Thinking of buying a stand mixer. I just started making cakes however I've been making pizza dough from scratch for a couple of months now.
Is it worth going for the 8 quart NSF mixer below or something else
everything I make pizza, cookies, cakes, cinnamon rolls, donuts, whatever, comes out of Bertha, my 15 yr old ultra power kitchenaid. I'm told my baked goods are better than those sold retail locally. Down the road is Bouchon; up the road is Dean and DeLuca, so I'm thinking it's not the mixer (hope Bertha didn't hear that) but the quality of ingredients and the knowledge of the baker.
When we start out we rush to buy the best of everything. I'm a firm believer in quality (my motto is, "cheap is expensive") but a top of the line mixer still makes a crappy cake when crappy ingredients are tossed inside.
What are you planning to do? Are you going to open a cake business, in which case NSF is helpful, but if you're not, save yourself a lot of money and get the retail version (they're the same machine except for a few details which I can tell you if you're interested). Actually, the 7qt and 8 qt are the same except for the bowl they come with, and both bowls fit on the machines (and you can buy bowls separately). I have the 7 qt and a 5 qt. I use them both. The 7qt is a great machine but I use the 5qt when making smaller batches of anything. If you're not doing big cakes, an 8 qt bowl is really huge. For example, you couldn't beat a couple of egg whites in it. Also, if you want the non-NSF version and can wait a couple of months, Williams Sonoma has had a really good sale on them on Black Friday the past few years. But I agree with the previous comment - good technique and top quality ingredients make for the best baked goods, not the best equipment.
Norcalhiker: Thanks for the info. I'm going to get me a pewter Bertha of my own.
I get my chocolate from the best little chocolate shops
Only Madagascar vanilla, none of that simulated crap.
"00" pizza flour imported from Italy by one of the best Italian markets in town
My Bertha is gonna eat like a queen :)
Not sure if you have tried to make 3 batches of pizza dough but you need a beast of a motor to get that dough mixed with a beefy dough hook
Since I live in Canada, everything is roughly 25-30% more expensive
the 8 quart commercial mixer is $950
the 7 quart pro is $730
So if I'm going to spend that kind of money I'm going to go with with the quality, reliability and bang for the buck
Just to be clear, the motor in the 7qt regular version, NSF version, and the 8 qt are identical. The differences between commercial (NSF) and regular 7qt are trim (including the cord) and the bowl handle. The difference between the 7 and 8 qt is only the bowl. The 8 qt bowl fits on the 7 qt mixer and vice versa. Unless you are planning to open a shop and be subject to health inspections, you do not need the commercial (NSF) version. You'd be better off saving money with a regular 7qt and buying an 8 qt bowl. Then you'd have 2 bowls, which is really handy. Look at the Kitchenaid website - I even called them to confirm this info when I was buying. Don't spend more if you don't have to.
Put the money you save into a good scale or other equipment you need. You won't be short changing yourself with the 7qt. I love mine and use it to make cakes, bread, fondant, as well as color pre-made fondant Among other things. I'm going to buy an 8 qt bowl.
I'll see what I can get a better price on, I still have some time to decide so I'm not too concerned which one I get as long as it's the color I want and it'll be able to make 3 batches of pizza dough without breaking a sweat