VCM size question

I am looking at a potential good deal on a 30 quart Hobart VCM. My biggest question is whether this will be under-sized for my shop. I do just under $200K in annual sales, but expect to get to $250K in a year or so. I intend to use the thing for ‘dicing’ cheese and potentially mixing dough this fall (use dough balls right now).

Is 30 quarts big enough?

Nick, How many pies are you selling a week?

I have a 60 Quart Hobart mixer and use 50lb bags of flour. i get roughly 50 doughballs out of the batch for 18 Inch Pies. I make about 15 batches a week.

So figure that your 30 Quart Mixer will fetch you roughly 25-30 doughballs depending on your size pies with 25 lb bags of flour.

If your selling 200 pies a week that would equate to mixing about 7 batches a week. If you upgrade to a 60quart mixer, it would cut down to 3-4 batches a week.

Down the road, as your business improves, you might want the bigger mixer.

Hope this helps.

Hello Nick, I would save a couple more bucks and jump right into a 60 qt. because you my friend will definitely grow especially w/ your new seating and so on.Its one of those things for us 'men’we have to get the bigger one now…lol but in all sincerity you will grow right out of a 30 qt.then have to buy a 60 anyhoo. Go for the bigdawg bro!


I use a 60 quart in my shop but the recipe we use never fills the bowl. Another one of our shops opened about a month ago and they started with a 30 quart. They’ve got the same recipe and the mixer does the job, although the ingredients are dangerously close to the top.

So Nick, I guess I would say it’s not really the size of the mixer you need to look at, but rather the size of your recipe that will determine the size of the bowl. Why pay for something you’ll never fill to capacity?


I think you will find a 30 quart machine to be plenty. We are doing three times the volume you are talking about and during our peak season we top out at 40K per week.

We use a smaller machine. Our dough batch uses 25 lbs of flour which results in a 40lb batch of dough. That is a good quantity to handle after the dough is made. A batch that size will make 30 16", 40 14" or 55 12" dough balls of the size we use.

During the winter, we are making about 10-15 batches a day. In the off season we make about 2-3 batches a day. The time consuming part is the portioning and rolling, larger batches don’t save much time, but they are a pain to manage.

The same machine does our cheese for us. We do batches of 20-23 pounds which is what fits in a full size tray on the makeline.

A 30qt VCM will be fine for cheese, but if you are considering doing dough in it, I would wait to find a 40-45 quart. I don’t think you can do 25lbs of flour in a 30qt.

Hi Nick:

None of the franchise groups we deal with will use a vcm for mixing dough. To my knowledge no baker would ever use a vcm for mixing dough. Soon after switching to vcm’s one of the top franchise groups developed a reputation for cardboard crusts.

Great for cheese and vegetables. Get a mixer for dough. Hobart hook type mixers OK, spiral mixer better, articulating mixers superb but no pizza operation I know of uses them.

George Mills

Re reading the posts, I agree with the suggestion to look for a 40qt mixer. We use a 40 qt Stephan but a hobart hook is fine too. 60qt and up will do the job, but I have found they take up a lot of space and I don’t like handling batches that large anyway.

Be careful of VCMs. Some run at 440v and 3 phase. I don’t know if the 30qt do or not. If it’ll run on 220, single phase, I wanna buy it :slight_smile:

The one I’m looking at is three phase. I have a 400 amp 3-phase service in my shop . . . so I am happy to look at it as an option :smiley: I gotta get a 3-phase electric drop put in to run it if I get it, but that should be quite nominal.

Heck, now I’m even shopping for 3-phase AC units for my next expansion project!

Most every VCM will be three phase. The only ones I’ve seen that are not are 8qt Stephans and a few of the older model Robot Coupes. Be careful about 440V though as this is typically only available in military or very heavy industrial applications, and I have seen a number of 44V VCM’s for sale.

we use a 30qt spiral have to cut batch in half we broke 2 shafts b4 we realized what was happening

We do over 300k per year and have been using a Hobart 20 qt VCM for almost 5 years. It works GREAT for me. Lots of small batches. Each batch takes less than 2 minutes to make, so I really don’t mind makeing alot of them. Oh did I mention we were voted best in town all 5 years. Who cares what the big boys are useing, I like my VCM.


In case the VCM option gets too pricey in the negotiations, would a tilting barrel mixer do a good job making my dough? Will it be durable enough?

Can I use the blades to pelletize cheese? looking at an 88# capacity model with some limited interest.

Our Stephan machine is a tilting machine. We have to switch the mixing blades out for a cutting blade to dice up the cheese. It is no problem to do. The machine mixes a 40 lb batch of dough (25lbs flour) in about 2 minutes and dices up 20-24 lbs of cheese in 25 seconds.