The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

My KA caught fire

Heidela123's picture

My KA caught fire

I am flipping out! I knew I shouldn't have purchased another Kitchenaid the newer models have such lousy motors! But because I can not pay over a grand for the Hobart I wanted ...I settled for a KA and lit caught fire on Sunday after just a year of use! I use it daily but to be honest it is not " heavy" use, because I am a sourdough baker nothing I do requires a lot of mixing...and all I use it for is bread!

Doing the warrantee dance now and of course can not find the receipt.

hoping to get some resolve, repair is out of the question I imagine.

All I can say is the KA mixer of today sure isn't your grandma's version!

Disappointed and frustrated because when I bought it I knew better.

I am posting for two reasons...sympathy/empathy from kindreds who know how I feel
And to warn you! While I know folks still seem to love a KA, be aware the motors truly suck
You have this great big impressive looking mixer with a lame motor!
need to sell off some crap bite the bullet and buy my very LAST mixer

I am so upset, filled out the online form and am waiting to hear back. But the fire is scary! I had it set up right near a curtain and can only imagine if it caught fire!

It is my 3 rd KA mixer the first one the kid took when he moved out, that had the original motor and STILL works well ( he will not give it back!) number two walked off the counter one too many times and still works but we have had it repaired too many times and the noise and wobble were so bad I gave it to the other kid who only makes mashed potatoes in it.

So currently I have no mixer and can certainly manage but am feeling very grumpy about this so thanks for letting me vent

meirp's picture

Very sorry to hear that. We recently bought a KA mixer (replacing an old Kenwood). I have heard it's not good to mix/knead bread dough for very long on these mixers. From the KA website it says:

When kneading bread dough or pasta dough, run the Stand Mixer 4-5 minutes. The bread dough will be

processed well before that time. Please do not exceed speed 2.

Just wondering if I can confidently follow those instructions (without having to worry about the mixer going up in smoke).


Doc.Dough's picture

Five minutes at speed 2 (followed by a 30 min cooling off period) is fairly conservative from a thermal perspective, but your dough should still be at a hydration greater than 55% to avoid overloading the gear train.  As the hydration goes up, the speed can go up too. And because of the relationship between speed and efficiency and heat dissipation, there are advantages to running at a higher speed.

I read somewhere that the new KAs have a DC power supply and motor/speed control which could affect their efficiency, but I have not seen any objective evaluation (or even technical confirmation).


dwcoleman's picture

Buy a Bosch or an Electrolux, I got rid of two KA mixers before getting my Bosch.  I can knead 52% hydration bagel dough which would kill a KA in no time flat.

Heidela123's picture

Thanks for the feedback My dough was very wet and the machine ran for just a couple of min. I do most kneading by hand just the first mix to pull it together (1min) and then rest and mix it again in 35 min for about 3-4 min
The machine should be able to handle that? I never make heavy dough most are quite soft and pretty wet

I am mad because in the past I have stressed the KA way past what the owners manual said and they are still running after a combined 30 years ...this one has been babied and caught fire in less than two

dwcoleman's picture

I always wondered where all the refurbished KitchenAid mixers that you see in stores came from.  I would cut your losses and get a new mixer.  Make sure to read up on the Electrolux and Bosch Universal models and then make your purchase.  Each has their own strengths and weaknesses which will guide you.  

From reviews of previous owners, I anticipate that my Bosch Universal will last me 15-20 years, paying for itself over and over compared to a KA.


Doc.Dough's picture

The "refurbished" KA mixers apparently are just returns that are passed around from buyer to buyer until somebody lives with it.  I ordered one, had it delivered, discovered it to be defective, they shipped a new one.  When the new one arrived and I turned it on, it immediately went to speed 10 and stayed there.  It was either off or at full speed - shorted triac I think.  Clearly it had never been turned on after it was built and never been examinded after it was previously returned.  So my conclusion is that there is no functional inspection at the factory, the first customer does the acceptance test, and if it is returned it gets a "Refurbished" label without being tested then shipped to the next customer of a "refurbished" mixer.  Different customers have different levels of sensitivity to defects and if shipping is cheap enough eventually everybody is happy.  I am still trying to figure out where the truely bad ones go - perhaps if they get shipped enough times they get lost.


suave's picture

What is "not heavy" for you?  Load, hydration, time, KA model?

Heidela123's picture

My goodness I am so " cutting my losses"

For me this was a stupid move, I tried to go against my better judgment for my needs

Argh hindsight

I was stuck on Hobart because my son uses one at work and my chances of finding a good buy on a second hand barely used second hand (sadly) are pretty good in this area

I do love my Bosch dishwasher took me three pieces of junk ( I will stop discrediting by name) to realize that I truly did need one that could literally scrape dead things off tires and not need replacing every couple of years

I live for my play and darn it I adore the science and art of baking as you all seem to relate

So back to my hidey, hole ...thanks again

But I did baby this KA only because I work too damn much it gets in the way of baking! Thanks again for reading my spew I am going to get the "right" mixer this time more hours to buy better stuff so I can play less because I have to work more hours!

Living the dream!

LindyD's picture

Have been following this thread and first, am so sorry that your KA failed.

Did you see actual flames coming out of the mixer, which had to be extinguished?  Or was it smoke that you saw?  

If the mixer was on fire, I can't imagine KitchenAid would not investigate the cause and the mixer (melted wiring,  plastic, etc) since that's a really serious safety issue.  Or not replace it.

Heidela123's picture

Ok back again! Yes there were flames small starting bursts was scary because if I had left the room the curtain could have caught! Curtain has been taken down!

The company was most awesome I must say! They are sending a new one with a brand new warrantee and absolutely will take it back to investigate! Yay resolve!

I am not a huge brat but while I do live a generally simple life ..the kitchen brings me such joy I am not going to feel guilty buying what I really want/ slash more settling it is more expensive in the end! And frustrating!

My resolve..I am going to get a bread mixer for sure and leave the KA for cake! Thank you again yay KA while the product is not as good as it used to be..they are very good about returns!

dwcoleman's picture

This might be a good opportunity to sell it brand new to someone else and buy a better one.

Thaichef's picture

Good Afternoon Heidela123:

  I am sorry about your bad experiences with your KA. Now I am scared because I too had a KA.  I got it prior to my obsession with bread making and even though I do not make breads as often as you do I do not want to face your misfortune with the KA.  What model was your old KA which caught on fire?  My husband claims that our is a "better" motor but I don't think so. Thanks.