One of the coolest things about stand mixers is not just that they mix things, it’s that they can be used for so much more. In fact, you can equip a well-powered stand mixer with attachments that will majorly surprise you with all the additional functionality they provide. If your mixer can make the dough you want, it can also make a whole lot of other things by taking advantage of the attachments which often hook right onto the front of the mixer head.
What Should Be In The Box
There are a few things that come with just about every mixer, and they are part of the functionality you need. Buying a mixer without them will really cut down on what you’re able to do, so you want to make sure everything you want comes right in the box if at all possible.
Obviously, your stand mixer needs a bowl. Without it, it’s just a mixer. Bowls come in a variety of sizes, and you want to make sure yours is big enough to handle the jobs you will be doing most often. Try to have a good idea of how much you’ll be making with it to ensure you get the amount of bowl space you need. They typically run between 4 quarts and 6 quarts, with some professional mixers going up to 8 quarts.
This one looks the least like any kitchen tool you’ve previously used, but it’s arguably the one you will get the most use of with your stand mixer. When you make things like cake mixes and cookie dough, the flat beater is the tool you will use.
It comes standard with just about every stand mixer you can get that’s worth having, and it’s the tool you will probably learn to love the most.
Every now and then, you’ll realize there are recipes which call for a gentler touch, rather than the heavy hand of the bulky flat beater. That’s where the wire whisk comes in.
If you’re going for light and fluffy with eggs or creams or similar substances, that’s when you’ll use the wire whisk. Trust me when I say this one will become a close friend, and you’ll learn the applications of it as you get more used to stand mixing.
Dough hooks definitely look like the most dangerous thing to come in the box with your mixer, and they are a little sharper than some of the other attachments you will use.
The dough hooks do exactly what it sounds like they do. They “hook” dough to make sure it gets mixed and kneaded appropriately when you make bread. They can save you the hassle of using your hands and beating the stuffing out of your bread dough manually. I do know some people like to use baking bread as a productive type of stress relief, though, and if that’s why you usually make bread, your dough hooks probably won’t a whole lot of use.
Outside Of The Box
There are all sorts of other attachments for your stand mixer which you can purchase separately, and they usually attach to the machine differently than the ones that come in the box. These attachments use the mixer’s power to get going, and then they offer all sorts of new functionality.
For instance, you can use the mixer to whip up the base for pasta, and then attach a pasta-making attachment which will flatten out the dough and give it the shape you want for your pasta.
From Pasta To Meat To Juice And Beyond
If you can dream it in the kitchen, there’s a decent chance that your stand mixer can help you do it. That isn’t an exaggeration. Stand mixers have attachments for pasta, as mentioned previously, but they can also be used with attachments for grinding meat, juicing fruits and vegetables, making ice cream, shredding vegetables, grating cheese, making smoothies, blending just about everything, and even more. There is hardly a limit to what your stand mixer can do, and if there isn’t a particular attachment for it yet, give it a little time and I’m sure someone will get around to making it.
Keep It Clean
This is not as much an attachment thing as it is a convenience thing, but I hate cleaning up after big splashes of ingredients that poof up when you’re pouring them together. A pouring shield or splatter guard can help make sure that doesn’t happen, or at least seriously minimize the issue, and you can still use your mixer while it’s in place. It’s one of my absolutely favorite attachments of all time.
So Much More
If you thought you were buying a tool just for mixing, you have no idea what you’re in for. There is so more to these appliances than just cookie dough and batters, and you can make something for just about every part of the kitchen with the tools that either come with or can be added. I am so excited about getting my new one because, this time, I’m going to get everything I can possibly find and more. Which ones do you want?