almost dropped the hammer on a KA Pro600, but more digging showed present owners of other machines who previously had P600s and traded them for their new machines because the P600s just couldn't hack heavy duty use either. I don't want similar problems with a new machine. I'm trying to make my life easier, not continue the aggravation. Kitchen Aid disqualified itself; what a shame, I really would have preferred to buy American, but I won't buy American and shoot myself in the foot. KA needs to get their act together.

I looked at commercial planetary gear mixers, but they were just far too industrial and I require a meat grinder and don't want an additional machine for every use. I looked at Kenmore and the Bosch MUM, but near as I can figure they're just in Australia and maybe Europe. My search then centered on the Bosch Universal and the Ankarsrum (sp?). The Bosch fell by the wayside because of problems with the beaters, they're plastic and break, but the machine had no reported problems with bread. If I only used it for bread I would have bought it and saved some $. That left the Ankarsrum. No reported problems, they had all the attachments I want (or may want) and it's also reported to have low current draw. That's important when we're switched onto solar (PV) power. I dropped the hammer on one of them. I shopped around and found a discontinued model at Bread Beckers. A discontinued model is not as bad as it sounds. It's the current model with everything included, but it has the old name "Assistent" on the bowl and not Ankarsrum; I'll just be forced to live with the shame of it. Too, the colors were restricted to just a few. Our first choice was sold out, our second choice was ours. That saved $50, plus the folks I ordered from have free shipping. That saved ~$35.

I haven't ordered the meat grinder yet, but that will happen soon.

I just hope the learning curve is short since the operation is completely unlike any mixer I've used in the past.

Dropping the hammer on the new mixer happened just in time since I took the last loaf of homemade bread out of the freezer a few days ago and we're about going into homemade pizza withdrawal. I've had plenty of pizzeria pizza in the last few weeks; too much. I want my pizza with my own homemade hot sauage on it!

The only consideration for the meat grinder may be that the sausage stuffer may not be able to handle hot dog casings. I may need to find a narrower one to fit. I'll also need to get 2 more plates of the right grind size. No big deal.

FWIW, other names this mixer has gone by over the years... Electrolux Assistent, Verona, Magic Mill. There are plenty of youtube videos if one is interested.

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 04-13-2013, 04:42 AM
#2
  • TexBilly
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Austin, TX
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Brian, I can certainly relate to your quest for kitchen toys so thanks for sharing. We gave up making our own bread and replaced that passion with several others (pasta making, coffee roasting to name two). Also, I must remind you that your mixer project didn't happen without pics! Biggrin

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 04-13-2013, 05:06 AM
#3
  • slantman
  • Expert Shaver
  • Leesburg, Florida
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You might want to check out the commercial line of mixers from KA called Hobart. I know there pizza ovens have been around for years. We have a KA which we have had for many years. Its done everything without any problems. I know they are built with metal gears as most other brands use plastic. Good luck in your search.

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 04-13-2013, 07:35 AM
#4
  • OldDog23
  • Senior Member
  • BeanTown MetroWest
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pizza, breads, sausuage-stuffing.....AND....using the grain-grinding/milling attachment
to custom-crush our barley when we brew ! Smile

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 04-13-2013, 07:58 AM
#5
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OD23,

I take it you have one also? No meat grinder?

It's too late now, it's been purchased, but tell me more. How do you like it, etc.?

There aren't a lot of them in the states.

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 04-13-2013, 08:51 AM
#6
  • Howler
  • A calamophile and vintage razor lover
  • Fort Smith AR
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Congrats on your purchase. Good kitchen tools are essential whether commercial or home use.

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 04-13-2013, 08:54 AM
#7
  • OldDog23
  • Senior Member
  • BeanTown MetroWest
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Ankarsrum is made at Electrolux Sweden...attachments made by Messerschmiit, also make attachments for KA. nice machine, the KA still sees alot of use....we never had a problem with KA gear wear, it could still happen, I guess.
here's a cool site and interesting 20 min. (a bit of fluff) vid. scroll 1/2way downpage. shows sausage stuffing @ 8:40...but watch the whole vid when you get a chance...grain grinding @ 18:22.....inspiring ! http://www.thekitchn.com/ankarsrum-swedi...ers-185830

familiar with PleasantHillGrain ? the attachments are towards the bottom of the page...you'll see the meat-grinder...the stuffer takes 3/4" casings...
http://www.pleasanthillgrain.com/magic_m...4AodV20AFg

(crummy spelling edit)

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 04-13-2013, 09:30 AM
#8
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Yes, familiar with Pleasant Hill, in fact until yesterday they didn't even know that their meat grinder wasn't listed for sale. All this time, and I was the one who clued them in. The woman I talked to couldn't believe it.

We have a Cuisinart, and a massive grinder for grains (Diamant), so I really can't see us with any of the other attachments except the meat grinder and maybe the blender when the Vita-Mix poops itself. If our Cuisinart dies then I might be interested in the other attachmants. Our Diamant will last for many lifetimes; the motor may need to be replaced at some point, but probably not in my lifetime.

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 04-13-2013, 09:42 AM
#9
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Good luck with new mixer, Brian!

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 04-13-2013, 10:19 AM
#10
  • freddy
  • Senior Member
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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Brian, enjoy the mixer and may it give you years of trouble free performance.

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 04-13-2013, 02:24 PM
#11
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Brian - i tell you - my family have used electrolux assistent for 4 generations. it's a workhorse for everything - and should last a lifetime - or more. the assistent is especially suited for dough and is continuously scraping the inside of bowl to get everything blended perfectly.

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 04-13-2013, 07:41 PM
#12
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Thanks gents.

Marius, a lady I know in Nova Scotia has been feeding me info since I purchased it. She's just been stumbling over it on the 'net. I don't have the mixer yet by the way since it's being shipped from Woodstock, Georgia. Anyway, the info she's been sending discusses just how good the build is on them. I'd run into that info, but never quite the way her information presents it. It's good to know that it has such a good reputation that it's good enough for 4 generations to select for use.

Billy, sorry, no pics yet. It's not something that I went to a store and bought. I've never seen one in the flesh. I'm expecting mine the end of this coming week or the beginning of the week after. I can find pics on the 'net, but that isn't what you have in mind. I'll find some anyway so that you can see how different it is. How about a video?

BTW, Cooks Illustrated tested it and flunked it. I normally give lots of credence to CI testing, but I strongly suspect that they used it as though it was a Kitchen Aid and one can't do that and expect it to work. It requires it's own techniques for use since it operates so differently. In all my researching of it, that was clearly seen 100% of the time.

.

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 04-13-2013, 08:13 PM
#13
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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I don't cook but after watching that video I want one.

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 04-18-2013, 08:55 PM
#14
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The new Assistent mixer arrived today. OK, I'm going to call it the Assistent (sic) even though the newest version in the US is clearly marked Ankarsrum. Mine is marked Assistent. I saved $50 by buying old stock. I'll just have to suffer with the indignity of it. Wink The models are identical in all other respects.

Unpacked it and I couldn't help but notice the light weight. I knew it would be light, but it was still a surprise. One thing that isn't light is the mixing bowl. It's a lethal weapon. OK, it's the final part of the drive train, so they make it out of heavy gauge SS. It's an impressive bowl. We checked everything out and was struck by the low noise as it ran. The build quality is really good. Washed everything to get it ready for use and expected to not use it until this weekend, but time will be tight this weekend, so after the wife went to bed I made a batch of Americas Test Kitchens thin crust pizza dough. OK, despite my age, I'm still just a kid at heart, and it is my tool.

The mixer is completely different to what I'm accustomed to. But I spent my time on youtube soaking in as much as possible before it arrived. It didn't take much finagling to get the pizza dough ratio right and kneaded. It just purred and clearly wasn't stressed. Next time I plan to make at least a double pizza dough recipe or maybe even a triple batch and freeze what isn't used immediately. Same goes for larger batches of bread dough. Doubling my normal batches will be no problem since it can handle more than 20 cups of flour (24?).

So far I couldn't be happier, but it's only just begun.

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 04-19-2013, 05:02 AM
#15
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i'm glad you seems to be happy with your first impressions. it really is a good machine. cool man baking into the night Smile

regarding the naming - ankarsrum - never heard about it. sounds awkward even for a scandinavian like me. i assure you - assistent - in this context - is a dignified and traditional gold standard that most scandinavians now very well. and - after all - it really is your new assistant in the kithchen. assistant to the chef that is.

i wish you many happy hours with your new helper.

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 04-19-2013, 06:19 PM
#16
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Thanks Marius.

Question... have any of your family used what I call the meat grinder, but Ankarsrum calls the mincer? I'm particularly interested in that attachment and the sausage stuffing tube. If so, any comments about it? Thanks in advance.

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 04-20-2013, 04:22 AM
#17
  • Sully
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Cedar Park, Texas
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Thanks for posting this Brian. I've been thinking about retiring our kitchen aid for a while now and I've been looking at this mixer. If it can handle 20 cups of flour this is probably the machine that I'll end up with.

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 04-20-2013, 01:06 PM
#18
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Sully, I used it today to make 2 loaves of sandwich bread and it didn't even breathe hard. I was going to make 4 loaves and I probably should have in retrospect. But I'm going cautiously. I'll wind up changing my recipe to better suit the new mixer.

Just a word of advice. Spend some time on YouTube watching videos. Of course some are gold and some are completely worthless, but you'll figure out which is which fairly quickly. There is one by Bread Beckers. If you study it and do as she (Ashley?) says you'll have perfect results the first time. It's a really easy mixer to use, but it is different. One difference is that the wet ingredients go in first - always.

Bread making has never been this easy before! I'm serious.

Todays results.
[Image: DSC03926_zpsf4dce0dd.jpg]

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 04-20-2013, 01:22 PM
#19
  • freddy
  • Senior Member
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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Brian, that bread looks delicious! Babeando

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 04-20-2013, 01:50 PM
#20
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No matter how many times I make bread, bread straight out of the oven is still a treat since I've eaten factory bread for most of my life. Now that I'm retired I have the opportunity to eat better and higher quality.

Thanks Freddy. The wife and I both had to have a few slices while it was hot; naturally, buttered too. Yup, delicious. BTW, I tried to ignore the fresh bread, but the wife asked what I was waiting for in slicing some. I swear it's true! Biggrin She didn't need to twist my arm, truth be told. And surprise! The butter had been left out after greasing the pans. Almost like it was waiting for us. Wink

It was by far the easiest and fastest bread I've made to date and I make most of our bread.

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