KitchenAid Overheating

Is Your KitchenAid Overheating? Here’s Why!

The KitchenAid stand mixer is one of the most popular kitchen appliances on the market today, with millions of units being sold every year. Owning a KitchenAid makes life a lot easier in the kitchen, but sometimes we forget that these high-tech machines are prone to overheating. There is only so much our trusted machines can take, and if we push them too hard, they can end up breaking down.

So why is your KitchenAid overheating? If you are noticing that your KitchenAid mixer gets hot it could be due to a number of different factors. Having had this happen to me a few times in my early days of owning a KitchenAid, I have learned a few things about what causes this issue, and how to prevent it from happening in the future.

Some possible reasons why your KitchenAid mixer might be overheating include: putting too much pressure on the motor, overloading the machine with heavy ingredients, or using the wrong speed setting when mixing. Let’s explore these in more detail!

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Why is my KitchenAid Overheating?

When your KitchenAid mixer gets hot or even worse, begins to smoke, it’s far from an ideal situation. Knowing the cause of the problem is key to preventing it from happening again. Here are some possible reasons why your KitchenAid mixer might be overheating.

You let your mixer run for too long

This is by far the most common reason why your KitchenAid mixer has overheated. Stand mixers are meant to do all the hard work for us, so it’s only natural that we might forget to put a timer on and often leave them running for extended periods of time, especially when baking large batches of cookies or cakes. However, this can cause the motor to overheat, as well as potentially damage other components inside the mixer.

It is recommended that you don’t use your stand mixer for longer than 10 minutes when mixing batters and no more than 4 to 6 minutes when kneading bread dough. Two minutes of kneading with a KitchenAid is equivalent to 10 minutes of kneading by hand, so If you exceed 10 minutes of mixing, you run the risk of your KitchenAid overheating.

You are mixing thick batters

KitchenAid mixer gets hot when mixing thick batters

Thicker batters like cookie dough or pizza dough put a lot of strain on the motor as it needs to work harder to cut through the dough.

If you have a smaller KitchenAid mixer like the Mini or Artisan, you’ll see that they will struggle a little bit with thicker doughs. It doesn’t mean that your mixer can’t do the work, it just requires a little supervision when mixing.

You’ve used the wrong speed setting

KitchenAid stand mixers have around 10 speed settings, each with its own purpose. Not all batters and doughs need to be mixed at the same speed, so it’s important to choose the correct setting. For instance, you wouldn’t use speed setting 10 to knead the dough and you wouldn’t use speed setting 2 to whip up egg whites.

If you’re using speed setting 10 to knead dough, stop right there! It is not good for your motor and you’re cutting the lifespan of your KitchenAid stand mixer significantly. If you are unsure which speed settings to use, take a look at the table below.

Speed SettingBest For
Slow Speed (stir or speed 1)Starting the machine/Folding ingredients
Speed 2 (low)Kneading dough, slow mixing heavy batters, cutting butter
Speed 4 (low-medium)Mixing cake batter or cookie dough
Speed 6 (medium)Creaming butter and sugar, making frosting
Speed 8 (medium to high)Fast beating whipped cream or meringue
Speed 10 (high)Fast beating whipped cream or meringue

You overloaded your mixer

Each KitchenAid stand mixer range comes with different bowl capacities. If you haven’t paid attention to the amount your mixer can hold, you will end up overheating it. When the mixing bowl is full to the brim, the motor has to work harder to mix all those ingredients together, putting a lot of strain on your mixer.

You didn’t let your mixer gradually come up to speed

KitchenAid mixer overheating fix

Turning on your mixer and gradually coming up to speed is very important. If you are the sort of person who cranks the speed up straight away, I’m sorry to say that your mixer will not last very long.

You wouldn’t work out without warming up first, right? Otherwise, you’ll feel the pain the next day. It’s the same with the gears in the motor. They need to be warmed up first, otherwise, you can cause friction on the gears which makes them overheat quickly. Start your mixer on a low setting and gradually build up to your desired speed. Your mixer will thank you.

Some stand mixer models have a KitchenAid soft start feature which helps prevent just that. Not all models have this feature so have a look to see if yours has one!

You have used third party attachments or inserted the attachment incorrectly

I don’t have anything against KitchenAid third party attachments. In fact, some of the third party attachments out there are a great, budget-friendly alternative to some of KitchenAid’s rather expensive ones.

But, you need to watch out for what third party attachments you use. Some of them might not be supported by KitchenAid, which will cause the mixer to work harder than it’s meant to. Before using a third party attachment, make sure it’s compatible with your KitchenAid mixer and follow the instructions carefully for maximum safety. Reading what other users of third party attachments have said about them will also help with finding out whether they are compatible or not or if they have caused overheating.

Also, if you use the attachments incorrectly and haven’t inserted them into the shaft correctly, again you’ll be putting a lot of strain on the motor.

KitchenAid Mixer Overheating Fix

So, how do you fix or prevent a KitchenAid from overheating? Overheating can have lasting damage on your mixer, so knowing how to prevent this from happening again or knowing how to fix it will save you a lot of money in repairs and maintenance.

Set a timer

Prevent KitchenAid smoking with use of a timer

Timing is key when it comes to mixing with a KitchenAid stand mixer. As I mentioned before, you can’t let your mixer run for longer than 10 minutes as eventually your mixer will start to overheat and the head of the mixer will start to feel hot.

Regardless of what you are mixing, set a timer. Or at least supervise your mixer and stop mixing when you think your batter has come to the right consistency.

Let your mixer rest

After putting up a hard shift, your mixer deserves a rest. This means that after 10 minutes of whipping egg whites, you can’t then immediately go and knead bread dough. You need to let your mixer rest for 20 to 30 minutes or at least until the mixer has completely cooled down, which can take up to 45 minutes.

Don’t overload your mixer

KitchenAid motor burnout from overload

I know we expect a lot from our mixers, but don’t overload them. They can only withstand so much. Each stand mixer model will specify how much of each batter it can yield. For example, the Artisan Mini can yield up to 5 dozen cookies. Don’t attempt to mix 10 dozen cookies with it as not only will you have cookie dough all over your countertop and kitchen, you are very likely to damage the motor of your mixer.

Stick to the recommended capacity for your model and try to not exceed it.

Why is my KitchenAid Smoking

If your KitchenAid stand mixer is new, you might have noticed that it might smoke a little or it might have an unusual odor. This is normal and it’s nothing to be concerned about. New mixers tend to off-gas on their first few uses.

Your KitchenAid mixer might also smoke if it has overheated due to any of the reasons I have mentioned above. If you notice that your stand mixer has shut down all of a sudden, it’s because it has overheated. Some KitchenAid stand mixer models have a Thermal Overload Protection switch which will turn the mixer off automatically when it starts to overheat. This thermal overload protects your mixer from any further damage and you won’t be able to use your mixer until it’s completely cooled down (around 30 minutes).

If your mixer is smoking or emitting strong odors and you have definitely not overheated your mixer or overused it, I recommend contacting KitchenAid for further assistance.

The Bottom Line…

If you follow the tips above and take care of your KitchenAid mixer, you’ll never have to worry about it overheating again.

Whether you’re mixing cookies, cakes, or bread dough, just remember to set your timer and let the mixer rest for a bit before starting again. And don’t overload it with batter! With these simple tips, you can keep your KitchenAid stand mixer in great shape for years to come.

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