Do you know what a Hobart is?
October 10, 2015 5:56 PM   Subscribe

 
Thanks to many hours in camp and school and restaurant kitchens, I do know. The one at our camp had eyes painted on it. You get fond of them.

NOTE: Maplette is not maple. That frosting recipe makes me want to cry. All you need are confectioners sugar, maple syrup and milk
posted by Miko at 5:59 PM on October 10, 2015 [6 favorites]


Surprisingly fond memories of a couple years making dough at the hometown pizzeria. Some classmates had Camaros. I manned a Hobart.

Played a joke once teaching a new hire how to use it. Won't bore you with the details but it was performed to the tune of "and that's why you always leave a note"
posted by hal9k at 6:08 PM on October 10, 2015 [6 favorites]


Yup, pizzeria Hobart love here, too. The bowl locking mechanism is especially satisfying.
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 6:19 PM on October 10, 2015 [7 favorites]


I thought I knew what a Hobart was until this post. I guess Hobart isn't just a city in Indiana.
posted by jordemort at 6:22 PM on October 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's always interesting, if you can see into a pizzeria kitchen, to look at how old the Hobart is. From what I've seen it's typically older than a) the pizzeria, and b) all of the staff working there.
posted by Grimgrin at 6:25 PM on October 10, 2015 [13 favorites]


Not only do I know what a Hobart is from my dark youth in food service, but my parents actually knew *the* Hobarts somehow.
posted by univac at 6:26 PM on October 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


The Reykjavík of the southern hemisphere, isn't it? Either that or a type of paving.
posted by acb at 6:27 PM on October 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


My wife and I have gone into restaurant supply stores just to gawk at hobarts.
posted by BrotherCaine at 6:27 PM on October 10, 2015 [10 favorites]


After busting my Kitchen Aid twice (broken gear), I dearly wished Hobart was making home mixers again.
posted by Bovine Love at 6:28 PM on October 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


I met the mother of my daughter because of a giant Hobart. I was walking across a field on my way to a 4th of July concert in Zilker park, & she was standing there looking forlorn, with her pinky in a cast sticking straight out. Who knows why, but I stopped and asked "What happened to your finger?" & she said "I got it caught in the Hobart at work." I said "The big one at Green Pastures?" and she said "How did you know?" Intuition is a weird thing. I gave her my card.

I'd worked there before her in the 80's & they made "cotillion rolls" by the thousand in that bakery, which was just behind the kitchen line where I cooked lunch & prepped dinner. It was a continental place, with banquet facilities, so wedding cakes & other sundry desserts as well. That Hobart was as tall as she was -- probably had a 10 or 15 gallon tank/pot/vat? I dunno it was giant, & dangerous when the bread kneader was in there.

She invited me to dinner the next night & I never went back home, except to get my stuff. The marriage didn't last, but the daughter I got out of the deal was worth it, so thanks Hobart, for breaking her finger I guess?
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:30 PM on October 10, 2015 [20 favorites]


My son is also named Hobort.
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 6:32 PM on October 10, 2015 [7 favorites]


Hobart made high-capacity dishwashers too and they are no slouch. Most of the ones I used were already 20 years old.
posted by Miko at 6:39 PM on October 10, 2015 [4 favorites]


Do the mixers generate more loyalty then their other industrial kitchen devices? Back in my college cafeteria days in the late '90s, I often did potatoes, zucchini, and squash in a Hobart slicer/dicer. Something about the word "HOBART" emblazoned so prominently on it inevitably personified the thing in my mind.

I can't find any evidence of this particular model on the internet. It had two sides -- one that sliced, one that diced. Opening for each was just about big enough for, say, 3 average-sized zucchini or one big russet potato. Each port had a metal plunger for pushing the last bits through.
posted by HeroZero at 6:40 PM on October 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


Do the mixers generate more loyalty then their other industrial kitchen devices?

That is a good question. If I were to speculate, I think it's because they are one of the things that's most fascinatingly different from its home-kitchen version. Like, an eight-burner stove is just a stove + a stove. A walk-in is a big fridge that you can walk in. But a Hobart? It's a mixer - a mundane countertop device - but here it stands on its own feet, seems powerful and maybe a little dangerous, and something about it is super festive. When the Hobart's running, everyone knows it.

Also, since it's kind of about human height and sort of analogous to a body (arms, feet, head) I think maybe it feels anthropomorphically familiar.
posted by Miko at 6:43 PM on October 10, 2015 [7 favorites]


  I dearly wished Hobart was making home mixers again

They make the N50, but it's a tad pricey.
posted by scruss at 6:59 PM on October 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


After busting my Kitchen Aid twice (broken gear), I dearly wished Hobart was making home mixers again.

I finally just broke down and bought a Hobart N50 off of ebay.
It's every thing I could have hoped for.
posted by Dr. Twist at 7:06 PM on October 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


The hobart is not a dishwasher

brought to you by the coop I ate in one summer-- and its hobart dish *sanitizer*. Not dishwasher.
posted by nat at 7:19 PM on October 10, 2015 [3 favorites]


I spent a few years of my life working in industrial bakeries. Just hearing the words "Hobart Mixers," makes me twitch a bit.
posted by jonmc at 7:19 PM on October 10, 2015


My college dishwashing partner at Pizzeria Uno, with the help of weed and boredom, began inventing a religion centered around kitchens and a god named Hobart (he also made a wearable suit of armor from the foil sheets for take-out slices).
posted by p3t3 at 7:36 PM on October 10, 2015 [6 favorites]


I'm from Troy, Ohio. Hobart is the company and family that built our arena, welding school, and pretty much our whole town. My father worked for them when he first got out of college. I don't know a damn thing about what they made but I know I owe them for the prosperity of my hometown and family.
posted by charred husk at 7:47 PM on October 10, 2015 [5 favorites]


hobart dish *sanitizer*. Not dishwasher.

They call 'em dishwashers, but an essential part of the wash was the 12-second "sanitize" cycle, during which the washer went up to like 210 degrees and stank of the weird bleach compound we had to put in a special reservoir. The failure of that cycle occasioned many visits from our local appliance repair and fear that we would not pass health inspection. The items came out too hot to touch. We perfected systems of pulling out the industrial plastic plates and bowls first, then glasses, then forks and spoons, and left knives for last because their heavier thickness made them hold heat the longest and burn your fingers.
posted by Miko at 8:08 PM on October 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


True story: kitchen aid was started by Hobart to sell stand mixers to the home market. They made a few models for execs spouses. They were to provide feedback and name suggestions. Someone had some terrible name for it and the one wife says "don't call it XXX, call it a kitchen aid because everyone home needs one"

The day I learned that..... Whew. Blew my mind. Kind of like the day I learned that lava soap wd-40 and 3 in 1 oil are all made by the same company.
posted by chasles at 8:08 PM on October 10, 2015 [4 favorites]


Huh. More here. I went to the KitchenAid factory store and museum in Greenville, OH, and it was awesome. It ranked second only to my visit to the Annie Oakley artifacts in the Garst Museum also in Greenville, but a narrow second. That town was awesome - too much awesome for one Ohio town, you'd think - and the KitchenAid museum is highly recommended to anyone who loves cooking, history, or cooking history. The wonders I saw there! A gold plated KitchenAid. Period kitchen installations showing the trendy KitchenAid uses of their day. Live demonstrations.
posted by Miko at 8:13 PM on October 10, 2015 [5 favorites]


I am pretty sure that each of those giant-ass Hobart mixers is assembled at the factory, and then put in a giant rock tumbler-like machine in order to get that patina and all those little dents. I have never seen one with a clean paint job.
- - -
Having worked in a few pizzerias, I thought I had seen a good size mixer -- but now I work at a college with a very big culinary program, and our new four-story building dedicated to teaching people how to cook (called the Cuisinart Center for Culinary Excellence) has some genuinely amazing hardware.
posted by wenestvedt at 8:13 PM on October 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


Holy crap that brings back terrible memories of working pizza delivery in college. There was a cook that I fantasized about sticking his head into the Hobart. He's now my brother-in-law.
posted by photoslob at 8:20 PM on October 10, 2015 [5 favorites]


Do they really appreciate in value? Why?
posted by cmoj at 8:36 PM on October 10, 2015


Respect the Hobart, man. Half the bones in my right hand still ache a little when it rains, and it's been 35 years.
posted by Mary Ellen Carter at 8:43 PM on October 10, 2015 [8 favorites]


Do they really appreciate in value? Why?

I want to know the answer to this as well. I mean, why wouldn't I just buy a new one from Hobart instead of a more expensive older model?
posted by chrominance at 8:45 PM on October 10, 2015


(also I saw a Hobart for the first time in a fancy cheesecake shop a few months ago, and I immediately dreamed of ways I could somehow get one for my own kitchen even though it is ludicrously overkill for any kind of baking job I could conceivably throw at it.)
posted by chrominance at 8:46 PM on October 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


I just did a very lackadaisical web search and it looks like vintage Hobarts can be had for something like $1500-2500 but new models are $5000-30,000. So maybe it's not that they appreciate (except maybe for certain rare or especially nice models) but they sure don't depreciate as much as you'd think.
posted by Miko at 9:06 PM on October 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


Grew up with a Hobart in the family restaurant. It would wake me in the morning, thumping the bread dough.
posted by tommyD at 9:10 PM on October 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


Here's a redditor restoring a Hobart era KitchenAid mixer. Beautiful stuff. They don't make them like this anymore.
posted by JoeZydeco at 9:14 PM on October 10, 2015 [6 favorites]




I was lucky enough to inherit a hobart-made kitchen aid mixer from a family friend. The thing is a beast. How many kitchen appliances still work perfectly 50 years later? It's not nearly as pretty as the one JoeZydeco links to, but it sure gets the job done.
posted by evilbeck at 11:15 PM on October 10, 2015


too much awesome for one Ohio town, you'd think

I grew up a few miles from there. If you ever get back out that way, or for anyone else who swings through, I highly recommend the Maid Rite. Just park your gum outside on the wall and head on in for some delicious loose-meat hamburger sandwiches.
posted by mcrandello at 11:40 PM on October 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ah - Clone 151.
posted by alexei at 12:06 AM on October 11, 2015


Hobart's buffalo choppers are badass, if a bit scary. I have borrowed one for a big barbecue and they make very short work of a pig. Not to mention hash and slaw.
posted by TedW at 6:21 AM on October 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have my mother's Kitchen Aid mixer. It was given to her and my father on their wedding day in 1965. It's a pale buttercream yellow and works perfectly. On the side of the body, it's marked with the HOBART logo. When she gave the mixer to me when I went off to college, I just about died. It was like I was being blessed with adulthood.
posted by minervous at 7:43 AM on October 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


Do the mixers generate more loyalty then their other industrial kitchen devices?

God yes. They're built the way Stephenson talks about how the British build things in Cryptonomicon--they appear to be able to withstand a nuclear blast and keep on mixing. They're absolutely unkillable.

We had a Hobart sausage grinder at the first restaurant I worked at. Thing was the size of like two beer fridges, sounded like a freight train, and on at least one occasion basically ran all day long with nary a complaint. (Well, ok, ran in on/off cycles all day bc we had to keep re-chilling the auger and dies, but still.)

First time I used one of their buffalo choppers in school I was entranced. A couple of my fellow students and I nearly had to be physically restrained from throwing in everything we could think of to see exactly how fast it could pulverize whatever--I think someone suggested a shoe...
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:09 AM on October 11, 2015 [4 favorites]


Joining the ex-pizza shop employee chorus: I worked for a mom-and-pop shop in my neighborhood that made, sliced, or shredded just about everything they put on a pizza (pepperoni was a notable exception), and the Hobart was involved in nearly all of it. I worked the day shift while I was home from college for the Summer, so I was involved in most of the prep work. Dough was a 50lb bag of flour, a whole cake of fresh yeast, a giant pitcher of water and some salt and olive oil, and we made one batch every other day or so. I didn't know about Hobart making Kitchen Aid stuff, but it makes sense, since we used the attachment port on the front of our Hobart to do just about everything else, and it seems like basically the same thing that a Kitchen Aid has. We used it to slice vegetables, grate 4lb blocks of cheese, and grind our sausage, all through various attachments. Pretty versatile for such a beast of a machine.
posted by LionIndex at 9:28 AM on October 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sure do know what a Hobart is. I worked in one of the dining halls all throughout college, and back of house shifts were my favorite. ("Cook's Help" was the name of the shift.) All that huge equipment - the Hobart mixers, the giant steam kettles, the tilt-skillet...

The gross food waste disposal thing was, like the Hobart, affectionately called by its brand name: Somat. Working a dishroom shift meant you might be tasked with cleaning the Somat tower at the end of the night, which entailed reaching your arm as far in as you can to remove the gross, orange (always orange, for some reason) chewed up food and napkin pulp.
posted by misskaz at 9:32 AM on October 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


at my pizza job the hobart was used just for dough and pizza sauce, but those were my two favorite tasks. the setting for the dough was fast, the hook attachment violently clanged against bowl and you could feel the power through the floor. the sauce paddle was set on low and gracefully stirred the mix accompianed by a pleasant humming. good times.
posted by lescour at 12:50 PM on October 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


After busting my Kitchen Aid twice (broken gear), I dearly wished Hobart was making home mixers again.

After repairing her Kitchen Aid the last time, I told my wife that the next time it craps out I am buying her a commercial-quality mixer. Probably the smartest option would be to sell the Kitchen Aid before it breaks again, so as to save the hassle of repairing it again, but finding a good price on an N50 is not easy.
posted by Dip Flash at 1:17 PM on October 11, 2015


Currently, Kitchen Aid's higher-wattage models use all-metal gearing; it's the lower-powered ones that have plastic gears. Which is not to say the motor will last for generations, but the the drivetrain will.

IIRC, the last of their tilt-head stand mixers to have an all-metal drivetrain is the 400 watt Accolade, which was discontinued about ten years ago in favor of the 325-watt plastic-geared Artisan. We have an Accolade -- it's very nice, but if I was shopping for a mixer now I'd probably get a higher-powered unit. The Accolade audibly strains when mixing pizza dough (for home cooking, not commercial-scale production!).
posted by ardgedee at 3:39 PM on October 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


After busting my Kitchen Aid twice (broken gear), I dearly wished Hobart was making home mixers again.

ardgedee already mentioned it, but they switched to plastic gears in the mid 2000s.

My family actually bought one right around that switchover. I think we mailed back, yea, two for weird issues and just generally making awful noises. I'm kinda still mad about this. All they offered us after all the hassle was a pick of any color we wanted! We barely used the second replacement, and after not even a couple years the fucking latch for the tilt head bent. And despite all my huffing/puffing/fiddling, will seemingly never latch again. Their manufacturing tolerances seem to just be shit now(I seriously can't figure out how exactly it bent. The whole thing fits right until you put it completely back together and then suddenly the tolerances are off. it's like space and time locally warped like something that would happen in a mundane episode of star trek. How did it fit at first, for maybe the first 20-30 usages over a year and a half or so?)

I took it to my college flophouse apartment anyways, and have many fond memories of baking pizza from scratch with my roommate several times a week(while also baked at approximately 550 degrees, so to speak) with the damn thing fastened down with an old mesh belt, makeshift weights, bungee cords, or whatever else we decided to try that week.

Meanwhile, my grandmas 1950s K4, which is pretty much the very first model to look like a "modern" hobart/kitchen aid STILL runs perfectly, despite being purchased as far as i know before my mom was born. It has zero issues, runs completely smoothly and quietly with no slop in the geartrain or anything, and is still in use at my moms house.

I just about cry every time my partners artisan jams up on a ball of dough. What a hunk of shit. That, like a million other decent brands(bosch just about anything that's a home appliance for one), has been completely diluted and is selling on name only.

Here's a redditor restoring a Hobart era KitchenAid mixer. Beautiful stuff. They don't make them like this anymore.

I used to repair and restore vintage fans. I just about fist pumped at this, even after i saw the paint color being off, until i saw that he got the crappier modern dough hook/whisk/etc instead of just polishing the perfectly fine old one and... THE NEW STYLE BAND?!?! Why even bother keeping the old hobart one if you're going to ditch the logo, jeeze. It just looks like any other new mixer from walmart now. It's like buying a cool old car in decent unrestored condition and then putting the current badging and hubcaps for that make on it. What?
posted by emptythought at 2:43 AM on October 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


Currently, Kitchen Aid's higher-wattage models use all-metal gearing; it's the lower-powered ones that have plastic gears. Which is not to say the motor will last for generations, but the the drivetrain will.

I can attest that the metal gearing can grenade spectacularly as well. The machines just aren't as good as they used to be, and as I said above I will replace it with a commercial grade model at some point.
posted by Dip Flash at 3:46 AM on October 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


> I can attest that the metal gearing can grenade spectacularly as well.

Damn. That's depressing. I was hoping they were at least reserving some giving-a-shit for their better models.
posted by ardgedee at 8:06 AM on October 12, 2015


Yes, but do you even know what a Tonelli is, bro? (youtube)
posted by Barry B. Palindromer at 1:10 PM on October 12, 2015


Just the other night my nephew was showing us his dance moves, which included classics like the lawnmower, the running man, and the sprinkler. I asked him if he knew the Hobart. He did not. My inlaws proceeded to look at me in awe as I extended my arm, and made rhythmic mixing motions with the other. (picture hugging a large bowl with one arm and mixing, suggestively, with the other) No one got it, and I had to explain it, which did not help.
posted by gyusan at 2:34 PM on October 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I want to know the answer to this as well. I mean, why wouldn't I just buy a new one from Hobart instead of a more expensive older model?

Because it may have inferior construction to the old model. Or weird nostalgia value.

I've seen both.
posted by kjs3 at 7:08 PM on October 12, 2015


Agreed on the someone get my housemate an N50, stat.

We have to order the replacement tower gears to repair the late 1990s Heavy Duty lift-bowl, in packs of 5. I have to divide my home-size weekly challah recipe in thirds, and it STILL eats plastic tower gears and makes terrible whining and grating-whirring noises. I even plastered in new gear grease, didn t help.

Meanwhile, my used 1975 Ultra Power tilt head only needs the same high-gluten recipe divided in half, and that mostly to fit in the smaller bowl than the newer lift-bowl. It whirrs with the occasional clink as the beater hits the bowl. I know the dough is ready for first rise when I can hear the dough slapping the bowl. And did you know you can get reproduction meat/nut metal-body grinder blades, now? The rotary blades and hole/plates for the new plastic grinders don t fit (well, the plates do with some machining).

But the commercial bowl dolly fills me with envy.
posted by Dreidl at 8:03 PM on October 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


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