Powerful. Perfect for dense mixtures. Makes loaves of bread.
This is how most people see the KitchenAid Professional 600. But, there are those who are not convinced. Which camp should you believe?
Sure it looks muscular. But, is it tough enough for serious bread making?
This review will give you the answers.
But, first, let me warn you…
This is not your typical product review that relies on research and other people’s experience. I’m not saying there’s something wrong with that. I believe that people generally give honest reviews of products they use.
But, there’s nothing like telling it from experience.
Yep, I will be sharing my experience with the KitchenAid Professional 600. I not only list its features and their applications but also share how they actually work based on what I encountered.
I’m thrilled to be sharing the fun part, the hitches and the tricks I discovered.
Your doubts were my doubts before I finally took the plunge and brought a Pro 600 home.
When you decide to bring one home, too, this review points you to the best deal out there.
|Table of Contents|
|Click on any section to jump to your most pressing concerns!|
|1. Power||2. Making Bread||3. Cakes and Cookies|
|4. Bowl Size||5. Speed Settings||6. Bowl-Lift|
|7. Other Features||8. Accessories||9. Attachments|
|10. Gears||11. Dimensions||12. Care and Cleaning|
|13. Price||14. Consumer Reviews||15. Overall Opinion|
What’s in the Box?
Before delving into details, here is what you’ll get in the box:
1 unit KitchenAid Professional 600 stand mixer
1 pc. Stainless steel bowl, 6 quarts
1 pc. Burnished flat beater
1 pc. Burnished spiral dough hook
1 pc. Stainless steel wire whip
1 pc. Plastic pouring shield
1 pc. User manual
Motor and Power of the KitchenAid Professional 600 Series
When I started looking at table top mixers, I came across a 1000-watt mixer which looks puny compared to the KitchenAid 600 series.
I remember thinking “there’s no way this 1000-watt machine can do bread ”.
Why does it need 1000-watts for such a small frame while the KitchenAid Pro 600 mixer which is bulky and brawny is just 575 watts?
Short answer: The Pro 600 mixer’s motor is more efficient.
Why? It has a direct drive transmission.
What is that? It is a system of gears which directly transfers power to the mixture resulting in reduced power loss and less power consumption.
Hence, a direct drive motor requires less wattage.
It also mixes faster, saving you precious time and allowing you to bake more.
On the other end are belt-driven motors that need higher wattages to compensate for higher energy loss. This type uses up more power because it is less efficient.
That 1000-watt mixer is belt-driven.
What can 575 watts do?
Move down to find out…
Can It Make Bread? How Well?
Have you ever woken up to the aroma of bread in the oven?
My father used to make bread when we were young. I can’t forget the first time I sniffed bread cooking, I can’t resist leaving my bed. And, the taste of warm fresh bread is just glorious.
I used to make bread in a bread machine. But, it can only handle one loaf at a time. We end up with store-bought bread because it’s not enough.
I had long wanted to own a stand mixer and decided to get one that will permit me to make more bread than a bread machine.
So, I jumped.
Contrary to what naysayers say the Professional 600 is a bread mixer. It is designed for households that make their own bread. And it does it well.
What do I make?
Mostly, three loaves of basic white bread every other day and two loaves of wheat bread in between. I prepare the dough all at once, in a single batch.
There are two things I strictly follow with bread. The first, which is critical, is to only use Speed 2. Second, is to let it knead for 2 to 3 minutes (I broke this rule once to test).
I got the 3-minute tip from another Kitchen Aid Pro 600 user and it has worked well for me. Dough comes out springy and well-formed. And breads are soft and tender with a good crust.
I won’t say they’re perfect. But they taste good enough that there’s rarely any leftover.
What is the test I mentioned earlier? I extended kneading time for two loaves of wheat bread. The motor cut-off beyond 4 minutes. It’s the built-in protection that automatically shuts the motor down when it gets overloaded.
But there are some who got to 8 or 10 minutes kneading time. Heavens! Then, they complain that it shuts-off. And they had to wait 30 minutes before they can run it again.
Take note that KitchenAid stand mixers mix and knead faster than other mixers or by hand. Hence, processing time should be reduced.
There are two things the KitchenAid Pro 600 series is not. First, it’s not a machine for churning out tons of bread. Second, it’s not for extended kneading.
Did it wobble on me? The head shakes and rocks when I use it for wheat bread, but not serious to cause alarm. And it hasn’t done any walking on my counter.
Let’s see what other users have experienced:
A friend of ours makes 2 pounds of loaf bread, approximately 3 to 4 loaves, almost daily.
A reviewer on Amazon shared that it easily tackles 2 kg. of dough which is “500 gm. flour + 300 gm. sourdough starter + 200 gm. water”. He adds that you can go as much as “3 kg dough, but 4 kg would be too much”.
Never ever go beyond Speed 2 when mixing and kneading heavy dough.
How Well Does It Beat and Whip Other Ingredients?
I have made more cakes than breads in my KitchenAid 600 mixer. Cookies? Made a lot of it.
Here’s what I have encountered and what I did to get around the small humps:
- With packaged cakes, I don’t make a well in the center because the flour gets pushed to the sides. It’s better if liquid ingredients go first before the dry ones as this prevent them from sticking on the bottom.
- Softened cream cheese and butter tend to hug the wall of the bowl. The only remedy is to scrape manually. I do so usually once with cakes and twice with cream cheese and butter.
- I find it inconvenient to scrape where the beater stops because it gets in the way. The tilt-head model is better in this aspect.
- When the bowl is lowered there is roughly a 2 ½ inches gap between the tip of the beater and the bowl. It’s hard to get to the bottom content with a short-handled spatula. I bought a flexible one with a long handle and it’s made all the difference.
- Boxed cakes are usually lumpy. So I sift it. I did not sift it the first time and my batter was lumpy even after extended beating.
- After I have detached the bowl from the mixer, I always give my batter another stir and scrape to get any unmixed portion.
- I use a minimum of two egg whites or two cups of cream for whipping. One of either is too little, it doesn’t get whisked properly in the large bowl. The solution is to buy a 3-quart or a 5-quart bowl.
- The correct beater to bowl clearance is crucial for proper mixing. Mine came set to the max. I initially thought it was hitting the bowl but upon checking, it’s the right adjustment. When set correctly, the beater just clears the side and bottom of the bowl.
Procedure for adjustment can be found on page 12 of the User Manual.
You will eventually develop your own techniques as you keep using your KitchenAid 600 Professional mixer.
How Big Is the Bowl of the KitchenAid Professional 600 Mixer?
It’s a large 6-quart bowl that can accommodate several recipes of cakes, cookies and breads.
It can hold 4 to 5 boxed cake mixes. Less if you will add chocolate chips, nuts or dried fruits. Otherwise, it will almost be full to the brim.
KitchenAid claims it will accommodate 8 ¼ loaves of bread and 13 dozen cookies. Quite impressive. Ain’t it?
But here’s a reminder before you jump assuming you can knead that much dough: what is stated is the maximum amount that will fit in the bowl, not what the motor can handle. The mixer will strain, wobble and walk with 8 ¼ loaves.
What else is good about the bowl? The handle. It is ergonomically designed for better grip.
I saw a video of a lady gripping the bowl (of another mixer) by the edge. She pours her batter on the baking pan and scrapes what is left.
Guess what happens? The bowl swings as she tries to get the sticky batter off. It might qualify for the “Funniest Videos” but I’m sure the lady is frustrated.
If you have with weak hands and wrists, don’t get a bowl without a handle, unless it’s just 3 quarts.
Are There Really 10 Speeds?
That’s the claim.
Printed on the side of the mixer head is “STIR, 2, 4, 6, 8 & 10”. I haven’t used Speeds 3,5,7, and 9 which are between these printed speeds. Do you need these other speeds?
“S-T-I-R” is really slow. It lessens cloud puff.
In addition, there is a “Slow Start” function which starts the mixer on slow no matter what Speed you start with.
I once accidentally pulled the lever to Speed 6. My face would have been powdered with flour if there is no “Slow Start”
What’s the Bowl-Lift Feature For?
I read some folks complaining about the bowl-lift design and saying that a tilt-head is better.
Big and powerful mixers are bowl-lifts. Find out why in this post.
Why do you need to lift or lower the bowl?
First, raising it keeps the mixture in optimum contact with the beater so it will be able to move batter or dough. Second, lowering it provides ample room for when attaching or removing the accessories and bowl, and for scraping content.
Some owners find it difficult to attach the bowl. I don’t. I’m petite and I can do it smoothly.
Of course, the first time I had to figure it out. But, it’s smooth sailing from my third attempt.
One thing a few folks missed is to push down on the back of the bowl until the clip locks. Sometimes, the “ears” dislodge a bit from the securing pins. Just push them down until they rest on the arms.
Removing the bowl is easier. Just lift it by the handle and it easily dislodges from the pins.
Always remember to lower the bowl before attaching or removing it.
Other Useful Features You Should Know
- What is “planetary mixing”? Picture the planets as they revolve around the sun. As they do so, they also rotate on their axes.
So is it with this stand mixer. Its beater spins on the shaft (its axis) as it goes around and touches several points in the bowl. Ingredient is picked up off the wall each time it touches the bowl. This results in even mixing and less scraping on your part.
- Theauto shut-off featureis one big advantage of the KitchenAid Professional 600 series 6-quart stand mixer over other stand mixers. It protects the motor by shutting off when it gets overloaded or overworked, so it does not fry.
Once this feature is triggered, find something else to do as you’d have to wait a few minutes before you can run it again. Some folks get annoyed. But, I’d rather waste some ingredients than have my mixer burn.
The way to avoid this is to work within the limits and recommendations.
- You probably have noticed that your stand mixer stalls a bit at times, especially with denser mixtures. The electronic speed sensorfeature adjusts the speed to match it with consistency to avoid over-beating or under-beating. Either one will affect how your baked product turns out.
Accessories For The KitchenAid Professional 600 Series Stand Mixer
Why is the dough hook spiral? It’s better for big quantities of thick dough. It picks up almost 100% of unmixed flour and gives a more thorough knead.
The 6-wire balloon whip is bigger than the wire whisks of smaller stand mixers and whips both small and large quantities of egg whites or cream into fluffy goodness.
But there’s another whisk, which can be purchased separately, that is more efficient.
The 11-wire whisk whips it 33% quicker because it incorporates a larger volume of air in every turn. This saves time if you make large amounts of frosting.
If scraping makes you frustrated, better get a Flex beater which picks up stuff off the side of the bowl.
Want to reduce the mess you have to clean up? Use the pouring shield. It reduces flour clouds and other flying ingredients. I don’t use it for single batches because I can tolerate the mess and I get lazy at times. But, I use it for 3 batches and more because, then, it can get messy.
There is one instance when a pouring shield serves me well. I have not mastered the timing for when to add ingredients while the mixer is running. The beater always catches flour or sugar and sends them flying.
Doesn’t the shield get in the way? In a way it does because the room for adding ingredients is considerably smaller. You can’t have everything in life, eh? I just try to find the best angle when I add ingredients.
Can It Make Pasta and Ice Cream?
A hundred percent yes. And, not only pasta and ice cream. You can grind meat and whole grains, puree and juice vegetables and fruits, slice produce and even make sausage.
All these are made possible by various Professional 600 attachments which are available separately. They attach to the power hub on the front of the mixer head.
These attachments turn your KitchenAid table top mixer into a multi-purpose kitchen machine and let you have more control over what goes into what you and your family eat. You also save on kitchen space by not having separate appliances.
Here is a complete list and description of the various attachments. A more detailed discussion of the pasta attachments can be found in this post.
What Kind of Gears Are In The KitchenAid Pro 600?
You’ll find comments from years back complaining of nylon gears breaking. But for almost six years now, all Pro 600 series bowl-lift mixer have metal gear boxes and all metal gears. The body is also entirely made of metal.
What Are the Dimensions of the KitchenAid Mixer Professional 600?
Surely, you don’t expect a 6-quart stand mixer to be anything but heavy. I struggle even sliding or turning this 29-pounder on my counter. It’s tall at 16 ½ inches. It measures 11 5/16 inches wide and 14 5/8 inches deep.
You better allocate a dedicated space for it because moving it is not going to be fun.
Is Cleaning and Maintenance Easy?
Yes, if you are open to a little washing by hand.
That’s because you can’t use the dishwasher to wash the burnished flat beater and dough hook. Or, they will oxidize and produce a greyish powder. You also have to dry them immediately to prevent oxidation.
But, you can wash the bowl and wire whisk in the dishwasher.
As for the mixer itself, I wipe it with a damp cloth after each use. And, I make sure that no residue is left sticking on the beater shaft.
I keep the bowl attached in the down position, place the accessories inside it and cover it.
One common issue with KitchenAid stand mixers, which I haven’t encountered, is oil leaking from the motor head. This happens when the mixer has either been idle for extended periods or when it’s heavily used.
What happens is that the grease separates. Hence, if you seldom use it, just make sure to run it for 2 minutes on Speed 10 every week.
How Much Does It Cost and What Colors Are Available?
You are likely aware that KitchenAid stand mixers aren’t cheap.
The KitchenAid Professional 600 series 6 quart bowl-lift stand mixer costs anywhere from $350 to $450. Prices vary depending on the hue. Most of the time, the cheapest is white. But, you can save a lot on a Cyber Monday, Black Friday or Christmas sale.
It is available in 24 pretty colors. Some shades sound so delectable, you can almost taste them: Espresso, Aqua Sky, Tiffany Blue, Blue Steel, Caviar Gloss, Copper Pearl, Dark Green William Sonoma, Empire Red, Gloss Cinnamon, White, Cobalt Blue, Silver, Tangerine, Green Apple, Imperial Black, Licorice, Liquid Graphite, Metallic Chrome, Majestic Yellow, Meringue, Nickel Pearl, Onyx Black, Pearl Metallic, Pink and Purple Plumberry.
A dash of color adds life to any space. An all-white interior can benefit from a splash of bold red. If you think your space is drab, add a burst of yellow.
Why not let your stand mixer enliven your kitchen? Let it serve double purpose.
What Do Consumers Say About This 6 qt. KitchenAid Mixer?
[Latest update: Aug. 10, 2016]: There are roughly 3,000 KitchenAid Professional 600 reviews from verified purchasers on Amazon. Almost 86% of those are favourable (rating 3 – 5).
Most reviewers who were satisfied point out that they can make more bread with the KitchenAid Pro 600 series. Some like that they are able to prepare larger batches
For purchases in the last four or so years, most complaints are about the auto shut-off feature being annoying and the mixer being noisy. How loud? I can’t converse with anyone while it’s running.
Also, it is obvious from some people’s unfavorable reviews that they did not read the manual. Like one complaining that the mixer’s head can’t be tilted.
Think of a cyclist who pedals on paved flat roads and on rocky terrains. There is resistance from the rocks. He pedals harder, his heart races faster. He stalls a bit. But, he is able to conquer the incline.
So is it with the KitchenAid KP26M1X Professional 600. It moves light to moderate mixtures effortlessly, but has to work harder with dough. There is resistance, it uses up more energy and strains at times, but is able to move and knead the dough.
This mixer is for you if:
- You make big volumes of anything.
- You make bread daily.
- Make several recipes of bread in one batch several times a week.
- You will be baking more in bigger volumes in the future.
Although the Professional 600 is a bread mixer, it is not for the serious bread enthusiast.
Not for you if you often make 5 to 6 bread recipes at once or more than 2 loaves of sourdough and other stiff dough in a batch.
Finally, don’t be misled into thinking that this is a commercial mixer because it’s labelled “Professional”. It’s not.
What are your thoughts about the Pro 600 KitchenAid mixer? Already using it? Speak up. Share your opinions, questions and experiences in the comments below.