Saturday, January 22, 2011

Oh KitchenAid, Cuore Mio!

For Christmas I received (from my fabulous MIL and FIL further known as Mom P. and Dad P.)

...deep breath...

a KitchenAid Grain Mill attachment to my Professional 600 stand mixer. YAY!

I absolutely adore my KA. It's color is "Licorice" which suits me just right (I love black licorice). I have baked countless of bread loaves, cakes, muffins, pies, and everything under the sun with this lovely machine.

It is my muse.

I used to have a smaller tilt-head model which turned out to be a lemon when its motor burnt out within a month or so after I got it (no fault of mine). KitchenAid's customer service was amazing. Within the week UPS showed up at my front door with a new mixer and whisked the old one away free of charge. Not only that, but KA allowed me to upgrade to the larger bowl-lift model for a few bucks extra. I was in heaven.

Last week Cowboy and I purchased our first bags of whole grain hard red and hard white wheat. We decided to bake three loaves of bread using our new grain mill: one full red, one full white, and one mix 50/50 red and white.

After reading the manual we attached the mill to the KA and put in 1 cup of grain. The aroma that drifted up from that fresh milled wheat was down right amazing.

We ran the flour through one more time to get a good fine flour and then let the KA rest while we mixed up one loaf of bread. Repeat x3 and three loaves of delicious and golden loaves of bread were produced.
Let me tell you the taste was something I cannot even begin to describe without feeling I was doing an injustice. This bread was so good it didn't need a single thing on it. NOT EVEN BUTTER! If I had the time, this house would never contain a loaf of store-bought bread again.

The following day we made a toasty grilled cheese sandwich. The bread had a little crunch to it from the whole grain which made our eyes roll back into our heads for a few moments with delight.

A few days after that we made homemade corn bread. WOW.

Now I had meant to take photos of these beautiful loaves and cornbread however, they were devoured before I had a chance so this weekend was going to be bread making day with a promise from Cowboy that he wouldn't touch them until I snapped some pictures.

Which brings us to the now pain in my heart...

The other day, I placed some grain into the mill and turned the KA on. Out came this atrocious noise: a whir then an awful grinding noise. I had noticed several months back that the KA had sounded a little "off" but I just couldn't identify it and it was ever so slight that I thought maybe I was imagining it.

Note: I am always very protective and gentle with my kitchen machines. Whenever I make bread or big batches of things I always allow the mixer to cool and don't stress it too much. I keep a cover on it when not in use and take very good care of it and pet it on occasion.

Well today that noise turned into a wail, emitted by my KA, and like the frantic mother of a screaming child I was all over that machine. I quickly shut it off, disengaged the mill, and inspected the mill inside and out. I thought, perhaps, it was the mill that had broken. Cowboy inspected with me, cleaned it out well, and reattached. Turned the KA back on and out came the screaming crunching grind of something gone terribly wrong. It sounded, to us, like something slipping out of gear- like when you strip a screw head with a power drill.

We immediately turned it off and disconnected the mill, not quite sure what to do. After an extensive search online I found this.

Ugh. This sounded EXACTLY like my problem.

So with great hesitancy I opened the KA and took off it's top. I didn't want to mess with it and cause any extra damage but I had to see if this "plastic housing" was the issue. With my heart in my stomach, this is what I found:

 plastic housing cracked....(my thumb smudge on the grease leak)

 cracked housing on other side also- near the screw off to the left

 leaked grease down into the body of the KA

F minus KitchenAid, F minus...

So what am I to do?? My warranty is expired being over a year old (I purchased it 02/14/07) so I know that won't be my angle. However, I will give KA customer service a call tomorrow to express my utter disappointment in their claim to "all metal" construction. All metal my can't expect a workhorse like this to play nice with plastic parts. I purchased the biggest, baddest, and best of the line for the simple fact that I knew I was going to be making a lot of yummy goodness with it and wanted it to stand up to it's claim of being The Boss of the mixer crowd.

I can only hope that KA's customer service is still as excellent as it was years ago. I will keep you in the loop as to how this all turns out...fingers are crossed in that KA has collected enough customer complaints and changed their crappy plastic housing to all metal.


  1. Wow! That is a total bummer! I've had my KA for about 25 years and never had a problem, except with the attachments - which are definitely plastic - cracking. I thought you were going to say that the screeching noise was from Cowboy's stomach growling in anticipation. I can't wait to hear what happens when you contact them. Sounds like false advertising to me.

  2. I have KA envy... I've wanted one, the big one, for YEARS. I'm sorry yours broke :(

    I also have fresh baked bread envy! Can I come smell your house? Just a quick wiff? I bet it smells so good.

    I tried to bake biscuits from scratch, once, and it was a complete failure. Yeast and I are not friends. I've never tried to bake bread based on that failure.

    And grinding your own grain, you are so industrious! :)

    hugs from HW

  3. Hundewanderer- yeast in biscuits? hmmm I haven't heard such a thing. I will send you my most favorite biscuit recipe that is super easy. I think you should try the bread again. Will be posting recipes for those too as soon as I can get my KA back to health!
    Hugs back!

  4. I've wanted something like this for years. Guess I'll keep saving. GREAT Blog!

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