VCM vs PLanetary

who uses what and how do you like it

I have a planetary Hobart but am thinking of going to a VCM

any pros or cons


When we opened a second location we purchased a VCM because we thought it would be much better for cheese, and we figured we would be able to adapt our dough to the VCM.

Unfortunately, we were never able to do that. The VCM made good dough, but we were never able to get the same dough and crust that came out of the planetary.

Maybe there was a method or tweak that I missed somewhere, but we experimented for over a year and never got it the same.

So I would say if you need to be consistent and make the same dough your customers already know you may not want to switch types.

Our clients do not use VCM’s For mixing dough.

George Mills

The VCM can be used to successfully make dough but you need to be aware of a few things first.

  1. Regardless of the type of yeast that you use, it must be prehydrated or suspended prior to addition to the mixing bowl.
  2. Only the dull, flat mixing attachment is correct for dough mixing.
  3. The total mixing time in a VCM will be on the order of 70 to 90-seconds. Just a few seconds longer or shorter can make a big difference in the finished dough.
  4. The VCM tends to heat the dough more than a planetary type mixer, so if you are mixing multiple doughs back to back you need to cool the bowl between doughs. The easiest way to do this is to have a 5-gallon bucket of ice water near the mixer, and as soon as a dough is removed, pour in the ice water and allow it to chill the bowl for a minute or so, and then pour the ice water back into the bucket for use with the next dough. Do this before loading the bowl for each mix/dough.
  5. When using a VCM the water is always the first ingredient to go into the bowl.
  6. The delayed oil addition method of mixing also applies when using a VCM. Mix the dough for about 20-seconds, add the oil and continue mixing to the completion of your set mixing time.
    Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

We have been using a VCM for dough now for 14 years. I have used planetary mixers at other locations over the years. I would never go back to planetary. We use a Stefan VCM and our batch is based on 25lbs of flour. we also use it (with a different attachment) for cheese. It does 20+ pounds of cheese in 25 seconds!

We have had ONE repair (replaced seal) in 14 years and bought the VCM used.

I like the speed. I like the consistancy. Ours has a timer so the mix time is exactly the same each time. We use fresh yeast and it is suspended in the water before being added. We use the coldest water we can get. In the summers, we cool the water in the walkin overnight before use.

We have not experienced the heating issue Tom mentions so we have not had to cool the bowl between batches.

Check back through old topics. This subject has been discussed many times over the years.

We have also used the VCM for dough for over 20 years. We don’t any longer but not because of the dough quality, because of the repair cost on the VCM’s and dough mixing. We now use a spiral mixer for the dough and the VCM for cheese sauce and a few other goodies. Since we pulled the dough out of the VCM’s a year ago we have not had even 1 repair bill on them. In the past it was very common to spend as much as $10,000 a year on those things ( 3 locations ). If the main bearing goes out on the Hobart you’re looking at around $2500 just for that, and the part is $100.


We also use the Stefan VCM… love it. We also don’t cool the mixer in between batches, we do about 8-12 25lb batches a day. Have not had the bad luck the previous poster stated in regards to repair costs… have supervised 5 stores over the last 5 years (previously to opening my shop) with only one VCM needing a seal replaced.