Mixer Confusion

I am new to the business and am trying to decide what kind of mixer to buy. Been looking at 60qt Hobart and a 40qt Hobart VCM. The VCM is attractive due to compact size. Do any of you use this type of mixer and if so, do you use a phase converter (don’t have 3 phase power avail). Thanks for any input. Trying to make homemade dough and need a good machine for it.

The VCM also will dice cheese for you. While you can get a shredding attachment for the upright mixer, and even use the meat grinder to make spaghetti looking cheese (which is easy to break up by mixing) to get diced, the VCM will make much quicker work of the cheese. It can ONLY chop cheese, not actually DICE it, but it’s similar enough.

While I’m talking cheese, if you’re a “blend” person with your cheese, you now have infinite possibilities on the blend you use. You can throw in 5 pounds of mozz, 2 of prov, 8 ounces of cheddar all in one batch, turn it on and you’ve got thoroughly mixed “diced” cheese, in your own little blend. I believe Little Caesars would use something in the 15-20 pounds per “batch” of cheese, so you don’t have to do small little batches.

I believe it was done in under a minute. You can’t get that speed out of a shredder attachment.

Yeah, you asked about DOUGH! Buy a stopwatch, seconds count because of the speed at which these things operate. LC’s ran for 2 minutes if memory serves. You may not be able to restart the batch if you stop it due to the huge mass of dough that is now stopped.

If I had my choice, I’d get the VCM, due to speed and versatility. While an upright mixer may be more versatile with more attachments and such, what are you going to use the mixer for? If you answered dough and cheese, then the ability to make your own sausage is a moot point.

I have a vcm-40 with a phase converter. I use it everyday. I make my own bread and blend my own cheese. Works great !!

Many people make dough using a VCM, but I don’t ;ike the temp that it comes out at and the fact that there is NO room for error. Forget about the 60 quart mixer. If you go with a planetary mixer, get an 80 qt hobart. Much easier to mix 50 lbs of flour without spilling it and they sell used for no more than the equilvilant 60 qt. I use a 140 qt in order to mix 100lbs of flour at a time. Wouldn’t trade my 140qt for anything! The amount of floor space needed isn’t that much greater than a VCM.

I’ve been mixing dough in a VCM for 3 years, and we are looking at switching. I’d avoid the VCM if at all possible. As someone mentioned above - there is little room for error. 30 seconds too much will ruin a batch of dough - and the timing can be off if it doesn’t really start to mix right away. The temperature of the finised dough can be too high unless you use very cold water - or even ice water. Because of this, training is an issue.

I use a vcm with 3 phase. I love mine…

If you are just interested in making pizza at home why not opt for a Hobart A-200 (20 quart, planetary mixer? It will plug right in to any 15 amp 110 volt service and you can mix doughs weighing up to about 8 pounds (5 pounds of flour) in it. By my calculations that should provide more than enough dough for any home pizza party, and if you get the mixer with the flat beater you can also make your sauce in it too. Hobart has enough attachments for this mixer to allow you to make everything from whipped foam batters (angel food cake) to conventional batters (layer and pound cake) to sweet dough, pie dough, bread, bun and pizza dough. Make sure you get the reverse spiral dough arm rather than a straight dough hook. If you get a mixer with an attachment hub you can also grind and cut with the attachment. These mixers are pretty common in the restaurant industry so they are not terribly difficult to come buy used, and they will be a lot cheaper than one of the larger mixers.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor